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A contrastive study on the word species of Korean and Japanese basic vocabulary

  • 日本硏究
  • 2015, (38), pp.155-175
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : February 20, 2015

Bae, Juchae 1 박지연 2

1가톨릭대학교
2한림대 국제교육원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Korean and Japanese have the same word species called sinitic root words in common, and both of them have the same four word species. So we should ask whether Korean and Japanese have similar percentage of four word species. We analyze the basic vocabulary of Korean and Japanese in terms of word species. There is little to choose between the two languages. From a broad perspective, they have five major similarities. First, native words and sinitic root words are the majority groups and the other two the minority groups. Secondly, native words are more than sinitic root words in the beginning level, but vice versa in the advanced level. Thirdly, sinitic root words are the largest group in nouns, but native words in verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Fourthly, there are no sinitic root words and loanwords in verbs and adjectives. Fifthly, there are no or almost no loanwords in adverbs. From a narrow perspective, they have three major differences. First, Korean has more native words and hybrid words than Japanese. Secondly, Japanese has steeper increase in sinitic root words as the level goes higher. Thirdly, Korean has far more hybrid words in adjectives and adverbs than Japanese. Fourthly, adjectival nouns in Japanese have more similar percent composition to nouns than to verbs or adjectives. The overall similarity in percent composition of the word species of Korean and Japanese would help learners of the other language with vocabulary learning. The more equivalents in the two languages have the same word species, the easier would vocabulary learning be than expected. It should be the next research project to verify the hypothesis.

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