Translation:The book is long.
길다 is one of those regularly irregular verbs/adjectives. Its conjugation sometimes involves dropping the -ㄹ. In this case, the root becomes 기 (←길) + ㅂ니다 → 깁니다. Other -ㄹ verbs/adjectives are conjugated similarly.
Examples for 길다 (to be long):
- 책이 깁니다 (The book is long.)
- 긴 책이 (the long book)
- 책이 길어요 (The book is long.)
- 책이 기니까 (because the book is long)
But the antonym 짧다 (to be short) has an intact ㄹ even though it is pronounced [짤따]:
- 책이 짧습니다 (The book is short.)
- 짧은 책이 (the short book)
- 책이 짧아요 (The book is short.)
- 책이 짧으니까 (because the book is short)
짧습니다 is pronounced [짤씀니다] in the above example. The ㅂ shields the ㄹ from deletion but itself is not pronounced if not followed by a vowel. The rest are pronounced with a ㅂ after the ㄹ.
Thanks, Kevin. Though most easily thought of or described as irregular, such sound changes can actually also be thought of as following an extra layer or two of phonological rules, if one finds such details helpful. Even given that a language has certain set of phonemes, they can't occur just anywhere in any sequence. In English, though we can say 'gn' together in 'signal,' we don't say both sounds together at the beginning of a word, such as 'gnat.' The rules that govern such things are called phonotactic rules.
Korean has a bunch of phonemic (underlying sound) versus phonetic (actual pronunciation) stuff going on. There are many instances where one of two dissimilar neighboring consonants, the 'ㅂ' in this case, becomes more similar (is assimilated) to its neighbor, the 'ㄴ' (changing from a bilabial plosive p/b to a bilabial nasal m). Sometimes, when the sequence is too complex to be allowed by the phonotactics rules for that location, the sound may be dropped altogether: l + p>m + n = m + n.
I suppose most changes could be explained by phonological processes that are common cross-linguistically:
- 걷다 → 걷습니다 / 걸어요 (“t-flapping” to ㄹ)
- 길다 → 깁니다 / 길어요 (“l-vocalization” to ㅡ and then elision since ㅡ is a weak vowel)
- 곱다 → 곱습니다 / 고와요 (“p-sonorization” to ㅸ and then /w/)
- 낫다 → 낫습니다 / 나아요 (“s-voicing” to ㅿ and then apocope to a hiatus phoneme)
Interestingly, North Korea attempted to introduce a revised orthography in which the “irregularities” in spelling were regularized using new symbols. I’m not familiar with the orthography, and it’s been abandoned, but many of the new letters were to replace the final consonants of roots that are currently represented by a spelling change.
Not that I know of. The dictionaries make no mention of their relationship, although it probably makes a good mnemonic.
Does this specifically means the book is long as in, for example, more twelve inches long? Or can it also mean long as in more than a hundred pages long?