Dr Kook-Hee Gil

Reader in Applied Linguistics, Graduate Director of English Language and Linguistics


Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA


My main research areas include syntax, semantics and second language acquisition.

After obtaining my BA in English Literature and Linguistics at Chungnam National University (Korea) in 1993, I came to the UK and completed all my postgraduate degrees at the University of Edinburgh: MSc in Applied Linguistics and in Speech and Language Processing in 1994 and 1995 respectively, followed by a PhD in 2000, with a thesis entitled "A formal account to Long-Distance Anaphora: the case of Korean" supervised by Ronnie Cann.

In 2001-2004, I worked as a research fellow for a AHRC funded project "Strategies of Quantification" at the University of York, before coming to Sheffield as a lecturer in Applied Linguistics in 2004.


My research areas are in Syntax, Semantics and Second Language Acquisition. 

My most recent research concern L2 acquisition of (wh)-quantifiers (L2 Korean and L1 English/Japanese/Chinese), L2 acquisition of bare plurals and count/mass distinction, and classroom implications by Generative SLA research.  The latter kind of research has led to a number of special workshops at conferences such as AAAL (2011), GASLA (2013) and LAGB (2016).

In the past, I worked on syntactic and semantic phenomena including binding, scrambling, topic/focus. (floating) quantifiers, classifiers and wh-indeterminates, also in Second Language Acquisition regarding those linguistic phenomena.


In the undergraduate programme, I teach Linguistic Theory, Semantics and Second Language Acquisition.  For the postgraduate programme, I contribute to MA in Applied Linguistics and teach 'Introduction to Language and Linguistics', 'Introduction to Second Language Acquisition', 'Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition' and 'Research Methods'.


I welcome PhD applications whose topics lie in L2 acquisition of syntax and semantics as well as in syntactic and semantic phenomenon aforementioned in my research profile. I have supervised on topics including L2 acquisition of article semantics and generics, mass-count distinction and plurality, prosody transfer hypothesis and null arguments.


  • Gil and Marsden (to appear). ‘L2 Acquisition of Korean wh Quantifiers: L1 transfer at the lexical mapping’. In Tsoulas, G. MIT Working papers (Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics) 
  • Gil, Marsden and Whong (2019). “The meaning of negation in the second language classroom”, Language Teaching Research. 23(2): 218-236 
  • Rastelli and Gil  (2018)  'No fear of George Kinglsley Zipf: Language classroom, statistics and Universal Grammar'. In Gil and Rastelli (eds) Special Issue: Second Language Teaching and Generative Linguistics' Instructed Second Language Acquisition. 2(2):242-264   (With S. Rastelli)
  • Gil, Marsden and Tsoulas (2018)  'Poverty of Stimulus and Language Acquisition: from Ancient Philosophy to Neuroscience'. In Wright, Piske and Young-Scholten (eds.). Mind Matters. Multilingual Matters. pp.52-71. 
  • Whong, Marsden and Gil (2018). ‘What is in the textbook and what’s in the mind: Polarity item any in learner English’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 40(1):91-118
  • Park and Gil (2016). ‘POS and the effect of Input: the case of Generics in L2 English’ Proceedings of the 13h Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (GASLA2015), In Stringer, D., J. Garrett, B. Halloran and S. MossmanSomerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. Pp.203-210
  • Whong, Gil and Marsden (2014).  Beyond paradigm: Second language acquisition and the language classroom. Second Language Research. 30(4): 551-568   
  • Gil and Marsden (2013). Existential quantifiers in second language acquisition: a feature reassembly account. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 3(2): 117–149.
  • Whong, Marsden and Gil (2013). ‘How we can learn from acquisition: The acquisition-learning debate revisited’. In J. Cabrelli Amaro, T. Judy & D. Pascual y Cabo (eds.) Proceedings of the 12th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2013). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. pp.203-210
  • Whong, Gil and Marsden (2013) . “Introduction: Generative second language acquisition and   language pedagogy”. In M. Whong, K.-H. Gil & H. Marsden (eds.) Universal Grammar and the second language classroom. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1–13. (with M. Whong & H. Marsden)
  • Gil, Marsden and Whong (2013). “Quantifiers: form and meaning in second language development”. In M. Whong, K.-H. Gil & H. Marsden (eds.) Universal Grammar and the second language classroom. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 139–159.
  • Gil and Tsoulas (2013). “Features, concord and quantification”, In Gil, K., S. Harlow and G. Tsoulas (eds.) Strategies of Quantification. Oxford: OUP. pp. 155-172. 
  • Gil, Marsden and Whong (2013). Can explicit grammar instruction serve as evidence for L2 grammar restructuring? S. Stavarakaki, P. Konstantinopoulou & M. Lalioti (eds.) Advances in language acquisition. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 328–336.  
  • Gil (2012). “Scrambling Chains and Long-distance Anaphors”, Bjarke Frellisvig, Jieun Kiaer and Janick Wrona (eds.) Studies in Japanese and Korean Linguistics. Muenchen: Lincom Europa. pp.48-61
  • Gil and Tsoulas (2011). “Elucidating the notion of syntax-pragmatics interface”, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. Vol. 1. Issue 1. pp. 104-107.