Aspects of the genetic relationship of the Korean and Japanese languages

Riley, Barbara E.
Serafim, Leon A
East Asian Languages & Literatures (Japanese)
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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I offer evidence from a variety of fields in order to strengthen the hypothesis that Japonic and Korean are linguistically genetically related to one another. Non-linguistic evidence supports the hypothesis that the Japonic language was introduced into the Japanese Archipelago approximately 2,500 years ago over a thousand year period, where a culturally and technologically advanced group began migrating into the Japanese Archipelago from the Korean Peninsula through Northern Kyushu. A constant and steady influx of Continental culture, language, and people, resulted in the near-complete extinction of the original language. The linguistic evidence comes from Middle Korean texts, written in the Silla-descended language of the 15th century-the kingdom that overwhelmed the Puyo, Koguryo, and Paekche territory and languages, thought to be more closely related to Japonic-and 8th century Old Japanese texts. I hypothesize that there were two "thalossocracies": one with lzumo and Silla, and the second with Yamato and Paekche/Kaya Japonic elements were incorporated into the Silla language when Silla folded Kaya and Paekche into the new kingdom. In the same way, Yamato incorporated Silla-type elements into itself when Yamato overtook Izumo. I introduce evidence that supports Serafim's Labiovelar hypothesis; i.e. MK k : OJ p, reconstructing PKJ *kw1. I also found a "reverse" correspondence set: that is, MKp : OJ k, for which I reconstruct *kw2. I hypothesize that this reverse correspondence is due to dialect borrowing. When Silla conquered the Korean Peninsula, it incorporated into itself Kaya, Paekche, and Koguryo, which were closer in genetic relationship to Japonic, and therefore would have (*kw > ) p. As these three languages were overcome, dialect borrowing likely occurred, which means that words with p instead of (*kw > ) k were borrowed into Silla, sometimes replacing and sometimes forming doublets with words retaining k. The second posited case of dialect borrowing occurred when Yamato overtook lzumo; since Silla had close contact with lzumo, words with (*kw > ) k were borrowed into Yamato, replacing, and sometimes forming doublets with, some words with p. Further research will surely lead to more understanding of the measurable effects of dialect borrowing and Proto-Koreo-Japonic.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 235-243).
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vii, 246 leaves, bound 29 cm
Japanese language -- Grammar, Comparative -- Korean, Korean language -- Grammar, Comparative -- Japanese, Anthropological linguistics -- Japan -- History, Anthropological linguistics -- Korea -- History
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). East Asian Languages and Literatures (Japanese); no. 4312
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