Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2019

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Beckman, Jill

First Committee Member

Niño-Murcia, Mercedes

Second Committee Member

Yoon, Sang-Seok


In the last few decades, a rise in Korean speakers’ borrowing from English has led to a rich pool of contemporary Anglo-Korean vocabulary, also known as English loanwords. Despite the English roots of these borrowed words, their usage in a Korean context is often non-uniform and non-traditional; this process of borrowing, reshaping, and dispersing borrowed vocabulary provides insights on the dynamics of Korean society and its relationship to global English-speaking communities.

In order to investigate the variations on Korean speakers’ use of Anglo-Korean words and their potential correlations with various factors, I conducted interviews with 24 native Korean speakers in Seoul, Korea in the summer of 2018. Subjects were diverse in their age, gender, and occupation. I analyzed the r speakers with a preference of Sino-Korean words, speakers with a preference of Anglo-Korean words, and speakers with a speech mixed of Korean, Korean English, and American English.

I identified two variables as the most significant causes of diversity of speech: 1) age and 2) exposure to English. I established that 80% of my subjects over the age of 60 fell into the Sino-Korean-dominant category, and the best indicator of a subject being a translingual speaker was an increased exposure to English. In order to expand on evidence from my interviews, I historically contextualize Korean language in society alongside current ideologies related to language in Korea. In so doing, I explore the relationship between these variables and the language varieties of individual speakers. I argue that because a speaker’s age and exposure to English shapes the language variety they use and the language ideology in Korea touches individual speakers in different ways, native speakers in today’s Korea use several language varieties. These findings challenge the notion of a linguistically and ethnically homogeneous Korea and shed light on the current status of Korean English and American English in Korea.


English, Korean, Korean English, Language varieties, Translanguaging, World English


ix, 77 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 67-70).


Copyright © 2019 Linda Seojung Park

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