Korean Consonant Cames Pronunciation (t-palatalization)
25 Apr 19
Last week, Teacher Park asked me this after her class ended at almost 10pm.

“‘디귿’ 발음 어떻게 배웠어요?” referring to page 14 of the Sogang workbook 2A.

I told her I never learnt it, Sogang never taught it during my time, I just say it the way I hear it. Then, we embarked on finding out why the name of the consonant “ㄷ” which is “디귿” is pronounced [디그시에요] instead of what logically should be [드그치에요].

The short answer is it’s an exception. Yes! Many exceptions in language theory. Just accept it!

Name of consonants are pronounced differently, out of the regular  Korean pronunciation rules. If you are interested in the nitty gritty details, please read on after the table of Korean consonant names pronunciation.

 
제16항 한글 자모의 이름은 그 받침소리를 연음하되, ‘ㄷ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅎ’의 경우에는 특별히 다음과 같이 발음한다.
         디귿이[디그시]            디극을[디그슬]            디귿에[디그세]
         지읒이[지으시]            지읒을[지으슬]            지읒에[지으세]
         치읓이[치으시]            치읓을[치으슬]            치읓에[치으세]
         키읔이[키으기]            키읔을[키으글]            키읔에[키으게]
         티읕이[티으시]            티읕을[티으슬]            티읕에[티으세]
         피읖이[피으비]            피읖을[피으블]            피읖에[피으베]
         히읗이[히으시]            히읗을[히으슬]            히읗에[히으세]
 

First, the regular pronunciation rules.

꽃 [꼳]     꽃이  [꼬치]   꽃을[ 꼬츨]

Many times you hear Koreans saying [꼬시] for “꽃이”. That’s wrong, but very common error.

Second, there is a pronunciation thingie called 구개음화 or palatalization. (meaning)
Basically, your tongue becomes lazy and say it in the most efficient manner like below.

굳이 [구지]   [구디]                             같이 [가치]   [가티]

So…. like the above
“디귿”이에요 should be pronounced [디그지에요].

But no…
It’s pronounced [디그시에요]. Because for pronunciation of Korean consonants, it’s an exception! 예외입니다.

After researching and discussing for an hour, Teacher Park concluded, “설명할 수 없을땐 늘 “예외”라고 해요”. Yes, even linguistic experts have no proper explanations for everything.