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From: "Garth Wallace" <gwalla@...>

> Danny Wier wrote:

> > Considering Korean is spoken by so many millions, and it's the language
of
> > two republics and one of the world's largest cities, I can't believe
they
> > can't decide on how 'tense' consonants are pronounced. We had a native
> > Korean speaker on the list years ago, and I can't remember her name, but
she
> > said something about these being pronounced with glottal tension but not
> > ejectivity, and that these consonants may also be voiced. These
consonants
> > do correspond to Middle Chinese voiced aspirates, by the way.
>
> How so? In loanwords?

Exactly, and more than half of the vocabulary of Korean is of Chinese
origin. Even today, Korean writing is a mixture of the Hangul phonetic
alphabet and Chinese ideographs, more so in the South than in the North
(because of the ultranationalist form of Maoism practiced by the Kims).