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S. Korean scholar chosen for prestigious linguistic award in Japan

2017/11/12 11:20

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SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean professor Son Jae-hyun has been chosen as the recipient of this year's award in memory of the late renowned Japanese linguist Kyosuke Kindaichi, the memorial society of the linguist said Sunday.

The Tokyo-based memorial society has decided to present Son, a Japanese language professor at Seoul's Duksung Women's University, with the Kyosuke Kindaichi Memorial Award, one of the highest honors in Japan's linguistic circle, in recognition of her book, "The System and Distribution of Korean Dialects' Accents."

   It will mark the first time a South Korean has received the award. Son is scheduled to receive it in Tokyo on Dec. 17.

This provided photo shows Son Jae-hyun, a Japanese language professor at Seoul's Duksung Women's University. (Yonhap) This provided photo shows Son Jae-hyun, a Japanese language professor at Seoul's Duksung Women's University. (Yonhap)

Son, who is now a visiting professor at the Linguistics Dept. of the U.S.-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a e-mail interview with Yonhap News Agency, "I am pleased to receive the prestigious award."

   "Compared to the Japanese language, studies on the accents of the Korean language have yet to be activated."

   A graduate of Seoul's Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Son earned her master and doctoral degrees in linguistics at the University of Tokyo and served as a director of the Japanese Language Society in South Korea.

The Kyosuke Kindaichi Memorial Award was named to honor Japanese linguist Kyosuke Kindaichi (1882-1971), who is chiefly known for his studies of the language of Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan.

Since the establishment of the award in 1973, the award has been given to researchers of the Japanese language, other languages of neighboring peoples and their related culture.

namsh@yna.co.kr

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