Hyoun-A Joo

Teaching Postdoc of German

Member Of:
  • School of Modern Languages
Email Address:
Office Location:
Savant 307D
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Hyoun-A Joo's overarching research interests lies in language contact and its intersections with culture and society. More specifically, she is interested in second language acquisition by adults as foreign language skills are an increasing demand and asset in today's world. She is particularly interested in immigrant populations who acquired their second language more naturally by living and working in the host community rather than through extensive classroom instruction. In her dissertation Clausal architecture in naturally acquired German: Korean immigrants in Germany, she worked with Korean immigrants who came to Germany in the 1960s and 70s for work purposes. She investigated their acquisition of the German clausal structure (V2 and V-final) by employing two language acquisition models in the tradition of generative syntactic theory.

A second area of research interest are heritage languages and communities. During her graduate studies, Hyoun-A worked with Mennonite heritage German speakers in Kansas and explored certain syntactic and phonetic structures of their heritage German as well as their immigration history and the course of their language usage, preservation, and eventual danger of loss. 

  • Ph.D. in German and Language Science, Pennsylvania State University (2018)
  • Magistra Artium in Neuere deutsche Literatur (Contemporary German Literature), Freie Universität Berlin (2007)
Awards and
  • Graduate Exhibition Award (Arts & Humanities), Penn State, 2018
  • Institute for Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Residency, Penn State, 2017
  • Center for Global Studies Career Development Award, Penn State, 2016
Areas of
  • Generative Linguistic Theory
  • German Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Syntax
Research Fields:
  • German
  • Korean
  • Linguistics
  • GRMN-1001: Elementary German I
  • GRMN-3071: Intro-Business German I
  • GRMN-3695: Structure,Commun&Corr
All Publications

Journal Articles