Prof. Dr. Sven Osterkamp

Short biography // Kurzlebenslauf

2008Promotion in Japanischer Linguistik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Dr. phil. in Japanese Linguistics, Bochum University
2009–2011Postdoc an der Universität Kyoto mit einem Forschungsprojekt über koreanische Quellen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts zur japanischen Sprachgeschichte
postdoctoral researcher at Kyoto University, Department of Linguistics, with a project on pre-modern Korean sources on the Japanese language
2011–Professor für Sprache und Literatur Japans an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum
professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Bochum University

Research interests // Forschungsschwerpunkte

  • history of the Japanese language(s) and writing system(s), from their earliest attested forms to the present day
  • language contacts within East Asia as well as between East Asia and the West and their textual witnesses
  • early knowledge of the Japanese and other East Asian languages and writing systems in the West, as well as the history of East Asian collections
  • typology & history of writing systems and the interplay of language and writing

Books // Monographien

  • (2011): Nicht-monosyllabische Phonogramme im Altjapanischen. Kritische Bestandsaufnahme, Auswertung und Systematisierung der Fälle vom Typ oñgana. (Veröffentlichungen des Ostasien-Instituts der Ruhr-Universität Bochum; 60). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

    Reviews // Rezensionen:
    Narrog, Heiko / Whitman, John (2013). In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale 42.1: 72–76. [publisher's website]
    Hirako Tatsuya 平子達也 (2014). In: 国語文字史の研究 14: 1–19 / (252)–(234). [publisher's website]

Papers & Reviews // Aufsätze & Rezensionen


  • ([2007, recte:] 2008): »Official Regulations and Unwritten Rules for Place Name Spellings in 8th to 10th-century Japan— A Conspectus of their Consequences and Side-effects —«. In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung [ISSN 0170-0006] 31 (2007): 213–244. [pdf]
  • 2010

  • ([2009, recte:] 2010a): »Selected materials on Korean from the Siebold Archive in Bochum – Preceded by Some General Remarks Regarding Siebold’s Study of Korean«. In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung [ISSN 0170-0006] 33 (2009): 187–216. [pdf]
  • ([2009, recte:] 2010b): [review article] »Peter Kapitza (Hg.) (2008): Japan in Europa. Texte und Bilddokumente zur europäischen Japankenntnis von Marco Polo bis Wilhelm von Humboldt. München: iudicium. 1 CD-ROM [= 957, 1024, 96 S., pdf-Format]«. In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung [ISSN 0170-0006] 33 (2009): 249–270. [pdf]
  • (2010c): »The Japanese studies of Andreas Müller (1630–1694)«. In: 京都大学言語学研究 / Kyoto University Linguistic Research [ISSN 1349-7804] 29: 77–151.
    [pdf at Kurenai (lower quality); local pdf (higher quality)]
  • 2011

  • ([2010, recte:] 2011a): »A Brief History of Western Knowledge about the Korean Language and Script—from the Beginnings to Pallas (1786/87–89)«. In: Studia Orientalia Slovaca [ISSN 1336-3786] 9.1 (2010): 7–43. [pdf]
  • ([2010, recte:] 2011b): [review] »Endō Mitsuaki 遠藤光暁 / Itō Hideto 伊藤英人 / Chŏng Sŭnghye 鄭丞惠 / Takekoshi Takashi 竹越孝 / Sarashina Shin’ichi 更科慎一 / Pak Chinwan 朴真完 / Qū Xiǎoyún 曲曉雲 (ed.) (2009): Yŏkhaksŏ munhŏn mongnok 譯學書文獻目錄. Sŏul: Pangmunsa. X + 253 pp.«. In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung [ISSN 0170-0006] 34 (2010): 311–321. [pdf]
  • 2012

  • (2012a): »Early adaptations of the Korean script to render foreign languages«. In: Voogt, Alex de / Quack, Joachim (eds.): The Idea of Writing. Writing Across Borders. Leiden: Brill [ISBN 978-90-04-21545-0], pp. 83–102. [pdf; Google Books]
  • (2012b): »Digraphic Transcriptions of Monosyllabics in Old Japanese and Their Implications«. In: Frellesvig, Bjarke / Kiaer, Jieun / Wrona, Janick (eds.): Studies in Japanese and Korean Linguistics. (LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics; 78). London: LINCOM [ISBN 978-3-86288-122-2], pp. 120–145.
  • 2014

  • (2014a): »Notes on the Manuscript Precursors of Collado’s Ars grammaticæ Iaponicæ lingvæ in the British Library (Sloane Ms. 3459) and Especially Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Borg. lat. 771)«. In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung [ISSN 0170-0006] 36 (2012): 199–212. [pdf]
  • (2014b): »On so-called genitive subjects in Classical Japanese and their treatment in Western grammars«. In: Majtczak, Tomasz / Sonoyama, Senri (eds.): Language and Literary Traditions of Japan. Collection of papers to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Japanese studies at the Jagiellonian University (1987–2012). Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press, pp. 107–154. [pdf, publisher's website]
  • (2014c): ビュルガー・コレクションに関する若干の覚書. In: 人間文化研究機構国文学研究資料館 (ed.): シーボルト日本書籍コレクション現存書目録と研究 / Japanese books in the Von Siebold collection: a catalog and further research. 東京: 勉誠出版 [ISBN 978-4-585-22108-1], pp. 377–399. [publisher's website]
  • (2014d): »Approaching the Korean language and script through cultural heritage: On the role of Tongŭi pogam 東醫寶鑑 in Julius Klaproth’s writings on Korean and his correspondence with the Humboldt brothers«. In: 어문 론총 [ISSN 1225-3928] 62: 207–235. [pdf]
  • 2015

  • (2015a): »A Sketch History of Pre-Chamberlainian Western Studies of Ryukyuan«. In: Heinrich, Patrick / Miyara, Shinsho / Shimoji, Michinori (eds.): Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages: History, Structure, and Use. (Handbooks of Japanese Language and Linguistics). Berlin, Boston: Mouton de Gruyter [ISBN 978-1-61451-115-1], pp. 61–80. [pdf, publisher's website, toc]
  • (2015b): シーボルトの朝鮮研究——朝鮮語関係の資料と著作に注目して. In: 国立歴史民俗博物館 (ed.): シーボルトが紹介したかった日本——欧米における日本関連コレクションを使った日本研究・日本展示を進めるために / Siebold’s Vision of Japan —— As Seen in Japan-related Collections in the West. 佐倉:国立歴史民俗博物館, pp. 41–51. [pdf]
  • (2015c): »Philipp Franz von Siebold’s Korean Studies: Focusing on His Sources and Publications on the Korean Language«. In: 国立歴史民俗博物館 (ed.): シーボルトが紹介したかった日本——欧米における日本関連コレクションを使った日本研究・日本展示を進めるために / Siebold’s Vision of Japan —— As Seen in Japan-related Collections in the West. 佐倉:国立歴史民俗博物館, pp. 229–239. [pdf]
  • (2015d): »Lorenzo Hervás (1735–1809) and the account of the Japanese and Korean scripts in his Paleografía universal«. In: Scripta 7: 1–57. [pdf]
  • 2016–

  • (2016a): 諺文以呂波雑考. In: 田窪行則 / Whitman, John / 平子達也 (eds.): 琉球諸語と古代日本語——日琉祖語の再建にむけて. 東京: くろしお出版 [ISBN 9784874246924], pp. 57–76. [publisher's website]
  • (2016b): »Foreign Sources on the History of the Japanese Language: Problems and Prospects«. In: Acta Asiatica: Bulletin of the Institute of Eastern Culture [ISSN 0567-7254] 111 (Recent Trends in Japanese Language Studies): 75–93. [publisher's website]
  • (to appear 2016): »Sino-form writing«. In: Sybesma, Rint (ed.): The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Leiden: Brill.
  • (to appear 2016): »Sino-Xenic readings«. In: Sybesma, Rint (ed.): The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Leiden: Brill. [BrillOnline]
  • (to appear 2016) (with Christoph Anderl): »Northwestern Medieval Chinese«. In: Sybesma, Rint (ed.): The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Leiden: Brill.
  • (submitted): »Klaproth’s Korean kmis and the way thither, or: Han’gŭl and the manner of its distortion in some early foreign sources«. In: The Idea of Writing, vol. 3. Leiden: Brill.
  • (submitted): »A mokkan perspective on some issues in historical phonology«. To appear in a festschrift.
  • (submitted): »Phonology, based on Korean sources«. In: Frellesvig, Bjarke / Kinsui, Satoshi / Whitman, John (eds.): Handbook of Historical Japanese Linguistics. (Handbooks of Japanese Language and Linguistics). Berlin, Boston: Mouton de Gruyter. [publisher's website]
  • (submitted): [review article] »Corff, Oliver et al. (eds.) (2013): Auf kaiserlichen Befehl erstelltes Wörterbuch des Manjurischen in fünf Sprachen. „Fünfsprachenspiegel“. [...]«.
  • (submitted): »A Diachronic Perspective on Segmentation Cues in Written Japanese: From Script Mixture, Size and Spacing to the Reinvention of a Corollary of Cursive Writing«.

Presentations // Vorträge


  • »Beyond mono- and disyllabic oñgana 音仮名-type phonograms: Digraphic transcriptions of monosyllabics and sesquisyllabic phonograms in OJ«, 7th conference of the Nordic Association of Japanese and Korean Studies, Københavns Universitet, 25.VIII.2007. [Abstract]
  • 2008

  • »The Unwritten and the Unread in Early Japanese Writing —A View from Onomastic Cases—«, 5th symposium The Idea of Writing — »The Unspoken Parts of Writing«, Universiteit Leiden, 15.V.2008.
  • »Zu den Fremdsprachenglossaren im Wakan Sansai zue 倭漢三才圖會 (1712)«, Mittagsforum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 04.VI.2008.
  • »Andreas Müller und sein Syllabarium Japanicum ([1684/]1703) — eine frühe Darstellung (nicht nur) der japanischen Silbenschrift und ihre Quellen«, Mittagsforum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 12.XI.2008.
  • 2009

  • »Mokkan 木簡, man’yōgana 万葉仮名 and the age of Sino-Japanese as we know it«, conference Ancient Japan — Origins and Formation, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 23.I.2009.
  • »Siebold und der Stand der westlichen Koreanischstudien im frühen 19. Jahrhundert, das ist: Erläuterung einiger Koreanica aus der Sieboldiana-Sammlung der RUB«, Mittagsforum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 29.IV.2009.
  • »Horncrowned at times, yet not diabolic but divine —On some cases of adaptation and transfer of the Korean script—«, 6th symposium The Idea of Writing — »Writing Across the Borders«, Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg, 19.V.2009.
  • »Erneut zu Andreas Müller und seinem Syllabarium Japanicum ([1684/]1703) — eine frühe Darstellung (nicht nur) der japanischen Silbenschrift und ihre Quellen« (erweiterte Fassung des Vortrags vom 12.XI.2008), invited talk, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Institut für Japanologie, 15.VI.2009.
  • 2010

  • »서양에 있어서의 한국어 연구사의 제문제 — 18세기 어휘집을 중심으로« [Einige Probleme der Forschungsgeschichte des Koreanischen im Westen, mit Schwerpunkt auf den Glossaren des 18. Jahrhunderts], 京都大学 / Kyoto University, 13.V.2010.
  • »Klaproth’s Korean kmis, or: On the manners of distortion of the Japanese and Korean scripts seen in some early foreign sources«, 7th symposium The Idea of Writing — »Lapses, glitches, blunders: going astray in writing systems« (09.–10.VI.2010), Einsiedeln, 09.VI.2010.
  • »Orthographical geminates in the han’gŭl transcriptions of Japanese in Ch’ŏphae sinŏ 捷解新語 revisited«, conference Japanese Times now Past (11.–12.VI.2010), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 12.VI.2010.
  • »Wie das Koreanische nach Borneo gelangte: Zur Genealogie und weiteren Problemen westlicher Wörtersammlungen des Koreanischen bis zum ausgehenden 18. Jahrhundert«, Vortrag an der Sektion Sprache und Kultur Koreas, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 17.VI.2010.
  • »Zwei neu entdeckte koreanische Quellen zur japanischen Sprache aus dem späten 18. Jahrhundert: Zu ihrer Provenienz sowie ihrem frühen Gebrauch durch europäische Gelehrte«, Fakultät für Ostasienwissenschaften, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 12.XI.2010.
  • [»新発見の欧州所在倭学書とその周辺«, conference 日韓言語学者会議—韓国語を通じた日韓両国の相互理解と共生— (12.–13.XI.2010), 麗澤大学 / Reitaku University, 13.XI.2010. (presentation cancelled, but included in conference volume)]
  • »朝鮮資料における並書表記とその解釈:ローマ字・キリル文字資料との対照から«, workshop 日本語音韻史の方法と実蹟, 大阪大学 / Osaka University, 11.XII.2010.
  • 2011

  • »ラング氏等の拗音説を評す:朝鮮資料が語るものと語らないものと«, workshop 古代日本語と琉球語の研究, 京都大学 / Kyoto University, 12.III.2011.
  • 2012

  • »W. H. Medhursts Translation of a comparative vocabulary of the Chinese, Corean, and Japanese languages (Batavia 1835): Neues zum Entstehungsprozess sowie zu Herkunft und Verbleib der verwendeten Quellen«, Antrittsvorlesung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 17.I.2012.
  • »Prenasalization in Japonic languages as seen in pre-modern foreign transcriptions: A look at the sources and their interpretation«, invited talk, The East Asian Linguistics Seminar (Hilary Term 2012), University of Oxford, 21.II.2012. [Abstract]
  • »Names reduced to writing & writing reducing names: Being some observations on early Japanese place name spellings«, 9th symposium The Idea of Writing — »Writing Names« (25.–27.VI.2012), Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris, 26.VI.2012. [Abstract]
  • »Ehrenrettung Julius Klaproths«, Mittagsforum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 04.VII.2012.
  • »On so-called genitive subjects in Classical Japanese (and beyond)«, conference Language and Literary Tradition of Old Japan, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Krakau, 22.XI.2012.
  • 2013

  • »諺文以呂波雑考«, workshop 琉球諸語と古代日本語に関する比較言語学的研究 (19.–20.II.2013), 京都大学 / Kyoto University, 19.II.2013.
  • »Aspects of polyglossia & polygraphia in pre-modern Japan«, 32. Deutscher Orientalistentag (23.–27.IX.2013), panel ‘Diglossic’ situations and their transformation in the modern era: East Asia and beyond, Münster, 24.IX.2013.
  • »Some notes on the provenance and whereabouts of (“)Siebold’s(”) (“)Korean(”) books«, 7th International Siebold Collection Conference (16.–18.X.2013), Leiden, 18.X.2013.
  • 2014

  • »シーボルトの朝鮮研究—朝鮮語関係の資料と著作に注目して«, conference シーボルトが紹介したかった日本 (11.–12.II.2014), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 11.II.2014.
  • »ボーフム大学に伝わるビュルガー・コレクションの写本、特に吉雄権之助の『下頽咨・英吉利言語小引』について / Zu den Bochumer Manuskripten aus Heinrich Bürgers Sammlung, insbesondere Yoshio Gonnosukes Korte inleiding tot de Nederduitsche en Engelsche taalen«, Siebold/Nagasaki workshop in cooperation with Seinan Gakuin University, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 26.VI.2014.
  • »The earliest Western account of the Korean script? Lorenzo Hervás and his Paleografía universal«, conference SCRIPTA 2014, The Hunmin jeongeum Society / Seoul National University, Seoul, 11.X.2014.
  • »Approaching the Korean language and script through cultural heritage: On the role of Tongŭi pogam 東醫寶鑑 in Julius Klaproth’s writings on Korean and his correspondence with the Humboldt brothers«, conference 제1회 경북대 국어국문학과 BK21플러스 사업단 국제학술대회: 세계기록유산과 한국 문화 / The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme and the Korean Culture, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, 13.X.2014.
  • »Some glimpses of Siebold’s original classification and arrangement of his papers (based on his inventories Verzeichniß der merkwürdigsten Handschriften and Literarische Beyträge meiner Japanischen Freunde)«, 8th Siebold Collections Working Conference, Siebold-Museum, Würzburg, 24.X.2014.
  • 2015

  • »Non-Korean sources on Korean historical phonology (or: Foreign renderings of Korean and Korean renderings of foreign languages as sources on Korean historical phonology)«, workshop on Korean linguistics, University of Vienna, 16.III.2015.
  • »外国資料の貢献と限界«, 60th International Conference of Eastern Studies / 第60回国際東方学者会議, symposium II: 日本語研究の現状と課題, Japan Education Center, Tōkyō, 15.V.2015.
  • [»Sino-Korean and Late Middle Chinese denasalization revisited«, 23rd Annual Conference of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (1st International Symposium on Sino-Korean Linguistics), Hanyang University, Seoul, 20.VI.2015. (conference postponed)]
  • »Desultory notes on Korean books in Europe up to the mid-19th century«, 27th AKSE Conference, Bochum, 12.VII.2015.
  • »Notes on the Relationship of Siebold and Klaproth: Fact and Fantasy«, 9th International Siebold Collection Conference (22.–24.X.2015), Leiden, 23.X.2015.
  • »Tangut coins in early numismatic publications in China, Japan and Europe«, Workshop on Tangut Studies, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg, 14.XII.2015.
  • 2016

  • »Japanese kana: mσraic σr syllabic? Cσnsiderations frσm a synchrσnic and diachrσnic perspective«, symposium The Idea of Writing — »Writing as a System: Emergence, Variation, Performance« (22,–23.VII.2016), NCCR Iconic Criticism, University of Basel, 23.VII.2016.