Digraph, Korean/Hangul

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Summary

A digraph or digram (from the dís, "double" and γράφω gráphō, "to write") is a pair of characters used to write one phoneme (distinct sound) or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined. The sound is often, but not necessarily, one which cannot be expressed using a single character in the orthography used by the language. Usually, the term "digraph" is reserved for graphemes whose pronunciation is always or nearly always the same.

Details

As was the case in Greek, Korean has vowels descended from diphthongs that are still written with two letters. These digraphs, ㅐ and ㅔ (also ㅒ , ㅖ ), and in some dialects ㅚ and ㅟ , all end in historical ㅣ .

Hangul was designed with a digraph series to represent the "muddy" consonants: ㅃ , ㄸ , ㅉ , ㄲ , ㅆ , ㆅ ; also ᅇ, with an uncertain value. These values are now obsolete, but most of these doubled letters were resurrected in the 19th century to write consonants which had not existed when hangul was devised: ㅃ , ㄸ , ㅉ , ㄲ , ㅆ .

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