Samuel Martin (linguist) bigraphy, stories - Linguists

Samuel Martin (linguist) : biography

29 January 1924 - 28 November 2009

Samuel Elmo Martin (29 January 1924 – 28 November 2009) was a professor of Far Eastern Languages at Yale University and the author of many works on the Korean and Japanese languages.


  • 1951. Korean in a Hurry: A Quick Approach to Spoken Korean. Tuttle Publishing, Japan. (First US edition: 1954.) ISBN 0-8048-0349-8.
  • 1966. "Lexical evidence relating Korean to Japanese." Language 12.2, 185-251.
  • 1975. A Reference Grammar of Japanese. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01813-4.
  • 1975. With Yang Ha Lee and Sung-Un Chang. A Korean-English Dictionary. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • 1975. "Problems in establishing the prehistoric relationships of Korean and Japanese." In Proceedings International Symposium Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Korean Liberation. Seoul: National Academy of Sciences.
  • 1982. "On the consonant distinctions of earlier Korean." Hangul 175:59-172.
  • 1987. The Japanese Language through Time. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03729-5.
  • 1990. "Morphological clues to the relationships of Japanese and Korean." In Philip Baldi, ed., Linguistic Change and Reconstruction Methodology. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • 1990. "On dating changes in the phonetic rules of Korean." Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung 14:185-216.
  • 1991. "Recent research on the relationships of Japanese and Korean." In Sydney M. Lamb and E. Douglas Mitchell, eds., Sprung from Some Common Source: Investigations into the Prehistory of Languages. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • 1992. Essential Japanese: An Introduction to the Standard Colloquial Language, third revised edition. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-1862-2.
  • 1993. A Reference Grammar of Korean: A Complete Guide to the Grammar and History of the Korean Language. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-1887-8. (2006 reprint: ISBN 0-8048-3771-6.)
  • 1995. "On the prehistory of Korean grammar: verb forms." Korean Studies 19:139-150.
  • 1996. Consonant Lenition in Korean and the Macro-Altaic Question. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1809-1.
  • 1996. "The Middle Korean marker of politeness -ngi." In Shim Chaegi et al., eds., Yi Kimun kyosu chongnyon toeim kinyom nonch'ong. Seoul: Shingu munhwasa.
  • 1997. "How did Korean get -l for Middle Chinese words ending in -t?" Journal of East Asian Linguistics 6.3: 263-271.
  • 1997. "Un-Altaic features of the Korean verb." In Ho-min Sohn and John Haig, eds., Japanese/Korean Linguistics, Volume 6. Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Languages and Information, Stanford University.
  • 2000. "How have Korean vowels changed through time?" Korean Linguistics 10:1-59.
  • 2002. "Coming and going: deictic verbs in Korean and Japanese." In Sang-Oak Lee and Gregory K. Iverson, with Sang-Cheol Ahn and Young-mee Yu Cho, eds., Pathways into Korean Language and Culture: Essays in Honor of Young-Key Kim-Renaud. Seoul: Pagijong Press.

Scholarly contributions

In the 1950s Martin worked on issues relating to Japanese and Korean orthography and romanizations. At this time he coined the term "Sino-Xenic" in creating a common nomenclature for Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary, Sino-Korean vocabulary and Sino-Japanese vocabulary. He published a monograph on Japanese orthography in 1952, and in 1954 he was invited by Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, to give his ideas on the orthographic reform of the Korean script, which were published in 1954 in various Korean newspapers. In 1954 he devised the Yale romanization system for transliterating Korean, which is extensively used by linguists. During this period he also made important contributions on Chinese, producing a monograph on the phonemes of Ancient Chinese in 1953, and an important article on Mandarin phonology in 1957.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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