S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.40 (2007)
개화계몽기 국어국문운동의 전개와 양상
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.40, pp. 59-99
- Kaehwakyemong-ki(The Korean modern enlightenment period between 1880"s and 1910"s) was ‘the age of generating", for which so many things came out of nothingness at an unbelievable speed. The generation of ‘Literature"(文學) from ‘polite literature"(文) resulted into the disruption of undifferentiated regions and the crack of pre-modernity. ‘Literature" carried the modernity as soon as it has its own language(a grammar and alphabet). Of course, its language was acquired from a fierce struggle, in which Kookmoonche(國文體, a style of writing only Korean) and Kookhanmoonche (國漢文體, a style of writing Korean with Chinese characters in it) had tried to take the hegemony to Hanmoonche(漢文體, a style of writing Chinese characters on a its grammar). As it were, it is said "the Revolution of a style".
In Chosun after the first Sino-Japanese war, China-centralism was deconstructed and thus ‘independent alphabet" of its own was concentrated on instead of ‘letters of defeated China". Finally Chinese characters were regarded as ‘barbarian letters" away from the civilization, and as ‘canker letters" harmful to development of the country. It"s not easy. In actuality, the perfect subversion of China-centralism left the task that Chosun independent should rebuild the edifice of knowledge for itself. Additionally, the intellectuals in Chosun had to impetuously discuss the power and the functions of ‘letters", and newly define and passionately emphasize ‘Korean", the ‘national language" which would make it possible for Chosun to be a nation.
Emergence of Kookmoon(國文, Korean) in Kaehwakyemong-ki made it possible for the narrative art to have free and vivid expressions, and for the people to read easily papers, books, and magazines.(Democracy) It also made a huge publication market,(Economism) and a national citizenship. (Nationalism) Functions of language were investigated from the view of a ‘linguistic nationalism", a ‘linguistic democracy", and a ‘linguistic economism". Interestingly, each functions corresponds to each various exponents: Chinese -character keepers, mixed Korean-Chinese users, exclusive Korean users.
This thesis deals with the development and the aspects of the national language and alphabet movement in Kaehwakyemong-ki, especially the debates on the unification of the written and spoken language. Our concern is focused on the relation of the ‘Movement" and the ‘Nation-building". ‘Kookmoon(國文, Korean)" is ‘made" and ‘adopted" as a national language. Up to the Japanese annexation of Korea, Kookmoonche(國文體) had been an independent language which represent the freedom of expressing the various opinions and symbolize the possibility of a nation-state building. After that, we know, it also got used as a vessel of national spirits and a method of resistences to the Japanese colonialism.