Lucien Brown


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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

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Projects 2017 2022

Research Output 2008 2018

A Multiliteracies Approach to Teaching Korean Multimodal (Im)politeness

Yoon, S. & Brown, L., 2018, In : The Korean Language in America. 21, 2, p. 154-184 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Did Becky really need to apologise? Intercultural evaluations of politeness

Okano, E. & Brown, L., Aug 2018, In : East Asian Pragmatics. 3, 2, p. 151-178 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Multimodal indexicality in Korean: “doing deference” and “performing intimacy” through nonverbal behaviour

Brown, L. & Winter, B., 2018, In : Journal of Politeness Research. 15, 1, p. 25-54 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

(Im)politeness, Prosody and Gesture

Brown, L. & Prieto, P., 2017, The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)politeness. Culpeper, J., Haugh, M. & Kadar, D. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 357-379 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Other

Gender Identity in a Second Language: The Use of First Person Pronouns by Male Learners of Japanese

Brown, L. & Cheek, E., 4 Mar 2017, In : Journal of Language, Identity and Education. 16, 2, p. 94-108 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review