The Korean Alphabet: Its History and Structure

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Young-Key Kim-Renaud
University of Hawaii Press, 1997 - 317 páginas
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The Korean alphabet, commonly known as han'gul, has been called one of the greatest intellectual achievements of humankind. Experts agree that few writing systems can match its simplicity and efficiency, its elegance and intelligence.

The only alphabet completely native to East Asia, han'gul distinguishes itself among writing systems of the world with its scientific qualities and unusual linguistic fit to the Korean language. Most strikingly, the theoretical underpinnings of the language, as well as the time and circumstances of its creation, are clearly known and recorded. Han'gul was invented in 1443 and promulgated in 1446 by King Sejong (1418-1450), sage ruler of the Yi dynasty (1392-1910).

This volume, the first book-length work on han'gul in English by Korean-language specialists, is comprised of ten essays by the most active scholars of the Korean writing system. An instructive commentary by eminent linguist Samuel Martin follows, offering perceptive comments on the essays as well as a discussion on Martin's own research findings on the script.

 

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Índice

Introduction
1
The Inventor of the Korean Alphabet
11
The International Linguistic Background of the Correct Sounds for the Instruction of the People
31
The Principles Underlying the Invention of the Korean Alphabet
89
Graphical Ingenuity in the Korean Writing System With New Reference to Calligraphy
107
The Vowel System of the Korean Alphabet and Korean Readings of Chinese Characters
117
The Invention of the Alphabet and the History of the Korean Language
131
The Structure of Phonological Units in Hangul
145
Experimentation with Hangul in Russia and the USSR 19141937
219
Commentary
263
A Brief Description of the Korean Alphabet
279
Photographs of the Hummin chong um and Hummin chongum haerye
289
Photographs of a Page of a North Korean Newspaper and a Page of a South Korean Newspaper
293
Comparison of Romanization Systems
295
Contributors
299
Index
301

The Phonological Analysis Reflected in the Korean Writing System
161
Orthographic Divergence in South and North Korea Toward an Unified Spelling System
193

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