Abstract and Keywords
Chinese characters were first transmitted to ancient Korean at the latest by the 2nd century BCE during the Wiman Chosôn 卫满朝鲜period. This is a century earlier than the conventional view, which cites it in the 1st century BCE when the four commanderies were founded on the Korean peninsula by the Han Empire. Concerning the routes of transmission, this chapter supports the conventional views: Koguryô 高句丽 borrowed Chinese characters from northern China, Paekche 百济 from southeastern China, and Silla 新罗 from Koguryô. Old Sino-Korean was updated after the unification by Silla, when Middle Chinese of the Tang Dynasty became the basis of Sino-Korean. This chapter presents some examples of language contact between Korean and Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, Early Mandarin, and Modern Mandarin. Sino-Korean and Korean have been in close contact with Chinese from the earliest time to the present.
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