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The Formation and Use of Korean Acronyms

  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • 2024, 71(), pp.77-102
  • DOI : 10.21049/ccs.2024.71..77
  • Publisher : Center for Cross Culture Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Literature
  • Received : January 10, 2024
  • Accepted : February 6, 2024
  • Published : February 29, 2024

SeonYeong Lee 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we looked at how acronyms are created and how they are used in the Korean language. First of all, we found that acronyms are abbreviations of words in Korean that express the same meaning as the original word by cutting only the initial consonants of each syllable. We also saw that the background of the creation of such acronyms involves the perception of the syllabic decomposition, and the phenomenon of semantic condensation. In addition, we found that although acronyms were said to have originated from internet communication languages, there were examples of their use from earlier periods. We also found that the use of internet communication languages such as Oegye-eo(외계어) or Yaminjeongeum(야민정음) has disappeared after being used for a short period, while acronyms that originated from internet communication language are still being used actively to this day due to their conciseness and clarity of meaning. In fact, their usage range is gradually expanding. And we looked at two cases in terms of the use of acronyms. First, acronyms are presented and the original word is found in them. This is used in quiz programs and search terms. Second, the original word becomes an acronym. This includes cases where it replaces prohibited words, taboo words, slang, etc., or when it functions as an onomatopoeia. Just as it is a natural phenomenon that a word is created out of necessity and then disappears when it does not gain social acceptance, the creation and various uses of abbreviations such as acronyms in Korean are also a linguistic phenomenon that needs to be observed and studied.

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