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Title: Hyangchal  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Korean language, Gugyeol, Hanja, History of the Korean language, ISO/TR 11941
Collection: Korean Writing System
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hangul 향찰
Hanja 鄕札
Revised Romanization hyangchal
McCune–Reischauer hyangch'al

Hyangchal (literally vernacular letters, local letters or corresponded sound) is an archaic writing system of Korea and was used to transcribe the Korean language in hanja. Under the hyangchal system, Chinese characters were given a Korean reading based on the syllable associated with the character. [1] The hyangchal writing system is often classified as a subgroup of Idu. [2] The first mention of hyangchal is the monk Kyun Ye's biography during the Goryeo period. Hyangchal is best known as the method Koreans used to write vernacular poetry. Today, twenty-five such poems still exist and shows that vernacular poetry used native Korean words, Korean word order, and each syllable was "transcribed with a single graph". The writing system covered nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, particles, suffixes, and auxiliary verbs. The practice of hyangchal continued during the Goryeo Dynasty where it was used to record native poetry as well. [3]

See also


  1. ^ Coulmas, Florian; S. R. Anderson; J. Bresnan; B. Comrie; W. Dressler; C. J. Ewen (2003). Writing Systems: An Introduction to Their Linguistic Analysis. Cambridge University Press. p. 67. 
  2. ^ Sohn, Ho-Min; S. R. Anderson; J. Bresnan; B. Comrie; W. Dressler; C. Ewen; R. Lass (2001). The Korean Language. Cambridge University Press. pp. 125, 128. 
  3. ^ Sohn (2001) p. 125
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