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Lucien Brown

Associate Professor, Korean Linguistics
East Asian Languages
Phone: 541-346-4103
Office: 425 Friendly Hall


Focusing on the Korean language, my research spans two interrelated fields: politeness research and socio-cultural language learning/teaching.

In politeness research, I address the imnportant question of how grammaticalized honorifics systems in languages such as Korean and Japanese can be integrated within a more holistic understanding of politeness. I look at speech style shifting and the emergence of alternative contextually produced meanings of honorifics, including impoliteness and sarcasm. My current projects explore the importance of multi-modalities in the communication of politeness in Korean honorific and non-honorific speech, including auditory modalities (i.e. phonetics) and visual modalities (i.e. gesture, body language, etc.).

In socio-cultural language learning/teaching, I investigate the influence of identity on the way that second language learners of Korean acquire politeness forms and other social categories, particularly during study abroad. My research shows that even learners with advanced competence in Korean and/or who have lived in Korea for extended periods of time differ qualitatively from native speakers in the ways that they use honorifics and address terms. The reason for these differences lies not in their language competence as such, but in the identities, roles and relationships that these learners establish in Korean society. 

It is important for me that the study of second language acquisition has practical pedagogical applications. To this end, I have a keen interest in Korean language pedagogy, particularly in developing techniques for teaching politeness and other social functions of language.  


Brown, L. and Yeon, J. (eds.) (2015). The Handbook of Korean Linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Brown, L. (2011). Korean Honorifics and Politeness in Second Language Learning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Yeon, J. and Brown, L. (2011). Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar. London/New York: Routledge.

Journal Articles:

Brown, L. (2015). Revisiting "polite"-yo and "deferential" -supnita speech style shifting in Korean from the view point of indexicality. Journal of Pragmatics, 79: 43-59

Brown, L. (2014). An Activity-Theoretic Study of Agency and Identity in the Study Abroad Experiences of a Lesbian Non-Traditional Learner of Korean. Applied Linguistics.

Kim, E. and Brown, L. (2014). Negotiating Pragmatic Competence in Computer Mediated Communication: The Case of Korean Address Terms. CALICO Journal, 31(3).

Brown, L., Winter, B., Idemaru, K., and Grawunder, S. (2014). Phonetics and Politeness: Perceiving Korean Honorific and Non-Honorific Speech through Phonetic Cues. Journal of Pragmatics 66: 45-60.

Brown, L. (2013). "Oppa, hold my purse": A Sociocultural Study of Identity and Indexicality in the Perception and Use of Oppa 'Older Brother' by Second Language Learners. The Korean Language in America 18: 1-22.

Brown, L. and Iwasaki, N. (2013). L1 Transfer in the L2 Acquisition of Korean Case Particles: The Role of L1 Proximity and Individual Learner Perceptions. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 10(2): 176-195

Brown, L. (2013). “Mind your own esteemed business”: Sarcastic Honorifics Use and Impoliteness in Korean TV Dramas. Journal of Politeness Research 9(2): 159-186.

Brown, L. (2013). Teaching ‘Casual’ and/or ‘Impolite’ Language through Multimedia: The Case of Non-Honorific Panmal Speech Styles in Korean. Language, Culture and Curriculum 26(1): 1-18.

Brown, L. (2012). The Use of Visual/Verbal and Physical Mnemonics in the Teaching of Korean Hangul in an Authentic L2 Classroom Context. Writing Systems Research, 4(1), 72-90.

Brown, L. (2010). Politeness and Second Language Learning: The Case of Korean Speech Styles.Journal of Politeness Research, 6(2), 243-270.

Brown, L. (2010). Questions of Appropriateness and Authenticity in the Representation of Korean Honorifics in Textbooks for Second Language Learners. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 23(1), 35-50.

Brown, L. and Yeon, J. (2010). Experimental Research into the Phases of Acquisition of Korean Tense-Aspect: Focusing on the Progressive Marker “-ko issta”. Journal of Korean Language Education 21(1), 151-174. [paper in Korean]

Book chapters:

Brown, L. Iwasaki, N. and Lee, K. (2015). Implementing Multiliteracies in the Korean Classroom through Visual Media. In Kumagai, Y., Lopez-Sanchez A., and Wu, S. Multiliteracies in World Languages Education. London: Routledge.

Brown, L. (2013). Identity and Honorifics Use in Korean Study Abroad. In Kinginger, C. (ed.), Social and Cultural Aspects of Language Learning in Study Abroad, 269-298. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Iwasaki, N, Brown, L., Kita, S. and Vinson, D. (2012). Japanese and Korean Speakers’ Production of Mimetic Words. In Frellesvig, B. and Sells (eds.), P, Japanese/Korean Linguistics, Vol. 20. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Brown, L. (2011). Korean Honorifics and ‘Revealed’, ‘Ignored’ and ‘Suppressed’ Aspects of Korean Culture and Politeness. In Bargiela-Chiappini, F. and Kádár, D. (eds.), Politeness across Cultures, 106-127. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Brown, L. (2011). Pragmatics and Korean language education. In Yeon, J., Current Issues in Korean Language Education in Europe, 135-155. Seoul: Pagijong. [Paper in Korean]

Brown, L. (2010). Use of Referent Honorific Lexical Substitutions by Korean University Students. In Yeon, J. & Kaier, J. (eds), Selected Papers from the 2nd European Conference on Korean Linguistics, 27-44. Munich: Lincom Europa.


I teach Korean linguistics and East Asian linguistics courses, including courses on socio-pragmatics, second language acquisition and language pedagogy. The fields of linguistics that I teach tend to rely heavily on empirical research. Therefore, it is important for me that my courses provide some degree of training and practical experience in data collection and analysis.

Courses I Teach:
EALL209 Languages and Societies of East Asia
KRN309 Languages and Cultureal Formation in Korea
KRN315 Introduction to Korean Linguistics
KRN410/510 Korean Pedagogical Grammar
EALL441/541 Japanese and Korean Syntax
EALL442/542 Second Language Acquisition of Chinese, Japanese and Korean
EALL443/543 Chinese, Japanese and Korean Pedagogy
EALL486/586 East Asian Socio-pragmatics