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ERIC Number: EJ831220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Intergenerational Transmission of Cultural Values in Korean American Families: An Analysis of the Verb Suffix "-ta", Part One and Part Two
Park, Eunjin
Heritage Language Journal, v6 n2 p21-53 Fall 2008
Drawing on the concept of language socialization, this study investigates ways in which parents and grandparents of three-generational Korean-American households socialize children into certain cultural values through the use of a particular linguistic feature in Korean: the verb suffix "-ta". All six participating families had at least one child between the ages of two and four, spoke Korean as the mother tongue, and had at least one grandparent who regularly interacted with the child. Approximately 70 hours of family interactions were video-recorded and 202 utterances ending with "-ta" were examined. An analysis of the "-ta" utterances reveals that this linguistic marker is used mostly by Korean adults to compliment children's desirable behavior or accomplishments as well as to criticize their undesirable behavior. In addition, "-ta" is used by parents and grandparents to warn children of the consequences of their actions. Although the children were observed using "-ta" sometimes, their relatively restricted usage of this linguistic marker was confined to complimenting their own work rather than evaluating their parents' or grandparents' actions, thus reinforcing culturally asymmetrical power relationships between members of different generations in Korean-American families. This paper argues that learning the socially appropriate uses of linguistic markers in Korean such as "-ta" is made possible largely through sustained intergenerational interaction in informal family situations. The findings suggest the importance of intergenerational socialization in the transmission of heritage languages. (Contains 4 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A