Summarising what is known of the history and prehistory of the Korean and Japanese languages, as well as their possible genetic relationship to the Altaic (Turkic, Mongol, Tungus) languages, Roy Miller examines and rejects arguments dominant in most Western scholarship that attribute all similarities among these languages to borrowing rather than a genetic relationship. He further argues that the assumption of a genetic relationship among the Altaic languages provides a scientifically valid hypothesis for exploring the early history of Korea and Japan. The author argues that Korea and Japan both possess important early written records, and that these texts, when approached with proper philological precision, bolster the Altaic hypothesis in much the same way that the discovery of Tokharian and Hittite materials earlier stimulated and clarified Indo-European historical linguistics. With bibliographic references and index.
Languages and History: Japanese, Korean, and Altaic