"A woman with a hot body but a baby face" and "a chic, smooth talker": Blending lexicon and shifting images on Korean TV.
This study examines creative uses of language blending and transforming imageson Korean TV. As the pressure to be proficient in English, reinforced by the Korean globalization drive called segyehwa (Lee, 2011), is mounting, the increasing presence of English expressions is observed in the entertainment media. Blending lexicon is a manifestation of both global consciousness and local sensibility. It concurrently manifests linguistic creativity and linguistic anxiety, both serving and challenging performers and viewers alike. Korean ‘entertainers’ use linguistic hybridization in their performance, euphemizing and mitigating potentially offensive and vulgar discourses, representing fresh concepts that recently emerged, repackaging old concepts in a new light, and marking both self and others’ identities. Language blending is often used in creating a comic relief and eliciting laughter from panelists and studio audience. TV functions as a cultural medium reflecting and reproducing hybridized linguistic practices, both real and imagined, and Korean celebrities utilize hybridized medialect to fulfill their roles as entertainers.
Jamie Shinhee Lee is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and editor of World Englishes in Pop Culture (with Yamuna Kachru) and English in Asian Popular Culture (with Andrew Moody). She specializes in Sociolinguistics and her research interests include world Englishes, language and popular culture, globalization and education policy, bilingualism, and Korean pragmatics /discourse analysis. Her articles have appeared in Asian Englishes, Critical Discourse Studies, English Today, English World-Wide, Harvard Studies in Korean Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Language in Society,Language Research, World Englishes as well as in several edited collections.