Read e-book online A History of the Korean Language PDF

By Ki-Moon Lee, S. Robert Ramsey

ISBN-10: 0521661897

ISBN-13: 9780521661898

A background of the Korean Language is the 1st booklet at the topic ever released in English. It lines the foundation, formation, and diverse historic levels by which the language has handed, from outdated Korean via to the current day. each one bankruptcy starts off with an account of the old and cultural heritage. A entire checklist of the literature of every interval is then supplied and the textual checklist defined, in addition to the script or scripts used to jot down it. eventually, every one degree of the language is analyzed, providing new information supplementing what's recognized approximately its phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. the extreme alphabetic fabrics of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are given targeted cognizance, and are used to make clear past, pre-alphabetic classes.

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Today, the Altaic languages only have a two-way contrast between an r and an l; but the reconstruction of two more, *r2 and *l2, was thought necessary in order to accommodate Turkic, which has a reflex z corresponding to *r1, and an sˇ corresponding to *l1. Needless to say, Korean now has only one liquid phoneme, /l/, and the same was true of Middle Korean. But Old Korean transcriptions seem to indicate that at that stage of the language there were two. 2 ilang 이랑 ‘ridge between fields’ alay 아래 ‘lower part’ < *al twolh 돓 ‘stone’ < *tuluh < *tı¨lagu A methodological shortcut As mentioned above, many linguists believe it is also possible to demonstrate genetic affinity by adducing a small number of common elements found within the structures of the languages being compared.

1) Reflexes of *-m serve as nominalizers in many Altaic languages. ’ In Manchu and other Tungusic languages the morpheme does not occur independently but only in combination with other verbal suffixes. The ending -(o/u)m was the most widely used nominalizer in Middle Korean. ’ Such nominals are, of course, still used today. ’ 5 The Contemporary reflexes of -(o/u)n and -(o/u)lq are used exclusively as modifier endings, but in the fifteenth century both also served as nominalizers. The use of -ki, which is now the most productive nominalizer, was rare at that time.

As Martin himself later wrote, in 1991, “[t]here is no general agreement on the genetic relationships of either Japanese or Korean” (p. 269). Still, failing that ultimate prize, much progress has in fact been made in uncovering the prehistory of both languages. At the very least, we are beginning to understand how very complex prehistoric change was, and how much it altered the phonological and morphological structure of the two languages. As a result, instead of rushing to apply the comparative method to Japanese and Korean, or to compare either with Altaic, serious research has, in recent years, been concentrated more on first reconstructing earlier stages of each language independently.

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A History of the Korean Language by Ki-Moon Lee, S. Robert Ramsey

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