skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

Asymmetric syntactic and thematic reconfigurations in English/Chinese and Chinese/English L2 grammars

Research Students' Seminars on Second Language Chinese

Asymmetric syntactic and thematic reconfigurations in English/Chinese and Chinese/English L2 grammars

The second seminar of 2013-14 Lent Term will take place on Friday, 21st February, in Room 7 (ground floor) at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The speaker will be Y.-H. Huang (FAMES), who will present her PhD project on Asymmetric syntactic and thematic reconfigurations in English/Chinese and Chinese/English L2 grammars (see abstract below). The seminar starts at 4pm and ends at 6pm.

The Research Students' Seminars on Chinese as a Second Language are held by the L2 Chinese research group of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The aim of these seminars is to provide research students with a platform to discuss recent development in the field, to present their research work and to receive feedback from teaching staff and fellow students. The seminars are supervised by Dr Boping Yuan.

All are welcome!

Abstract

 This study investigates the asymmetric syntactic and thematic reconfigurations in the acquisition of Chinese and the acquisition of English as a second language. It has been suggested that the study for L2 syntactic structures and the study for L2 thematic structures should be distinguished (Zhao 2006, Yuan and Zhao 2010); therefore, this study will explore the relationship between lexical semantics, argument structure and syntax in terms of the unaccusative/unergative distinction.

Huang (2007, 2010) extends the unaccusative/unergative dichotomy to all Chinese predicates, including all intransitive, transitive, and ditransitive verbs. Appealing as this proposal is, some Chinese data will be presented in this seminar to argue for and against Huang’s proposal for variations do exist in sub-types of verbs.

Furthermore, Applicative Operation (Pylkkänen 2002) will be suggested to account for the Chinese data that Huang’s proposal fails to explain. The concern is mainly with how the semantic primitives by which word meanings can be expressed, the event types are expressed by verbs, and the thematic roles of arguments are realized in syntax.

Throughout this seminar, interesting contrast between English and Chinese data will be portrayed and the implications from the contrast will be tested on in my future empirical studies on Chinese/English and English/Chinese L2 grammars.


 

For further information, contact:

Lulu Zhang
PhD Student, Chinese Studies
Department of East Asian Studies