I’ve always thought a reference guide to the word endings in Korean would be an invaluable resource. I finally found one, and bought it:
“학습자용 어미・조사 사전” (이희자・이종희 지음), 출판사: 한국문화사. (Korean word endings dictionary for learners, by 이희자 and 이종희).
Available at Kyobo books for 30000 won.
The book contains over 900 Korean word endings, including both 어미 (verb/adjective endings) and 조사 (noun/other substantive endings). Each word contains usage information, how to add it to a stem, language register, and examples. Although it is intended for learners, it is all in Korean; even so, the explanations are not too difficult to understand.
I think the last one is intended for Korean language teachers. I regret not buying that version a little, actually, although it’s a bit expensive. I’m not sure what the difference is; it’d be nice to browse through it, but unfortunately it’s not in the local Kyobo store.
The coverage of the red version is pretty good, though; 900 word endings, and so far it’s had most of the ones I’ve looked up. It has both written (문어) and spoken (구어), formal and informal language, which is good, since there’s sometimes a tendency in these reference books to be overly slanted towards formal / proper / written language. The only endings I haven’t been able to find so far are archaic and dialectal (사투리) endings. The latter I wouldn’t expect; it might triple the size of the book. But archaic endings would be nice; although they’re not part of daily use, they are used a lot in certain contexts. For example, ~하옵소서, ~매, etc. They’re still used a lot in Biblical contexts, and in historical dramas. I hear them at church and in hymns quite a lot, so I’d find their inclusion quite useful. And given the popularity of Korean dramas, I think a lot of Korean learners would find them useful, too.
The explanations are good, for the most part, though not detailed. With the examples, normal usage can be deduced, but comparisons between similar endings are limited. So it’s good for finding out what an ending means, and getting to know a little about how to use it, but not always the best for deciding which ending to use. Here’s an excerpt:
Overall, I think it’s a great reference to have, especially for intermediate to advance learners.
- Goals for Korean studies this year
- Reading “호빗” (The Hobbit)