Cognitive Linguistics · Construction Grammar · Chinese Language· Psycholinguistics · Language Pedagogy

张榴琳 Liulin Zhang








​Liulin Zhang 张榴琳

The relationship between language and cognition motivated me to explore this topic.


Utilizing corpus data and experimentation, my research is completely based on language use. In my study, human cognition is primarily approached via lexical semantics, the conceptual schemas underlying language constructions and the interaction between them. The focus of my exploration is on the Chinese Language. Based upon the contrast between Chinese and other languages, I try to bring to light some general characteristics of  human conceptualization, as well as the special features of Chinese that need to be accounted for by extra-linguistic knowledge
including culture, geography, history, etc. In this process, the study
of Chinese characters plays an indispensible role in connecting the rich 
varieties of Chinese, and serves to shed light on lexical semantics as well.
I also try to show that the teaching of Chinese can be aided through a better 

understanding of both the general characteristics of human cognition
reflected in languages, and the special features found in Chinese.


With a picture description experiment, the present study finds that the more educated younger generation significantly use more 被 bei constructions than the less educated older generation. This reflects the fact that Chinese language modernization was initiated by private individuals especially translators, and that the written form they invented gradually became canons through education.

There continues to be a long-running debate concerning derivation of the Chinese OSV topic, specifically whether it is base-generated or movement-derived (e.g. 饭我吃了). The present study adopts a cross-modal antecedent priming experiment to tease apart these two hypotheses. The results are in favor of the base-generated hypothesis supporting the claim that Chinese sentences are topic-prominent, parataxis, and take bamboo-like structures.