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Reconsidering the reflexes of early Mandarin in mid-16th century Korean texts: The case of the initial Yi (疑)

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2021, (62), pp.3-29
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2021..62.001
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : October 10, 2021
  • Accepted : November 20, 2021
  • Published : November 30, 2021

Roh, Hye-jeong 1

1고려대학교 중국학연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article cites specific examples of the initial Yi (疑) as transcribed in mid-16th century Korean texts such as Saseongtonghae (四聲通解), Beonyeok Nogeoldae (飜譯老乞大), and Beonyeok Baktongsa (飜譯朴通事) and reconsiders the reflexes of early Mandarin in such texts. The initial Yi (疑) had already changed from a velar nasal to a zero-initial sound in early Mandarin in the northern region of China, but this change was not reflected in its entirety in Korean transcriptions, except sporadically in a few characters. In addition, the Korean texts of that period were transcribed using either ᅌ<ŋ> or ᄋ<Ø>. Contrary to expectations, the transcribed material in mid-16th century Korean texts does not contain the complete set—a range of codas and all characters in the initial category—required to observe the phonological changes in early Mandarin. Korean texts, therefore, can only serve as additional circumstantial evidence for the phonological changes in early Mandarin.

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