Korean/Tamil/Hindi (was Re: Query on var.nabheda)

Narayan S. Raja raja at galileo.IFA.Hawaii.Edu
Thu Mar 6 23:02:41 UTC 1997

On Thu, 6 Mar 1997, Dan Lusthaus wrote:

> >Interestingly, Korean is the only East-Asian
> >language that has a phonetic alphabet.  At
> >least one book that I've read about the subject
> >claims that its inventors (in the 15th century)
> >were familiar with Indian scripts (and their
> >implicit phonological theories).
> Japanese has not only one, but two alphabetic scripts as well as a third

As I understand, these are not complete 
and purely phonetic alphabets...  Or am 
I mistaken?

> script of Chinese characters. The Korean alphabet is very sophisticated,
> and predates the Japanese script. It is often ascribed to an emperor of the
> Silla Dynasty (661-935). The Koreans taught the Japanese to write

It is ascribed to emperor Sejong of the
Yi (Choson) dynasty (15th. century).  It
seems to have been a very deliberate,
well-documented process, so the details
are known.  The Koreans even have a "Hangul
day" (i.e., "Alphabet Day") in its honour.

Best wishes,


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