University of Cambridge > > Wolfson Research Event 2016 > An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Proto-Korean-Japanese Hypothesis

An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Proto-Korean-Japanese Hypothesis

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  • UserCatherine Wrucke – MSt Student, Oriental Institute/ Japanese Studies, St Antony’s College
  • ClockFriday 04 March 2016, 15:00-15:10
  • HouseLee Hall, Wolfson College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Francisco Orozco.

Evidence suggests that a proto-Korean-Japanese (pKJ) language existed on the Asian mainland and split to form separate languages we now recognize as modern Korean and modern Japanese. In his book, “The Role of Contact in the Origins of the Japanese and Korean Languages,” J. Marshall Unger proposes that evidence of borrowing – and thus un-relatedness – between Japanese and Korean is proof of a pre-Kofun period para-Japanese language on the Korean Peninsula. This could suggest that any evidence of borrowing is merely a reconnection of Japanese elements into the Korean language and does not, in fact, dissuade us from seriously considering a genetic relationship between Japanese and Korean. The purpose of this presentation, then, is to examine the evidence for both a genetic linguistic relationship and a relationship through language contact against current linguistic methodology. The goal is, by inquiring further on the validity of the pKJ hypothesis, to determine viable areas of opportunity within the scholarship to conclude definitively (if possible) on a pKJ relationship.

This talk is part of the Wolfson Research Event 2016 series.

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