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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.21 No.2 pp.1-27

Internal and External Constraints on Rhoticityin Korean English

Hyeon-seok Kang
Dankook University
Received: 5. 30. 2013 Revised: 7. 25. 2013 Accepted: 7. 31. 2013


While there have been extensive sociolinguistic research on the rhoticity of native and ESL varieties of English, no English of the expanding circle has been investigated as to its rhoticity. This study, using the variationist framework, investigates Korean English speakers’ pronunciation of post-vocalic /r/ as possibly the first research on the rhoticity of an EFL variety. The variety of Korean English analyzed in this study was closer to rhotic than nonrhotic, supporting the claim by many researchers (e.g., Choe 1996) that Korean English is linguistically closer to American English than British English. Though both linguistic and non-linguistic constraints are observed to exert influence on the rhoticity of the Korean variety of English, the latter proved to be more dominant. The effects of linguistic constraints were relatively weak and somewhat different from those as found in research on native varieties of English (e.g., Nagy & Irwin 2010, Piercy 2012). Nonlinguistic factors such as gender, proficiency level, speech style, and language/dialect contact significantly influenced the informants’ production of post-vocalic /r/. (186)



  1. Journal Abbreviation : j. Korea Saf. Manag. Sci.
    Frequency : Published three times annually in April, August and December, including an international issue
    Doi Prefix : 10.14353/sjk.
    Year of Launching : 2013
    Publisher :
    The Sociolinguistic Society of Korea
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