On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 08:02:28 -0400, Young-Key Kim-Renaud
<kimrenau@...> wrote:
> Sorry. I am copying/repeating the sent text below, with my apologies to
> those who could read it.

Modern e-mail software, if it follows standards, as far as I know, will
accept (and display) what's called "flowed format", which is familiar to
users of word processors. When writing flowed format, you let the computer
start a new line by itself, and use the Enter key only to define the end
of a paragraph. There should be no effective limits on paragraph length.
In general, short paragraphs are better in e-mail, but for intelligent and
scholarly commentary, I surely think long paragraphs are entirely

Hoping to be helpful and not annoy, I'm offering Y.-K. K.-R.'s text below
in older-style format. (I hope i'm not making any mistakes in the process!)

While reading this, I'm gaining a very deep respect for the remarkable
depth of knowledge and sheer ability of King Sejong.

> From Young-Key Kim-Renaud <kimrenau@...>
> Sent Friday, July 23, 2004 6:37 am
> To qalam@yahoogroups.com
> Subject Re: How about a typology for input methods/typology of han'gul


> BUT my point is that there IS linearity in writing and in keypunching
> han'gul. The reason why Peter and some others think han'gul is "outside
> the classification" typologically is that the alphabetic letters are
> assembled into syllable blocks in writing. This, I have repeatedly said,
> is an orthographic issue, basically not different from the change of
> East Asian writing practices from writing from the top right corner of
> the page downward, to today's preferred writing from the top left corner
> rightward like in European texts. Again as I mentioned before, there
> have been experiments on linear writing in and outside Korea. Even if
> Koreans did adopt linear writing, there would not have been any
> typological change. No one would argue that the different directional
> writing has resulted in making han'gul a different system of writing.
> There are other orthographic changes such as adding spacing and
> punctuation marks, etc., which have no consequence in typological
> classification.

> If an alphabet is defined as "a system of signs expressing single
> [distinctive] sounds of speech" (Gelb 1952:166), the Korean writing
> system is an alphabetic system. The confusion comes from the fact that
> han'gul letters were not arbitrarily chosen like in most alphabetic
> systems but were created based on deep linguistic knowledge of the
> Korean sound system. And other important linguistic units such as
> syllable are well accommodated.
> Also, most unusually in the history of the writing systems and that of
> the alphabet, han'gul was not only INVENTED by a specific person but
> also the underlying principles as well as the reason for the invention
> of the new script are clearly recorded in a document called Hunmin
> chông'ûm (The Correct Sounds for the Instruction of the People), which
> was both a promulgation document and a handbook for learning the
> alphabet. Quoting a few lines from Sejong's proclamation document might
> help clarify this [A complete translation of HC is available in Gari
> Ledyard's 1966 University of California, Berkeley, dissertation, _The
> Korean Language Reform of 1446_, which was published under the same
> title by Singu munhwasa in Seoul in 1998. The following quote is from
> this book.]:
> From the Preface:
> "The sounds of our country's language are different from those of the
> Middle Kingdom and are not smoothly adaptable to those of Chinese
> characters. Therefore, among the simple people, there are many who have
> something they wish to put into words but are never able to express
> their feelings. I am distressed by this, and have newly designed
> twenty-eight letters..." (p. 277)
> The first line of the text:
> "ㄱ(k), molar sound, like the initially uttered phoneme of the
> character 君 (kun). ..." (p. 278)
> The text is fairly short, although extremely clear in its analyses and
> rich in explanations and examples. Anyone interested in the typology of
> writing systems should read at least this text. Otherwise, it would be
> like judging a book or anything else without having read/experienced it.

> Young-Key Kim-Renaud

{I don't think anyone should have trouble with line lengths in the text
above; my great apologies if I did something wrong! --nb}

Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass.
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