Blog Archives

22 March: Film screening: The Road from Hainan

22 March: The Road from Hainan

Can one woman put up a successful fight against sexual abuse? How do Chinese local authorities react to unconventional methods of protest? ‘The Road from Hainan’ portrays activist Ye Haiyan as she tries to seek justice for six abused elementary school girls.


15:00 – 17:15 hrs

Room 11


LeidenAsiaCentre in cooperation with Movies That Matter present a film screening of ‘The Road from Hainan’, followed by a discussion with with Wang Nanfu, the director of the film & Teng Biao, human rights lawyer.


15:00 Opening and Introduction by Anne Sytske Keijser, Lecturer in modern Chinese, Chinese literature and film, Department of Chinese Studies, Leiden University.

15:15 Viewing of the movie.

16:35 Discussion with Wang Nanfu and Teng Biao, human rights lawyer, moderated by Maghiel van Crevel, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, Leiden University.

17:15 End of meeting.


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


Chinese Linguistics in Leiden


Upcoming talks:


23 March 2016 (15:15-16:30, De Vrieshof 1/1, Leiden)

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


Abstract: When we say John saw a girl yesterday we know that there must be a girl in the world that John saw yesterday. The DP a girl here is referential. In sentences like John probably saw a girl yesterday, the same DP does not need to have a referential import: this sentence is also true if there is no girl in the world that John saw yesterday. Clearly, generic DPs (at least in English) can be referential, and they may also be non-referential (except for the unicorn, which is non-referential). But there are existentials that are referentially deficient, which means that they must be used in contexts in which they are not forced to refer, such as in the scope of probably. One example here is shénme ‘a/some’ in Mandarin. In this talk, I present results collected from 91 monolingual Mandarin children in an elicited imitation task in which they were examined on their knowledge of the non-referential existential shénme ‘a/some’. I will show how Mandarin children acquire the referential deficiency of shénme without explicitly knowing that shénme wánjù ‘a toy’, for instance, can only be non-referential–unlike its bare counterpart wánjù ‘a toy’.


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

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”


9 March Guqin performance by Ms. Lyu Jiaoyue

Ms. Lyu Jiaoyue, an accomplished  guqin performer from New York, will visit Leiden on Wednesday 9 March 2016. The Confucius Institute of Leiden University will organize a get-together event for her in which she will give an introduction of the instrument guqin and give a performance.

Time: 13:00-15:00 p.m.

Venue: Lipsius Building room 308


.Leiden Poster

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