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History of the Korean language: Wikis


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The history of the Korean language encompasses its origins prior to the growth of Old Korean and the Korean spoken today in North and South Korea. There remains controversy over the proposed Altaic language family and its inclusion of Proto-Korean. Old Korean was possibly tonal and used from the 1st to 10th century, while Middle and Modern Korean correspond to Korean spoken from the 10th to 19th century. Since the Korean War, contemporary North-South differences in Korean have developed, including variance in pronunciation, verb inflection, and vocabulary.


Old Korean

Old Korean (고대국어, 古代國語) corresponds to the Korean language from the beginning of Three Kingdoms period to the latter part of the Unified Silla period, approximately from 1st to 10th century. It is distinct from Proto-Korean (원시 한국어), which is the reconstructed language from which Korean is hypothesized to have evolved. However, there is controversy whether Korean actually separated from the controversial Altaic languages. Old Korean may have been a tonal language, although this has not been clearly established.

Middle Korean

Middle Korean (중세국어, 中世國語) corresponds to Korean spoken from the 10th to 16th century.

Modern Korean

Modern Korean (근대국어, 近代國語) corresponds to Korean spoken from the 16th to 19th century.

Contemporary Korean



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