Sunday, October 09, 2005


Everyone has posted about Hangul today. Here are the 24 basic jamos of the Hangul writing system. Read more about it here. At Language Log you can read all about what type of writing system Hangul really is. You probably already have. Here on the west coast I am the end of the line and it is already tomorrow.

I am naturally interested in the arrangement of the vowels in the four orientations. According to Omniglot "The shapes of the the vowels are based on three elements: man (a vertical line), earth (a horizontal line) and heaven (a dot). In modern Hangeul the heavenly dot has mutated into a short line."

Gari Ledyard's Theory has some interest for me but I am content to read what others have written today. If you have a special interest in both Phags-pa and Hangul you may be able to tell me what you think of Ledyard's ideas.


Anonymous Andrew West said...

I don't have any particular interest in Hangul, but I am aware of the theory that Hangul letters (or at least a core set of them) derive from 'Phags-pa. Personally, I am not at all convinced by this theory, as the similarities between Hangul and 'Phags-pa letters are tenuous, and could well be coincidental.

For me, a more intriguing interscript relationship is that between Hangul and the small Khitan script (which was in use in north-east China and into the north of the Korean peninsula up until the early 12th century). I think that the small Khitan script may well have provided the model for way that Hangul syllables are structurally composed out of phonetic elements. In the samll Khitan script words are built up from phonetic units arranged into square or rectangular blocks, much the same way that a Hangul syllable is structured. These are the only two scripts that I can think of that arrange phonetic elements into blocks like this.

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Suz said...

Hi Andrew,

I checked to see that the local university has the book by McAuley with Nicholas Tranter's article in it.

But someone has checked out the book until April!!!

"Pathways into Korean Language and Culture" is not listed. That is my research for the day. A dead end. Some days are better than others.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Suz said...

BTW Check out the Shadow post about block script for English.

4:40 PM  
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5:27 AM  

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