This article examines the conceptual development of gaein (individual) as a modern subject in Korea in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods in order to analyze two different corpora: academic journal corpus (1896-1909) and Gaebyeok (Genesis) corpus (1920-1926). For this purpose, it focuses on the co-occurrence relations of gaein and other concepts, and builds a list of words that were frequently used near gaein in sentences. In addition, we have investigated in what context and for what reason the co-occurrences changed, and to what degree. By doing this, we found that the co-occurring rate of gaein with “state,” “law,” and “people,” decreased after the annexation of Korea by Japan, whereas the co-occurring rate with “society,” “nation,” “organization,” and “freedom” increased. We were able to conclude that while gaein was considered a member of a state in the enlightenment period, it developed into an economic and sociocultural subject in the 1920s.
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