[KS] Hangul question: original graphic distinction between eo (Yale e) and arae ae (Yale oy)
Samuel Robert Ramsey
ramsey at umd.edu
Fri Apr 7 22:57:24 EDT 2017
Glad you're discovering the joy of reading Gari's thesis/book.
I don't know of a specific list of the kind you mention, but maybe you
could find what you need in 남광우 (南廣祐編著), 古今漢韓字典, 인하대학교출판부, Seoul 1995. It's
a fairly exhaustive dictionary of historical sources.
On Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 8:43 PM, John Armstrong <johna318 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for your comments Bob.
> I'm working my way through Gari Ledyard's thesis and I’ve read his
> translation of the haeryae and his commentary on it as well as his account
> of the Dongguk Jeongun. The breadth and depth of his knowledge and the
> incisiveness of his analyses are truly impressive. His thesis is a
> masterpiece of scholarship.
> He calls out the aspects of the Dongguk Jeongun readings that he regards
> as artificial, and I accept them all. I am primarily interested in the
> vowels, and I believe that the only artificial features relating to them
> that he mentions are: (a) the rimes in –Vmh and (b) the rimes beginning
> with certain complex glides or “medials” that include both y and w elements.
> Apart from these features I believe the vowels of the Dongguk Jeongun are
> the same as the vowels in “Eastern sounds” readings which were in use
> before the DJ was published and came back into use again after the brief
> hiatus when the DJ readings were accepted as standard.
> I believe this is the position of Sinhang Kang as summarized in his
> chapter “The Vowel System of the Korean Alphabet and Korean Readings of
> Chinese Characters” in Young-Key Kim-Renaud, The Korean Alphabet: Its
> History and Structure (UHP, 1997).
> If I had a simple way of looking at the prescribed Dongguk Jeongun and
> actual “Eastern Sounds” readings (perhaps as represented by the Choe Sejin
> dictionary that you mention) of a large set of characters (including
> characters from all Chinese rime classes) side by side and seeing where
> they differed, I would have all the information I want in front of me, but
> as it is I don’t have such a list. Has anyone compiled such a list or,
> equivalently, identified all the characters or sets of characters that have
> different readings in the two systems? (I'm interested in vowels but it
> would include both consonants and vowels.)
> Such a list would also reveal the relative counts of characters with ae
> (Yale ay) vs. arae ae (Yale oy) readings in the two systems, which might
> shed light on the apparent strong preference for arae ae readings in the
> pre-reform spelling that Underwood follows in his books.
> -- John
> *From:* Koreanstudies <koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com> on behalf
> of Samuel Robert Ramsey <ramsey at umd.edu>
> *Sent:* Friday, April 7, 2017 5:51 PM
> *To:* Korean Studies Discussion List
> *Subject:* Re: [KS] Hangul question: original graphic distinction between
> eo (Yale e) and arae ae (Yale oy)
> Dear John,
> If you have now begun to read Gari's book, I'm sure you already know what
> a wonderful source of information it is, as well as a pleasure to read.
> After all these years since I first got a copy, I still go back to it from
> time to time, and each time I discover a new gem. --But I guess I've
> already made clear enough how much I like that work; it's one of the very
> best examples of scholarship on Korea and Korean we have.
> A few words about your questions, though. The vowel you're asking about,
> the one known as arae a, was lost in Seoul in the Early Modern period. The
> first stage of the loss took place even earlier, in the 16th century, when
> it merged in non-initial syllables with other vowels, usually /u/ (Hangul
> ㅡ). And then in the 18th century it was lost in initial syllables, when it
> merged with other vowels, usually /a/, of course, as you know. So, by the
> time of the texts you mentioned, the vowel was only an artifact of
> non-standard orthography. Hangul spellings then varied widely, from writer
> to writer even, and that remained pretty much true until the orthographic
> standardization of 1933. Many of those early spellings may have represented
> earlier, historical reality, but often enough they represented little more
> than ghost forms. Anyway, Horace Underwood's dictionary came out well
> before the 20th-century reforms, so even though its spellings were those
> most commonly in use at the time, I'm not sure how well they represented
> the reality of the 15th century.
> But it seems you're interested in particular in Sino-Korean spellings. And
> in considering systematic differences in those spellings, you're looking at Dongguk
> Jeongun. Perhaps you already know this, but that source represents not
> actual pronunciations but rather Sejong's prescriptive readings of the
> characters, which are unlikely to be what you want. For the Sino-Korean
> readings in actual usage, you should refer to Choe Sejin's 16th-century
> dictionary, Hunmong jahoe, which is the earliest collection of the actual
> Korean readings of Chinese characters we have.
> Hope this helps a bit.
> On Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 10:45 AM, John Armstrong <johna318 at hotmail.com>
>> Thanks Bob. I now have access to the thesis and am beginning to read it.
>> I’m not by anybody’s standards a serious Koreanist, but I have a
>> background in linguistics and as well as computing and am very interested
>> in the Korean language and Korean literature and culture generally.
>> I have to say your and others’ comments on the typos in the Korean
>> publication of Ledyard’s thesis brings a smile to my face. It may be
>> something well known to group members, but I recently read in an account of
>> printing in a popular book on traditional Korean culture that the
>> authoritative Joseon law book Gyeongguk daejeon (1485) specifies that the
>> penalty for a single typo in an entire volume in the printing of an
>> official work , was, for all those involved in the printing, from highest
>> manager to the lowest worker, thirty strokes of the cane, and dismissal
>> after three offences. Ouch!
>> With your knowledge of Chinese and Korean, you might be able to help me
>> with the issue that led me to my hangul question. My experience with
>> Korean is very limited and the only Korean I’ve seen from before the
>> spelling reforms of the early 201th century is that in the Korean grammar
>> and dictionary compiled by the Presbyterian missionary Horace Grant
>> Underwood (originally published 1889 and 1890). The language seems not
>> much different from the language of today but the orthography is very
>> different, and seems to match descriptions of pre-modern usage.
>> One thing I noticed in the two books was that arae a (Yale o) and arae ae
>> (Yale oy) are both extremely common. Arae a seems to appear more or
>> less where it historically should, both in initial and non-initial
>> syllables. Arae ae is much more common than “ordinary” ae (Yale ay)
>> and appears in both native Korean and Sino-Korean words. I have some
>> idea where it should appear in native words but I have yet to determine
>> where it should appear in Sino-Korean words - which is really a matter of
>> which Chinese characters historically have readings with arae ae vs. ae
>> (Yale oy vs. ay). As I understand the Dongguk Jeongun only arae ae
>> should occur in syllables ending in a consonant (actually limited to -ng
>> and -k), while both arae ae and ordinary ae can occur in open syllables,
>> with the distribution corresponding to the rime classes of the characters.
>> Do you have a sense of the history of the spellings of the readings of
>> the characters in question? In particular, after arae ae merged with
>> ae, to what extent do you think the orthography continued to preserve their
>> historical values and to what extent did it confuse or redistribute them
>> (say, by preferring arae ae to ae independent of the historical value)?
>> Perhaps this is something that’s already been studied; I’m personally
>> totally unfamiliar with the literature and can only guess that it has been.
>> Not a very important question but I’d be interested in any comments you
>> -- John
>> *From:* Koreanstudies <koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com> on
>> behalf of Samuel Robert Ramsey <ramsey at umd.edu>
>> *Sent:* Monday, April 3, 2017 1:13 PM
>> *To:* Korean Studies Discussion List
>> *Subject:* Re: [KS] Hangul question: original graphic distinction
>> between eo (Yale e) and arae ae (Yale oy)
>> A quick response to your question about the Haerye, John (with apologies
>> for not going into the other matters that you originally asked about): Yes,
>> it's certainly true that Gari Ledyard's famous Berkeley dissertation
>> contains a complete translation of the Hunmin chongum--including most
>> importantly, the Haerye. Also, I personally find Gari's translation of
>> Sejong's simple preface to be far and away the best English-language
>> translation there is. Moreover, that same dissertation also contains a lot
>> of historical and linguistic information not easily found elsewhere, as
>> well as many ideas and insights from a truly first-rate mind. As a serious
>> Koreanist, you really do need to read it!
>> The more important question of course is where you can get this 1966
>> Berkeley dissertation. The title is "The Korean Language Reform of 1446:
>> The Origin, Background, and Early History of the Korean Alphabet", and it
>> used to be you could just order a hard copy from University Microfilms.
>> (That was where I got my first copy, but I suspect these days scholars turn
>> to electronic portals--perhaps Proquest?) But there is also a book form of
>> the dissertation published by 신구문화사 in 1998. (
>> reform_of_1446.html?id=VAQaAQAAIAAJ) That publication contains some
>> changes and a lot of typos, but it is between hard covers and handy.
>> The Korean language reform of 1446
>> Hope this helps at least a little.
>> Bob Ramsey
>> On Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 10:38 AM, John Armstrong <johna318 at hotmail.com>
>>> Thanks for the comments Werner. Your reference to seemingly archaic
>>> pronunciations in modern sijo and muga singing is very intriguing. Is
>>> there an accessible reference you could give me?
>>> Re my notation, I generally use either hangul or Revised Romanization in
>>> my own work (which is focused on Modern Korean, and is aimed at a general
>>> as opposed to a linguistic audience) and I use arae a and arae ae (a usage
>>> I have seen elsewhere though it is less common) as the names for the vowels
>>> that Yale transliteration writes as o and oy simply because the RR provides
>>> no way to represent those vowels. (Nor, as far as I know, does
>>> McCune–Reischauer.) When I need to I use RR for morphophonemic
>>> representations– practically equivalent to hangul and Yale - as permitted
>>> by the standard.
>>> Re terminology, I used diphthong in the basic sense of “two sounds” to
>>> denote vowels that have different sounds in different parts of the syllable
>>> without implying anything about the exact articulatory or acoustic phonetic
>>> characteristics of the sounds. I do not have a strong opinion about
>>> the exact phonetic realization of the final element in vowels of form Vi ~
>>> Vj. The one thing I would note though it is that, to the best of my
>>> knowledge, it does not participate in resyllabification before a vowel i.e.
>>> Vj-V does not -> V-jV (for example na+i-da ‘bring forth’ old formation
>>> causative of na-da ‘come forth’ becomes nae-da with monosyllabic stem nae-
>>> but the uncontracted infinitive is nae-(y)eo with the causative marking
>>> retained in the stem and not *na-yeo with it shifted to the following
>>> syllable and the underlying root vowel restored).
>>> Re the Haerye, another member of the group informed me off-list that
>>> Gari Ledyard’s thesis includes a complete translation of the text. I
>>> believe it at least lists all the Vi ~ Vj vowels. Hopefully I can get
>>> access to the thesis and see how the text describes them and positions them
>>> in the overall vowel inventory.
>>> As to the occurrence of (what I call) arae a and arae ae in Korean
>>> readings of Chinese character in the Donguk jeongun, I just noticed that
>>> Martin includes a very convenient summary in his Reference Grammar, pp.
>>> 126-. It is in the form of a grid (horizontal = initial x vertical =
>>> final) and is ordered on the final dimension by book volumes 1-6, sections
>>> 1-26 (effectively rime groups), and within the sections section by
>>> segmental finals and tones (four for segmental finals ending in a
>>> consonant, three for finals ending in a vowel), presumably in the order
>>> they appear in in the original. Not the same as having the actual
>>> document, but still very useful.
>>> Thanks again for your comments.
>>> -- John
>>> *From:* Koreanstudies <koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com> on
>>> behalf of Werner Sasse <werner_sasse at hotmail.com>
>>> *Sent:* Sunday, April 2, 2017 2:04 AM
>>> *To:* Korean Studies Discussion List
>>> *Subject:* Re: [KS] Hangul question: original graphic distinction
>>> between eo (Yale e) and arae ae (Yale oy)
>>> Dear John,
>>> in your text you touch upon a couple of questions, which at the moment I
>>> am too busy to go into.
>>> But your headline question is easy enough.. The dot in [eo] was in the
>>> middle of the [I], while the area-a was lower and a bit further apart.
>>> By the way, when you wrote "arae ae", it looked to me as if you were
>>> seeing it as a diphthong. Diphtongisation was later, in the early stages
>>> the [I] was an off-glide, so [ai / eI / oi...] would be more correct.
>>> (and in sijo singing this is still used, also in many muga)
>>> Another by the way: [eo] was actually an [e] in the earlier stages
>>> (so Yale romanisation is like the pronunciation in early sources. And in
>>> [oy] the [y] is the off-glide...)
>>> Welcome to the club
>>> *From:* Koreanstudies <koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com> on
>>> behalf of John Armstrong <johna318 at hotmail.com>
>>> *Sent:* Friday, March 31, 2017 11:26 PM
>>> *To:* koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com
>>> *Subject:* [KS] Hangul question: original graphic distinction between
>>> eo (Yale e) and arae ae (Yale oy)
>>> I just discovered this list and having looked at a couple years of
>>> archives I’m not sure it’s a good place to ask my question. If there’s a
>>> more appropriate list please let me know.
>>> I recently became interested in the question of the occurrence of the
>>> obsolete diphthongal vowel arae ae (arae a + i, Yale transliteration oy) in
>>> medieval Korean readings of Chinese characters. Although I have never seen
>>> the full text of Dongguk Jeongun, my understanding from descriptions of it
>>> is that it specifies readings with this vowel for characters in some rime
>>> classes involving i-final diphthongs in Middle Chinese. I also understand
>>> that Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye includes this vowel in its list of Korean
>>> diphthongs. Further, I’ve seen examples of the vowel in native Korean
>>> words in late 15th century texts. (Clear examples, not necessarily quite
>>> this old, include (all Yale transliteration) poy (modern pay) in several
>>> meanings, payyam (modern pay-am or paym) ‘snake’, -oy beside –uy possessive
>>> marker, and –toy (modern –tay) ‘time when’.)
>>> So here is my question. According to the doctrine of Hunmin Jeongeum
>>> Haerye, three vowels were primary, arae a (Heaven), eu (Earth) and i (Man),
>>> and all other vowels were compounds of these three – particularly a = i +
>>> arae a, eo = arae a + i, o = arae a + eu, and u = eu + arae a. Later on
>>> arae a on its own came to be written as a short upper left-lower right
>>> stroke and the arae a component of compound vowels came to be written as a
>>> short stroke perpendicular to the long stroke; but it was originally
>>> written as a dot in both cases, and with the dot in the compound vowels
>>> close to but not touching the other vowel component.
>>> But diphthongal arae ae was also written as a dot + a vertical stroke.
>>> So how did it differ from the same combination representing eo? Greater
>>> space? Different (maybe lower) positioning of the dot?
>>> Also, having never seen the full text of the Haerye or even a complete
>>> translation of it, I wonder how it describes the diphthongs (both w-initial
>>> and y-final) and how it represents the difference between the two
>>> combinations of arae a + i, compound eo and diphthongal arae ae. As far as
>>> I can see this is the only case in the whole vowel inventory where such a
>>> distinction needs to be made.
>>> John Armstrong
>>> Cambridge, MA
>>> johna318 at hotmail.com
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