Nominal compounds of `NI + N2" in Korean can be classified into the following three major categories: co-compound, subcompound, and fusion. Among these three major categories, insertion of /t/' in the compounding process and subsequent tensification are found only in subcompounds. This peculiar phenomenon of /t/ insertion which causes, in turn. tensification in subcompound words has been long controversial because linguists have not been able to expect in which phonological environment of subcompounding insertion of /t/ takes place. In this paper, I explore a phonological rule which makes it possible to expect the phonological environments of subcompounding that allow insertion of /t/ and automatic tensification of the subsequent consonant. In this process, I show that semantic relation(s) between combined roots should be considered at least as one of the important structural descriptions in phonology.
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