Hangul

Origin of Hangul as the native alphabet of the Korean language, its grammatical morphemes, traditional account, difference from the Sino-Korean hanja system. Jamo or natsori as the unit that make up the Hangul alphabet. Consonant and vowel jamo designs.

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46

Educational institution

Summary

Subject: Hangul

He performed the:

Checked:

City: 2000

Content

1 Introduction

2 Names

2.1 Official names

2.2 Other names

3 History

4 Jamo

4.1 Stroke order

4.2 Jamo design

4.2.1 Consonant jamo design

4.2.2 Vowel jamo design

4.2.3 Traditional account on the design of Hangul

4.2.4 Ledyard's theory of consonant jamo design

4.3 Jamo order

4.3.1 Historical orders

4.3.2 South Korean order

4.3.3 North Korean order

4.4 Jamo names

4.4.1 Consonantal jamo names

4.4.2 Vocalic jamo names

4.5 Obsolete jamo

4.6 Unicode Chart

4.7 Extended jamo

5 Morpho-syllabic blocks

5.1 Jamo placement within a block

5.2 Block shape

5.3 Linear Hangul

6 Orthography

6.1 Mixed scripts

7 Readability

8 Style

9 Conclusion

10 References

1 Introduction

Hangul (pronounced /?h?????l/; Korean: ?? Hangeul/Han'gul [ha?n.??l] ( listen) (in South Korea) or ??? Choson'gul/Joseongeul (in North Korea)) is the native alphabet of the Korean language, as distinguished from the logographic Sino-Korean hanja system. It was created in the mid-fifteenth century, and is now the official script of both North Korea and South Korea, being co-official in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of China. A project is currently underway to adopt Hangul as the writing system of the Austronesian Cia-Cia language.[2][3][4]

Hangul is a phonemic alphabet organized into syllabic blocks. Each block consists of at least two of the 24 Hangul letters (jamo), with at least one each of the 14 consonants and 10 vowels. These syllabic blocks can be written horizontally from left to right as well as vertically from top to bottom in columns from right to left. Originally, the alphabet had several additional letters (see obsolete jamo). For a phonological description of the letters, see Korean phonology.

2 Names

2.1 Official names

The modern name Hangul (??) was coined by Ju Sigyeong in 1912. Han (?) meant "great" in archaic Korean, while geul (?) is the native Korean word for "script". Han could also be understood as the Sino-Korean word КЎ "Korean", so that the name can be read "Korean script" as well as "great script".[5] ?? is pronounced [han??l] and has been romanized in the following ways:

Hangeul or han-geul in the Revised Romanization of Korean, which the South Korean government uses in all English publications and encourages for all purposes.

Han'gul in the McCune-Reischauer system. When used as an English word, it is often rendered without the diacritics: hangul, often capitalized as Hangul. This is how it appears in many English dictionaries.

Hankul in Yale Romanization, a system recommended for technical linguistic studies.

North Koreans prefer to call it Choson'gul (???), for reasons related to the different names of Korea.

The original name was Hunminjeongeum (????; МPЦѓР≥Йє; see history). Due to objections to the names Hangeul, Choson'gul, and urigeul (???) (see below) by the Korean minority in Manchuria, the otherwise uncommon short form jeongeum may be used as a neutral name in some international contexts.

Figure. 1. The word hangeul, written in Hangul

2.2 Other names

Until the early twentieth century, Hangul was denigrated as vulgar by the literate elite who preferred the traditional hanja writing system.[6] They gave it such names as:

Eonmun (Hangul: ??, hanja: МњХґ "vernacular script")[6]

Amgeul (?? "women's script"; also written Amkeul ??).[6] Am (?) is a prefix that signifies a noun is feminine

Ahaetgeul or Ahaegeul (??? or ??? "children's script")

Achimgeul (??? "writing you can learn within a morning")[7]

Gungmun (Hangul: ??, hanja: Ъ†Хґ "national script")

However, these names are now archaic, as the use of hanja in writing has become very rare in South Korea and completely phased out in North Korea.

3 History

Hangul was promulgated by the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great. The Hall of Worthies (Jiphyeonjeon, ???) is often credited for the work.[8]

The project was completed in late December 1443 or January 1444, and described in 1446 in a document titled Hunmin Jeongeum ("The Proper Sounds for the Education of the People"), after which the alphabet itself was named.[6] The publication date of the Hunmin Jeong-eum, October 9, became Hangul Day in South Korea. Its North Korean equivalent is on January 15.

Various speculations about the creation process were put to rest by the discovery in 1940 of the 1446 Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye ("Hunmin Jeong-eum Explanation and Examples"). This document explains the design of the consonant letters according to articulatory phonetics and the vowel letters according to the principles of yin and yang and vowel harmony.

In explaining the need for the new script, King Sejong explained that the Korean language was different from Chinese; using Chinese characters (known as hanja) to write was so difficult for the common people that only privileged aristocrats (yangban), usually male, could read and write fluently. The majority of Koreans were effectively illiterate before the invention of Hangul.

Hangul was designed so that even a commoner could learn to read and write; the Haerye says "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days."[9]

Hangul faced opposition by the literate elite, such as Choe Manri and other Confucian scholars in the 1440s, who believed hanja to be the only legitimate writing system, and perhaps saw it as a threat to their status.[8] However, it entered popular culture as Sejong had intended, being used especially by women and writers of popular fiction.[10] It was effective enough at disseminating information among the uneducated that Yeonsangun, the paranoid tenth king, forbade the study or use of Hangul and banned Hangul documents in 1504,[11] and King Jungjong abolished the Ministry of Eonmun (??? МњХґЬK, governmental institution related to Hangul research) in 1506.[12]

The late 16th century, however, saw a revival of Hangul, with gasa literature and later sijo flourishing. In the 17th century, Hangul novels became a major genre.[13] By this point spelling had become quite irregular.[10]

Due to growing Korean nationalism in the 19th century, Japan's attempt to sever Korea from China's sphere of influence, and the Gabo Reformists' push, Hangul was eventually adopted in official documents for the first time in 1894.[11] Elementary school texts began using Hangul in 1895, and the Dongnip Sinmun, established in 1896, was the first newspaper printed in both Hangul and English.[14]

After Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, Japanese became the official language and main educational language, but Hangul was also taught in the Japanese-established schools of colonial Korea, and Korean was written in a mixed Hanja-Hangul script, where most lexical roots were written in hanja and grammatical forms in Hangul. The orthography was partially standardized in 1912, with arae a restricted to Sino-Korean, the emphatic consonants written ? sg, ? sd, ? sb, ? ss, ? sj, and final consonants restricted to ? g, ? n, ? l, ? m, ? b, ? s, ? ng, ? lg, ? lm, ? lb (no ? d, as it was replaced by s). Long vowels were marked by a diacritic dot to the left of the syllable, but this was dropped in 1921.[10]

A second colonial reform occurred in 1930. Arae a was abolished; the emphatic consonants were changed to ? gg, ? dd, ? bb, ? ss, ? jj; more final consonants (???????????) were allowed, making the orthography more morphophonemic; ? ss was written alone (without a vowel) when it occurred between nouns; and the nominative particle ? ga was introduced after vowels, replacing ? i. (? i had been written without an ? iung. The nominative particle had been unvarying i in Sejong's day, and perhaps up to the eighteenth or nineteenth century.)[10]

Ju Sigyeong, who had coined the term Hangul "great script" to replace eonmun "vulgar script" in 1912, established the Korean Language Research Society (Т©СNМкМ§ЛЖШр; later renamed Hangul Society, ??Ы{Шр) which further reformed orthography with Standardized System of Hangul (?? ??? ???) in 1933. The principal change was to make Hangul as morphophonemic as practical given the existing letters.[10] A system for transliterating foreign orthographies was published in 1940.

However, the Korean language was banned from schools in 1938 as part of a policy of cultural assimilation,[15] and all Korean-language publications were outlawed in 1941.[16]

The definitive modern orthography was published in 1946, just after independence from Japan. In 1948 North Korea attempted to make the script perfectly morphophonemic through the addition of new letters, and in 1953 Syngman Rhee in South Korea attempted to simplify the orthography by returning to the colonial orthography of 1921, but both reforms were abandoned after only a few years.[10]

Since independence from Japan, the Koreas have used Hangul or mixed Hangul as their sole official writing system, with ever-decreasing use of hanja. Since the 1950s, it has become uncommon to find hanja in commercial or unofficial writing in the South, with some South Korean newspapers only using hanja as abbreviations or disambiguation of homonyms. There has been widespread debate as to the future of hanja in South Korea. North Korea instated Hangul as its exclusive writing system in 1949, and banned the use of hanja completely.

The Hunminjeongeum Society in Seoul attempts to spread the use of Hangul to unwritten languages of Asia.[17] In 2009 they had their first success, with the adoption of Hangul by the town of Bau-Bau, in Sulawesi, Indonesia, to write the Cia-Cia language.[2][3][4]

Figure. 3. A page from the Hunmin Jeong-eum Eonhae. The Hangul-only column, fourth from left, (??????), has pitch-accent diacritics to the left of the syllable blocks.

4 Jamo

Jamo (??; ОЪХк) or natsori (???) are the units that make up the Hangul alphabet. Ja means letter or character, and mo means mother, so the name suggests that the jamo are the building-blocks of the script.

There are 51 jamo, of which 24 are equivalent to letters of the Latin alphabet. The other 27 jamo are clusters of two or sometimes three of these letters. Of the 24 simple jamo, fourteen are consonants (ja-eum ??, ОqЙє "child sounds") and ten are vowels (mo-eum ??, ХкЙє "mother sounds"). Five of the simple consonant letters are doubled to form the five "tense" (faucalized) consonants (see below), while another eleven clusters are formed of two different consonant letters. The ten vowel jamo can be combined to form eleven diphthongs. Here is a summary:

14 simple consonant letters: ? g, ? n, ? d, ? r, ? m, ? b, ? s, ? -/ng, ? ch, ? j, ? k, ? t, ? p, ? h, plus obsolete ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ? (alveolar), ? (velar), ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

5 double letters (glottalized): ? kk, ? tt, ? pp, ? ss, ? jj, plus obsolete ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

11 consonant clusters: ? gs, ? nch, ? nh, ? lg, ? lm, ? lb, ? ls, ? lt, ? lp, ? lh, ? bs, plus obsolete ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, and obsolete triple clusters ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

6 simple vowel letters: ? a, ? eo, ? o, ? u, ? eu, ? i, plus obsolete ?

4 simple iotized vowel letters (semi consonant-semi vowel): ? ya, ? yeo, ? yo, ? yu, plus obsolete ?, ?, ?

11 diphthongs: ? ae, ? yae, ? e, ? ye, ? wa, ? wae, ? oe, ? weo, ? we, ? wi, ? yi, plus obsolete ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

Four of the simple vowel jamo are derived by means of a short stroke to signify iotation (a preceding i sound): ? ya, ? yeo, ? yo, and ? yu. These four are counted as part of the 24 simple jamo because the iotating stroke taken out of context does not represent y. In fact, there is no separate jamo for y.

Of the simple consonants, ? chieut, ? kieuk, ? tieut, and ? pieup are aspirated derivatives of ? jieut, ? giyeok, ? digeut, and ? bieup, respectively, formed by combining the unaspirated letters with an extra stroke.

The doubled letters are ? ssang-giyeok (kk: ssang- ? "double"), ? ssang-digeut (tt), ? ssang-bieup (pp), ? ssang-siot (ss), and ? ssang-jieut (jj). Double jamo do not represent geminate consonants, but rather a "tense" phonation.

4.1 Stroke order

All hangul letters follow the rules of Chinese calligraphy. ? and ? use a circle, which is not used in printed Chinese characters, but is found in cursive styles.

4.2 Jamo design

Numerous linguists have praised Hangul for its featural design, describing it as "remarkable," "the most perfect phonetic system devised," and "brilliant, so deliberately does it fit the language like a glove."[18] The principal reason Hangul has attracted this praise is its partially featural design: The shapes of the graphs are related to the phonemes they represent. The shapes of consonant letters are based on the shape of the mouth and tongue in the production of that sound, sometimes with extra marks showing features such as aspiration. In addition, vowels are built from vertical or horizontal lines so that they are easily distinguishable from consonants.

Scripts may transcribe languages at the level of morphemes (logographic scripts like hanja), of syllables (syllabic scripts like kana), or of segments (alphabetic scripts like the Roman alphabet used to write English and many other languages.). Hangul goes one step further in some cases, using distinct strokes to indicate distinctive features such as place of articulation (labial, coronal, velar, or glottal) and manner of articulation (plosive, nasal, sibilant, aspiration) for consonants, and iotation (a preceding i- sound), harmonic class, and I-mutation for vowels.

For instance, the consonant jamo ? t [t?] is composed of three strokes, each one meaningful: the top stroke indicates ? is a plosive, like ? ', ? g, ? d, ? j, which have the same stroke (the last is an affricate, a plosive-fricative sequence); the middle stroke indicates that ? is aspirated, like ? h, ? k, ? ch, which also have this stroke; and the curved bottom stroke indicates that ? is coronal, like ? n, ? d, and ? l. (The ? element is said to represent the shape of the tongue when pronouncing coronal consonants.) Two consonants, ? and ?, have dual pronunciations, and appear to be composed of two elements corresponding to these two pronunciations: [?]/silence for ? and [m]/[w] for obsolete ?.

With vowel jamo, a short stroke connected to the main line of the letter indicates that this is one of the vowels which can be iotated; this stroke is then doubled when the vowel is iotated. The position of the stroke indicates which harmonic class the vowel belongs to, "light" (top or right) or "dark" (bottom or left). In modern jamo, an additional vertical stroke indicates i-mutation, deriving ? [?], ? [e], ? [o], and ? [y] from ? [a], ? [?], ? [o], and ? [u]. However, this is not part of the intentional design of the script, but rather a natural development from what were originally diphthongs ending in the vowel ? [i]. Indeed, in many Korean dialects[citation needed], including the standard dialect of Seoul, some of these may still be diphthongs.

Although the design of the script may be featural, for all practical purposes it behaves as an alphabet. The jamo ? isn't read as three letters coronal plosive aspirated, for instance, but as a single consonant t. Likewise, the former diphthong ? is read as a single vowel e.

Beside the jamo, Hangul originally employed diacritic marks to indicate pitch accent. A syllable with a high pitch (??) was marked with a dot (????) to the left of it (when writing vertically); a syllable with a rising pitch (??) was marked with a double dot, like a colon (????). These are no longer used. Although vowel length was and still is phonemic in Korean, it was never indicated in Hangul, except that syllables with rising pitch (????) necessarily had long vowels.

Although some aspects of Hangul reflect a shared history with the Phagspa script, and thus Indic phonology, such as the relationships among the homorganic jamo and the alphabetic principle itself, other aspects such as organization of jamo into syllablic blocks, and which Phagspa letters were chosen to be basic to the system, reflect the influence of Chinese writing and phonology.

4.2.1 Consonant jamo design

The letters for the consonants fall into five homorganic groups, each with a basic shape, and one or more letters derived from this shape by means of additional strokes. In the Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye account, the basic shapes iconically represent the articulations the tongue, palate, teeth, and throat take when making these sounds.

Simple Aspirated Tense

? ? ?

? ? ?

? ? ?

? ? ?

? ?

The Korean names for the groups are taken from Chinese phonetics:

Velar consonants (??, ЙеЙє a-eum "molar sounds")

? g [k], ? k [k?]

Basic shape: ? is a side view of the back of the tongue raised toward the velum (soft palate). (For illustration, access the external link below.) ? is derived from ? with a stroke for the burst of aspiration.

Coronal consonants (??, РгЙє seoreum "lingual sounds"):

? n [n], ? d [t], ? t [t?], ? r [?, l]

Basic shape: ? is a side view of the tip of the tongue raised toward the alveolar ridge (gum ridge). The letters derived from ? are pronounced with the same basic articulation. The line topping ? represents firm contact with the roof of the mouth. The middle stroke of ? represents the burst of aspiration. The top of ? represents a flap of the tongue.

Bilabial consonants (??, РOЙє suneum "labial sounds"):

? m [m], ? b [p], ? p [p?]

Basic shape: ? represents the outline of the lips in contact with each other. The top of ? represents the release burst of the b. The top stroke of ? is for the burst of aspiration.

Sibilant consonants (??, кПЙє chieum "dental sounds"):

? s [s], ? j [t?], ? ch [t??]

Basic shape: ? was originally shaped like a wedge ?, without the serif on top. It represents a side view of the teeth. The line topping ? represents firm contact with the roof of the mouth. The stroke topping ? represents an additional burst of aspiration.

Glottal consonants (??, НAЙє hueum "throat sounds"):

? ng [?, ?], ? h [h]

Basic shape: ? is an outline of the throat. Originally ? was two letters, a simple circle for silence (null consonant), and a circle topped by a vertical line, ?, for the nasal ng. A now obsolete letter, ?, represented a glottal stop, which is pronounced in the throat and had closure represented by the top line, like ???. Derived from ? is ?, in which the extra stroke represents a burst of aspiration.

The phonetic theory inherent in the derivation of glottal stop ? and aspirate ? from the null ? may be more accurate than Chinese phonetics or modern IPA usage. In Chinese theory and in the IPA, the glottal consonants are posited as having a specific "glottal" place of articulation. However, recent phonetic theory has come to view the glottal stop and [h] to be isolated features of 'stop' and 'aspiration' without an inherent place of articulation, just as their Hangul representations based on the null symbol assume.

4.2.2 Vowel jamo design

Vowel letters are based on three elements:

A horizontal line representing the flat Earth, the essence of yin.

A point for the Sun in the heavens, the essence of yang. (This becomes a short stroke when written with a brush.)

A vertical line for the upright Human, the neutral mediator between the Heaven and Earth.

Short strokes (dots in the earliest documents) were added to these three basic elements to derive the simple vowel jamo:

Simple vowels

Horizontal letters: these are mid-high back vowels.

bright ? o

dark ? u

dark ? eu (u)

Vertical letters: these were once low vowels.

bright ? a

dark ? eo (o)

neutral ? i

Compound jamo. Hangul never had a w, except for Sino-Korean etymology. Since an o or u before an a or eo became a [w] sound, and [w] occurred nowhere else, [w] could always be analyzed as a phonemic o or u, and no letter for [w] was needed. However, vowel harmony is observed: "dark" ? u with "dark" ? eo for ? wo; "bright" ? a with "bright" ? o for ? wa:

? wa = ? o + ? a

? wo = ? u + ? eo

? wae = ? o + ? ae

? we = ? u + ? e

The compound jamo ending in ? i were originally diphthongs. However, several have since evolved into pure vowels:

? ae = ? a + ? i

? e = ? eo + ? i

? wae = ? wa + ? i

? oe = ? o + ? i (formerly pronounced [o], see Korean phonology)

? we = ? wo + ? i

? wi = ? u + ? i (formerly pronounced [y], see Korean phonology)

? ui = ? eu + ? i

Iotized vowels: There is no jamo for Roman y before a vowel. Instead, this sound is indicated by doubling the stroke attached to the base line of the vowel letter. Of the seven basic vowels, four could be preceded by a y sound, and these four were written as a dot next to a line. (Through the influence of Chinese calligraphy, the dots soon became connected to the line: ????.) A preceding y sound, called "iotation", was indicated by doubling this dot: ???? yeo, ya, yu, yo. The three vowels which could not be iotated were written with a single stroke: ??? eu, (arae a), i.

Simple Iotized

? ?

? ?

? ?

? ?

?

?

The simple iotated vowels are,

? ya from ? a

? yeo from ? eo

? yo from ? o

? yu from ? u

There are also two iotated diphthongs,

? yae from ? ae

? ye from ? e

The Korean language of the 15th century had vowel harmony to a greater extent than it does today. Vowels in grammatical morphemes changed according to their environment, falling into groups which "harmonized" with each other. This affected the morphology of the language, and Korean phonology described it in terms of yin and yang: If a root word had yang ('bright') vowels, then most suffixes attached to it also had to have yang vowels; conversely, if the root had yin ('dark') vowels, the suffixes needed to be yin as well. There was a third harmonic group called "mediating" ('neutral' in Western terminology) that could coexist with either yin or yang vowels.

The Korean neutral vowel was ? i. The yin vowels were ??? eu, u, eo; the dots are in the yin directions of 'down' and 'left'. The yang vowels were ??? ?, o, a, with the dots in the yang directions of 'up' and 'right'. The Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye states that the shapes of the non-dotted jamo ??? were chosen to represent the concepts of yin, yang, and mediation: Earth, Heaven, and Human. (The letter ? ? is now obsolete except in the Jeju dialect.)

There was yet a third parameter in designing the vowel jamo, namely, choosing ? as the graphic base of ? and ?, and ? as the graphic base of ? and ?. A full understanding of what these horizontal and vertical groups had in common would require knowing the exact sound values these vowels had in the 15th century.

Our uncertainty is primarily with the three jamo ???. Some linguists reconstruct these as *a, *?, *e, respectively; others as *?, *e, *a. A third reconstruction is to make them all middle vowels as *?, *?, *a.[19] With the third reconstruction, Middle Korean vowels actually line up in a tidy vowel harmony pattern, albeit with only one front vowel and four middle vowels:

? *i ? *? ? *u

? *?

? *? ? *o

? *a

However, the horizontal jamo ??? eu, u, o do all appear to have been mid to high back vowels, [*?, *u, *o], and thus to have formed a coherent group phonetically in every reconstruction.

4.2.3 Traditional account on the design of Hangul

The generally accepted account[20] [21] on the design of the jamo is that the vowels are derived from various combinations of the following three components: ? ? ?. Here, ? symbolically stands for the heaven, ? stands for the earth, and ? stands for a human. The original sequence of the Korean vowels Hunminjeongeum listed these three vowels first, followed by a various combinations. Thus, the original order for the vowels was: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?. Note that two positive vowels (? ?) including one ? are followed by two negative vowels including one ?, then by two positive vowels each including two of ?, and then by two negative vowels each including two of ?. The same theory provides the most simple explanation of the shapes of the consonants as approximation of the shapes of the most representative organ needed to form that sound. The original order of the consonants in Hunmin Jeong-eum was: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?. For example, ? representing the "g" sound geometrically describes a tongue just before the moment of pronunciation as the tongue blocks the passage of air. ? representing the "k" sound is derived from ? by adding another stroke. ? representing the "?" sound may have been derived from ? by addition of a stroke. ? representing the "d" sound is derived from ? by addition of a stroke. ? representing the "t" sound is derived from ? by adding another stroke. ? representing the "n" sound geometrically describes a tongue making contact with an upper palate just before making the "n" sound. ? representing the "b" sound is derived from ? by adding strokes. ? representing the "p" sound is a variant of ?, which is obtained by a 90 degree rotation and extension the horizontal strokes. ? representing the "m" sound geometrically describes a closed mouth before opening the lips. ? representing the "d?" sound is derived from the shape of ? by adding strokes. ? representing the "ch" sound is derived from ? by adding another stroke. ? representing the "s" sound geometrically describes a near contact between the tongue and the teeth.[citation needed] ? representing a weak "h" sound geometrically describes an open throat with a bar to indicate that there is an aspiration. ? representing the "h" sound is derived from ? with the extra stroke representing a stronger flow of the aspiration. ? representing the absence of a consonant geometrically describes an open mouth, which necessarily accompanies the following vowel. ? representing a sound between "r" and "l" geometrically describes a backward-bending tongue. ? representing a weak "s" sound is also derived from the shape of the teeth, but has a different origin than ? and is not derived from ? by addition of a stroke. Therefore, according to the standard theory, all alphabets in Hangul are pure geometric representations of either the shapes of pronunciation organs or abstract symbols. Ledyard's theory below is rejected by the majority of Korean scholars.

4.2.4 Ledyard's theory of consonant jamo design

Although the Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye explains the design of the consonantal jamo in terms of articulatory phonetics, as a purely innovative creation, there are several theories as to which external sources may have inspired or influenced King Sejong's creation. Professor Gari Ledyard of Columbia University believes that five consonant letters were derived from the Mongol Phagspa alphabet of the Yuan dynasty. A sixth basic letter, the null initial ?, was invented by Sejong. The rest of the jamo were derived internally from these six, essentially as described in the Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye. However, the five borrowed consonants were not the graphically simplest letters considered basic by the Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye, but instead the consonants basic to Chinese phonology: ?, ?, ?, ?, and ?.

The Hunmin Jeong-eum states that King Sejong adapted the М√вљ ("Gu Seal Script") in creating Hangul. The М√вљ has never been identified. The primary meaning of М√ gu is "old" ("Old Seal Script"), frustrating philologists because Hangul bears no functional similarity to Chinese вљОЪ seal scripts. However, Ledyard believes М√ gu may be a pun on Ц÷М√ Mмnggu "Mongol", and that М√вљ is an abbreviation of Ц÷М√вљОЪ "Mongol Seal Script", that is, the formal variant of the Phagspa alphabet written to look like the Chinese seal script. There were Phagspa manuscripts in the Korean palace library, including some in the seal-script form, and several of Sejong's ministers knew the script well.

If this was the case, Sejong's evasion on the Mongol connection can be understood in light of Korea's relationship with Ming China after the fall of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, and of the literati's contempt for the Mongols as "barbarians".

According to Ledyard, the five borrowed letters were graphically simplified, which allowed for jamo clusters and left room to add a stroke to derive the aspirate plosives, ????. But in contrast to the traditional account, the non-plosives (ng ?? and ?) were derived by removing the top of the basic letters. He points out that while it's easy to derive ? from ? by removing the top, it's not clear how to derive ? from ? in the traditional account, since the shape of ? is not analogous to those of the other plosives.

The explanation of the letter ng also differs from the traditional account. Many Chinese words began with ng, but by King Sejong's day, initial ng was either silent or pronounced [?] in China, and was silent when these words were borrowed into Korean. Also, the expected shape of ng (the short vertical line left by removing the top stroke of ?) would have looked almost identical to the vowel ? [i]. Sejong's solution solved both problems: The vertical stroke left from ? was added to the null symbol ? to create ? (a circle with a vertical line on top), iconically capturing both the pronunciation [?] in the middle or end of a word, and the usual silence at the beginning. (The graphic distinction between null ? and ? [?] was eventually lost.)

Another letter composed of two elements to represent two regional pronunciations was ?, which transcribed the Chinese initial Фч. This represented either m or w in various Chinese dialects, and was composed of ? [m] plus ? (from Phagspa [w]). In Phagspa, a loop under a letter represented w after vowels, and Ledyard proposes this became the loop at the bottom of ?. Now, in Phagspa the Chinese initial Фч is also transcribed as a compound with w, but in its case the w is placed under an h. Actually, the Chinese consonant series ФчФсХ~ w, v, f is transcribed in Phagspa by the addition of a w under three graphic variants of the letter for h, and Hangul parallels this convention by adding the w loop to the labial series ??? m, b, p, producing now-obsolete ??? w, v, f. (Phonetic values in Korean are uncertain, as these consonants were only used to transcribe Chinese.)

As a final piece of evidence, Ledyard notes that most of the borrowed Hangul letters were simple geometric shapes, at least originally, but that ? d [t] always had a small lip protruding from the upper left corner, just as the Phagspa d [t] did. This lip can be traced back to the Tibetan letter d, ?.

If Ledyard's theory is correct, Hangul would be part of the great family of alphabets ultimately developing out of the Middle Eastern Phoenician alphabet, along the route Phoenician > Aramaic > Brahmi > Gupta > Siddham > Tibetan > Phagspa > Hangul.

Note, however, that while Ledyard's theory of Hangul suggests the Korean script was based on 'Phags-pa, majority of linguists believe this is not the case. Geoffery Sampson addresses this issue aptly in his book 'Writing Systems':

"Gari Ledyard (1966), for instance, urges that Sejong basd Han'gul on the 'Phags-pa alphabet then used for Mongolian. But Ledyard argues this largely by interpreting a remark in the Hunmin Chong'um as deliberately cryptic reference to Mongolian writing, and this argument seems contrived. It may well be true that Sejong knew of 'Phags-pa and other phonographic scripts in use in East Asia, but those scripts were all segmental: they offer no precent for Han'gul."

Figure. 4. (Top) Phagspa letters [k, t, p, s, l], and their supposed Hangul derivatives [k, t, p, ts, l]. Note the lip on both Phagspa [t] and Hangul ?.

(Bottom) Derivation of Phagspa w, v, f from variants of the letter [h] (left) plus a subscript [w], and analogous composition of Hangul w, v, f from variants of the basic letter [p] plus a circle.

4.3 Jamo order

The alphabetical order of Hangul does not mix consonants and vowels as Western alphabets do. Rather, the order is that of the Indic type, first velar consonants, then coronals, labials, sibilants, etc. However, the vowels come after the consonants rather than before them as in the Indic systems.

4.3.1 Historical orders

The consonantal order of the Hunmin Jeongeum in 1446 was,

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

and the order of vowels was,

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

In 1527, Choe Sejin reorganized the alphabet:

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

This is the basis of the modern alphabetic orders. It was before the development of the Korean tense consonants and the double jamo that represent them, and before the conflation of the letters ? (null) and ? (ng). Thus when the South Korean and North Korean governments implemented full use of Hangul, they ordered these letters differently, with South Korea grouping similar letters together, and North Korea placing new letters at the end of the alphabet.

4.3.2 South Korean order

In the Southern order, double jamo are placed immediately after their single counterparts. No distinction is made between silent and nasal ?:

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

The modern monophthongal vowels come first, with the derived forms interspersed according to their form: first added i, then iotized, then iotized with added i. Diphthongs beginning with w are ordered according to their spelling, as ? or ? plus a second vowel, not as separate digraphs.

The order of the final jamo is,

(none) ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

"None" stands for no final jamo.

4.3.3 North Korean order

North Korea maintains a more traditional order:

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? used as an initial, goes at the very end, as it is a placeholder for the vowels which follow. (A syllable with no final is ordered before all syllables with finals, however, not with null ?.)

The new letters, the double jamo, are placed at the end of the consonants, just before the null ?, so as not to alter the traditional order of the rest of the alphabet.

The order of the vocalic jamo is,

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

All digraphs and trigraphs, including the old diphthongs ? and ?, are placed after all basic vowels, again maintaining Choe's alphabetic order.

The order of the final jamo is,

(none) ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Unlike the order of the initial jamo, on the other hand, this ? is the nasal ? ng, which occurs only as a final in the modern language. The double jamo are placed to the very end, like the initial jamo order, but the combined consonants are placed right after their first counterparts.

4.4 Jamo names

The Hangul arrangement is called the ganada order, (??? ?) which is basically an alphabetical order named after the first three jamo (g, n, d) affixed to the first vowel (a). The jamo were named by Choe Sejin in 1527. North Korea regularized the names when it made Hangul its official orthography.

4.4.1 Consonantal jamo names

The modern consonants have two-syllable names, with the consonant coming both at the beginning and end of the name, as follows:

Consonant Name

? giyeok (??), or kiuk (??) in North Korea

? nieun/niun (??)

? digeut (??), or tiut (??) in North Korea

? rieul/riul (??)

? mieum/mium (??)

? bieup/piup (??)

? siot (??), or siut (??) in North Korea

? ieung/iung (??)

? jieut/chiut (??)

? chieut/ch'iut (??)

? kieuk/k'iuk (??)

? tieut/t'iut (??)

? pieup/p'iup (??)

? hieut/hiut (??)

All jamo in North Korea, and all but three in the more traditional nomenclature used in South Korea, have names of the format of letter + i + eu + letter. For example, Choe wrote bieup with the hanja Фс bi ЧW eup. The names of g, d, and s are exceptions because there were no hanja for euk, eut, and eus. Цр yeok is used in place of euk. Since there is no hanja that ends in t or s, Choi chose two hanja to be read in their Korean gloss, ЦЦ kkeut "end" and Ия ot "clothes".

Originally, Choi gave j, ch, k, t, p, and h the irregular one-syllable names of ji, chi, ki, ti, pi, and hi, because they should not be used as final consonants, as specified in Hunmin jeong-eum. But after the establishment of the new orthography in 1933, which allowed all consonants to be used as finals, the names were changed to the present forms.

The double jamo precede the parent consonant's name with the word ?/Щ‘ ssang, meaning "twin" or "double", or with ? doen in North Korea, meaning "strong". Thus:

Letter South Korean Name North Korean name

? ssanggiyeok (???) toen'giuk (???)

? ssangdigeut (???) toendiut (???)

? ssangbieup (???) toenbiup (???)

? ssangsiot (???) toensiut (???)

? ssangjieut (???) toenjiut (???)

In North Korea, an alternate way to refer to the jamo is by the name letter + u (?), for example, ? ku for the jamo ?, ? ssu for the jamo ?, etc.

4.4.2 Vocalic jamo names

The vocalic jamo names are simply the vowel itself, written with the null initial ? ieung and the vowel being named. Thus:

Letter Name Letter Name

? a (?) ? ae (?)

? ya (?) ? yae (?)

? eo (?) ? e (?)

? yeo (?) ? ye (?)

? o (?) ? oe (?)

? yo (?) ? wae (?)

? u (?) ? wa (?)

? yu (?) ? wi (?)

? eu (?) ? wo (?)

? i (?) ? ui (?)

? we (?)

4.5 Obsolete jamo

Several jamo are obsolete. These include several that represent Korean sounds that have since disappeared from the standard language, as well as a larger number used to represent the sounds of the Chinese rime tables. The most frequently encountered of these archaic letters are:

(transcribed ? (arae-a ??? "lower a"): Presumably pronounced [?], similar to modern eo. It is written as a dot, positioned beneath (Korean for "beneath" is arae) the consonant. The arae-a is not entirely obsolete, as it can been found in various brand names and is often used in spelling the dialect of Jeju Island, Korea's southernmost province, where it is pronounced [?]. Even so, it was not transcribed in the official Korean Romanization and thus modern renderings of the Jeju dialect transcribe it the same way as ?, that is, o. Korean words that were written with ? long ago are now usually written with ? pronounced [a].

The ? formed a medial of its own, or was found in the diphthong ? arae-ae, written with the dot under the consonant and ? (transcribed i) to its right -- in the same fashion as ? or ?.

? z (bansiot ???): A rather unusual sound, perhaps IPA [??] (a nasalized palatal fricative). Modern Korean words previously spelled with ? substitute ?.

? ? (yeorinhieut ???? "light hieut" or doenieung ? ?? "strong ieung"): A glottal stop, "lighter than ? and harsher than ?".

? ? (yesieung ???): The original jamo for [?]; now conflated with ? ieung. (With some computer fonts such as Arial Unicode MS, yesieung is shown as a flattened version of ieung, but the correct form is with a long peak, longer than what you would see on a serif version of ieung.)

? ? (gabyeounbieup ?????): IPA [f]. This letter appears to be a digraph of bieup and ieung, but it may be more complicated than that. There were three other less common jamo for sounds in this section of the Chinese rime tables, ? w ([w] or [m]), a theoretical ? f, and ? ff [v?]; the bottom element appears to be only coincidentally similar to ieung.

There were two other now-obsolete double jamo,

? x (ssanghieut ??? "double hieut"): IPA [???] or [??].

? (ssang-ieung ??? "double ieung"): Another jamo used in the Chinese rime table.

In the original Hangul system, double jamo were used to represent Chinese voiced (СчЙє) consonants, which survive in the Shanghainese slack consonants, and were not used for Korean words. It was only later that a similar convention was used to represent the modern "tense" (faucalized) consonants of Korean.

Figure. 5. A brand name, Hankido, using the obsolete vowel arae-a (top)

4.6 Unicode Chart

angul Jamo Unicode.org chart (PDF)

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4.7 Extended jamo

In order to make Hangul a perfect morphophonological fit to the Korean language, North Korea introduced six new jamo, which were published in the New Orthography for the Korean Language and used officially from 1948-1954.

Two obsolete jamo were resurrected: <?> (??), which alternated in pronunciation between initial /l/ and final /d/; and <?> (??), which was only pronounced between vowels. Two modifications of the letter ? were introduced, one for a ? which is silent finally, and one for a ? which doubles between vowels. A hybrid ?-? letter was introduced for words which alternate between those two sounds (that is, a /b/ which becomes /w/ before a vowel). Finally, a vowel <1> was introduced for variable iotation.

5 Morpho-syllabic blocks

Except for a few grammatical morphemes prior to the twentieth century, no letter may stand alone to represent elements of the Korean language. Instead, jamo are grouped into syllabic or morphemic blocks of at least two and often three: (1) a consonant or a doubled consonant called the initial (??, ПЙгя choseong syllable onset), (2) a vowel or diphthong called the medial (??, ТЖгя jungseong syllable nucleus), and, optionally, (3) a consonant or consonant cluster at the end of the syllable, called the final (??, ПIгя jongseong syllable coda). When a syllable has no actual initial consonant, the null initial ? ieung is used as a placeholder. (In modern Hangul, placeholders are not used for the final position.) Thus, a block contains a minimum of two jamo, an initial and a medial. Although the Hangul has historically been organized into syllables, in modern orthography it is instead first organized into morphemes, and only secondarily into syllables within those morphemes, with the exception that single-consonant morphemes may not be written alone. (See Orthography.)

The sets of initial and final consonants are not the same. For instance, ? ng only occurs in final position, while the doubled jamo that can occur in final position are limited to ? ss and ? kk. For a list of initials, medials, and finals, see Hangul consonant and vowel tables.

Not including obsolete jamo, there are 11 172 possible Hangul blocks.

Figure. 6. The words written in New Orthography.

5.1 Jamo placement within a block

The placement or "stacking" of jamo in the block follows set patterns based on the shape of the medial.

The components of complex jamo, such as ? bs, ? wo, or obsolete ? bsd, ? uye are written left to right.

Medials are written under the initial, to the right, or wrap around the initial from bottom to right, depending on their shape: If the medial has a horizontal axis like ? eu, then it is written under the initial; if it has a vertical axis like ? i, then it is written to the right of the initial; and if it combines both orientations, like ? ui, then it wraps around the initial from the bottom to the right:

initial medial

initial

medial

initial med. 2

med. 1

A final jamo, if there is one, is always written at the bottom, under the medial. This is called ?? batchim "supporting floor":

initial medial

final

initial

medial

final

initial med.2

med.

final

A complex final is written left to right:

initial medial

final 1 final 2

initial

medial

final 1 final 2

initial med.

2

med.

fin. 1 fin. 2

Blocks are always written in phonetic order, initial-medial-final. Therefore,

Syllables with a horizontal medial are written downward: ? eup;

Syllables with a vertical medial and simple final are written clockwise: ? ssang;

Syllables with a wrapping medial switch direction (down-right-down): ? doen;

Syllables with a complex final are written left to right at the bottom: ? balp.

5.2 Block shape

Normally the resulting block is written within a square of the same size and shape as a hanja (Chinese character) by compressing or stretching the jamo to fill the bounds of the block; therefore someone not familiar with the scripts may mistake Hangul text for Hanja or Chinese text.

However, some recent fonts (for example Eun, HY????M, UnJamo) move towards the Western practice of letters whose relative size is fixed, and the use of whitespace to fill letter positions not used in a particular block, and away from the East Asian tradition of square block characters (Хы?ОЪ). They break one or more of the traditional rules:


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