[KS] Variable Romanization of 년(年) in McCune-Reischauer
hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Tue Mar 11 07:58:54 EDT 2014
Apologies -- just now noted that there is a logical inconsistency in my
thought as presented in the last posting:
Let me rephrase:
*If* Professor Ledyard's assumption is correct (the ㄴ tended to be
dropped in both, the Korean vernacular and Sino-Korean), then this
means a generic change of pronunciation in southern Korea that can be
seen independent of strengthening nationhood trends.
*If*, however, Professor Sasse's note is correct that that this was a
phenenomen in Sino-Korean terms only, then we could hypothetically link
that to generic changes in what we might call pre-modern
On Tue, 11 Mar 2014 01:18:09 -0700, Frank Hoffmann wrote:
> Werner Sasse wrote:
>> I should have said more precisely: "this problem arises only
>> in Sino-Kor words in contemporary Korean as spoken in South Korea."
> Gary Ledyard's point was different. QUOTE:
>> I'm pretty sure that the process of dropping ㄴ(and also ㄹ) did not
>> originate in Sino-Korean. Rather it must surely have started in
>> ordinary vernacular Korean speech.
> These are *both* interesting assumptions.
> As a convinced non-linguist, I am again intrigued by the question that
> this brings up about script, culture, and POSSIBLY even pre-modern and
> modern state formation. This last point is, agreed, a quite a bold and
> ambitious hypothesis (depending on the answer to the above).
> To simplify the question:
> *If* Professor Ledyard is correct and this late Chosŏn period "trend"
> of dropping the initial ㄴ (and ㄹ) did not discriminate between pure
> Korean and Sino-Korean, given that the Chinese pronuciation of 年 (in
> THIS example) was/is nien in Chinese and that Koreans *emulated* that
> Chinese pronunciation by trying to get close (as they did with all
> other characters also) by pronouncing it more or less like nyŏn 년, and
> if in the later Chosŏn period they started to drop the initial n ㄴ,
> then is this not an indication of a "Koreanization" of Sino-Korean that
> comes exactly at the same period we see nationalization trends in art
> and literature? Pre-17th century painting styles, for example, are hard
> to differentiate from Chinese ones, but that changes in the later
> Chosŏn period, some styles take on a more distinctive Koreanness.
> As I said, this is a very bold assumption -- a thought I would
> appreciate to get your feedback on. So, before you raise your hands,
> this is indeed no more than a thought and a question by someone only
> interested in getting the tasty juice out of linguistics (while I
> happily leave the squeezed skin to you).
> Frank Hoffmann
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