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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.27 No.4 pp.197-221

A Study of South Korean Field Activists' Perceptions on the Speech of North Korean Defectors

Lee Jurang,Yang Sookyung
이화여자대학교 박사 수료・서울대학교 강사


The purpose of this study is to identify perceptions of South Korean activists who have been in contact with North Korean defectors, as well as to identify the characteristics of the voices in the field in comparison to the existing research results coming from academic circles. We conducted an in-depth interview with six South Korean activists who had long interacted with North Korean defectors. The research results are as follows. First, in the field, North Korean defectors’ language was viewed as one of the migrants who had been exposed to various environments rather than a sample of North Korean speech. Second, most informants hesitated to generalize the characteristics of North Korean defectors' speech. Rather, they pointed the speech variations found among North Korean defectors depending on various factors such as class, region of origin, generation, length of stay in South Korea, and age at time of entry. Third, they were wary of generalizing “straightness” as a characteristic of North Korean defectors' speech in recognition of the negative implications of the term. These suggest that there exists some gap between the results of academic circles done regarding North Korean defectors’ speech and language awareness in the field.

탈북민 화법에 대한 현장의 인식 연구

이화여자대학교 박사 수료・서울대학교 강사