Portrait of Korean adolescent: Verbal signs in IU's song lyrics

Dina Amalia Ikramina, Putu Pramania Adnyana, A. Nazarudin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Adolescence is a phase that brings a significant change in one's life development process. Emotional management and self-control matter much in this phase since it can prevent adolescent from behavioral problems. In addition, teenagers will also face expectations from the surrounding people and identity crisis. This can trigger stress and poor emotional management which can cause them to do things to vent their emotions, such as alcoholic, and addiction, drug addiction, and even to suicide. However, most of singers in Korea were debuted at this range of age. Thus, it can be said that they need to adapt in new world and role as a singer in a relatively young age, which can be challenging and depressing as well. One of the ways to manage emotion can be done by writing song lyrics. SA song lyric may become a platform for singers to share their feelings and thoughts, especially for singers who write their own song lyric. Therefore, song lyrics can also be used to know observe the psychological condition of the singer. This research attempts to explain the psychological condition of Korean woman singer named IU through her song lyrics. She is known as one of the most representative woman soloist in Korea who has started her career since her adolescence. Previous studies related to singer's psychological condition analysis through song lyrics had been widely conducted. However, research that focus on not many discussed the singer's psychological condition of the singer during a specific period in his life is still scarce. Hence, this research focus on analyzing IU song lyrics during her adolescence. This study aims to describe the psychological condition of IU as an adolescent seen from verbal signs within her song lyrics. By applying Peirce's semiotic theory, this research utilizes 60 song lyrics released when IU was 13 to-20 years old as corpus data. Frequent words appeared in the lyrics then considered as sign and classified into sign related to way of thinking and interpersonal relationship. Based on the result of the study, the result shows that the psychological condition of IU during her adolescence years can be seen through two aspects, which is the development of paradigm mindset and interpersonal relationship. The development of paradigm mindset aspect includes a less immature way of thinking and a formal way of thinking. The A less immature way of thinking can be seen through a self-centered way of thinking egocentrism and ideal concept. Meanwhile, IU's interpersonal relationship can be seen through her interaction with opposite gender, friends, and older people. This study concludes that a self-centered way of thinking egocentrism influences as the singer's paradigm and interpersonal relationship. In addition, there are also indications of the singer's emotional behavior in facing romance matters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn Language, Education, Politics, and Identity
Subtitle of host publicationA Cross-Linguistics Perspective
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781536193374
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021


  • Adolescent psychology
  • IU
  • Korean
  • Semiotic
  • Song lyric


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