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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This section considers the introduction of Chinese writing to Korea and subsequent literary activity in Korea using Literary Chinese. During the Unified Silla period and the Koryŏ Dynasty, expertise in Literary Chinese was essential for maintenance of the tributary relationship with China and for the civil service examination system. During the Chosŏn Dynasty, scholarship was promoted and the civil service examination system continued. In spite of the invention of the han’gŭl script in the mid-fifteenth century, Literary Chinese remained the language of government, scholarship and belles lettres until the nineteenth century. However, the han’gŭl script was used to produce bilingual editions of texts in literary Chinese to assist learners.

Keywords: Sino-Korean literature, Korean literature in Literary Chinese, Korea, Silla, han’gŭl, Koryŏ Dynasty, Chosŏn Dynasty

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