Re: Hangul syllable decomposition

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Jul 24 2009 - 16:30:42 CDT

  • Next message: William J Poser: "Re: Hangul syllable decomposition"

    William Poser said:

    > Basically, the decomposition of Hangul syllables is into the letters
    > of the alphabet in the peculiar Unicode sense, where orthographic
    > codas are not written with the usual consonants but with a distinct
    > set of characters, some of which represent orthographic clusters.
    > Thus an orthographic syllable like talk decomposes into t-a-LK
    > rather than t-a-l-k, where LK has its own formal character.

    And this is not, of course, limited to syllabic codas, but
    also applies to the initials and peaks. So to follow the
    same analogy, an orthographic syllable like "straits"
    decomposes into STR-AI-TS, rather than s-t-r-a-i-t-s, where
    STR-, -AI-, and -TS each has its own formal character.

    And as for this being a "peculiar Unicode sense", the
    Unicode sense in this case follows the official position
    of the ROK national standards body for Korean encoding.
    In fact, the ROK was the group insisting in ISO on completing the
    encoding of the list of archaic compound initials, peaks,
    and codas, so that all Korean syllables, modern or archaic, could
    be expressed as a sequence of exactly two or three units,
    an LV or an LVT (or, in the case of the modern syllables,
    as a single, syllabic character).

    So while there are plenty of valid reasons for considering
    the "letters" of the Korean syllabary to be the atomic
    units at a lower level, the way Hangul syllable decomposition
    is done is simply the consensus (and now standard) way that the
    digital representation of Korean text is expressed on computers.


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