This article examines the fifteenth-century Korean ŏnhae 諺解 exegesis of the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok 蒙山和尙法語略錄 to determine the translation strategies used to render so-called baihua or vernacular Sinitic in vernacular Korean. In particular, the article aims first to clarify the linguistic features of the baihua materials from the late Southern Song period found in this text, and then to clarify the baihua comprehension and translation abilities of a fifteenth-century Buddhist intellectual who was not a trained specialist in spoken Chinese. It finds that, because Korean Buddhist temples were no longer bilingual Korean-Chinese spaces by early Chosŏn, and Korean Buddhist monks no longer had exposure to spoken Chinese, the Korean translator approached the baihua materials as if they were written in orthodox Literary Sinitic. As a result, he made a number of errors and mistranslations, especially when it came to translating vernacular Sinitic tense-aspect particles in vernacular Korean. The article concludes by briefly comparing and contrasting glossing strategies in Japan and Korea.

1. Introduction

1.1 Goals of This Article

The majority of Sinitic texts translated or annotated (provided with an ŏnhae 諺解 exegesis) in Korea since the fifteenth century are orthodox Literary Sinitic (wenyan 文言; henceforth LS) materials, a category that includes Buddhist materials in LS. LS is a language particularly devoid of grammatical morphology, and for this reason, the elements of tense, aspect, and mood in the translated Late Middle Korean (henceforth LMK) texts have been researched on the basis of meaning without reference to the Sinitic originals, using only the internal context of the vernacular Korean.

However, the sixteenth-century Pŏnyŏk Nogŏltae 飜譯老乞大 and Pŏnyŏk Pak t'ongsa 飜譯朴通事 from the Interpreters' Bureau are written in spoken Ming-period Chinese and therefore include many tense, aspect, and mood elements. Moreover, insofar as they are conversational texts, the setting of the spoken utterances is emphasized. The compiler Ch'oe Sejin 崔世珍 (1468–1542), who was fluent in the spoken Chinese of the time, translated the Sinitic texts in their entirety but also left behind his commentary (Tanjahae 單字解), which incorporates the elements of tense, aspect, and mood, making it possible to study the tense, aspect, and mood elements of LMK in this case by comparing the vernacular and Sinitic texts.1

But translations of so-called baihua 白話 materials into Korean can also be found from the fifteenth century, as seen in the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae 蒙山和尙法語略錄諺解, which is the focus of this article. This text differs from the Pŏnyŏk Nogŏltae and Pŏnyŏk Pak t'ongsa in two respects. First, the Pŏnyŏk Nogŏltae and Pŏnyŏk Pak t'ongsa use Ming-period spoken Chinese, whereas the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae uses spoken Chinese from the late Southern Song period. Second, the translator of Pŏnyŏk Nogŏltae and Pŏnyŏk Pak t'ongsa—Ch'oe Sejin—was fluent in spoken Chinese and was an interpreter who had the opportunity to visit China and come into direct contact with spoken Chinese. By contrast, Hyegak Sinmi 慧覺信眉 (1405?–1480?), the translator of the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae, was a monk in the Chosŏn period and was therefore unable to visit China or to come into direct contact with spoken Chinese.

This study of the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae aims to demonstrate three things. First, an examination of these baihua materials from the late Southern Song period will clarify their linguistic features. Second, an analysis of the text can clarify the baihua comprehension and translation abilities of a fifteenth-century Buddhist intellectual who was not a trained specialist in spoken Chinese. Third, by comparing the particularities of the Korean translated version with other translated materials from Chosŏn (as well as Japanese Zen materials), we can gain insights into the recording and translation of Chan/Sŏn materials in Chosŏn from the standpoint of cultural history.

1.2 Background to the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae

Written vernacular Sinitic or baihua first came to the Korean peninsula during the Koryŏ period (918–1392). After Koryŏ became a tributary to the Yuan, the Altaicized creole Han'er yanyu 漢兒言語 in use at the time in northern China came into use. The Kubon Nogŏltae 舊本老乞大, excavated in Taegu in 1998, testifies to the spread of this form of spoken Chinese in Koryŏ. Moreover, the written language version of Han'er yanyuMongmun chigyŏk 蒙文直譯, used in legal and penal codes beginning with the Yuan-period Yuandianzhang 元典章—also came into use in Korea. This written form was studied under the name of imun 吏文 through the Chosŏn period.

The study of spoken Chinese in the Chosŏn period was carried out continuously until the end of the nineteenth century at the Interpreter's Bureau (Sayŏgwŏn 司譯院). At first, the target language was called Han'er yanyu but later it came to be referred to as guanhua 官話. Chinese baihua literature was also read and glossaries were compiled early on for works of vernacular fiction like the Water Margin (Shuihu zhuan 水滸傳). Confucian scholars studied baihua in order to read the Categorized Conversations of Zhu Xi (Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類), and for that reason the specialist glossary Ŏrokhae 語録解 was compiled. As pointed out by Sugiyama Yutaka (2011), some Confucian scholars in late Chosŏn also wrote in a register similar to baihua.

Aside from these, Zen recorded sayings (Chan yulu 禪語録) were yet another genre of baihua materials that needed to be read. In the Chan Buddhism that gained currency after the Tang dynasty, the words of Chan masters were transmitted directly, with some part of those becoming indispensible to later Chan/Zen study in the form of koans.

Among the numerous Zen sayings, it is probably coincidence that certain collections of sayings became widely read in certain geographical areas. Mumon Ekai/Wumen Huikai's 無門慧開 (1183–1260) Mumonkan/Wumenguan 無門関 was not particularly popular in China but continues to be widely read in Japan even in the present, and Mengshan Deyi's 蒙山德異 (1232–?) sayings, the Mongsan pŏbŏ 蒙山法語, are widely read on the Korean peninsula even today. Each of these collections came to be popular in Japan and Korea, respectively, according to chance occurrence.2

As is recorded in Pak t'ongsa (among other sources), the Koryŏ monk Pou 普愚 (1301–82) held Buddhist services at Yongning Temple 永寧寺 in Dadu in 1347. Naturally, Han'er yanyu was the likely means for the sermons. Prior to this, the Indian monk Zhikong 指空/Dhyāna-bhadra 提納薄陀 (?–1363), who was staying in Yuan, visited Koryŏ. Zhikong came into contact with numerous monks from Koryŏ in Dadu, and their exchanges are recorded. Let us examine one example, an exchange between Zhikong and the esteemed Naong Hyegŭn 懶翁慧勤 (1320–76), the Koryŏ monk responsible for compiling the Mongsan pŏbŏ. The conversation is from 1358, when Hyegŭn first met Zhikong at Fayuan temple 法源寺 in Dadu.

(1) 空又問: 汝從高麗來, 東海那邊 見來也未?


             see-PERF-PERF.INTRG (did you see?)

師云: 若不見,浄得到這裏? (cited from Yi Nŭnghwa 1918: chung 255)

Zhikong asked, “As you came from Koryŏ, have you seen all the areas around the East China Sea?”

The master replied, “If I had not, how could I have arrived here?”

The first underlined section, 見來也未 (“did you see?”) and the second 這裏 (“here”) are prototypical baihua, and there are many examples like this in other Koryŏ materials as well.

Because Zen temples in Japan received many monks from China at the end of the Southern Song and beginning of the Yuan, Zen temples in Japan functioned as bilingual spaces where both Japanese and spoken Chinese were used.3 At the end of the Ming and beginning of the Qing, too, many monks seeking asylum were received from China, and at temples like Ōbaku-san Manpuku-ji in Uji, Chinese monks were invited generation after generation to serve as head priest, an example of Chinese continuing to be used in the Edo period.

After Hyegŭn entered the priesthood, his first enlightenment experience happened upon meeting the Japanese monk Sekiō 石翁 (dates unknown) who spent time in Hoeŏm temple 檜嚴寺 in Koryŏ from time to time. As was the case in Japan with Zen temples, Sŏn temples on the Korean peninsula in the Koryŏ period must have been spaces where spoken Chinese was in popular use. A letter addressed to the monk Pou from the high priest Paegun Kyŏnghan 白雲景閑 (1353–?), born in North Chŏlla, contains the following expression:

(2)同参作麼生? (Eda Toshio 1977: 262)

What should we do about studying under the same master?

Here we see the baihua grammatical markers di3 底 (nominalizer) and zuo4 ma2 sheng1 作麼生 used in written correspondence between two Koryŏ monks.

After Hyegŭn met Zhikong in Dadu, they went on foot to Jiangnan, and in 1360 celebrated vassa at Pingjiangfu 平江府 in Jiangnan. This was when Hyegŭn had the opportunity to read the sayings of Mongsan Deyi. Hyegŭn took notes on the main points and returned to Koryŏ. It is thought that this summary was the basis for the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae examined in this article.

Why was it that Hyegŭn summarized the sayings of Mongsan Deyi, a Southern Song monk from nearly one hundred years earlier? The following record can be found in Yi Nŭnghwa (1918: ha 864):

(3) 高麗寶鑑國師碑。中呉蒙山異禪師,作無極說。附海舶以寄之。師黙領其意。自號無極云々。 疑即此蒙山也

Inscription from the master from Koryŏ, Pogam Province. Zen master Mongsanyi of Jiangnan made an infinite doctrine, put it on a ship, and sent it off. The master from Pogam said nothing and understood the reason for this, and said on his own that his name was Infinite. This was probably Mongsan Deyi.

The Koryŏ royal family had a close relationship with Mongsan Deyi, and this may have been one motive for having Hyegŭn summarize Mongsan's sayings.4

Hyegŭn's dharma was inherited by Muhak Chach'o 無學自超 (1327–1405). Muhak Chach'o was the royal priest to King T'aejo (r. 918–43). Muhak Chach'o's dharma was succeeded by Hamhŏ Kihwa 涵虚己和(1376–1433). Later the Korean translation of Mongsan's sayings by Hyegŭn, that is, the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae, was written by Hyegak Sinmi, who, according to Yi Nŭnghwa (1918: ha 876) and Kamata Shigeo (1987: 221), was connected to Hamhŏ's reception of the dharma.5 Because the base text of this work was already an “abbreviated sayings” 略錄, it was—just as the Mumonkan was popular in Japan as a “compact sayings that practicioners could keep in their pocket to encourage their sitting meditation”—widely and popularly read in Chosŏn.6 What must be carefully considered is that when the translator Hyegak Sinmi lived, Sŏn temples in Chosŏn were no longer bilingual spaces, and unlike monks in the Koryŏ period, Chosŏn monks were no longer able to travel to China or interact with Chinese monks.

As is well known, from the inception of the Chosŏn period Confucianism was esteemed and Buddhism was suppressed. Conversely, in the royal family, Buddhism was practiced until the middle of the fifteenth century, and among historical kings, Sejo (世祖, r. 1455–68) in particular venerated Buddhism most of all. In 1459, five years after his accession, the Wŏrin Sŏkpo 月印釋譜 was published, and in the same year a royal office of Buddhist publishing, the Kan'gyŏng togam 刊經都監, was established for the translation and printing of Buddhist documents. This publishing office was not in the king's palace but out on the public streets, and with exclusive rice fields in Hwanghae Province set up as its source of funding, it continuously employed nearly two hundred monks. The primary missions of the Kan'gyŏng togam were threefold: publication of the Chinese translation of the Great Treasury of Sutras 大藏經, editing of Ŭich’ŏn's 義天 (1055–1101) collected materials, and translation of the Buddhist canon. The commoner Kim Suon 金守温 (1409–81) and the monks Hyegak Sinmi, Hagyŏl 學悦, and Hakcho 學祖 were the primary individuals charged with the Korean translation of the Buddhist canon. However, due to the tenacious opposition of Confucian ministers, in 1471 the Kan'gyŏng togam was abolished. Still, Sinmi, Hagyŏl, and especially Hakcho continued to be venerated until the reign of Sŏngjong and continued their translation of the canon. The Sŏngjong Sillok calls them the “three preceptors” 三和尙.7

Ever since Moguja Chinul 牧牛子知訥 (1158–1210) started the Chogyejong sect 曹溪宗 at Songgwang Temple in Sunch’ŏn, Korean Buddhism has supported sectarian customs that value both the silent reading of sutras and recitation of the Buddha's name. But for monks in the Chosŏn period, was it indispensible to be able to read and understand the baihua in Sŏn sayings? This is not the case.

As discussed in Itō (2004a, 2011), the examination subjects for the state examination for Buddhist monks in the Chosŏn period were stipulated as follows.

(4) 爲僧者三朔内告禪宗或敎宗試誦經[心經金剛薩怛陀] (Kyŏngguk Taejŏn 經國大典, 度僧條)

Those wishing to become monks must announce whether they are of the Sŏn or Kyo sect three months in advance, and an examination in sutra reading will commence [Heart Sutra and Vajrasattva].

The founder's koans required for sitting meditation were given to each practicioner by their masters and existed for the practitioners to contemplate their meaning. There was no need to memorize these in baihua; rather it was important for them to correctly understand the “contents” of the subject. Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae was translated into Korean to meet this particular need.

2. Philological Observations

2.1 The Text of the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae

According to Shibu Sōhei (1983), the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae was compiled from 1459 to 1461. The oldest manuscripts of the T1 type are the T'ongmun'gwan facsimile, the Simwŏnsa-bon 深源寺本 (1525), and the Yujŏmsa-bon 楡岾寺本 (1521). In the next T2 type are the Kounsa-bon 孤雲寺本 (1517) and the Pingbaram-bon 氷鉢庵本 (1525), and in the later T3 woodblock variety there is the Songgwangsa-bon 松廣寺本 (1577). Concerning variant texts, there is an article by Pak Pyŏngch'ae (1980) and an examination and comparison by Takekoshi Takashi (2004). Details on the particularites of the Korean in the ŏnhae section are provided by Tamotsu Nakamura (1963). This article uses the explication of the base text by Yi Kimun ([1978] 1996).

The base text includes hyŏnt'o 懸吐 or “appended grammatical glosses,” and the hyŏnt'o sections include pitch-accent dots (pangchŏm 傍點). These are features held in common with ŏnhae texts of the Buddhist canon from before the Amit'a kyŏng ŏnhae 阿彌陀經諺解, printed in ŭlhae typeface 乙亥字本 and estimated to have been printed in 1461, and thus they differ from the characteristics of the Buddhist ŏnhae issued by the Kan'gyŏng togam in the 1462 printing. The readings for sinographs in T1- and T2-type texts use the artificial Tongguk chŏngun 東國正韻 pronunciations, but the Songgwangsa-bon includes traditional sinograph readings.

For the contents of the base text, the sections “示古原上人” (1–10), “示覺圓上人” (10–20), “示准正上人” (20–30), “示聰上人” (30–50), “無字十節目” (50–63), and “休休庵主座禪文” (63–69) were brought by Hyegŭn from China, whereas “示覺悟禪人法語” (69–70) was written by Hyegŭn himself. The sections “休休庵主座禪文” and “示覺悟禪人法語” are in LS and thus fall outside the scope of this examination.

3. Characteristic Features of the Chinese Language in the Mongsan pŏbŏ

As seen above, the Mongsan pŏbŏ are sayings that were not particularly reflected on in China. For previous research on the baihua in Mongsan pŏbŏ, see Takekoshi (2004) and Itō (2004b, 2005).8 Here I generally follow Takekoshi (2004) and stop at a cursory examination of a few particularities, taking up four concrete examples of sections translated into Korean for examination in detail.

There are eight examples of the second-person pronoun {你 ni3} and two of {汝ru3}. This is the same as in the Zutangji 祖堂集 and Wumenguan. For interrogative personal pronouns, there are four examples of {阿誰 a1-shui2}, and for proximal demonstrative pronouns there are seven examples of {者箇 zhe3ge4} and one of {者裏 zhe3li3}. This is very close to Wumenguan. Takekoshi (2004) claims that on the whole Mongsan pŏbŏ resembles Wumenguan in terms of vocabulary and grammatical form, but as characteristics not seen in Wumenguan, he raises the usage of the measure word 介,9 the adverbs {未有 wei4you3} and {無有 wu2you3}, and the adverb {不要 bu4yao4}. He also finds that the adverb {地 di4} is rare in the Wumenguan but frequently used in Mongsan pŏbŏ, and conversely, that {却 que4} and the counter {向 xiang4} appear in the Wumenguan but are rare in Mongsan pŏbŏ (among other observations).

In terms of aspect markers, there are seven examples of the continuative {著 zhuo2}. However, as I will discuss later, {著 zhuo2} is not only a continuitive but was also used to indicate experience as a perfective. This will be raised in section 4.

4. Aspects of Korean Translations of Baihua Grammatical Morphemes

4.1 Translations by Sŏn monks during the Monolingual Period

As seen in section 1.2, unlike the Chinese as a living language seen among monks in the Koryŏ period, temples in the Chosŏn period when the translators of Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae lived were monolingual Korean spaces.10 Sinmi had no travel experience in China, nor was he a specialist in spoken Chinese. Among Korean language translations of baihua materials in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this text, which was translated by nonspecialists of Chinese, displays the following aspects of baihua grammatical elements in Korean translation.

4.2 Affixation

4.2.1 Prefixes

(5) 他是誰 (20b)

  ta1  shi4 a1-shui2

  he   be  PREF-who

(5′) nom on   nwu kwo

  others-TOP  who-INTRG

  Who are the others?

As stated by Takata Tokio (1988: 232) and Song Shaonian (2002: 165–73), the prefix {阿 a1-} is already present in the Sanguozhi 三國志 and also in the materials from Dunhuang. Here {阿誰 a1-shui2} is always translated as {nwu}, whereas nom for the third-person pronoun 他 is a mistranslation.

4.2.2 Suffixes

(6) 作麼 (56a)


  how   -SUF

(6′) esteho-nywo?

  how do–INTRG

  How is it?

(7) 你作麼生會 (54a)

  ni3 zuo4-ma2-sheng1 hui4

  you how  -SUF know

(7′) ne-non   estyey  a-no-nta?

  you-TOP  how  know-PRS-INTRG

  How do you know?

{生-sheng1} is a suffix that derives the meaning of a certain state, and appears frequently in the Zutangji and other texts.11 In our text, {作麼生 zuo4ma2-sheng1} is the only example seen. As in 6′, this is translated as a verb with {ho-}, but as an adverb when it accompanies another verb as in 7′.

4.3 Resultative Verb Compounds

4.3.1 破–po4

(8) 趙州古佛眼皮說四天下 (53b)

  zhao4zhou1 gu3- fo2 yan3- pi2 shuo1-po4 si4 tian1xia4

  Zhaozhou old- Buddha eye-skin bright-broken four heaven-under


  Zhaozhou old-Buddha-GEN eye-GEN  light-NOM

   SOTHYENHHA lol      pichwuy-no-ta

   four heaven-under-ACC    brighten-PRS-FIN

  The light of the eyes of Zhaozhou, Buddha of the past, illuminates all under heaven.

(9) 捉趙州 (60b)

  zhuo1-po4 zhao4zhou1

  catch-broken Zhaozhou

(9′) TTYWOWCYWUWlol cap-omye

  Zhaozhou-ACC   catch-CVB

  Catch Zhaozhou.

(10) 勘佛祖得人憎處 (60b)

  kan4-po4 fo2 zu3 de2 ren2 zeng1 chu4

  consider-broken Buddha masters obtain person hate place

(10′) pwuthye [G]wa CWOØSOØ [G]wa y  salom oy  muy-Gi-sy-an

  Buddha-and masters-and-NOM   person-GEN hate-PASS-HON-ADNL

   kwot ol   kus al-myen

   place-ACC  ADV know-COND

  If you understand completely the things hated of Buddha and the masters by people.

The verb {破 po4} has the present-day meaning of “destroy,” but when functioning as a resultative it means “to do something incessantly or completely.”12 This meaning is not reflected in the LMK translations in examples 8′ and 9′. Conversely, in 10′, it is translated using the adverb {kus} to mean “completely.”

4.3.2 盡–jin4

(11) 発正信心 (7b)

  fa1-jin4 zheng4-xin4-xin1

  send-out-exhaust the faith

(11′) CYENGho-n  SINSIM ol  PELQ-ho-ya

  right-VZ-ADNL  faith-ACC  send-out-VZ-CVB

  Completely put forth the correct faith, and . . .

(12) 発正信心

  fa1-jin4 zheng4-xin4-xin1 (23b)

  send-out-exhaust the faith

(12′) cyeng-ho-n   SINSIMol kocang   PELQ-ho-ya

  right-VZ-ADNL  faith-ACC to-the-last send-out-VZ-CVB

  Completely put forth the correct faith to the utmost.

(13) 捨一切世間心 (23b)

  she3-jin4 yi1-qie4 shi4-jian1-xin1

  abandon-exhaust all loka-dhatu-mind

(13′) QILQCHYEYSYEYØKAN oy s  mozom ol  kocang   poli-kwo

  all loka-dhatu-LOC-GEN    mind-ACC  to-the-last  abandon-CVB

  Completely give up all of your feelings for the outside world, and . . .

The verb {盡 jin4} originally means “exhaust,” but as a resultative, it means “to do something completely,” similarly to {破-po4}.13 The base sentences for examples 11 and 12 are exactly the same, but whereas the resultative meaning is not reflected in 11′, examples 12′ and 13′ use kocang as an adverb thereby incorporating the meaning of {盡-jin4}.

4.4 Potentiality

As seen in Li and Thompson (1981: 56–57), {得 de2} with the meaning of “to get” ended up functioning as a kind of infix to mean possibility. This is the type A of the pattern V + 得 + N noted by Ōta Tatsuo (1988: 179).

(14) 識差別機縁 (29b)

  shi2-de2   cha1-bie2 ji1-yuan2

  know-obtain  various opportunity

(14′) yelekaci s  KUYØYWUYEN ol  al-a

  various-GEN opportunuty-ACC know-CVB

  Be aware of various opportunities, and . . .

(15) 保持話頭 (27a)

  bao3-chi2-de2 hua4-tou2

  maintain-obtain koan

(15′) HHWAYØTTWUW lol  PPYENQAN hi  tiny-e

  koan-ACC       comfortably   possess-CVB

  Comfortably keep the koan, and . . .

(16) 忽然入定時 (17b)

  hu1-ran2 ru4-de2   ding4 shi2

  suddenly enter-obtain  samadhi time

(16′) HWOLQZYENTTYENG ey tu-n  psk uy

  suddenly samadhi-LOC  enter-ADNL time-LOC

  When you suddenly entered samadhi,

(17) 夢中亦記話頭 (4b)

  Meng4 zhong1 ji4-de2 hua4-tou2

  dream in remember-obtain koan

(17′) skwumey two  HHWAYØTTWUW lol  yenc-uli-ni

  dream-LOC-also  koan-ACC      put-on-FUT-CVB

  Because you are even placing koan in your dreams, . . .

The {得-de2} in 14 and 16 is not reflected at all in the Korean translation, and it is impossible to see from the translation that the element of potentiality is included in the original. Next, observe how this works in the negative.

(18) 透不得 (11b)



(18′) somos-ti   mwot ho-myen

  penetrate-NZ  cannot do-COND

  If you cannot see through to that . . .

{透不得 tou4-bu4-de2} is the only example seen of a negative usage, but at any rate the meaning of nonpotentiality is faithfully translated.

4.5 Complex Stative Construction

The complex stative construction (CSC) is a form that includes {得 de2} while also incorporating potential. As Ōta (1988: 179) has stated, this construction is not seen in the Zutangji, and naturally, this construction does not occur in LS. An example of a prototypical complex stative construction as seen in Li and Thompson (1981: 623) is as follows:

(19) Li3si4  lai2  de  zhen1  qiao3

   Lisi   come CSC  real  coincidental

   It was a coincidence that Lisi came.

The examples seen in Mongsan pŏbŏ are of the type V + 得 + ADJ. In order to translate elements that do not exist in LS, the translator used three differing methods.

(20) 疑重 (16a)

   yi2  de2  zhong4

   doubt CSC  heavy

(20′) NGUYØSIMi TTYWUNGho-myen

   doubt-NOM heavy-COND

   If doubts are large, . . .

(21) 坐端正 (2a)

   zuo4 de2 duan1-zheng4

   sit  CSC straight

(21′) anc-wotoy TWANCYENGhi  ho-li-la

   sit-CVB   straight     do-FUT-FIN

   When sitting, I will do so neatly.

(22) 道諦當 (20b)

   dao4  de2 di4-dang1

   say   CSC rightly

(22′) mastanghi nilo-myen

   rightly say-COND

   If said correctly,

In 20 and 21, the same baihua construction is used, but 20′ renders {V 得} as N, whereas 21′ translates {V 得} as a verb with accessive –wotoy, translates the adjective 端正 that comes later as an adverb, and changes the word order.

4.6 Aspect Markers

4.6.1 却–que4

In the examples below, I examine how aspect markers that had already grammaticalized in early baihua or alternatively had been present in that process are expressed in translation. First, I take up {却 –que4}.

(23) 若忘話頭 (17b)

   ruo4 wang4-que4 hua4-tou2

   if   forget-PERF koan

(23′) HHWAYØTTWUW [G]wos nic-umyen

   koan-COND       forget-COND

   If you forget the koan, . . .

(24) 或忘話頭 (37a)

   huo4 wang4 hua4-tou2(37a)

   if   forget koan

(24′) hotaka HHWAYØTTWUW lol nic-e

   if    koan-ACC      forget-CVB

   If you forget the koan, . . .

There are numerous theories about the grammaticalization of {却-que4}, but comparing examples 23′ and 24′ above, we can see that the Korean translator was oblivious to the existence of {却-que4}.

4.6.2 也–ye3

On the other hand, the perfect marker {ye3} is seen in the translation.14

(25) 許多弊病都拈去 (58a)

   xu3-duo1 bi4-bing4 dou1 nian1-qu4 ye3

   many drawback all pick-up go-PERF

(25′) hanahanwoy-ta   ho-nwo-n   PPYENG ul  ta   ket-e poly-[G]e-ni

   many   wrong-FIN say-PRS-ADNL disease ACC all  pick-up-PERF-PERF-CVB

   Because all of you have taken away many handicaps,

Because the patterns in {-e poli-} and {-Ge-} that express the perfect in fifteenth-century Korean are used together here, the perfect as seen in the original is translated accurately.

4.6.3 了也–liao3ye3

As seen in Itō (2008), in the Pŏnyŏk Nogŏltae Ch'oe Sejin translates the perfect maker as seen below, but the translator of Mongsan pŏbŏ, as will be discussed later, mistranslates this formal element.

(26) 錯了也瞎漢 (56b)

   cuo4-liao3-ye3   xia1-han4

   make a failure-PERF blind-man

(26′) kulu  a-n    nwun me-n salom i-lwo-ta

   wrongly-know-ADNL blind-ADNL person-COP-EXCL-FIN

   It is a person who cannot see and mistakenly understands.

4.6.4 了–liao3

(27) 悟更問悟後事件 (10a)

   wu4-liao3    geng4 wen4 wu4    hou4    shi4-jian4

   enlighted-PERF again ask   awakening afterward event

(27′) al-Gwo za   tasi a-n    HHWUW s   il tolh ol   mwul-ula

   enlighted-CVB awaken-ADNL  afterward-GEN thing-PL-ACC ask-IMP

   Ask about the things before enlightenment only after becoming enlightened.

The construction in {V 了} expresses a state of completion. In the translation, by using an adverb that shows posterior taxis, it succeeds in translating the original.

4.6.5 Frequentative

The method of expressing frequency by using V来V去 is, according to Ōta (1988: 179), seen in the Zutangji. This pattern in the two examples below is mistranslated:

(28) 看 (15b)

   kan4-lai2 kan4-qu4

   see-FREQ see-FREQ

   Sees frequently.

(28′) wo-lq    cey  pwo-mye   ka-lq   cey  pwo-mye

   come-ADNL time  see-CVB   go-ADNL  time  see-CVB

   Sees when coming, and sees when departing, and . . .

(29) 疑 (15b)

   yi2-lai2 yi2-qu4

   doubt-FREQ doubt-FREQ

   Doubts frequently.

(29′) wo-lq    cey  NGUYØSIM-ho-myeka-lq   cey  NGUYØSIM-hoya pwo-mye

   come-ADNL time  doubt-VZ-CVB    go-ADNL  time  doubt-VZ-CVB

   Doubts when coming, and doubts when departing.

4.6.6 Durative

(30) 築 (29a)

   zhu2-zhuo2 ke1-zhuo2

   poke-DUR  knock-DUR

(30′) mas-tol-a


   Crashing into each other, and . . .

The string 築著磕著 does not clarify the verbs 築 and 磕 in telicity, and here can be taken as durative. The translator states the following in an intercalary note:

(31) 築著磕著 non mastotta honwon mal ini (9b8–10a1)

   築著磕著 means crashing into each other.

This gloss manages to capture the meaning of 著 in translation across the whole passage.

(32) 曾切者箇無字否 (60b)

   ceng2  qie1-zhuo2  zhe3 ge4  wu2 zi4    fou3

   once  cut-DUR   this CLSF   Mu character INTRG

(32′) alayi   MWUØ-q  CCOØ two   saki-twoswo-niya

   once this 無-GEN   character-also  cut-EXCL-INTRG

   Was this “nothing” character perhaps cut earlier?

The verb 切 (“cut”) is telic, and 著 here is a method for expressing experience. The translator translates this correctly.

4.6.7 Experiential

The verb {過-guo4} is a resultative that expresses completion, but in the process of grammaticalization, it became an aspect marker for experience in the Song period.15

(33) 看蔵教藏敎儒道諸書 (45b)

   kan4-guo4  zang4-jiao4 ru2 dao4    zhu1-shu1

   read-EXPER all-sutras  Confucian Daoist PL-book


   all sutras and       Confucian and Daoist and    many-ADNL

   kul ul   ta pwo-a

   texts ACC  all see-CVB

   Read all the many sutras and Confucian and Daoist [materials].

Here the {過-guo4} is ignored. With LMK adverb :ta “all; in its/their entirety,” only the meaning of completion is reflected.

4.7 Sentence Final Particles

4.7.1 Intensive {在 zai4}

In baihua, there is a sentence-final particle that expresses modality and does not exist in LS. According to Cao Guangshun (1994: 172), this is a sentence-final particle that appears in the Zutangji and in Zen sayings.

(34) 山僧柱杖子亦未肯打你 (52a)

   shan1-seng1   zhu4-zhang4-zi3 wei4 ken3  da3 ni3 zai4

   mountain-monk  rod      not yet dare  hit you SFP

(34′) SANSUNGuy    maktahi lwo two stwo ne lul   thi-kwocye ani ho-li-ni

   mountain-monk-GEN rod-INST-also  again you-ACC hit-VOL   not do-FUT-FIN

   I dare not hit you with my rod.

(35) 工夫不得力 (8a)

   gong1-fu1 bu4 de2   li4   zai4

   efforts  not  obtain powers SFP

   one's efforts will not be able to attain force

(35′) KWONGPWUØ y  him ul    et-ti    mwot ho-li-la

   efforts-NOM   powers-ACC obtain-NZ  cannot do-FUT-FIN

   one's efforts will not be able to attain force

For some reason the future prefinal ending {-li-} is used here, and no intensive or emphatic meaning is reflected in the Korean.

4.7.2 Interrogatives

There are four unique sentence-final interrogative particles used in baihua: {也無 ye3 wu2}, {也未 ye3 wei4}, {否 fou3}, and {麼 ma2}.16

(36) 狗子還有佛性也無 (1a)

   gou3-zi3 huan2 you3  fo2-xing4    ye3 wu2

   dog   also  have Buddha-Nature SF

(36′) kahinun    PPWULQSYENG i   is-no-n i-ngi s ka eps-un i-ngi s ka

   dog-TOP  Buddha-Nature exist-HON-INTRG lack-PRES-HON-INTRG

   Does a dog also have a Buddhist nature or not?

(37) 覺也未 (12b)

   jue2 ye3 wei4

   awaken SFP

(37′) a-no-nta     mwolo-no-nta

   know-PRES-INTRG  not-understand-PRES-INTRG

   Are you enlightened or not?

(38) 還有要妙過此無字 (62a)

   huan2 you3 yao4 miao4 guo4 ci3 wu2 zi4    fou3

   also  exist importance pass this Mu  character  SFP

(38′) twolohhye  cwozoloWoyywo-m i i   MWUØ-qCCOØ eysye  nem-uni

   actually   important-NZ-NOM this  無-GEN  character-ABL pass-NZ

   is-no-niya     eps-uniya

   exist-PRES-INTRG lack-INTRG

   Actually, is there anything even more superior to this “nothing” character or not?

(39) 會 (20a)

   hui4 ma2

   understand SFP

(39′) al-a-nta



Excepting {麼 ma2}, everything in the translation is translated as additional interrogative sentences. This pattern is frequently seen in the sixteenth-century texts Nogŏltae and Pak t'ongsa, and it can be assumed that Chinese interrogative sentences translated into Korean were done so using this one fixed and literal (albeit etymologically accurate) translation method.

4.8 Nominalizers

In this work, examples of the nominalizer {底 di3} are all translated using an adnominal ending.

(40) 有超佛越祖作略 (50a)

   you3 chao1  fo2   yue4   zu3   di3 zuo4-lüe4

   exist surpass Buddha  surpass  masters  NZ idea

(40′) pwuthyeskuy teu-mye  CWOSOØ ay nem-un      hyeyalywom i  is-ta

   Buddha-DAT surpass-CVB master-LOC  surpass-ADNL(past)  idea-NOM    exist-FIN

   There is an idea that surpasses the Buddhas and masters.

(41) 開差別智鑰匙 (53a)

   kai1 cha1-bie2-zhi4  di3 yao4-chi2

   open prabheda-tattva NZ key

(41′) CHAØPPYELQTIØHHYWUYEYlol ye-l       yelswoy ’la

   prabheda-tattva-ACC      open-ADNL(FUT) key(-COP)-FIN

   It is a key that opens discrimination.

4.9 Prepositions

The preposition {将 jiang1} can serve as either the instrumental or the accusative case. As it originally had the meaning of “to hold,” it is continuous with the following serial verb construction.

(42) 莫閑學解埋没祖祖師心 (57a)

   Mo4 jiang1 xian2   xue2-jie3  mai2-mo4  zu3-shi1  xin1

   don't PREP superficial  knowledge  bury     master   mind

(42′) sywokcyel eps-un poyhwa alwom ol   tiny-e   CWOØSOØSIM ol  mwut-epoli-ti

   superficial-adnominal knowledge-ACC   have-CVB  master mind-ACC  bury-NZ

   mal-wolq ti ’Geta


   One should not bury the master's intentions with superficial knowledge.

(43) 却不得心待悟 (14a)

   que4 bu4 de2  jiang1 xin1 dai4 wu4

   also  not  obtain PREP  mind wait awakening

(43′) stwomozom  kacy-e   alwom   kituli-wom i   mwot ho-li-mye

   also mind   have-CVB awakening wait-NZ-NOM  cannot do-FUT-CVB

   Moreover waiting for enlightenment with your mind will not do.

Here {將 jiang1} is translated in LMK as {have-CVB} with the stems tini- and kaci-. This contrasts with {以 yi3} in LS usually being translated as instrumental. It is fairly common cross-linguistically for verbs with the meaning “hold” to undergo grammaticalization to serve as instrumentals or accusatives (cf. modern Korean kaciko, which would work well in example 43′), but no judgment here is made on whether this is a parallel development in both Korean and Chinese or translation borrowing.17

4.10 Serial Verb Construction

The serial verb construction, which uses independent words in sequence, is translated into Korean using a chaining structure.18 In ŏnhae exegeses of Buddhist texts it is conventional to translate the previous verb into an adverbial structure word for word, but in this translation, there are also cases where it is omitted.

(44) 又坐 (3b)

   you4 qu4 zuo4

   again go sit

(44′) stwoanc-a

   again sit-CVB

   sit again

In this and other examples, the translation is of the general impression of the original (here omitting 去 in the Korean). Next is a composite sentence using 有, but it is not translated word for word.

(45) 有疑提撕 (27a)

   you3 yi2   ti2-si1

   exist doubt hold

(45′) NGUYØSIMul   captul-myen

   doubt-ACC    hold-COND

   If one raises doubts, . . .

(46) 縱風動 (27b)

   zong4 you3 feng1 dong4

   even-if exist wind  move

(46′) pilwok polomi   mwuy-e two

   even- if wind-NOM  move-CVB

   Even if the wind blows, . . .

The 有 above is a marker that introduces “doubts” and “wind” as new/focused information, and the translated sentence matches the meaning of the original.

4.11 Causative Construction

The baihua marker {教 jiao4 (lit. “teach”)} is translated correctly.

(47) 疑團日盛 (15a)

   jiao4  yi2-tuan2 ri4  sheng4

   CAUS doubts  day bigger

(47′) NGUYØTTWAN inal lwo SSYENGkhey hoy-a

   doubts-NOM   daily   big-ADV   do-CVB

   Making doubts grow larger by the day, and . . .

4.12 Classifiers

The measure word {箇 ge4} need not be translated in most instances, and indeed, the Korean translation here typically omits it.19

(48) 如是主張無字甚奇特 (61b)

   ru2-shi4   zhu3-zhang1  ge4  wu2 zi4

   in-this-way emphasize  CLSF Mu character

(48′) i  kothi MWUØ-q  CCOØlol    twotwoa pwo-kentayn

   this like  無-GEN   character-ACC emphasize-COND

   Even emphasizing the “nothing” character like this, . . .

(49) 單單提話頭 (34b)

   dan1-dan1  ti2  ge4  hua4-tou2

   simply   hold  CLSF  koan

(49′) tamontamon   HHWAYØTTWUWlol cap-a

   simply koan-ACC  hold-CVB

   Simply holding up a koan . . .

5. Characteristic Features of Hyegak's Translations

5.1 Mistranslations

As seen above, while some translations of baihua elements are correct, there are other cases of mistranslation in this work.

(50) 釈迦弥勒猶是奴 是阿誰 (20b)

   shi4jia1  mi2le4  you2  shi4  ta1  nu2   ta1  shi4  a1-shui2

   sākya  metteya  also   COP   he  servant  he  COP  PREF-who

   syekka miluk i    wohilye     nomoy   cywong ila      honi

   sākya metteya-NOM on-the-contrary  other-GEN  servant-COP-FIN  say

   nom onnwu kwu?

   he-TOP who-INTRG

   One can say that Guatama and Maitrya are slaves to another, but who is this other?

This baihua 他 obviously functions as the third-person pronoun “he,” but Hyegak translates it as “an other; somebody else.” The same mistranslation appears in 20b.

(51) 雖然趙州道無 你作麼生會 (54b)

   sui1ran2 zhao4 zhou1 wu2 ni3 zuo4 ma2 sheng1 hui4

   pilwok  kuleho-na TTYWOWCYWUW y  nilo-n   MWUØ lul  ne nun

   however so-CVB  Zhaozhou-NOM   say-ADNL  無-ACC   you-TOP

   estyey  a-no-nta?

   how  know-PRS-INTRG

   Even if that is the case, how is it that you know the “nothing” spoken by Zhaozhou?

First, while everything up through 雖然趙州道無 is a subordinate clause, meaning that 雖然 modifies everything up to 無, 雖然 is taken in Korean as pilwok kuleho-na (“Even if that is the case”) and only modifies up to 然. Second, the V + O construction 道無 is mistranslated as “spoken nothing” in an attributive modifying construciton. This is already mistranslated at the hyŏnt'o glossing stage that preceded the ŏnhae:

(51′) 雖然 hona 趙州 yhwonlolnon 作麼生會 hononta (54b)

This suggests that 雖然 was understood as two words in the manner of LS. Ōta (1987: 305) has argued that 雖然's loss of its original lexical meaning and lexicalization as a single compound dates from after the Tang period. Hyegak and Sinmi applied hyŏnt'o glosses in the style of LS, thereby rendering the ŏnhae as pilwok kuleho-na. Thus, in order to float 趙州道無, 道無 was understood as an attributive modifying construction.20

In the next example we also see the the misconstruing of something as a compound due to a lack of knowledge of the final particle aspect makers of baihua, and the section that ends up floating is taken again as an attributive modifying construction. This is a repeat of the saying in 26 and 26′.

(52) 錯了也瞎漢 (56b)

   cuo4-liao3-ye3   xia1-han4

   make a failure –PERF blind-man

(52′) kulu a-n      nwunme-n salom i-lwo-ta

   wrongly-know-ADNL blind-ADNL person-ADNL-EXCL-FIN

   He's someone who cannot see and mistakenly understood.

Because the translators did not understand the final particle {了也-liao3-ye3}, the phrase 錯了 is translated as an adverb + verb construction, “mistakenly understood.” Originally, the final particle 也 in the following sentence was omitted in order to modify 瞎漢, and 錯了也瞎漢 ended up being understood as an attributive modifying construction.

The extreme lack of knowledge about baihua aspect markers is also seen in the following example. This is a repeat saying of the section from 28 to 29′.

(53) 看 (15b)

   kan4-lai2 kan4-qu4

   see-FREQ see-FREQ

(53′) wo-lqcey  pwo-mye   ka-lq cey   pwo-mye

   come-ADNL time see-CVB  go-ADNL time see-CVB

   Sees when coming, and sees when departing.

(54) 疑 (15b)

   yi2-lai2   yi2-qu4

   doubt-FREQ doubt-FREQ

(54′) wo-lqcey    NGUYØSIM-ho-mye ka-lq cey NGUYØSIM-hoya pwo-mye

   come-ADNL time doubt-VZ-CVB    go-time  doubt-VZ-CVB

   Doubts when coming, and doubts when departing.

The aspect markers from the Zutangji as seen above do not exist in LS and this likely caused the mistranslation.21

These mistranslations reflect that Hyegak and Sinmi were monks in the fifteenth century when contact with China had ended, unlike in the Koryŏ period. With the exception of the sections that had been transmitted from master to disciple, when they translated Mongsan pŏbŏ, they relied on their knowledge of LS when it came to translating grammatical constructions.

5.2 Literary Style

As seen above, and despite the mistranslations, this work is a translation of Mongsan pŏbŏ into reasonably clear Korean. Concerning Sŏn question-and-answer exchanges during the Chosŏn period, the author believes that, like this translated text, simple Korean was used. This was a manual for training, and use converged on Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae, among the numerous Sŏn sayings, because this clear Korean translation functioned as a religious manual that tended toward a vernacular “translation.”

6. Concluding Thoughts: Baihua, LS, and hanmun hyŏnt'o Style in Korea

This article has examined some of the linguistic particularities in the vernacular translations of baihua grammatical elements in the Mongsan hwasang pŏbŏ yangnok ŏnhae. Chosŏn dynasty Buddhists, because of their loss of exposure to spoken Sinitic/baihua, were unable to properly grasp baihua tense-aspect markers, treating them instead as if they were LS or simply misunderstanding them entirely. Whereas Japanese Zen-style kundoku “rarely” reordered the Chinese original, and everything—including grammatical markers—was glossed and vocalized, yielding a peculiar reading method among the various types of Japanese kundoku, in sixteenth-century Chosŏn, the Chinese original was never reordered. The method of chiktok 直讀 or sundok 順讀—reading the original aloud, following the LS word order but inserting Korean grammatical glosses—began with Confucian materials and became the method for reading LS texts. This is called hyŏnt'o mun 懸吐文 or hyŏnt'o hanmun 懸吐漢文, and was remarked on by Amenomori Hōshū 雨森芳洲 (1668–1755), who stated the following concerning the differences between Japanese kundoku and Korean chiktok (by which he means Korean-style sequential glossing, or sundok):

書莫善於直読 否則字義之粗精 詞路之逆順 何由乎得知 譬如一個助字 我国人則目記耳韓人則兼之以口誦直読故也 較之我国人差 (Kissō chawa 橘窓茶話, 巻之中)

For reading, chiktok is good. Otherwise how can you know the texture of the words or the course of the words? For example, for one particle, Japanese will only remember it with their eyes, but Koreans will also say it out loud. This is thanks to chiktok. In comparison, our country is inferior.

For civil service examinations, ŏnhae exegeses were not needed at all, as it was hyŏnt'o-glossed materials that were the target of memorization.

As Itō (2018: 173) has shown, the “voice inscribed on the body” of officials in the Chosŏn period was hanmun hyŏnt'o.22 Itō compares the opening, middle, and final sections of the article “Today I lament 是日也放声大哭” by Chang Chiyŏn 張志淵 (1864–1921), which appeared in 1905 in the editorials of the Hwangsŏng sinmun 皇城新聞:

  • (a) 曩日伊藤侯가韓國에來 . . .

  • (b) 彼犬豚不若 . . .

  • (c) 嗚呼라痛矣라 我二千万為爲人奴隷之同胞여 生乎아 死乎아 四千年國民精神이 一夜之間에猝然滅亡而止乎아 痛哉라痛哉라 同胞아 同胞아 . . .

In (a) “when Marquis Itō first came to Korea” we find Korean word order, but (b) then uses a hanmun style that ignores Chinese word order (LS would have 彼不若犬豚). In the conclusion (c), if we remove the t'o 吐 grammatical markers it is orthodox LS. As Saitō Mareshi (2007) has noted, the rhythm inscribed on the body (the voice of kundoku in Japan) was, in the case of Chosŏn, not ŏnhae but hundok hyŏnt'o 訓讀懸吐—vernacular reading by means of appended Korean glosses—that is to say, it came from chiktok based on the sounds of hanmun. According to Sassa Mitsuaki (2012), this document was not written by Chang alone but together with his friend Yu Kŭn 柳瑾 (1861–1921). As the two shared a large bottle of alcohol in the editing room while drinking and lamenting heavily, they wrote this document in a state of inebriation. With the exception of Yu Kilchun 兪吉濬 (1856–1914), for the generation of students who had prepared for the civil service examination at the end of the Chosŏn period it was not yet possible to write Korean as they wished. In this editorial, the beginning is in Korean word order, the middle morphs into Korean-style hanmun, and the end shifts to pure hanmun. Thus, in their drunkenness and excitement, the authors gravitated toward the words that were easiest, most familiar, and longed for. In vino veritas! In any case, Japanese Zen-style kundoku and Korean hanmun hyŏnt'o both emphasized “reverence for the original text,” and insofar as translations into their respective languages completely sacrificed natural expression, there is an especially similar particularity.

Immediately after the creation of the Hunmin chŏngŭm, it was Buddhist documents that were translated as ŏnhae, and it took more than a century for ŏnhae exegeses of Confucian materials to appear in print. In Buddhism, the tradition of translation into Korean had existed since the “interpretive reading” (sŏktok 釋讀) glossing methods of the Koryŏ period, and after the establishment of the ŏnhae exegeses for Confucian materials, what students preparing for the civil service examinations had to memorize was how to vocalize—including grammatical markers—an unnatural Korean hanmun hyŏnt'o style. Meanwhile, students who wished to study at Zen temples in Japan memorized texts, including all of the grammatical markers, creating a certain similarity to the Korean case, which resulted in an unnatural Zen-style kundoku for Japanese.

Future research will need to clarify the use of language and associated writings for old sayings in Korean Sŏn temples, the differences in the cultural value of Zen in Japan and Sŏn in Korea and how these affected the study and translation of different varieties of Sinitic, and whether or not the Sinophilia that existed in Japanese Zen (ever) existed in Korean Sŏn, or, rather, in Korean culture more generally.



Proper nouns in modern Korean are Romanized using the McCune-Reischauer system, and linguistic examples from the Chosŏn period use the modified Yale system, for which see Martin (1992). Modern Japanese personal names use the Hepburn system. Chinese is Romanized using pinyin, but tone marks are omitted.


The Kamakura-period Japanese monk Muhon Kakushin 無本覺心 (1207–98) crossed over to Song in 1249 and returned in 1254 after receiving the dharma from Wumen Huikai 無門慧開 (1183–1260). Nishimura (1994: 213) has suggested that the reason for this text's popularity was that “this text, which is simple and clear in both quality and volume, was a compact collection of sayings such that practitioners could carry it in their pockets to encourage their sitting meditation.”


The royal family of Koryŏ were tributaries of the Liao (Khitan) and Jin (Jurchen), but it is thought that culturally they idolized the Southern Song. In fifteenth-century Korean, “China” was called “Jiangnan” 江南, and this is widely known from the note on “China” in the Hunmin chŏngŭm ŏnhae 訓民正音諺解, which says “wuli nala s SSYANGTTAM ey KANGNAM ila hononila” (“In the vernacular of our country this is called ‘KANGNAM.’”) It also appears that this word was widely used by the general people in the sixteenth century. According to Fujiki (1995), speaking on the kana used in the letters by Japanese soldiers during the Imjin war, soldiers of the Ming army were called kakonami (かこなみ). This refers to Jiangnan, and we can see that the practice of referring to the whole of China as Jiangnan continued into the sixteenth century. The author supposes this label may originate in the Koryŏ aspirations for the Southern Song.


Yi writes the following (1918: ha 867): 慧覺尊者以諺文譯禪師法語。獨多取與翁有關之人簡略)余于是知慧覺尊者疑亦涵虚派故其所流通者亦多取其邊之書也。


A copy from Yunghŭi 2 隆熙二 (1908) is held in Komazawa University's library.


See the entry in Sŏngjong Sillok 成宗實錄 for 14 Sŏnghwa 9 (1483) 年十二月戊子.


Takekoshi (2004) and Itō (2004b) were presented on the same date at the same research group.


In Mongsan pŏbŏ, there are seven examples of the pattern V + 箇 ge4 + N. In discussing the one example where 箇 is written as 介, Takekoshi (2004) notes “the possibility of a unique inscription method in Korean documents.”


See Shimura (1984: 237) and Song (2002: 402). I use the hyphen to indicate the grammaticalized form.


On these various interrogatives, see Ōta (1988: 211–13).


In fifteenth-century Korean the modern {Vt-ko} was expressed using {Vt-e}.


The name for this structure has not been standardized.


This is a major difference with Japanese kundoku, which typically insists on translating every occurrence of 箇.


On attributive modifying trends in Korean and Korean-style hanmun, see Itō (2015).


As seen in Itō (2008), the 来 which expresses experience or past habitual action, despite Ch'oe Sejin understanding this as a single-character interpretation (單字解), is mistranslated as the main verb “come” in the phrases 我有一箇火伴落後了来來 and 我沿路上慢慢的行着等候来來. The grammaticalization of 来 in baihua is perplexing even to specialists of Chinese language.


See also Park (2019) for hyŏnt'o glossing and “the sound of learning the Confucian Classics” in Chosŏn Korea.



ABL, ablative; ACC, accusative; ADNL, adnominal; CLSF, classifier; COND, conditional; COP, copula; CSC, complex stative construction; CVB, converb; DAT, dative; DUR, durative; EXCL, exclamatory; EXPER, experiential; FIN, finite; FREQ, frequentative; FUT, future; GEN, genitive; HON, honorific; IMP, imperative; INST, instrumental; INTRG, interrogative; LOC, locative; NOM, nominative; NZ, nominalizer; PASS, passive; PL, plural; PREF, prefix; PREP, preposition; PRS, present; SFP, sentence final particle; SUF, suffix; TOP, topic; VOL, volitive; VZ, verbalizer.

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