Sang-Im, Lee-Kim

[sáŋɪm] (이상임)


“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner,

but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”

Stephen Hawking <A Brief History of Time>

I am an associate professor in the Linguistics program of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) in Taiwan. My recent research program concerns topics in language acquisition and sound change.

Patterns of Sound Change: Taiwan Mandarin is well-known for the variable merging of the sibilants and nasals, and I have enthusiastically started various projects probing the relationship between abstract representations and their implementations. To learn more about this project, please check my talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibnQ34R7V4g&t=1383s (the Keio-ICU Linguistics Colloquium Series, July 2020)

Second Language Acquisition: one of my research programs addresses the broad question of how general cognitive biases and abstract phonological structures mediate the way in which novel categories are acquired by non-native speakers. I have developed various projects probing perception, production, and processing patterns of tones and segments by second language learners.

My name. I came to realize that the Korean naming system is quite unique, and some explanations might be appreciated by curious readers. My name is a full combination of my family: 'Lee' from my father, 'Kim' from my mother, 'Sang' shared by my siblings and 'Im' for my own. Though complicated, I like my name for that very reason. Perhaps, two things need to be further clarified.

Thing one. I like to have my mother's as well as my father's last name in my published work. Following tradition, however, I use a simpler form, Lee Sang-Im (이상임), for non-academic matters in Korea.

Thing two. The first syllable 'Sang' in my given name is shared by my siblings, an old tradition that is used to represent a particular generation in an extended family. Many people don't do this anymore or some families may not give the generational name to girls (!!), so do not assume this particular naming would also apply to other Koreans that you may encounter.