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Baby Talk in Korea

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2005, 13(1), pp.151-190
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Hahn-Sok Wang 1

1서울대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper presents a sociolinguistic description and analysis of baby talk as practiced by Korean caregivers, focusing on a special lexical set that has been traditionally associated with caregiver-child interaction. The first part of the paper describes the repertoire of baby words, which includes a total of 55 lexical items, and examines their primary meaning and general modes of usage. The second part of the paper analyzes the structural characteristics of Korean baby talk in terms of its semantic, morphological, and phonological features. The analysis is geared to the task of identifying a range of characteristics of Korean baby talk within the framework of tentatively posited cross-cultural universals. The third part of the paper describes some significant usage aspects of Korean baby talk, particularly in the context of child development and the language socialization process. Here a reference is made to the folk model of child development and language acquisition, which is explicated from the emic point of view in Korea, and some aspects of the secondary use of baby talk in Korea are briefly described.

Citation status

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