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Language Contact between Korean and Chinese for 2, 200 Years

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2010, (24), pp.49-66
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2010..24.004
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Published : October 31, 2010

Eom, Ik-sang 1

1한양대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This article deals with the following topics:a. The transmission time of Chinese characters to old Korea b. The transmission routes of Chinese characters to old Korea c. Language contacts between Korean and Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, Old Mandarin and Modern Mandarin It claims that Chinese characters were first transmitted to old Koreans at latest by the second century B.C. during the Weiman Choson period. This is a century earlier than the conventional view, which considers the first century B.C. as the time of transmission because of the four commanderies that were founded by the Han dynasty during that time. Concerning the routes of transmission, this article follows the conventional views, which can be summarized as Koguryo borrowed Chinese characters from northern China, while Paekche did from southeastern China. Silla accepted Chinese characters from Koguryo. This article presents some examples of language contact between Korean and Old Chinese in (2)‐(5), Korean and Middle Chinese in (6), Korean and Old Mandarin in (8)‐(9), and Korean and Modern Mandarin in (13). Based upon these examples, the author claims that Sino‐Korean and/or Korean have been in close contact with Chinese from the earliest time to the present. This view is different from that from some Korean linguists who claim that Sino‐Korean has been somewhat fossilized since their pronunciations were established sometime in the past. It is true that Sino‐Korean has experienced less change than the native Korean. However, it does not sound plausible to claim that Sino‐Korean is a dead component that was fossilized in the Korean language.

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