Languages


Dick Grune

I am a native speaker of Dutch and speak English, German, and Hebrew fluently, and French and Italian more or less passably. I have been studying Korean since 2012. As to the other languages mentioned below, I do not really speak or read them; I only have read a lot about them.

* Books

* The Korean Verb -- Structured and Complete (Routledge, 2020)

  1. Introduces a novel approach to the Korean verb ‐ the three-stems method.
  2. Exhaustively treats the Korean verb form, regular and irregular.
  3. Presents an annotated list of 200+ entries of verb endings, brought into the three-stems method.
Now with 2 additional sections.

* Burushaski - An Extraordinary Language in the Karakoram Mountains (1998, out of print)
Twenty years later a fierce battle rages among linguists whether it is related to Basque, Chinese and Navaho.

* Hopi - Survey of an Uto-Aztecan Language (1995, out of print)
An easy introduction to an American Indian language of a certain renown.

* Korean

* Multiple-subject Sentences in Korean
Korean is one of the few languages that has sentences with more than one subject. Given the way Korean combines adjectives and relative clauses, this is a quite natural phenomenon.

* Anatomy of the Korean Vowels
The Korean vowels get very different descriptions in various educational material and on the Internet. This paper gives a model of the speech mechanism that accounts for the sounds of the vowels and their varying descriptions.

* Anatomy of the Korean Stops
The Korean stops (ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ, and to a certain extent ㅅ) occur in three forms, lenis, fortis, and aspirated. This is puzzling, because no other language has this distinction. This paper explains the origin of this distinction by going back to basics: the speech mechanism itself.

* The Academic Romanization of Korean from the National Institute of Korean Language
Satisfactory romanization of Korean Hangul is difficult. For decades the McCune-Reischauer system was used and 서울 was written Sŏul. In 2000 this system was replaced by the Revised Romanization, and the name of the capital is now written Seoul. Neither system is suitable for linguistic purposes, but the document that defines the Revised Romanization also defines the "Academic Romanization". It maps 1-to-1 to Hangul, and 서울 is Academically written Seo-ul. The paper analyzes this Academic Romanization and proves its equivalence to Hangul.

* Analysis and Critique of the Yale Romanization of Korean
Romanization of Hangul for linguistic purposes has traditionally been done using the Yale system. Designed the early 1940s, the encoding algorithm was first published in 1975 and the decoding algorithm in 1990. The relation between the two algorithms is murky. This paper analyses both algorithms and identifies many inconsistencies. Fyi, under Yale romanization 서울 is written as sewul.
Since 2000 a contradiction-free alternative has been available, the Academic Romanization.

* Romanization of LaTeX text containg Hangul
The program romanize reads a file of LaTeX text which may contain Hngul and romanization commands, and outputs the LaTeX text with the commands done. The program is useful for writing LaTeX text with Hangul and having the romanization generated automatically. There are many options and commands; see the Manual page.
Romanize is available for *NIX (in source code) and MSDOS (32-bit executable).
Manual page, C Sources, MSDOS exe.

* Ho-Min Sohn's Korean Verb Morphology
Summarizing Sohn's 64-page chapter on the subject into 21 pages, while converting all Yale romanization back to Hangul.

* The Korean (Ir)regular Verbs
A 15-page analysis of the Korean verb that led to the book The Korean Verb -- Structured and Complete (Routledge, 2020).

* The Shoe is on the Wrong Foot -- Fun with Korean Spelling
In many Korean words with batchim (patchim), one consonant seems to be in the wrong syllable. If we move them back (under the frowning looks of the National Institute of Korean Language!), these words suddenly become easier to understand.

* A Few Learning Aids for Korean

Non-linguistic Items

* A Very Short History of Korea
Bird's eye view of the history of Korea, from 2333 B.C. to today, on two A4 sheets.

* Diagram of the Administrative Structure of South Korea
The Netherlands consist administratively of provinces, which consist of municipalities. That's all there is. Korea has a far more complicated structure, with cities that are not part of a province, wards, districts, etc., partly divided in urban and rural. The Wikipedia explains all this very well, but I found it difficult to remember and visualize, so I drew a diagram of it.

* Dutch (Nederlands)

* Open en gesloten korte o in het Nederlands (nieuwe versie 2014) (Open and Closed Short o in Dutch)
Dutch spoken in some Eastern parts of Twente and Gelderland has two different o sounds in short syllables. Full account of the phenomenon by a native speaker (me).

* De Nederlandse klinkers met hun spellingen (The Dutch Vowels and Their Spellings)
Dutch has nine vowels, some both short and long, and nine diphthongs, and their spelling and pronunciation sometimes depend on the following letter. This gives 42 combinations, which are summed up here, with examples.

* Making Sense of Dutch Word Order
Dutch word order is confusing, with part of the verb rather at the beginning of a sentence and the rest at the end (or reverse); and the words in between have to come in a particular non-English order. This tells how, and a little bit of the why.

Some Errata to H.R. Stern's Excellent Booklet "Essential Dutch Grammar"

* Hebrew

* Rondleiding door het gesproken Hebreeuws (1991) (A Guided Tour of Spoken Hebrew (in Dutch))
A very simple exposition of most of the features of Modern Hebrew, all in Latin letters.

* Other Writings on Languages

* Annotated Literature References on North-Asiatic Languages and Altaic
More than 250 annotated books and papers mainly about Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, Manchu, and some Turkish, and the genetic(?) relationship between them. Many juicy polemics!

* Annotated Literature References on Indo-European
About 35 annotated books and papers about Indo-European and its purported relationship to Uralic, Eurasiatic and/or North-Caucasic.

* Annotated Literature References on (purported) Indo-Pacific
There is an array of isolated languages, stretching from Nepal to the Pacific Ocean, characterized by using tV for 1st person singular and nV for 2nd person singular, a combination that is rare to non-existent elsewhere. Best described examples are perhaps Kusunda in Nepal and Kuot on New Ireland. Whether these languages are related is controversial, with Greenberg for, and most of the rest of the linguists against. This makes Indo-Pacific interesting enough to investigate.

* Annotated Literature References on Other Languages and on Linguistics
More than 300 annotated books and papers on any language that is not Indo-European or North-Asiatic.

* A Survey of the Uto-Aztecan Language Luiseño (Calfornia) (1997)

* A Survey of the Athabaskan Language Mattole (Calfornia) (2015)
A simpler cousin of Navaho.

* A Short Survey of the Na-Dené Isolate Haida
A completely different language from the American North-West.

* Is Klingon an Ohlonean Language?
Huh? Why should it be??

* The Five Rules of Language Learning
... and the 6th: Don't expect anything under 1500 words.


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