Revising the Language Map of Korea

  • Changyong Yang
  • William O’GradyEmail author
  • Sejung Yang
  • Nanna Haug Hilton
  • Sang-Gu Kang
  • So-Young Kim
Reference work entry


As linguists develop a deeper understanding of the properties of individual varieties of speech, they often find it necessary to reclassify dialects as independent languages, based on the criterion of intelligibility. This criterion is applied here to Jejueo, the traditional variety of speech used on Jeju Island, a province of the Republic of Korea. Although Jejueo has long been classified as a nonstandard dialect of Korean, evidence from an intelligibility experiment shows that it is not comprehensible to monolingual speakers of Korean and therefore should be treated as a separate language, in accordance with the usual practice within linguistics. This finding calls for a revision to the standard language map of Korea.


Jejueo Korean Language Dialect Intelligibility 



This work was supported by the Core University Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2015-OLU-2250005).

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Changyong Yang
    • 1
  • William O’Grady
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sejung Yang
    • 2
  • Nanna Haug Hilton
    • 3
  • Sang-Gu Kang
    • 4
  • So-Young Kim
    • 5
  1. 1.College of EducationJeju National UniversityJejuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of Hawaii – ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of ArtsUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of English Language and LiteratureCheongju UniversityCheongjuSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of British and American CulturesTongmyong UniversityBusanSouth Korea

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