This study is an analysis of phonemic variation and its relationship with toponymic variations. The phonemic variation instantiated in a toponym initially resulted in the variation of toponymic forms. Then, through homonymic attraction, the variant toponymic forms change the meaning of toponyms. On the one hand, there are pronounced processes in toponymic front morphemes, such as replacement, deletion, and contraction of phonemes, which include palatalization, articulation place assimilation, umlaut, vowel rising, and monophthongization. These aforementioned processes have a variation of toponymic forms that are brought about by phonemic variation. Moreover, through homonymic attraction, the ariant forms of toponymic front morphemes engender variation in the meaning of toponyms. On the other hand, in toponymic back morphemes, honemic variations come about only with replacement and deletion. Therefore, the phonemic variation in both front and back toponymic morphemes adapts to the phonemic variation in common, everyday language. And because the lexicon that undergoes variation is chiefly those that represent toponymic particularities, it frequently appears in toponyms.
Toponyms can be used as the basic materials with which to develop an awareness of the regional and historical characteristics of a certain area. Furthermore, toponyms, which constitute the end result of people’s perceptions of the environment, can provide important clues to identify how people perceived places, regions, and landscapes. The present study reviews Korean perceptions of the environment based on an examination of the toponymic terms used in conjunction with Korean village names during the early twentieth century. In addition, the study also compares the general regional characteristics of individual provinces. The toponymic terms analyzed herein are divided into those related to location, topography, water, and weather, with the frequency and ratio of each example measured. In the past, Koreans preferred closed geographical areas such as valleys and basins as a location for villages. Within such valleys and basins, they sought out places that were elevated, centralized, or located further inland. Furthermore, Koreans considered the supply of sunlight, a factor which greatly influenced everyday life and agriculture, as the most important weather-related attribute when it came to the determination of the location of villages. As such, toponymic terms such as yang (light), dong (east), and chun (spring) were frequently used in the names of village. The theory of yin 陰and yang 陽and the Five Elements, which constitutes a traditional Asian school of thought, also influenced the use of toponymic terms.
Toponyms are social constructs, subject to constant change in the social context. As such, toponyms in Korea reveal many variant forms, given the geopolitical location of the peninsula, a crossroad for various cultures. In particular,when Korea adopted Confucianism as the state orthodoxy during the Joseon dynasty, a host of native toponyms were renamed into Confucian ones in order to reflect the dominant Confucian ideology. This phenomenon produced politically and culturally contested toponyms for the same locations, making native toponyms coexist or contend with Chinese-derived or Confucian toponyms. Confucian toponyms represented the Confucian identity and ideology held by Confucian scholars, and signified specific toponymic meanings and territoriality. Even to this day, Confucian toponyms either coexist or conflict with other types of toponyms. This paper examines the transformation of native toponyms to Confucian ones and analyzes the concrete naming process by presenting particular examples. It also reviews various forms of contested toponyms and the mode of Confucian toponyms in contestation or parallel existence with others.
The present patterns of naming around Bupyeong-gu of Incheon reflect the long and contentious history of Japanese colonialism, the significance of reinstating Korean toponyms after liberation, and the contemporary politics of culture, identity, and belonging. The vernacular toponyms of Bupyeong have played an important role in the construction of identity among the people who identify themselves with the imagined community named Bupyeong. It is speculated that local Korean residents were still using these autochthonyms, or vernacular toponyms, as substitutes for the Japanese names during the Japanese colonial period. Since the 1980s, indigenous toponyms have disappeared in everyday conversations, while being replaced by the names of apartment complexes. Wontei Gogae, by contrast, is an old vernacular toponym that is still in use along with the creation of humorous nicknames. The toponym Datagumi can be classified as a kind of resistant toponym in that it has no alternative toponym. Since the 1940s, Samneung, the Korean pronunciation of a Japanese toponym, has been used as an alternative toponym to the official toponym Bupyeong 2-dong. The vernacular toponym Cheolmasan has been so wellknown that everyone recognizes it. In the time of displacement of residents due to rapid urbanization, however, people misidentified the name Cheolmasan with two other mountains.
When the Korean government announced its plan to lift the ban on the circulation of Japanese popular culture in 1998, it immediately articulated its intention to support “genuinely” domestic comic books (called manhwa in Korean) and animation in Korea. This policy move demonstrated the government’s ambivalence toward the influence of Japanese manga; at the same time that the government officially encouraged cross-breeding between Japanese and Korean popular cultures and audiences, they became overly protective of Korea’s domestic popular culture industry. This paper offers a critical examination of the notion of national culture or national aesthetics by looking at the official policy toward manhwa in Korea. In addition, Lee Dong-Gi’s and Hyun Tae-Jun’s artworks prove to be important alternatives to the notion of an authentic Korean manhwa culture. Using theories of the hybridizing process by Arjun Appadurai and Nikos Papastergiadis, I also investigate Lee Dong-Gi’s Atomaus, a hybrid of Japanese Astro Boy and Disney’s Mickey Mouse, as well as Hyun Tae-Jun’s 2007 replicas of classic Japanese animation characters. These characters and artworks show the ambiguous state between original and copy, or national and hybrid cultural products.
Recently many scholars in the history of science have been trying to illuminate why and how South Korea was able to achieve scientific and technological development simultaneously with economic growth. Scholars have focused on a top-down model led by the South Korean government and the role of technocrats who played crucial roles in the late 1960s. This study, however, focuses on the external conditions rather than on internal factors. U.S. policies towards South Korea became a major determinant of the development of science and technology during the Cold War, which brought about a number of important events such as the reorganization of the scientists’ society, the Minnesota Plan of the 1950s, establishment of the Korea Institute for Science and Technology (KIST) in 1966, and launching of the military industry in 1971. Transfers of advanced technology from Japan following the “normalization treaty” in 1965 also played a crucial role in developing both military and heavy chemical industries of South Korea in the 1970s. Ultimately, U.S. and Japanese policies led to rapid scientific and technological progress of South Korea, but at the same time limited the scale and direction of the development.