SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

Topics In The History And Structure Of The Korean Language

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The aim of this course is to provide students taking Masters programme in Korean Studies with a clear understanding of the history and structure of Korean language. Students who take the course will be expected to develop advanced analytical skills in the understanding of Korean linguistics and the historical development of Korean language. Students who complete the course will be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the grammatical structure of Korean language.


A total of 22 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

  1. Introductions: Language and Linguistics
  2. The structural characteristics of Korean
  3. The Origin of Korean: Altaic Theory
  4. History of Korean Language: Old Korean, Middle Korean, Modern Korean, Contemporary Korean
  5. Romanization of Korean
  6. Korean writing (I): Hangul
  7. Korean Writing (II): Hyangchal, Idu, Kugyol
  8. Linguistic Divergence between North and South Korean
  9. The Modern Dialects
  10. Phonetics and Phonology
  11. Words and Parts of Speech, Word Formation
  12. Phrase Structure
  13. Syntax
  14. Honorifics and Speech Styles
  15. Korean Grammatical Constructions (I)
  16. Korean Grammatical constructions (II)
  17. Korean Grammatical constructions (III)
  18. Comparative studies on Korean and Japanese Morpho-syntax
  19. Topics in Korean Language Teaching (I)
  20. Topics in Korean Language Teaching (II)

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (70%); first piece of written coursework to be submitted in term 2 (15%); second piece of written coursework to be submitted in term 3 (15%).

Suggested reading

A reading list for this course will be given to students at the beginning of the course.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules