Yeshes Vodgsal Atshogs: Deep contact between Chinese and neighboring languages: a discussion of two special cases (汉语与周边语言深度接触的两个特殊个案)

The history of the Chinese language and modern Chinese dialects has been shaped to varying degrees by the continued contacts between Chinese and its neighboring languages. Such contacts can be especially seen in the emergence of mixed languages such as the Daohua in the Tibetan speaking area of Sichuan and the Wutun language in the Tibetan speaking area in Qinghai, both of which are products of deep linguistic contacts. These two mixed languages have a basic vocabulary more related to Chinese, but typologically they are agglutinative languages with an SOV basic word order. Additionally, nouns have cases, and verbs have a complex system of tense, aspect and modality. The Daohua is an ergative language, while in the Wutun language tones and stress interact in a complicated system of phonology. Actually, there is evidence for the comprehensive systematic integration of heterogamous elements from both Chinese and Tibetan within these two languages in terms of their phonology, semantics, lexicon and syntax, thus making them typical mixed languages. [汉语及其方言的演化史也是不断与周边语言接触的历史。这种接触的突出表现,莫过于混合语言的产生。分布在四川藏区的倒话与青海藏区的五屯话,就是藏、汉语言历史上深度接触的特殊产物。两种语言的基本词汇都来自汉语,但语法类型上却是一种SOV型语言、粘着型语言。名词拥有格范畴,动词拥有复杂的体、态、式和情态范畴。倒话还是一种作格型语言(ergative language),而五屯话还表现为重音与声调复杂交织的特殊性质。实际上,两种语言在语音、语义,词汇、语法等等整个语言系统的方方面面,都表现为来自藏、汉两种语言系统异质成分的全面的、有机有序的整合,应该认为属于混合语(mixed language)。]

Nan Jiang :  A study of semantic development among advanced CSL speakers

Abstract: I will use the presentation to describe a study that is intended to examine the linguistic and psycholinguistic profile of advanced CSL speakers and share some preliminary findings. The study is part of a larger project intended to explore what linguistic features are under an individual’s control at different and globally assessed levels of proficiency (see Long, Gor, & Jackson, 2012, SSLA). An instrument consisting of 11 tests was developed for the study. It was administered to a group of CSL speakers who had reached Level 2 or higher on the Interagency Language Roundtable scale, along with a group of native speakers of Chinese in order to assess their ability in perceptual control of phonological, lexical, semantic, and syntactic features. Results related to semantic development among advanced CSL speakers will be discussed.

Fangyuan Yuan:Task-based Language Teaching and Learning: A Bridge between Theory and Practice

Abstract: For the past two decades or so, task-based language teaching and learning (TBLTL)has been a focus of research in the field of second language acquisition and language pedagogy. Topics include task type, participant structure, length of time provided at different stages of task; opportunities provided to focus on form, individual speaker variables, etc. Reasons that TBLTL has drawn such substantial interest include: 1) A classroom task can be an ideal research vehicle to unveil where, when, how and why learners acquire a target language, all of which are key issues to the field; and 2) Research findings can provide classroom teachers some understandings and guidelines in practice. In my presentation, I will introduce what I have done and am doing under this research umbrella.

Hang Zhang: The Third Tone: Allophones, Sandhi Rules and Pedagogy

Abstract: The identity of the underlying form of Putonghua third tone (Tone3) is an open question.  It is unknown whether the Tone3 has an underlying representation of a low dipping tone [214] or a low falling tone [21] (Duanmu 2000; Yip 2002; Mei 1977; among others).  [214] is traditionally considered to be the underlying form of Tone3.  Even today, despite some evidence against this theory, this is the dominant assumption when accounting for linguistic phenomena in Mandarin. This traditional [214] account motivates two Tone3 sandhi rules to capture the full range of Tone3 variants: a) Pre-T3 Sandhi: 214>35/__214, and b) Half-T3 Sandhi: 214>21/___T when T≠214. The traditional assumption has led to the “Full-T3 First” teaching method for second language (L2) learners studying Putonghua. My study investigates the non-native tonal productions of three allophones of Tone3, i.e., [214], [21] and [35], made by sixty learners of Mandarin Chinese with different L1 backgrounds: English, Japanese, and Korean. This cross-linguistic L2 study provides further evidence against the assumption that [214] is the underlying form of Tone3.

Hongyuan Dong : Universal Concord and Two Types of Universal Constructions in Chinese

Abstract: In this talk, I look at two types of universal constructions in Mandarin Chinese, i.e. mei…dou (every…all) and wh…dou (wh…all). In light of recent research in the Alternative Semantics on indefinites and crosslinguistic quantification (e.g. Kratzer 2006), I argue that the mei…dou construction should be best analyzed as a case of universal quantifier concord, rather than the most popular assumption that dou is a distributive operator (e.g. Lin 1998). In my proposal, mei carries an uninterpretable universal feature, and dou carries an interpretable universal feature, and mei has to check this feature in a specifier-head configuration with all. On the other hand, the wh…dou construction can be analyzed as a standard operator-alternative set relation. Crucially, the wh does not carry any quantificational features, and the universal feature on dou gives the alternative set its universal quantification force. I also look at the domain restrictions of these two types of universal construction. In the mei..dou construction, the NP domain is more restricted contextually, while in the wh…dou construction, the domain of the wh-phrases seems to be less restricted. This is also indirect support for the universal concord analysis.


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