Jae Young Song

Lecturer in Korean

Focused on Korean linguistics, language teaching, learner corpus, and dictionary. 

As a Korean linguist, my research has focused on Korean morphology, semantics, and pragmatics. My recent research, “Discourse Pragmatic Analysis on Korean Personal Pronouns” employs the methods of discourse analysis and corpus linguistics to investigate the usage and function of Korean personal pronouns in a variety of linguistic environments. The Korean language has a number of fascinating properties and the study of its pronouns provides a critical window into its unique organization. The results of my research, while providing important new conceptual information about Korean discourse pragmatics, also carry with them a practical utility for teaching Korean language in the classroom. Korean language learners typically have difficulties in choosing the correct pronouns in their conversation. However, I can now leverage cultural information and context related to gender, age, and social relationships into my language teaching lessons to increase student’s understanding of the usage and function of Korean pronouns and create a more effective language learning environment overall.

As a language teacher, I am interested in learner corpus, blended learning, and inclusive learning. At Wellesley College, I teach KOR101/102 “Beginning Korean” and KOR231/232 “Advanced Korean.” I have expanded on teaching and authentic assessment components, with the goal of bringing students in more on their own learning. My aim is for students to extend their linguistic capacity to an advanced conversational level, have confidence in their speaking, and enjoy learning Korean language and culture. Before I came to Wellesley College, I taught “Academic Writing,” “Korean language and literature,” as well as “Beginning/Intermediate Korean” at various universities in Korea.

I came to Boston in 2016 as a visiting fellow at Harvard Yenching Institute. At Harvard, I investigated the changes in the pronoun system and its usage aspect in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, through the establishment of ‘modern ego’ and ‘linguistic consciousness’ that are social and cognitive changes. I would love to extend my research into the area of anthropological linguistics as it relates to my study of the pronouns.

I am also interested in translation. My colleagues and I have translated two books, “제스처 (Original: Kendon, Adam (2004). Gesture, London: Cambridge University Press)” and “형태론의 이해 (Original: Haspelmath, Martin and Sims, Andrea D. (2010). Understanding Morphology 2nd edn. New York: Routledge).”


  • B.A., Yonsei University
  • M.A. Yonsei University
  • Ph.D., Yonsei University