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Books on Language

A partial list of books on the Korean language – consciously avoiding the Sejong books that were the basis of my early studies, because I found them no use at all. Sorted by date of publication in English, most recent first.

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Language and Truth in North Korea
Sonia Ryang
University of Hawai'i Press, 2021

From the publisher’s website: In this innovative and persuasive volume, Sonia Ryang offers new ways to think about North Korea and how truth emerges over decades from within a dominant discourse. It explores four discrete yet mutually related domains of discourse: North Korea’s literary purge of the 1950s–1960s; its state-initiated linguistic reforms of the 1960s–1980s; […] (Link to online store)

Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook (2nd Ed)
Andrew Sangpil Byon
Routledge, 2021

From the publisher’s website: This revised second edition of Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook is an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume. The text can be used in conjunction with any primary textbook, both as a reference guide to the intermediate Korean grammar and a practice book to reinforce learning. This book […] (Link to online store)

Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook
Andrew Sangpil Byon
Routledge, 2020

From the publisher’s website: The revised second edition of Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook is an accessible reference grammar and workbook in one volume. The text can be used in conjunction with any primary textbook, both as a practice book to reinforce learning and as a reference guide to the basics of Korean grammar. This book is […] (Link to online store)

Jejueo: The Language of Korea’s Jeju Island
Changyong Yang, Sejung Yang, William O'Grady
University of Hawai'i Press, 2019

From the publisher’s website: Jeju Island, located about 30 miles southwest of the Korean mainland, is famous for its natural beauty, dolhaleubang (“stone grandfather”) statues, haenyeo (“sea women”) divers—and its language, which has only recently been recognized as distinct from Korean. This finding—still considered controversial—undermines the centuries-old belief that Korea has a single language within its borders and opens […] (Link to online store)

Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar
Jaehoon Yeon, Lucien Brown
Routledge, 2019

From the publisher’s website: Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar is a reference to Korean grammar, and presents a thorough overview of the language, concentrating on the real patterns of use in modern Korean. The book moves from the alphabet and pronunciation through morphology and word classes to a detailed analysis of sentence structures and semantic features such […] (Link to online store)

Korean: An Essential Grammar
Young-Key Kim-Renaud
Routledge, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Korean: An Essential Grammar is a concise and convenient guide to the basic grammatical structure of standard Korean. Presenting a fresh and accessible description of the language, this engaging Grammar uses clear, jargon-free explanations and sets out the complexities of Korean in short, readable sections. Key features include: clear explanations of grammatical terms frequent use of […] (Link to online store)

How Koreans Talk – A Collection of Expressions
Choe Sang-hun, Christopher Torchia
Eunhaeng Namu, 2002
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From the back cover: If something tastes good, say: “It kills me.” If you’re happy, you “go to Hong Kong.” If a friend wins the lottery, ask: “did you have a pig dream last night?” If someone tells a joke, you might “laugh until your belly button pops out.” Koreans talk with humour and punch, […] (Link to online store)

Guide to Korean Characters: Reading and Writing Hangul and Hanja
Bruce K Grant
Hollym, 1979
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From the publisher’s website: Guide to Korean Characters provides for the first time in English, a practical 367 page handbook for students of the Korean language. It contains all you need to be a literate student of the written language of 78 million Korean people, including hangul, the Korean alphabet, and 1,800 Chinese characters taught […] (Link to online store)