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A corpus study of the introduction and use of ‘싱글맘(singeulmam)’ in the South Korean media

방미희 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study investigates the introduction and use of a new loanword singeulmam in the South Korean media, using a 40 million word corpus and Wordsmith Tools as the main analysis tool. The study firstly charts the entrance of the word into Korean, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the application of corpus methods for undertaking this type of task. Secondly, the examination of how singeulmam is defined reveals diverse interpretations of what singleulmam is, and negative social perceptions on women and marriage underlining the act of defining singeulmam. It is found that when singeulmom is used self-referentially, it usually refers to divorced women with children, while it tends to mean ‘미혼모(mihonmo: unmarried mother)’ in Korean when used by a third person to refer to someone else. Furthermore, when it is used to mean mihonmo, the collocational and contextual patterns of singeulmam are shown to construe women as a powerless beneficiary, reproducing the stereotypical representation of women labelled traditionally as minhomo. (160 words)

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.