Coming Home

Sometimes the discovery of roots can be an exhilarating experience, but for Asian-Americans it’s often very difficult to come to Asia. In Korea there’s a strong prejudice against those who’ve emigrated to the West, as if those who left were somehow traitors. Ethnic Koreans who don’t speak Korean at a native speaker level are often looked down on—or envied because of their ability to speak English.

In my 1990 MA paper for the Linguistics Department at the University of Pittsburgh, I presented statistically significant evidence of  language as a component in the ethnic boundary, namely that Koreans tend

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