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People

Lab Members

 

Name: Dr. Boping Yuan

Position: Reader in Chinese Language and Linguistics, Fellow and Director of Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Churchill College, Cambridge. Co-director of the Cambridge-Chinese University of Hong Kong Joint Research Laboratory for Bilingualism

Current research: 

Boping Yuan’s research interests include linguistic approaches to second language (L2) development, L2 Chinese grammars, L2 interfaces between syntax and other domains, cross-linguistic influences, effects of input, etc. He has published numerous research articles in prestigious journals, which include: Language, Linguistics, Transactions of the Philological Society, Second Language Research, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Language Learning, International Review of Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingualism, Lingua, etc. He is currently leading an AHRC-sponsored project on L2 acquisition of Mandarin Chinese by English and Cantonese speakers with respect to language typology, environment and age factors. This project is part of the Cambridge-led research programme on Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals and Transforming Societies. 

Email: by10001@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Yanyu GUO

Position:Post-doc Research Associate 

Current research: 

Yanyu's doctoral dissertation is about the L2 acquisition of Chinese aspect markers by English-speaking learners. It is an experimental study that employed both off-line tasks (e.g. grammaticality judgement tasks and sentence-picture matching tasks) and on-line processing instruments (e.g. self-paced reading tasks) to investigate the mental representation of Chinese aspect markers in English native speakers’ L2 grammars. She is currently working on the acquisition of sentence final particles in L2 Chinese by Cantonese- and English-speaking learners. Her research interests lie in second language acquisition, particularly focusing on empirical studies of developmental and synchronic aspects of L2 acquisition in the generative approaches and cross-linguistic influence between languages including English, Mandarin and Cantonese. 

Email: yg298@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Ruyi DAI

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

 Ruyi's PhD project takes a formal linguistic approach to the second language acquisition and processing of Chinese passive constructions by adult English native speakers, using real-time comprehension and production tasks, as well as off-line judgements. Ruyi's research draws on both experimental and corpus data, enhanced with linear statistical modelling, to contribute to our understanding of second language grammars and the ongoing discussion regarding implicit and explicit language learning. In addition to English and Chinese, Ruyi also speaks French and Japanese, which motivate her interest in L1-L2 differences across these languages.

Email: rd486@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Yuhsin HUANG

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Yuhsin's PhD project explores the roles of L1 transfer and its interaction with input of the Target Language in the development of L2 grammars of the Chinese Double Object Construction, where a two-place transitive co-occurs with three NPs, and the Double Unaccusative Construction, where a one-place unaccusative co-occurs with two NPs. This study includes learners of different L1 backgrounds, including English, Spanish, and Korean at two L2 proficiency levels (intermediate and advanced). An Acceptability Judgement Task, a Sentence Rearrangement Task, and an Animation Matching Task were administered to 117 participants involving 20 native Chinese controls and 117 learners.

Email: yhh28@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Manyun LIU

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Manyun’s research interests lie in the empirical study of bilingualism, especially in the development and cross-linguistic influence in second language acquisition and first language attrition among English-Chinese bilinguals, including second language learners of mandarin Chinese, native speakers of mandarin Chinese living in an English-speaking environment, and Chinese heritage speakers. Her doctoral study is on the interface properties involved in mandarin Chinese reflexives. This experimental study combines both psycholinguistic on-line tasks like self-paced reading and traditional off-line tasks like sentence-picture matching. 

Email: ml633@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Tongkun LIU

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Tongkun’s research interests are mainly on developmental and synchronic grammars of second language(s) (L2) within the framework of formal linguistics. Specifically, he is interested in (inter)language transfer, L2 acquisition of syntax, semantics and pragmatics as well as interfaces among these linguistic modules. His current research programme focuses on the acquisition of multi-interfaces in the Mandarin Chinese BA construction by L2 Chinese learners. By adopting an experimental approach, he would like to find out how the interfaces (both external and internal) are represented in the learners’ L2 Chinese mental grammars at different stages, whether or not they could be ultimately acquired by learners who are at very advanced L2 proficiency levels and why. 

Email: tl394@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Woramon Prawatmuang

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Woramon's research project investigates second language acquisition of Chinese and Thai nominal phrases in a bi-directional manner. In particular, she is interested in acquisition of word order and collective markers in the two languages, both of which are governed by different rules. To understand development in acquisition of these linguistic phenomena and its outcomes, she collected data using an acceptability judgment task which is an off-line task that can reveal learners’ knowledge and mental representations, as well as a self-paced reading task which is an on-line task targeting the participants’ real-time processing behaviour. Based on the data, it is argued that various factors such as first language transfer and availability of positive evidence in a target language play an important role in second language acquisition.

Email: wp246@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Jingting XIANG

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Jingting XIANG is currently a PhD student in Chinese Linguistics. She got her B.A. in English Language at Tsinghua University, China, and her M.Phil. in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at University of Cambridge, U.K. Her main research interests are in language acquisition, syntax, and semantics. Under the supervision of Dr. Boping Yuan, her PhD study focuses on the definiteness and specificity of nominal phrases in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.

Email: jx246@cam.ac.uk

 

 

 

Name: Lilong XU

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Lilong's doctoral dissertation is about asymmetry of null subjects and null objects in Chinese and in English speakers’ L2 Chinese. One of the differences between Chinese and English is that the former allows both null subjects and null objects in finite sentences, the latter allows neither. Besides, in Chinese, it has been found that Chinese-speakers display an asymmetry of null objects and null subjects. It is an experimental study that investigates the mental representation of Chinese null subjects and null objects in English native speakers’ L2 grammars and to test whether the asymmetry is also found in L2 grammar. Her research interests lie in second language acquisition, particularly focusing on empirical studies of L2 acquisition in the generative approaches and cross-linguistic influence between languages including English and Mandarin. 

Email: lx238@cam.ac.uk

 

 

Name: Shanshan YAN

Position: PhD candidate

Current research:

Shanshan's research interests lie in Chinese linguistics and L2 and heritage acquisition of Chinese, particularly in generative approaches and from a cross-linguistic perspective. She is also interested in language learning motivation on heritage learners. She is currently working on her PhD project which empirically studies the mental representations of English-speaking L2 and Chinese heritage learners in acquiring Chinese sentence-final particles. In her project, both linguistic and acquisition characteristics concerning sentence-final particles in Chinese are investigated. She has incorporated both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as well as off-line instruments (e.g. acceptability judgment task and sentence completion task etc.) and on-line processing instruments (e.g. self-paced reading task).

Email: sy304@cam.ac.uk