Re: The History of Hangul

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Fri Aug 27 1999 - 04:00:00 EDT

At 06:18 -0700 8/23/1999, Michael Everson wrote:
>Ar 19:56 -0700 1999-08-22, scríobh
>> Apparently, I was wrong about the design of Hangul. Can anyone
>> out there tell me if iconicity is a factor in how Hangul is
>> taught or used today?
>They certainly always tell foreigners about it.

When I was first learning Korean, (1966-1967) I heard vaguely about the
idea, but it was never part of our classes. IIRC, the Museum of the
Alphabet has some of this in an exhibit, and in a book they published.

The idea of an alphabet for Korean was certainly suggested by the example
of Sanksrit Devanagari in Chinese Buddhist scriptures. I have seen some
fairly old examples of Sanskrit written by Chinese in a hand that I first
took for Hangul at a distance.

>You may be interested to read
>Kim-Renaud, Young-Key, ed. 1997. The Korean alphabet: it's history and
>structure. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0-8248-1723-0
>Of particular interest is an article by Ross King, "Experimentation with
>Han'gûl in Russia and the USSR, 1914-1937". One of the experiments was in
>decomposing the syllables and writing linearly.

When I was in Korea (1967-1968) telegrams were always written linearly.

>Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta *
>15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
>Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by arrangement)
>27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

Edward Cherlin
"It isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's
what you know that ain't so."--Mark Twain, or else
some other prominent 19th century humorist and wit

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