Yoolim Kim

DPhil Graduate
A photograph of Yoolim Kim


I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Korea Institute at Harvard University, funded by the Korea Foundation.

Prior to Harvard, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher within the Minds and Traditions Research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.


During my DPhil research at Oxford, I was interested in the various semantic networks that support the mental lexicon. My work explored the effects of Chinese Hanja characters on semantic processing in Korean. I was curious about how we resolve multiplicity in meaning, at various different levels, but particularly, at the sub-lexical level.

I was also interested in the idea of semantic competition and how we, as speakers, resolve competing meanings so seemingly effortlessly, even if meanings are implicitly encoded.

My DPhil research helped to answer some of these questions and I am grateful for the very generous support provided by the Clarendon and the Scatcherd.

This work dovetailed nicely with my broader interest in writing systems and the effects of different scripts on language processing.

Outside of this, I am interested in the syntax and pragmatics of honorific constructions in Korean, with ongoing collaborative work with Jamie Findlay.

In various former lives as an MPhil (Oxford) and as an undergraduate student (Wellesley) student, I explored other linguistic topics like phonetic cues to voicing in child-directed speech, and the vowels of Korean-English bilinguals (respectively). I still like to return to these projects whenever I can.


Recent publications:

Kim, Y., Kotzor, S., Lahiri, A. (2021). Is Hanja represented in the Korean mental lexicon?: Encoding cross-script semantic cohorts in the representation of Sino-Korean. Lingua (2021).
Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2021.103128


Recent presentations:

Kim, Y., Kotzor, S., and Lahiri, A. (2019) Hidden morphemic ambiguity and covert semantic processing. Talk given at the 21st Meeting of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics in Melbourne, Australia.

Kim, Y. and Lahiri, A. (2019) Semantic networks in the Korean mental lexicon. Poster presented at the Europe-Korea Conference on Science and Technology (EKC 2019).