In the wake of economic and technological globalization, we are rapidly entering a situation where language ‘contact and change’ is unavoidable. For example, English has been regarded as the language of the Global Village and learned avidly by many speakers of other languages. Consequently, English words or English-like words are frequently used in their daily life, a linguistic phenomenon referred as code-mixing or lexical borrowing (Gumperz, 1982; Myers-Scotton, 1993). This phenomenon leads to another linguistic phenomenon, namely language change.
This paper is concerned with Korean language change in scope of its vocabulary in which English elements are most prevalent, and its implications for language identity. First, the paper presents an overview of the composition of Korean vocabulary. Next, it analyses main lexical characteristics of New Words published by the National Institute of the Korean Language (hereafter NIKL) (Jeong, Park, & Kim 2007). The lexical analysis is followed by an in-depth discussion on three critical issues implied in a report of a sociolinguistic survey conducted by the same Institute (Yang, 2005). Finally, the paper presents suggestions for language planning from a perspective of language identity.
|Keywords:||English and Korean in Contact, Language Change, and Language Identity|
Professor, Department of Languages and Cultures, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, USA
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