Personal profile


I joined Monash in January 2018 as Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies. Prior to this, I was Associate Professor of Korean Linguistics at University of Oregon, USA (2011-2017). I obtained my MA in Korean Studies and PhD in Korean Language Research from SOAS University of London, UK.

I am an applied linguist who carries out research in two interrelated fields: politeness research and socio-cultural language learning/teaching.

In politeness research, I address the important 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, nonverbal behavior, 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.  


  • Pragmatics
  • Politeness Research
  • Pragmatics and Language Learning
  • Language and Identity
  • Language Pedagogy

Projects 2017 2022

Research Output 2011 2011

Korean Honorifics and Politeness in Second Language Learning

Brown, L. 2011 1st ed. Amsterdam The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 311 p. (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series; vol. 206)

Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook