Blog Archives

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”



save the date: 20 April lecture by Bruce Jacobs at Leiden Uni

Bruce Jacobs (Monash University, Australia), “Reconsidering and Re-Framing Taiwan and its History: Aborigines, Colonial Rulers and Democratization”.

Date and time 20 April 2016 15.15-1.00

Location: Lipsius 308

Announcing CHILL: Chinese Linguistics in Leiden



Chinese Linguistics in Leiden


Programme for Spring 2016


All lectures Wednesdays 15:15-16:30, De Vrieshof 1/1, unless indicated otherwise

All lectures in English, unless indicated otherwise


10 February 2016 (in Chinese)

沈    阳(南京大学/北京大学):


——试析 “才” 字句和 “就” 字句的意义对立和意义反转现象


提 要:本文主要讨论“才”字句和“就”字句的“意义对立”和“意义反转”现象。本文认为,“才、就”句表示的“早—晚、多—少、大—小”等广义数量意义,并不是副词“才、就”各自的意义,不是“才”字句或“就”字句各自的意义,也不仅是主观认知或百科知识赋予词语和句子的意义。本文假设,包含“数量”变项的“才、就”句是对应性命题,副词“才、就”都引出对其中一侧命题的否定,即“单侧命题否定”,只是对相应的否定项做相反的两极赋值,即“交叉反向赋值”。这些因素决定“才”字句和“就”字句表达哪种意义。本项研究表明,内部命题否定和外部参照赋值的相互作用是一种有别于“预设、蕴含”的特殊语法和语用机制。



Other dates and speakers in this series:

2 March 2016: YANG Yang (Leiden)

10 March 2016 [Thursday!!]: Wei-tien Dylan Tsai (Tsing Hua University, Hsin-chu, Taiwan)

23 March 2016: LIN Jing (UvA)

6 April: ZOU Ting (Leiden)

20 April 2016: WU Juan (Leiden)

4 May 2016: HU Han (Leiden)

18 May 2016: t.b.a.


More information to follow soon!


Chinese language films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam

Chinese language films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 27 January-7 February

Feature length

The Assassin (Nie Yinniang), d: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Taiwan 2015

Fri 29-1 11:45 LantarenVenster 5

Mon 1-2 19:30 Oude Luxor

Sat 6-2 15:45 Pathé 1


Kaili Blues (Lubian yecan), d: Bi Gan, China 2015

Fri 29-1 22:15 Doelen Jurriaanse Zaal

Sat 30-1 12:45 Pathé 5

Wed 3-2 19:15 LantarenVenster 1

Sat 6-2 09:00 Cinerama 6


Le Moulin (Riyao rishi sanbuzhe), d: Huang Ya-Li, Taiwan 2015

Fri 29-1 15:00 Cinerama 6

Thu 4-2 19:45 Cinerama 3

Fri 5-2 17:00 LantarenVenster 6


Mountains May Depart (Shan he gu ren), d: Jia Zhangke, China/Fr/Japan 2015

Sun 31-1 15:30 Pathé 6

Tue 2-2 14:15 LantarenVenster 5

Thu 4-2 16:00 Pathé 1

Sat 6-2 18:30 Cinerama 1


Of Shadows, d: Yi Cui, China/Canada 2016

Fri 29-1 15:15 Pathé 6

Sat 30-1 09:00 Pathé 2

Sun 31-1 19:30 Cinerama 5

Sat 6-2 16:45 Cinerama 5


Paths of the Soul (Kang Rinpoche), d: Zhang Yang, China 2015

Tue 2-2 15:00 LantarenVenster 3

Wed 3-2 12:30 Cinerama 1

Thu 22:15 Pathé 3

Sat 6-2 12:45 Doelen Willem Burger Zaal


Where Are You Going (Ni wang hechu qu), d: Yang Zhengfan, China/HK 2016

Tue 2-2 16:45 Cinerama 5

Wed 3-2 09:30 LantarenVenster 2

Thu 4-2 19:00 Cinerama 2


Short & mid-length

In “Breaking Walls”:

Metropolitan Triangle Garden, d: Hu Rui, VS/China 2014; 4 min.

Sun 31-1 17:00 LantarenVenster 5

Mon 1-2 20:00 LantarenVenster 5


In “Short Stories: Day & Night”:

Trespassed, d: Ho Yuhang, Malaysia 2016; 30 min.

Bedside Manners, d: Yeo Joon-han, Malaysia 2016; 34 min.

Bite, d: Charlotte Lim Lay Keun, Malaysia 2016; 30 min.

Thu 28-1 14:00 LantarenVenster 5

Fri 29-1 14:00 Cinerama 4


In “Short Stories: Without Warning”:

Nothing Stranger, d: Pedro Collantes, Neth/Spain/China 2015; 23 min.

Sat 30-1 20:00 LantarenVenster 5

Mon 1-2 12:00 Pathé 2


In “This Is  Where Reconstruction Starts”:

A Sunny Day, d: Ying Liang, Hong Kong/Neth 2016; 25 min.

Mon 1-2 19:30 Doelen Willem Burger Zaal

Tue 2-2 19:30 Cinerama 2

Fri 5-2 14:00 Cinerama 6


In “Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films 2”:

Sea State 6, d: Charles Yi Yong Lim, Singapore 2016; 10 min.

Fri 29-1 20:00 LantarenVenster 1

Sat 30-1 14:15 LantarenVenster 1

Wed 3-2 11:00 LantarenVenster 1

10 December African Studies Centre Lecture by Howard French

Stephen Ellis Annual Lecture by Howard French: How today’s China-Africa encounter came about and what it means for the world

Howard W. French is a journalist, author, and photographer, as well as an associate professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was most recently a senior foreign correspondent with The New York Times.
At the ASC’s 2015 lecture he will talk about the processes that began drawing large numbers of new Chinese migrants to Africa in the early to mid 1990s, and then speak to the question of the global geopolitical and economic setting that pushed events in this direction, albeit with some surprising outcomes. These include the end of Maoism, the launching of China’s reform and opening period, the end of the Cold War, and what has come to be known by some as the War on Terror.
Howard French is the author of China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa, which was published by Knopf in May 2014. It was named one of 100 Notable Books of 2014 by The New York Times, and was cited by The Economist, The Guardian and Foreign Affairs as one of the best books of 2014.

Read the web dossier on Africa-Asia relations, compiled by the ASC Library.

The ASC Annual public lecture is now called the Stephen Ellis Annual lecture in honour of our late ASC colleague who died in 2015. Gerrie ter Haar, Stephen Ellis’ widow, will be our guest of honour.
Benjamin Soares will chair the lecture.

Afterwards, as of 20:00, there will be drinks.

Date, time and location

10 December 2015
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room SC01 (lower ground floor)

8 December: Discussion on nationalism in East Asia with Ian Buruma

8 December: Discussion on nationalism in East Asia with Ian Buruma


Discussion on nationalism in East Asia co-hosted by IIAS and AMT. Ian Buruma, who is visiting Leiden to research a new book, will offer some reflections on nationalism in today’s Japan, China, and South Korea, on current tensions and conflict in the region, and on the way these things fit into China’s, Japan’s, and Korea’s history/ies. His presentation will be followed by Q & A and debate with local Asia scholars.

10 December Lecture by the Ven. Xuecheng “The situation of Buddhism in China Today”

The Program in Buddhist Studies and the LIAS are happy to announce a special lecture:



Ven. Xuecheng

“The Situation of Buddhism in China Today”


Thursday, December 10, 13.15 – 15.00

Vrieshof 3/104 (Verbarium)



The speaker is the Abbot of Beijing Longquan Monastery and President of  the Buddhist Association of China, as well as being a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. (See


Ven Xuecheng will speak in Chinese, with translation into English. The lecture will last about 1 hour, with 30 minutes for Q&A.


Space is very limited, so if you are planning to attend, please send a brief email to Prof Jonathan Silk indicating this:


J.A. Silk

12 November presentation by Jan Stuart: Art on View: Planning a new display of Chinese art at the Freer Gallery of Art

12 November: Art on View: Planning a new display of Chinese art at the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

A short presentation, followed by a round-table discussion by Jan Stuart, Hulsewe-Wazniewski Visiting Professor, Leiden University, and Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The discussion will be chaired by Dr Oliver Moore, Curator of Chinese Art, Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, and Leiden University. Discussants: Professor Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden) and Dr Anna Grasskamp (Heidelberg).


The Pavilion of the
National Museum of Ethnology
Steenstraat 1

If you would like to participate, please register with Ms Heleen van de Minne at:

All welcome!


The Freer Gallery of Art  and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, two jointly administered museums, are the national museums of Asian art in the United States and form part of the Smithsonian Institution. The Freer opened in 1923 and the Sackler in 1987. Temporarily closing until 2017, the Freer is undergoing renovation. This talk presents the early planning stage for a new display of Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese art drawn entirely from the permanent collection that will focus on the power of the imperial court, especially in the 15th and 18th centuries. The gallery will include many types of art, especially ceramics and paintings, and some of the challenges of interpretation being considered are the degree to which the gallery should tightly focus on specific ideas or people—such as the technology of making porcelain, or the personal vision of Qianlong emperor—or try to present a more encyclopedic introduction to the art on view.  The talk looks at specific collection objects, philosophies of display/interpretation, and the practical constraints behind all gallery projects.


The event is generously supported by the Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation for the Advancement of the Study of Chinese Archeology, Art and Material Culture at Leiden University (HWS), the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), and the Leiden research cluster Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT).


13 November: Teri Silvio on “The Ang-a Mode of Animation”

13 November: The Ang-a Mode of Animation: The Granting of Agency in Chinese/Taiwanese Religious, Artistic, and Economic Practice

Lecture by Teri Silvio, Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

Time: 15.15-17.00 p.m.

Venue: Arsenaalstraat 1, room 001, Leiden.


This paper is part of a book I am writing which attempts to outline an anthropological theory of animation, which I define as the process of projecting qualities perceived as human outside of the self and into the environment.  My hope is that animation might serve as a complement to “performance,” a conceptual platform which allows us to compare practices across different social fields, different cultures, and different historical eras – to allow us, for instance, to look for cultural logics connecting such diverse phenomena as Hello Kitty, the United States Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, zombie movies, emoticons, and drone warfare.

In this paper, I outline a particular mode of animation which runs through Taiwanese religious, artistic, and economic practices.  I define a “mode” of animation as an assemblage of genres and practices held together by which qualities of human existence they treat as projectable, by how projection is accomplished, by what kinds of non-human objects are taken to be animatable, and by specific structures of feeling they evoke.  I posit a Taiwanese/Chinese mode of animation which centers on a specific type of object, called ang-a in Holo or ou in Mandarin — a small, three-dimensional, human-form (or anthropomorphized animal or object-form) figure.  The ang-a is invested with  specific human qualities – personality, affect, and charisma —  through specific types of actions – ritual, iconographic, and communicational practices.

Since most theorizing of animation has been done in the United States and Japan, I want to highlight the differences between the ang-a mode of animation and concepts of animation grounded in monotheistic or animist cosmologies — that is, the idea that animation is “playing God” on the one hand, and the idea that all things in the world already have souls on the other.

Three Chinese films at the Leiden International Film Festival 30 October-8 November

Screening in Leiden this year:
GO AWAY, MR. TUMOR (滚蛋吧!肿瘤君), d: Han Yan, running time 85 minutes
Sunday 1 November 14:00 p.m. Trianon 3
Friday 6 November 19:15 p.m. Trianon 3
MONSTER HUNT (捉妖记), d: Raman Hui, running time 111 minutes
Saturday 31 October 14:15 p.m. Trianon 1
Sunday 1 November 11:30 a.m. Trianon 2
RED AMNESIA (闯入者), d: Wang Xiaoshuai, running time 116 minutes
Wednesday 4 November 16:15 p.m. Trianon 3
Sunday 8 November 16:45 p.m. Kijkhuis 1
These three films are sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Leiden University.