|not; no||to know; to be aware|
|simp. and trad.
- to not know; to have no idea of; to be ignorant of
- 不知其中奧妙 / 不知其中奥妙 ― bùzhī qízhōng àomiào ― to be ignorant of the marvels therein
- to wonder if (as used in a question or request)
- (to not know):
- (to not know):
|Kanji in this term|
- ignorance (not knowing)
- ignorance (lacking intelligence)
- 無知 (muchi)
- 不知火 (shiranui)
The basic negating root of the Old Korean negatives is disputed. Because all conventional reconstructions begin with *ant-, many South Korean linguists, including Lee Seung-jae, have proposed that the base form was *anto-, producing 不冬 (*ANtol), 不只 (*ANTOk), and (via deletion of the minimal vowel <o>) 不知 (*ANti). Other scholars, including both Koreans and Alexander Vovin, have argued that the negative root is *an and that *tol, *tok, and *ti are as of yet poorly understood suffixes. Vovin notes that likely borrowings in Tungusic appear to suggest that the root was *an-. In the case of 不知, the orthographic variation, perhaps reflecting dialectal differences, may also be suggestive of an originally *an- root.
- 安徐 (entirely phonogramic form, Idu script variant)
- 不喻 (Idu script variant, believed to be a different term by Vovin; also see Usage Notes)
- 非知, 未知 (different logogram, gugyeol variant depending on Chinese original text)
- 未知 (different logogram, gugyeol variant depending on Chinese original text)
The existence of the entirely phonogramic variant 安徐 establishes the first syllable of this word, usually represented by the logogram 不, as *an-, corresponding to Middle and Modern Korean 아니 (ani, “not”).
The second syllable is somewhat more difficult to deal with because the variants appear to imply different phonetic values. These may reflect some sort of otherwise unknown dialectal variation, or reflect different suffixes (but apparently without semantic difference?) to a hypothetical stem *an-. However, the phonogram most commonly used in the corpus is 知, whose Middle Chinese value is reconstructed as */ʈiɛ̝/ and whose fifteenth-century Sino-Korean pronunciation was 디 (Yale: ti). The syllable is accordingly conventionally reconstructed as *ti, and the entire lemma as *ANti.
This noun, which was probably a dependent noun that could not occur independently, was restricted to negating nouns (including nominalized verbs). Verbs were negated with the adverb 不冬 (*ANtol) instead. In every uncontroversial example in the currently known corpus, adjectives were nominalized and then negated with 不知 (*ANti). Whether this represents a genuine grammatical phenomenon in Old Korean or simply coincidence due to the very limited corpus is not clear.
Its Middle Korean form served as both a noun and an adverb, having displaced 不冬, and the Modern reflex behaves solely as an adverb. The form 아니다 (anida), showing an incorporation of the copula 이다 (ida) which usually combines with nouns, remains as a vestige of the Old Korean function.
Vovin argues that the Idu script variant 不喻 should be seen as a related but different form, which he reconstructs as approximately *AN-koy. Both would be derived from the hypothetical negative vowel root *an-. The conventional view in Korean scholarship is to read 不喻 as a graphic variant of 不知 because fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Idu manuals in Hangul, which conserve significant elements of the Old Korean reading of phonograms, gloss the former sequence as 아닌디 (Yale: aninti). Furthermore, there appears to be no semantic difference between 不知 and 不喻. On the other hand, it is difficult to explain how 喻 could ever have been taken as a phonogram for *ti.
- Middle Korean: 아니 (ani, “not”)
- Korean: 아니 (ani, “not”)
- Southeastern Korean: [Term?]
- ⇒ Middle Korean: 아니다 (anita, “to not be”)
- ⇒ Korean: 아니다 (anida, “to not be”)
- → Proto-Northern Tungusic: *anti
- 이용 (Yi Yong) (2003) , “釋讀口訣에 나타난 不定詞의 機能에 대하여 [On the functions of the negative particles in interpretive gugyeol]”, in Gugyeol Yeon'gu, volume 11, pages 249–273
- 남풍현 (Nam Pung-hyeon) (2010) , “獻花歌의 解讀 [Readings of the "Heonhwa-ga"]”, in Gugyeol Yeon'gu, volume 24, pages 5–35
- 박지용 外 (Park Ji-yong et al.) (2012) 향가 해독 자료집 [A Sourcebook of Hyangga Interpretations], Seoul National University, page 18
- Alexander Vovin (2018) , “Two Tungusic Etymologies”, in Studia Orientalia Slovaca, volume 17, pages 125–134