Textbook for the Language of Jeju Island Published


Jejueo 1 cover image

With­in the last few years, sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al groups (UNESCO, Eth­no­logue, and the Endan­gered Lan­guages Project) have rec­og­nized that Jejueo, the vari­ety of speech indige­nous to Jeju Island, is an inde­pen­dent lan­guage, not a dialect of Kore­an.

Jejueo is crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered, with only a few thou­sand elder­ly flu­ent speak­ers, but efforts to pre­serve and revi­tal­ize it are under­way. A new Web site (https://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/jejueo/) presents up-to-date infor­ma­tion on the lan­guage and on efforts to save it.

Jejueo 1 sample pageOne of the most impor­tant revi­tal­iza­tion projects has just reached a major mile­stone, with the pub­li­ca­tion on July 5 of the first vol­ume in a pro­ject­ed four-vol­ume text­book series for Kore­an-speak­ing learn­ers of Jejueo. Jejueo 1 con­sists of fif­teen chap­ters, each with prac­tice exer­cis­es and an accom­pa­ny­ing set of down­load­able audio files. It can be obtained from the Kyobo Web site.

The vol­ume was pre­pared by a com­mit­tee of three authors: Changy­ong Yang, pro­fes­sor in the Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion at Jeju Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty; Sejung Yang, a Ph.D. can­di­date in the Depart­ment of Lin­guis­tics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; and William O’Grady, UH Mānoa pro­fes­sor of lin­guis­tics and a mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies.

The work was sup­port­ed by the Core Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­gram for Kore­an Stud­ies through the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion of the Repub­lic of Korea and the Kore­an Stud­ies Pro­mo­tion Ser­vice of the Acad­e­my of Kore­an Stud­ies (AKS-2015-OLU-2250005).