Korean Dialects: A General Survey

Authored by: Jaehoon Yeon

The Languages of Japan and Korea

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415462877
eBook ISBN: 9780203124741
Adobe ISBN: 9781136446597

10.4324/9780203124741.ch6

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Abstract

The Korean language is relatively homogeneous and the dialects from different areas can be mutually intelligible to a great extent. Nevertheless, the dialects of Korean exhibit considerable variety in phonology, morphology, and vocabulary. They are finely differentiated into a number of areas based on regional differences. There is no obvious correlation between the modern dialects and the ancient historical divisions of Korea, i.e. the Three Kingdom period. silla and paekche roughly coincide with the current southeastern dialect and southwestern dialect respectively, but northeastern, northwestern, central, and Cheju dialects cannot be correlated with any one ancient historical kingdom in Korea. Since Korea is mountainous, the language is quite naturally divided finely into different dialects according to topography.

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