Sun-hee Lee

Sun-Hee Lee
(781) 283-2427
East Asian Languages & Cultures
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Yonsei University; Ph.D., Ohio State University
Green Hall 234E

Sun-Hee Lee

Associate Professor of Korean

Focused on Korean language and culture, particularly corpus-based analysis of Korean and learner error corpus

In broad terms, I define myself as a theoretical linguist who specializes in corpus linguistics and computational linguistics with a focus on the Korean language. The rise of computational linguistics and corpus linguistics over the past several decades has brought remarkable change in the fields of theoretical and applied linguistics; it has provided new linguistic methodology and contributed to rigorous linguistic research by facilitating access to new forms of data and new modes of management. The term 'corpus' refers to a database of "real world" texts or utterances; that is, it is a collection of empirical language samples, such as spoken discourses from conversations, addresses, and lectures, and written texts including newspaper articles, essays, and academic texts.
My research falls into two main areas that vary by data type: one area focuses on native language and the other, on learner language. In the first area, I have provided corpus-based analysis of various linguistic phenomena of Korean. I have been particularly interested in anaphors (such as pronouns and reflexive pronouns in English) and also in particles, which combine with nouns and specify their grammatical functions. In the second main area of my research, I have focused on developing annotated learner corpora, i.e. texts of learner language (such as English produced by Chinese learners of English). Annotated learner corpora are useful for developing or testing new hypotheses, generalizations, and computational. My further goal is to develop an automatic error processing system, which is an integral part of Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL). ICALL is an emerging interdisciplinary field that aims to integrate linguistic knowledge and cutting-edge technology and develop automatic systems for processing learner language.
I am currently working on a new book, A Corpus-Based Analysis of Korean Anaphors: Pronouns, Reflexives, and Zero Pronouns funded by Promoting the Humanities Project of the National Research Foundation of Korea and a learner corpus with error annotation. I am also interested in applying linguistic analysis to literary texts and films and to developing new interdisciplinary projects on language, gender, and culture. 
As the faculty member who has been in charge of the new language program at Wellesley, I am profoundly grateful for the unique opportunity given to me to develop a new curriculum for the Korean program. My classes include language courses for first-year, second-year, and fourth-year Korean. I teach an introductory course in Korean language and culture and a sociolinguistic seminar on gender and language in Korean culture. In addition to classroom teaching, I have supervised student thesis research and their preparations for graduate study or professional career. As a teacher, I value critical thinking, analytical skills, and the application of knowledge to solve real world problems. In this process language plays a critical role; flexible communication skills facilitate learning, help individuals to embrace other cultures, and promote dynamic human interactions. My primary goal is to foster the ability of students to internalize knowledge and language skills, and to develop creativity and self-confidence in applying their own problem-solving skills to many aspects of life as life-long independent learners. I would like to combine my research interest in linguistic analysis of literary texts and translation to offer additional new courses related to language, translation, and discourse analysis.
In addition to professional activities, I enjoy yoga, jogging, hiking, cooking, travelling, reading, movie watching, and relaxing at home.