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Segeul w/questions

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 25, 1999, 18:50
Here we go... and another URL to get you started:

That's the Unicode file on the codes of Hangul characters, not organized=20
into syllabric groups (which comes after the huge body of Han ideographs=20
common to the CJK languages, and itself is a very large portion of the=20
16-bit Unicode system).

On with the show.  This ingenious invention pontificated by the great Kin=
Sejong of Korea (AD 1397-1450 Gregorian) used symbols for consonants and=20
vowels (not syllables, nor consonants with vowel diacritics), and charact=
designed to describe the physical properties of each.  Vowels were marked=
with juxtapositions of dots (heaven), vertical lines (man) and horizontal=
lines (earth); today these have been stylized as short strokes connected =
the lines.  Consonants are simple drawings of positions of the tongue,=20
teeth, lips etc. during utterance of the same.  Hangul in effect is the=20
oldest known (and most successful) of _a priori_ scripts, "conscripts" if=
you will.  And as asthetically pleasing as the Cherokee syllabry, yet as=20
simple and straightforward as Cree/Inuktitut syllabry or Pollard script f=
Hmong-Mien languages.  May there be many imitators but no duplicators.

The phonology of Korean isn't too unusual either, even though it has=20
glottalized (ejective?) stops and back unrounded vowels.  But then again,=
Chinese, Turkish and Russian have the latter while Amharic, Georgian and=20
Navajo have the former.  The three-way arrangement of=20
plain/aspirated/glottalized stops is very natural and probably better=20
reflects what tongue might've been spoken in Nimrod's Babel, home of that=
unfinished combination skyscraper/stairway to heaven.  (And even more=20
naturally, medial plain stops become voiced, as they do in Japanese and m=
other languages.)  All this represented by 24 characters: 10 vowels, 14=20
consonants.  (Sejong's original alphabet had a few more archaic letters.)

Now on to Segeul.  You have a quite common four-point stop/affricate syst=
(labial, dental, alveolar-palatal and velar), multiplied by three (plain=20
"lenis", glottalized "fortis" and aspirated) which could also represent=20
voiced/voiceless/fricative, or voiced/ejective/voiceless, depending on th=
language.  Conveniently, you have an /s/, the nasals /m/, /n/ and /N/=20
("ng"), one symbol for both /r/ and /l/ (remember, a lot of languages do =
discriminate those two phones) and the semivowels /y/ and /w/ (which are=20
encoded into the vowel, which I actually prefer since these are vowels=20
acting as consonants).

Now refer to the chart on the page which I gave the URL for above.  This =
my transliteration (English conventions here) to be used for multiple=20

   313   314   315   316   317   318
0        LH    AE 8  YU    MZ    NGG
1  G     M     YA 9  Y 13  M' 14 NG
2  K     B     YAE   YI    BG    NGS
3  X 1   P     EO 10 I     BD    NGZ
4  N     PS 3  E     <sp>  PSK   PH'
5  NJ    S 4   YEO   NN    PST   HH
6  NH    SS    YE    ND    PC    Q
7  D     NG 5  O     NS    PTH   YUA 19
8  T     J 6   WA    NZ    B'    YUAE
9  L 2   C     WAE   LX    P'    YOE
A  LG    CH 7  OE 11 LD    SK    YUEO
B  LM    KH    YO    LPS   SN    YUE
C  LB    TH    U     LZ    ST    YUI 20
D  LS    PH    WEO   LQ    SP    AA 21
E  LTH   H     WE    MB    SC 15 EA
F  LPH   A     WI 12 MS    Z

1 ) /ks/ or /gz/, as in Latin-Greek
2)  /l/ or /r/, and I need a way to mark a difference
3)  /ps/ or /bz/
4)  /s/ or /z/; SS =3D /s/ or /ss/, think of German =DF (eszet)
5)  /N/ if final; /zero/ if initial (syllable divider)
6)  J =3D /dZ/; C =3D /tS/
7)  /S/, /x/, /T/, /f/ -- or /ch/, /kh/, /th/, /ph/
8)  /ash/
9)  YV =3D /jV/ (V =3D any vowel)
10) /shwa/
11) /o-slash/
12) /wi/ or /y/
13) /i-bar/.  Could possibly be /r/; and YI could be /ri/.
14) One of several "soft" letters, what are the values of these?
15) /StS/, i.e. Russian "shch"
16) /ts/, as in German
17) /Ng/, not sure about this one...
18) This is a duplicate
19) /?/, possibly /q/
20) From here on, /inverted-h/- glides, i.e. Chinese, French
21) /script-a/, maybe also "ar"; EA could =3D "er" as well

Okay, it needs work.  We'll see what happens..


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