College of Arts & Sciences

Department of English

Research Teaching Publications Talks




Min-Joo Kim


Ph.D., UMass Amherst, 2004

Professor, Linguistics

Affiliated Faculty Member, Philosophy

Texas Tech Linguistics Program




Skype: minkim.lee1

Email: min-joo.kim"AT"ttu.edu


Hi. I'm a theoretical linguist specializing in syntax, semantics, and the syntax-semantics interface. When I was little, I wanted to become a bakery owner, a singer, an actress, a creative writer,  and/or a Supreme Court justice. And back in college and graduate school in South Korea, I majored in English education and English literature. So becoming a linguist was something I didn't quite expect. But this accidental path has taken me to a place that I'd call a utopia (well, most of the time!).

People like me do linguistics largely because it's fun, but the more important reason is that only humans are endowed with a linguistic ability that is unbounded in scope. So by studying human language scientifically (which is what linguists do for a living), we can have a better understanding of the human mind and ultimately what it means to be human in ways different from other species.

Incidentally, many linguists are actually pretty good at baking, singing, judging, and even acting, not to mention writing and arguing, so living as a linguist has turned out to be not exactly incompatible with my earlier dreams!


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