The Korean writing system: An alphabet? A syllabary? a logography?

  • Insup Taylor
Part of the Nato Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


The Korean writing system, Hangul, is an “alphabetic syllabary” which employs many of the good and few of the bad features of an alphabet, a syllabary, and a logography. An alphabet can represent any word in the language, one phoneme at a time, but the phoneme-grapheme correspondence may be imperfect, and a single word may require a long array of letters. A syllable is a more stable unit of language than a phoneme, but a simple syllabary is practical only for a language with few different syllables. A logography, with a unique symbol for each morpheme, requires more complex and more numerous symbols. Korean text uses Hangul mixed with Chinese characters in a manner which aids reading.


Target Letter Chinese Character Test Word Rhyme Word Alphabetic System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

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  • Insup Taylor

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