Buyeo languages

Buyeo languages

Infobox Language family
name = Buyeo
region = East Asia
familycolor = Altaic
family = A proposed primary language family
child1 = disputed

Buyeo or Fuyu dialects ("Buyeo" or "Puyŏ" in Korean, "Fúyú" (扶餘) in Chinese) are a hypothetical language family that consists of ancient Korean dialects of the northern Korean Peninsula and southern Manchuria. According to the Chinese ancient records, the present day Korean dialects of Buyeo, Goguryeo, Dongye, Okjeo, Baekje (and possibly Gojoseon as well) were similar. The Buyeo language itself is unknown except for a small number of words which suggest that it was very similar from the language of Silla, which likely consisted of an earlier wave of migration from the same northern region, and significantly different from the Mohe and Tungusic languages.

Classification of the Buyeo languages

The relationships of the poorly attested Buyeo dialects are disputed.

Japanese-Koguryoic hypothesis

The possibility of a relationship between the Japanese language and Goguryeo language of the Korean peninsula was first noticed by two Japanese scholars in 1907.Fact|date=October 2007 According to this scenario, the ancestors of the Yamato people settled Japan from the region of the state of Buyeo, which was ancestral to Goguryeo. The Korean state of Baekje was later founded by Goguryeo princes, and considered itself descended from Buyeo. Baekje subsequently had close relations with Yamato period Japan; Christopher Beckwith suggests that at that point the Japanese may have still recognized a relationship to Buyeo. Beckwith reconstructs about 140 Goguryeo words, mostly from ancient place names. Many include grammatical morphemes which appear to be cognate with morphemes of similar function in Japanese, such as genitive "-no" and attributive "-si."

Buyeo-Silla hypothesis

There are a number of linguists including a renowned Korean linguist, Kim Bang-han and western linguists like Vovin and Unger who instead classify the Goguryeo language as Old Korean. Being strongly skeptical of the Buyeo-Japonic hypothesis, they emphasize that the so-called Japanese-like toponyms or pseudo-Goguryeo words were mostly found in the central part of Korean peninsula, which don’t reflect the Goguryeo language but previous substratum spoken by indigenous people of the central and southern part of Korean peninsula. Since it has been shown that a considerable number of Japanese-like toponyms (such as a Japanese-like numeral found in the historical homeland of Silla) were also distributed in southern part of Korean peninsula, the linguists propose that there was once a Japonic language spoken on the prehistoric Korean peninsula as the substratum language of Old Korean; Unger suggests that the ancestors of the Yayoi people would have settled Japanese Archipelago from the central and southern part of Korean peninsula. The basis of this argument supporting Old Korean hypothesis is as follows: None of the Japanese-like toponyms have been found in the northern part of Korean peninsula and south-western part of Manchuria where the historical homeland of Buyeo and Goguryeo were situated. On the contrary, the Koreanic toponyms were evenly distributed all around the territory of the Three Kingdoms of Korea from Manchuria to the Korean peninsula. The Goguryeo inscriptions include Grammatical morphemes, supporting the argument, which appear to be cognate with morphemes of similar function in Korean, such as a form of final predication "-ti" and nominative "-i".

ee also

* List of Korea-related topics

External links

* [ A review of Beckwith 2007]


**2006. "Methodological Observations on Some Recent Studies of the Early Ethnolinguistic History of Korea and Vicinity." "Altai Hakpo" 2006, 16: 199-234.
*Alexander Vovin, 2005. "Koguryǒ and Paekche: Different Languages or Dialects of Old Korean?" "Journal of Inner and East Asian Studies", 2005, Vol. 2-2: 108-140.

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