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A Creative and Innovative Approach to Korean Communication Language: Morphonological Features and Word-Formation Processes

Posted By admin On May 31, 2013 @ 9:14 am In Abstracts for 2013, Linguistics and Language Teaching | Comments Disabled

Vladislava Mazana, Ph.D. student

Institute of South and Central Asia

Charles University in Prague

Czech Republic


The main aim of this paper is to analyze grammatical means that are used to express illocutionary force in the Korean communication language. T’ongsinŏnŏ (communication language) is defined as a social dialect used by a community of pc, internet or mobile phone users. This study is focused on language use in speech acts as they are performed in conversations in social networks. A lot of research in the field of Korean internet communication language and youth speech has been done by the Korean linguistic I Chŏng­-buk. However, the issues related to discourse analysis of the newly established sociolect have almost been disregarded. The importance of this study that is based on an empirical research of written discourse lies in the fact it reflects the current development of Korean language. The study is not aimed at reflecting fashion­-dependent and often short­-term trends. Rather than this overall processes and principles are being analyzed.

This paper is focused on two topics: morphonological features and word-formation processes in the Korean internet dialect. Both of these topics are influential to the illocutionary force in online discourses. Therefore a relation to discourse analysis is examined. Regarding morpho-phonological features, the research is aimed at analyzing morpho-phonological alternations such as using regular vowels in place of double vowels (ㅘ > ㅏ), replacing regular vowels with their iotized counterparts (아 > 야), adding consonant finals in the last syllables (-ㅇ, -ㅁ, -ㄴ, -ㅅ, -ㅂ, -ㅋ) etc. The role of vocal harmony is questioned.

The functions of these alternations are investigated e.g. their role as semantic intensifiers or as means to enhance intimacy, expressivity etc. A typical characteristics of internet dialect or slang is violation of grammar rules and misspellings. The Korean script hangŭl enables its users of more creativity. Actually, new rules for “virtual Korean” can be established. Significant changes are visible in verb forms, verb ending in particular. Many of the changes have their origin in spoken language, i.e. economic use of language, abbreviations, ellipsis. Elliptical constructions are often accompanied by emoticons which take over the role of interpuntion or paralinguistic features. Interestingly, emoticons sometimes melt with words, there is a visual effect. Since the internet sociolect is performed in written form, the graphics is very important.

Creativity and innovation is mostly applied in the area of word-formation. Not only the Korean script hangŭl but the possible parallel use of Chinese characters and Latin script play an important role in formation of neologisms. Principles of new word-formation include shortening and extending of syllables and words, upper or lower binding of consonants etc. There is an immense impact of English, many neologisms consist of an English morpheme, there are also possible combinations of both Korean and Sino-Korean morphemes. This paper examines contemporary Korean language transmitted through social networks, emphasis is put on creative and innovative approach to language and an establishment of new rules for morphonological alternations and word-formation processes is attempted.


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URL to article: http://www.najaks.org/?p=1057