Professor and Head of the Department of Asian Studies

On leave from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018

Major Research Interests:

1) History of language, writing and literary culture in the Sinographic cultural sphere, with a specific focus on medieval Korea and the interplay of cosmopolitan and vernacular in other regions of the Sinographic cosmopolis.

2) Korean historical linguistics (esp. Korean historical grammar, Middle Korean, pre-hangul sources on Korean, and the putative genetic relationship of Korean to Macro-Altaic, including Japanese);

3) Korean dialectology (esp. the dialect(s) preserved by the ethnic Korean minority in Russia and the former USSR, and ‘kyop’o Korean’ or diasporic varieties of Korean, in general);

4) History of Korean linguistics, including the history of Korean linguistic thought in Korea, Korean language and nationalism, Korean language ideologies, as well as the history of Korean linguistics and language pedagogy outside Korea;

5) Korean language pedagogy, including both post-secondary (university) and K-12 instruction. For the latter, please visit and go into the “Korean Language Village” pages. Please note that I do not accept graduate students or Visiting Scholars whose primary focus is Korean Language Education.


Ph.D. (Harvard, 1991)  Linguistics
M.A.  (Harvard, 1986)  Linguistics
B.A.   (Yale, 1983)      Linguistics (Japanese-Korean) and Political Science


1987a.  An Introduction to Soviet Korean.  Language Research 23  (2): 233-277.  Seoul: Language Research Institute.

1987b.  The Korean Elements in the Manchu Script Reform of 1632. Central Asiatic Journal 31 (3-4 Autumn):  197-217. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

1989.  The Korean Dialect Materials in Matveev’s Reference Book to the City of Vladivostok.  Language Research 24 (2): 281-329.  Seoul: Language Research Institute.

1991a.  A Soviet Korean Grammar from 1930.  Korean Language Education 3: 153-178.  Seoul: International Association for Korean Language Education.

1991b.  Mathin-Li uy Hankwuke ipmun (1969) ey say sayngmyeng ul tehamyense [Adding new life to Martin & Lee’s Beginning Korean].  Kyoyuk Hankul 4: 121-142.  Seoul: Hangŭl Hakhoe.

1992.  (and Jae-hoon Yeon).  The Koreans in Central Asia and their Language – Koryo mar (in Korean).  Hangŭl 217: 83-134.  Seoul: Hangŭl Hakhoe.

1993.  Archaisms and Innovations in Soviet Korean Dialects.  Language Research 28 (2): 201-223.  Seoul: Language Research Institute.

1994a.  History of Reported Speech in Korean.  Korean Linguistics 8: 1-38.

1994b.  Dialects and Dictionaries in North Korea (in Korean).  Sae Kugŏ Saenghwal 3 (4 – Winter 1993): 102-124.  Seoul: National Academy of the Korean Language.

1996a.  ‘Glasnost’ and Soviet Korean Literature.  Korean Culture 17 (4): 34-37.

1998.  KFL (Korean as a Foreign Language) vs. KHL (Korean as a Heritage Language) in North America and the former USSR: Ambiguous Priorities and Insufficient Resources.  Acta Koreana 1 (August 1998): 27-40.

2001a.  Cho Myonghui: Pioneer of Korean Proletarian Fiction, Father of Soviet Korean Literature.  Korean Culture 22 (3 Fall 2001): 18-23.

2001.  Blagoslovennoe: Korean Village on the Amur, 1897-1937.  The Review of Korean Studies 4 (2): 133-176.

2002a.  Kim Dong-Un and Ross King.  New Russian Materials on ‘Kaehwagi’  (Enlightenment Period) KoreanHangŭl (Journal of the Korean Language Society) 255: 205-262.

2005a.  Western Missionaries and the Origins and the Origins of Korean Language ModernizationJournal of international and area studies 11 (3): 7-38.  Seoul: Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University.

2005b.  Teaching Korean Language through Literature: Reflections on a Decade of Experience with Modern Korean Short FictionGugeo gyoyuk yeon’gu (The Journal of Korean Language Education) 14: 295-341.  Seoul: Korean Language Education Research Institute, Seoul National University.

2005c.  Traditional Korean fairy tales and contemporary Korean fiction: A case study of “The woodcutter and the NymphActa Koreana 8 (2): 17-48.

2005d. Fulton, Bruce and Ross King.  Parody in modern Korean fiction: An overviewActa Koreana 8 (2): 1-15.

2006.  Korean dialects in the former USSR: Reflections on the current state of researchPangenhak 3: 127-153.

2010. Pre-Imjin kugyŏl sources in North American library collections: a preliminary survey. Kugyŏl yŏn’gu 25, pp. 217-282.

2011. (co-authored with Dong-un Kim). 20 segi ch’o Rŏsia Tongbang Hagwŏn ŭi han’gugŏ haksupsŏ Chōsengo Dokugaku e taehayŏ [On the Korean language textbook Chōsengo Dokugaku from the Russian Vostochnyi Institut at the turn of the 20th century], Han’gugŏhak 50, pp. 51-80.



1993. Kim, German N., and Ross King.  Kul’tura, Istoriia i Iazyk Sovetskikh Koreitsev: Istoriografiia i bibliografiia [Culture, History and Language of the Soviet Koreans: Historiography and Bibliography].  Kazakhstan: Alma-Ata. 128 pp.  Revised edition out in 2001.

2000.  King, Ross, and Jae-hoon Yeon.  Elementary Korean.  Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle & Co.  409 pages.

2002.  King, Ross, and Jae-hoon Yeon. Continuing Korean.  Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing. 453 pages.

2005.  Kim, Dong-un, and Ross King.   Rosia Chonggyohoe kwallyon han’gul charyojip [Collection of han’gul materials from the Russian Orthodox Mission’s].  Introductory essay in Korean and reproductions of three different Russian Orthodox Church mission materials in Korea from 1905-1912.  Seoul: Kangnam Taehakkyo Inmun’gwahak Yon’guso. 208pp.

2007.  King, Ross, and Hajin Seo.  Hong Gildong, trans. Janet Hong and Leif Olsen, ed. Ross King and Bruce Fulton.  Seoul: Jimoondang. 73 pp.

2014. Koh, Jongsok, and Ross King. Infected Korean Language, Purity versus Hybridity: From the Sinographic Cosmopolis to Japanese Colonialism to Global English. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press. 324pp.

Edited Volumes

1998.  King, Ross, ed.  Description and explanation in Korean linguistic. Ithaca, New York: Cornell East Asia Series.  374 pages.

2001a.  Baker, Donald, Yunshik Chang, Nam-lin Hur, and Ross King, eds.  Korea Between Tradition and Modernity: Selected Papers from the Fourth Facific and Asian Conference on Korean Studies.  Vancouver, BC: UBC Institute for Asian Research.

2001b. Kim, German N., and Ross King, eds.  Koryo Saram: Koreans in the Former USSR.  Special issue of Korean and Korean American Studies Bulletin 12 (2/3).  New Haven, Connecticut: East Rock Institute. 189 pages.

2005.  Fulton, Bruce, and Ross King, eds.  Parody in Modern Korean Fiction. Special issue of Acta Koreana 8 (2).  122 pages.

2006.  King, Ross, Yong-gun Ko, Young-Wook Kim, Bon-Kwan Koo, Chung-Kon Shi, Dong-Ju Choi, Hyun-Kyung Yoo, Ikarashi Koichi, Jae-hoon Yeon, and So-Won Chang. Whither morphology in the new millennium?  Seoul: Pagijong Press. Xii + 318 pp.

2008.  Kim, German N., and Ross King, Area Editors.  “Part 1: Koryo Saram: Koreans in the Former USSR,” in Korean Diaspora: Central Asia, Northeast Asia and North America, Hesung Chun Koh, ed.  New Haven, CT: East Rock Institute. pp. 1-189.


1992.  “History of Korean Language Studies in North America (in Korean).” In Kugŏhak 100-nyŏn-sa, 4 volumes (Kim Min-soo Retirement volume), pp. 884-893, 1055-1066.  Seoul.

1996a.  “Korean Writing.”  In The World’s Writing Systems.  Peter Daniels and William Bright, eds.  New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 218-227.

1996b. Mair, Victor H., Janet S. (Shibamoto) Smith, and Ross King. 1996. “Comparative Table of Sinitic Characters.”  In The World’s Writing Systems. P.T. Daniels and W. Bright, eds.  New York, NY: Oxford U Press, pp. 252-58

1996c.  “Russian Loanwords in Hamkyeng and Soviet Korean Dialects.”  In  Essays in Honor of Ki-moon Lee.  Jae-Kee Shim, Hong-Pin Im, Young-Kun Ko, Sang-Oak Lee, Ik-Sop Lee, Myung-Ok Choi, Pyonggeun Lee and Hyeon-Hie Lee, eds.  Seoul: Shin-gu Publishing Co., pp.939-966.

1997a. “Language, Politics and  Ideology in the Post-War Koreas.”  In Korea Briefing. David R. McCann, ed. Asia Society, pp. 109-144.

1997b.  “Experimentation with Han’gul  in Russia and the USSR.”  In The Korean Alphabet:  History and Structure. Young-Key Kim-Renaud, ed.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 296-339.

1998.  “Nationalism and Language Reform in Korea: The Questione della lingua in Precolonial Korea.”  In Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity.  Timothy Tangherlini and Hyung-il Pai, eds.  Berkeley, CA: University of California (Center for Korean Studies Monograph Series) Press, pp. 33-72.

2001a. Kim, German N, and Ross King.  “Introduction.”  In Koryo Saram: Koreans in the Former USSR.  German Kim and Ross King, eds. Special issue of Korean and Korean American Studies Bulletin 12 (2/3).  New Haven, CT: East Rock Institute, pp. 1-18.

2001b.  Kim, German N, and Ross King.  “Bibliography of Works on the Koryo Saram, 1990-2000.”  In Koryo Saram: Koreans in the Former USSR.  German Kim and Ross King, eds. Special issue of Korean and Korean American Studies Bulletin 12 (2/3).  New Haven, CT: East Rock Institute, pp. 141-189.

2005.  “Korean grammar education for Anglophone learners: Missionary beginnings.”  In Han’gugo; kyoyungnon.  Kukche Han’gugo 2; Kyoyuk Hakhoe (IAKLE), eds.  Seoul: Han’guk Munhwasa, pp. 237-274.

2006a. “Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of: Language situation.” In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Ed, Keith Brown, ed.  Elsevier: Oxford, p. 234.

2006b. “Korea, Republic of (South): Language situation.”  In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Ed, Keith Brown, ed.  Elsevier: Oxford, p. 235.

2006c.  “Korean Kinship Terminology.”  In Language in Korean Culture and Society.  Ho-min Sohn, ed. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 101-117.

2006d.  “Dialect Variation in Korean.”  In Language in Korean Culture and Society.  Ho-min Sohn, ed. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 264-280.

2006e.  “Connecting dialects and kwukyel.”  In Hanmun tokpep kwa tong-asia uymunca [Hanmun reading techniques and writing in East Asia]. Kwukyel Hakhoy, eds.  Seoul: Thayhaksa, pp. 291-320.

2007a. “Language and national identity in the Koreas.”  In Language and national identity in Asia. Andrew Simpson, ed.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 200-235.

2007b.  “Globalization and the future of the Korean language: some preliminary thoughts.”  In Onohak sanch’aek [Promenades in linguistics]. Lee, San Oak, Choong-Yon Park, and James H. Yoon, eds.  Seoul: Han’guk Mnhwasa, pp. 317-347.

2007c.  Pungmi taehak ui kugŏ•han’guk munhak kyoyuk hyŏnhwang [Current status of Korean language and literature education in North America]. In Haeoe Hanʼgukhak paeksŏ.  Hanʼguk Kukche Kyoryu Chaedan (ed.). Seoul: Ŭryu munhwasa, 282-299.

2010a. “Dialect, Orthography and Regional Identity: P’yong’an Christians, Korean Spelling Reform, and Orthographic Fundamentalism.” The Northern region and Korean culture, history and identity. Ed. Sun Joo Kim. University of Washington Press, pp. 139-180.

2010b. (co-authored with German Kim) “Russian sources on the northern region of Korea from the 19th- and turn of the 20th centuries.” The Northern region and Korean culture, history and identity. Ed. Sun Joo Kim. University of Washington Press, pp. 254-294.

2011. “Monuments writ small: The politics of North Korean philatelic imagery and the commercialization of state sovereignty.” In: Rüdiger Frank (ed.), Exploring North Korean Arts. Vienna: Universität Wien and the Verlag für Moderne Kunst, pp. 192-240.

2012. James Scarth Gale, Korean literature in hanmun, and Korean books. In: Sŏul Taehakkyo Kyujanggak Han’gukhak Yŏn’guwŏn (eds.), Haeoe han’gukpon komunhŏn charyo ŭi t’amsaek kwa kŏmt’o. Seoul: Samgyŏng Munhwasa, pp. 237-264.

Conference Proceedings

1991.  “Korean Language Studies in the USSR: Past, Present and Future.” Ijungeoneohakhoe-ji 8: 42-153. Seoul: Korean Society of Bilingualism.

1994.  “Dialect Elements in Soviet Korean Publications from the 1920s.”  In NSL 7: Linguistic studies in the non-Slavic languages of the Commonwealth of Independent States and theBaltic Republics.  Howard I. Aronson, ed.  Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Linguistic Society: pp. 151-183.

2001a.  “Introduction: Language and Literature.”  In Korea between Tradition and Modernity: Selected Papers from the Fourth Pacific and Asian Conference on Korean Studies.  Yunshik Chang, Donald Baker and Nam-lin Hur, and Ross King, eds. Vancouver, BC: UBC Institute for Asian Research, pp. 317-319.

2001b.  “Blagoslovennoe: Korean village on the Amur, 1871 – 1937.”  In Vtoraia Kazakhstansko-Koreiskaya Mezhdunarodnaia Konferentsiia “Koreitsy i Tsentral’no-Aziatskii Region 2: 133-176. Almaty, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstansko-Koreiskii nauchnyi tsentr Almatinskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta.

2003.  “Can Korean-to-English literary translation be taught? Some recommendations for Korean funding agencies.”  Korean Literature Translation Institute, eds.  2002 Seoul Symposium on Literature and Translation, pp. 211-225.


Korean Language Institute of Yonsei University (ed.). 1992. Han’gugŏ 1 (Korean 1).  Seoul: Yonsei University Press. 279 pp.

Korean Language Institute of Yonsei University (ed.). 1992. Han’gugŏ 2 (Korean 2).  Seoul: Yonsei University Press. 299 pp.

Korean Language Institute of Yonsei University (ed.). 1995.  Han’gugŏ Parum (Korean Pronunciation ). Seoul: Yonsei University Press. 138pp.

Song, Lavrentii.  1987.  Masteritsa (The Master Seamstress).  Translated from the original Russian in Korean Culture 17 (4 Winter) 1996 issue, pp. 38-45.

Lee, Hyeon-hie.  1999.  Pre-modern Korean and Dictionaries of Pre-modern Korean.  Seoul: Journal of Korean Studies. 1999. 40+.

Ihm, Ho Bin, Kyung Pyo Hong, and Suk In Chang. 2001.  Korean Grammar for International Learners.  Seoul: Yonsei University Press. 442 pages.

Cho, Myonghui.  Naktong River.  Translated from the original Korean in Korean Culture 22 (3 Fall 2001), pp. 24-33.

Kim, Zong-su.  History and future of Hangeul: Korea’s indigenous script. London, England: Global Oriental Publishers.  150 pages.  2006.


Lee, Peter. “A Korean storyteller’s miscellany: the P’aegwan chapki of O Sukkwon“. King Alfred’s College. Winchester, England. 1991. Review of:  A Korean storyteller’s miscellany: the P’aegwan chapki of Ŏ Sukkwŏn. Princeton Library of Asian Translations. 1989. 312 pages. Literature and History, Second Series. 2.1 (1991): pp. 123 – 124.

2002. (Review article). The Korean Language. By Ho-min Sohn. Acta Koreana, vol. 5. no. 2, pp. 99-127.

2005.  “Introductory-level Korean Language Textbooks for the Anglophone Adult Learner: A Survey of Three Recent Publications.”  Journal of Korean Studies 10 (1): 145-190.


1992. (and Keith Howard). “Selling Korean Studies in Britain.”  Newsletter 1 (New Series): 9-16.  London: British Association of Korean Studies.

2005. 영어사용자들의 한국어학습이 어려운 이유. 대산문화 webzine, fall issue (가을호). Retrieve at:

Summer 2008.  “Sup Sogui Hosu: The Korean Language Village.”  Korean Quarterly: 12-13.

Works in Progress


“An Unpublished Soviet Korean Grammar from 1932”

“A Failed Revolution in Korean Writing: The Attempt to Latinize Korean Writing in the Soviet Far East, 1928-1934”

The Korean Language in Imperial Russia. (2 vols.: pre-1917 written sources)

The Korean Language in the USSR. (2 vols.: post-1917, pre-1937 written sources, and oral materials recorded in the field, 1986-1999)

Soviet Korean Literature from the 1920s and 1930s (4 vols. of reproductions, with an introductory essay)

(and Hyeonhee Lee) Samkang Hayngsilto: Illustrated Conduct of the Three Bonds (Annotated English translation of the British Library copy)

Tales from Choson Korea: selections from the Kimun ch’onghwa”, translated by James Scarth Gale and edited by Ross King, Bruce Fulton and Sinae Park.

(and Nelli Pak) A Dictionary of Soviet Korean Yukchin Dialect.

KORN 102 – Basic Korean

KORN 300 – Readings in Korean Topics

KORN 410 (A, B, C) – Modern Korean Short Fiction

KORN 411: Readings in Korean Non-Fiction

KORN 440 – Supervised Study in the Korean Language

ASIA 570B (008) Language and Colonialism in (mostly East) Asia
This course examines the relationship between colonialism and language, especially with respect to (mainly East) Asia. Topics covered include: orientalism, 19th-century philology, and the rise of modern linguistics; colonialism and missionary linguistics; colonialism and the rise of modern national languages in Asia; colonial educational and language policies and their legacies in Asia; the problem of cosmopolitan vs. vernacular in Asian colonial contexts; colonialism, linguistic thought and language ideology; elite bilingualism under conditions of colonialism; language contact and language change under colonialism; etc. Special attention is paid to British colonialism in India and Japanese colonialism in Korea and Taiwan.
Sample readings: L-J Calvet (1974/2002): Linguistique et colonialisme: petit traité de glottophagie; Cohn (1996): Colonialism and its forms of knowledge: The British in India; J. Errington (2008): Linguistics in a colonial world: a story of language, meaning, and power; J. Fabian (1986): Language and colonial power. The appropriation of Swahili in the former Belgian Congo, 1880-1938; W. Koyama (2003): Language and its double: a critical history of metalanguages in Japan (PhD dissertation, U Chicago).

ASIA 582 (A, B, C): History and Structure of the Korean Language

This course covers the essentials of the structure of Middle Korean as well as the central features of the diachronic changes from Middle Korean into modern Korean dialects through a combination of readings in 15th-century Korean texts and 20th-century scholarship on the history and structure of Korean. Attention is also paid to the history of writing in Korea, and to the basic bibliographic tools necessary for work with premodern texts in vernacular Korean. Req’d texts: S. E. Martin (1992): A reference grammar of Korean; Ko Yengkun (1987): Phyocwun cwungsey kwuke munpeplon; R. King and H. Lee (forthcoming): Samgang haengsilto: annotated translation of the Illustrated Conduct of the Three Bonds.

ASIA 583: Topics in Modern Korean Literature

ASIA 584: Topics in Pre-modern Korean Literature

ASIA #TBA – Language, writing and history: the rise of language standards and standard languages in (mostly East) Asia

This course examines topics such as: poststructural approaches to language and communication; language, language ideology and the politics of language in (mostly East) Asia in modern times (1850s-present); the social history of language and the problem of how to historicize language and writing (especially in Asia; language and national/ethnic identity in Asia; case studies specific to Asia and the interests of the students in the course.
Sample readings: R. Harris (1998): Introduction to integrational linguistics; J. Blommaert, Jan. (ed.) (1999): Language ideological debates; D. Cameron (1995): Verbal hygiene; J. E. Joseph (1987): Eloquence and power: the rise of language standards and standard languages. A. Simpson (ed.) (2007): Language and national identity in Asia.

ASIA # TBA – Language and Migration: with a focus on Asia and Asian Diaspora

This course uses models of immigration, language contact, and language maintenance and shift to examine questions like: What are the linguistic consequences of immigration? How are immigrant languages changed by contact with the host country’s language–and vice versa? What generalizations can be made about language choice and functions, language learning, and interlingual communication in immigrant settings? What effect do national policies have on immigrants and their languages? What is the relationship between language and identity? How do homeland language ideologies affect language maintenance in diaspora? All with a focus on Asian languages and diasporas and specialized readings targeted at the language expertise of the students.
Sample readings: M. Clyne (2003): Dynamics of Language Contact: English and Immigrant Languages; S. Ryang (1997): North Koreans in Japan: language, ideology and identity; Gardt & Hüppauf (eds.)(2004). Globalization and the future of German: with a select bibliography; D. Brinton (ed.)(2008): Heritage language education: a new field emerging; P. Trudgill (1986): Dialects in contact; M. Clyne (1994): What can we learn from Sprachinseln?: Some observations on ‘Australian German’; N. Dorian (ed.) (1989): Investigating Obsolescence: Studies in language contraction and death; A. C. Zentella (1997): The hows and whys of “Spanglish.” P. Schach (ed.)(1980): Languages in Conflict: Linguistic Acculturation on the Great Plains; M. Clyne (1992): “The Structure of ‘Migrant Languages’”; J. Maher (1985): Contact linguistics: the language enclave phenomenon (Unpublished PhD dissertation, NYU).