This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: East Asian Geography East Asian Geography and Languages
East Asian Civilizations
September 13, 2010 Japan: 146,000 sq. miles; 127 million population
Korea North Korea: 46,500 sq. miles; 22 million population
South Korea: 38,000 sq. miles; 48 million population Vietnam: 128,066 sq. miles; 86 million population
China: 3.7 million sq. miles; 1.3 billion population China
China Natural barriers River systems: Yellow River Yangzi River West River West to east orientation North/south North/south differences Dry land vs. wet land agriculture (wheat/rice)
Political center (north) vs. economic center (south)
Grand Canal Korea
Korea Peninsular location Eastwest differences Proximity to China Population centers in the west, mountainous east
Centrality of rice cultivation Division into North and South Korea since WWII Japan Island country – proximity to Korea
Four major islands – Special importance of Honshu and Kyushu Inland Sea Major plains on Honshu: Kansai and Kanto Centrality of rice agriculture Geography and politics:
Geography and politics:
case of Koguryo Koguryo a powerful state in northern Korea & Manchuria, 3rd6th c.
Recent deletion of it in official Chinese website on Korean history – outraged reaction in Korea
Nationalist Koreans arguing for a “greater Koguryo”
There was no “China” or “Korea” at that time. Northcentral
south differences Red River
Mekong Delta Part of China – c. 100 BCE to 1000 CE
Dynastic rule – to 19th century – French colonization Vietnam
Vietnam Nature of language
Nature of language
“Language, once it comes alive, behaves like an active, motile organism. Parts of it are always being changed, by a ceaseless activity to which all of us are committed; new words are invented and inserted, old ones have their meanings or abandoned.… Individual languages age away and seem to die, but they leave progeny all over the place. Separate languages can exist side by side for centuries without touching each other, maintaining their integrity with the vigor of incompatible tissues. At other times, two languages may come together, fuse, replicate, and give rise to nests of new tongues.” (Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell) East Asian languages
East Asian languages Japanese & Korean – Altaic languages, polysyllabic, agglutinated, with conjugated verbs typically at sentence’s end. Chinese – Sinitic (or SinoTibetan) language, monosyllabic, unagglutinated, with verbs unconjugated and typically between subject and object. Also tonal. Vietnamese Austroasiatic – much influenced by Chinese (with tones) but also nonChinese grammatical features
Connections? Arguments over Korean and Japanese.
Use of Chinese in East Asia like Latin, or later French, in Europe. Chinese
Chinese Oracle bones – ca. 1500 BCE
Ideograms, not an alphabet
Morphology: Pictograms, logograms, phonograms Korean
Korean Role of Chinese in the development of Korean: Long the only medium for writing – preserve of the upper classes
Chinese loan words Han’gul alphabet – King Sejong (1446). 28 letters; later 24. Called Choson muncha in North Korea Japanese
Japanese Like Korean, initial use of Chinese C. even used phonetically to render poetry in Japanese Development, from 9th c. of cursive alphabetical script (hiragana) & a square script (katakana). Modern Japanese – interspersed script and Chinese characters Vietnamese writing
Vietnamese writing Use of classical Chinese (Chunho) when under Chinese rule From 10th century – used Chinese characters to transcribe Vietnamese (Chunom)
17th century – French priests developed a romanized script (Quoc nhu – national language). 20th century – Quoc nhu became the standard. General Points
Korean and Japanese – striking similarities suggest a close connection at some point. Use of Chinese as a lingua franca. Important for understanding East Asia. Role of Buddhism in providing an alphabetic model for the Japanese and Koreans. ...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course HIST 106B taught by Professor Chaffey during the Fall '11 term at Binghamton.
- Fall '11