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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: The use of English in Korean TV drama to signal a modern identity
Author: Alex Baratta
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: While code-switching is quite a common phenomenon, this paper seeks to investigate a common but underreported use of code-switching. In this paper, I focus on the use of code-switching from Korean to English in South Korean TV dramas. The paper first briefly discusses the literature on the connotations of English language in the Korean media and then proceeds to focus on code-switching using data sampled from three Korean TV dramas. The previous literature (e.g. Lee, 2006; Park, 2006, 2009) which discusses the use of the English language in the Korean media, argues that English carries connotations of modernity and power and this subsequently helps to construct a modern identity for Koreans. However, while Korean music, advertisements and comedies have been discussed with regard to their switches to English, there is little, if any research that focuses on switching to English in Korean TV dramas. The argument put forth in this paper is that switching to English in this context is often a means to reflect an identity of power for the characters and this subsequently might be a reflection of the power and dominance that the English language has in Korean society. In turn, this contributes to conclusions that a modern Korean identity of power derives from being proficient in English.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 30, Issue 3.

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