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Language and Body in the Use of the First-Person Pronoun in Korean

March 29, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am MDT

The Korean language has two forms of the first-person singular pronoun “I”: the plain form na and the humble form jeo. Traditionally, na and jeo (sounds similar to: “juh”) are known as self-reference forms. Using naturally-occurring spontaneous video data, this research elucidates the extended use of na “I” and the gestures used with na. The results show that Korean speakers switch from jeo “I” to na “I” in conversation when reporting their thoughts or the thoughts of others. Furthermore, they use distinctive pointing and touching gestures to refine their use of these reference forms in conversation.

Dr. Kyoungmi Ha is an Assistant Professor in Asian Studies (Korean Language & Culture) at California State University, Long Beach. She received her Ph.D. in Asian Languages & Cultures (Korean Linguistics) at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include discourse/conversation analysis, prosody, second language acquisition, and language pedagogy. Her current research explores the ways in which Korean speakers utilize sentence-ending suffixes to convey specific social actions and knowledge levels in both ordinary conversation and institutional talk. Using naturally-occurring conversation data, she examines the regularity of language use in social interactions.


March 29, 2019
10:30 am - 11:30 am UTC-6
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Asia Center


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