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KCI등재 학술저널

Code-Switching and Accents in Diasporic Multiethnic Literature in Min-Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires and Lisa See’s The Island of Sea Women

This article examines the literary representation of codeswitching and various accents between Korean and English in two minority women writers’ fictional territory portraying Korean American characters. Min-Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires and Lisa See’s The Island of Sea Women center around the lives of Korean American women who speak English as a primary language and Korean as a home language or heritage language. The characters’ idea of Korea and “Koreanness” mostly manifests in their identity formation, rather than in their linguistic proficiency or a sense of belonging. Heavily related to the language proficiency and identity of Koreanness, the Korean American protagonists alternate between the languages and accents in linguistic repertoire deeply rooted in sociocultural practices that reflect the concept of diaspora and one’s diasporic identity. Their strategic code-switching signifies how one’s diasporic, immigrant identity affects one’s choice of speech that meticulously synthesizes social values, cultural norms, and ethnic/racial belief systems not only emblematic of mainstream American society but also of a minority community as well.

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