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Definiteness and Specificity in Mandarin, Cantonese and English NP

Research Seminars on Chinese Linguistics & Chinese as a Second Language

Lent Term, 2017

LogoThe Research Seminars on Chinese Linguistics and Chinese as a Second Language ("L2 Chinese") 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 a platform for researchers to discuss recent developments in the field, to present their work and to receive feedback from fellow researchers. The seminars are supervised by Dr Boping Yuan.

All are welcome!

  • Friday, 10th March, 2017 in Room 7 at the Faculty
    Definiteness and Specificity in Mandarin, Cantonese and English NP 
    Jingting Xiang


Chinese nominal phrases are different from English at least in that there is no overt determiners indicating definiteness. In the presentation in March, I will give a review on the up-to-date syntactic explanations for Chinese NP, and particularly the most recent (and most convincing) theory on modification and reference related to this research. I will then move onto methodological part of L2 acquisition. Without a strict DP layer in Chinese DPs, L2 learners will certainly encounter problems while processing noun phrases. A proposal for tests on how English and Cantonese speaking L2 learners of Mandarin process (in)definite and (non)specific nominal phrases will be presented.


For further information, contact:

Ruyi Dai
PhD Student, Chinese Studies
Department of East Asian Studies