CHILL! Lectures on 2 and 10 March


Chinese Linguistics in Leiden

Upcoming talks: on 2 and 10 March


Wednesday 2 March 2016, 15:15-16:30, De Vrieshof 1/001:

Yang Yang (Leiden):

On the syntax-prosody interface of wh-indeterminates in Mandarin”


Thursday 10 March 2016, 15:15-16:30, Van Eyckhof 2/003:

Wei-tien Dylan Tsai (Tsing Hua University, Hsin-chu, Taiwan):

“Operator binding and the syntax of analyticity”



Yang Yang (Wednesday 2 March):

In Mandarin wh-words can have an interrogative and a non-interrogative interpretation. They are “wh-indeterminates” which lack inherent quantificational force. Aside from licensers such as negative polarity licensers, wh-existential readings can also be licensed by the presence of dianr “a little bit” among others. The goal of this study is, first, to find out whether wh-questions and wh-existentials differ prosodically before the wh-word, and, secondly, to see what implications we can get for the syntax-prosody interface. In this talk, I will report on a production experiment and discuss the results.


Tsai Wei-tien (Thursday 10 March):

In this talk, we entertain the possibility that peripheral features play a crucial role in the formation of the upper layer of a sentence, which can be checked by either external Merge or internal Merge (i.e., Move) according to the parameter-settings of individual languages. Along this line, topic prominence is regarded as the result of peripheral feature checking, and the null topic hypothesis à la Huang (1984) is reinvented as a null operator merger to fulfill interface economy in the left periphery. In this regard, Chinese provides substantial evidence from obligatory topicalization in outer affectives, evaluatives, and refutory wh-constructions, which applies only when the licensing from a D(efiniteness)-operator is blocked. As we will see, the idea extends naturally to the issues concerning pro-drop and bare nominals in general.


The rest of the Spring Program (all on Wednesdays 15:15-16:30, De Vrieshof 1/1, Leiden)

23 March 2016: Lin Jing (UvA): “Non-referentiality in child Mandarin”

6 April 2016: Zou Ting (Leiden): “Processing of lexical tones by Dutch learners of Mandarin”

20 April 2016: Wu Juan (Leiden): “Contact-Induced Grammatical Creations: Through the Lens of Chinese Buddhist Translations”

4 May 2016: Hu Han (Leiden): “A Sociolinguistic Study on Rhoticity in Beijing Mandarin”

18 May 2016: Wang Man (Leiden): “Experimental approach to language production of Mandarin Chinese”