The second Center for Korean Studies 2012 spring colloquium will feature Seoul National University emeritus professor of linguistics Yong-Kun Ko, whose presentation “Standardization of the Korean Language and Writing System” will take place Tuesday, February 7, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Center’s conference room.
Traditionally China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, and Vietnam formed a â€œChinese character sphere,â€ a so-called Schrift-Sprachbund (script-language union). The people of these countries communicated with the common script hanzi (æ¼¢å — ) and common written language hanmen (æ¼¢æ – ‡). After modernization, however, Korea took its native script, hangul, as an official writing system. Similarly, Vietnam took the Roman alphabet as its official writing, Japan has established a system of everyday-use hanzi, China has created a system of simplified characters, and Taiwan adheres to traditional full-form characters.
A crucial linguistic issue is how to standardize the variants of hanzi for efficient mutual written communication across these countries. Professor Ko is proposing that a new form of language-culture union be established through standardizing Chinese characters in a way that meets the needs of the twenty-first century.
Yong-Kun Ko has published more than thirty authored, coauthored, or edited books on various aspects of the Korean language. Recent publications include: ë¶í•œë° ìž¬ì™¸êµë¯¼ì˜ ì² ìžë²•ì§‘ì„± (Korean spellings in North Korea and overseas, 2000), ì — ëŒ€í•œêµë¬¸ë²•ì˜ í†µí•©ì ì — °êµ¬ (A comprehensive study of Korean grammars, 2001), ë¬¸ë²•ê³¼ í…ìŠ¤íŠ¸ (Grammar and Text, 2002), ë¶í•œì˜ ë¬¸ë²•ì — °êµ¬ì™€ ë¬¸ë²•êµìœ¡ (Grammar Research and Education in North Korea, 2004), ì¤‘ì„¸êµì – ´ ë¬¸ë²•í˜•íƒœì†Œì˜ í˜•íƒœë¡ ê³¼ ìŒìš´ë¡ (Middle Korean morphology and phonology, 2007), ì£¼ì‹œê²½ì˜ êµì – ´ë¬¸ë²• (Chu Sigyongâ€™s Korean Grammar, 2011), and ê°œì • ì¤‘ì„¸êµì – ´ì˜ ì‹œìƒê³¼ ì„œë²• (Revised Tense, Aspect, and Modality in Middle Korean, 2011). Many of his writings can be found on line at http://www.komorph.com/.
Center for Korean Studies colloquia are free and open to all. The Center is located at 1881 East-West Road on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. For further information, including information on access for the handicapped, telephone (808) 956‑7041.