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

张榴琳 Liulin Zhang

“像学中文一样难!”

这句话在许多语言中成了谚语,大致相当于“难于上青天”。

确实这么难吗?倘若真的这么难,为何它能跨越空间跨越时间,
千年来为亿万人所使用?

还是说,它只是有点不同而已,和其他某些语言相比。

然而,纵使语言形式不同,所联系的社会文化背景不同,作为同一物种的人类,认知相通,语言成分表达的概念自然不会截然不同,语言成分的组合规律必然也会有相通之处。

从相通的认知出发,不同的部分,让它变成一篇篇故事,关乎文化、历史、地理……百科全书知识。

中文可以不再神秘。

​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.

MY LATEST RESEARCH

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.

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