Speculative fiction writer, translator, and editor


breaking linguistics with Chinese again

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The syntax and semantics of Chinese classifiers

Bare nouns are nouns that have not been modified by quantifiers or determiners. In English, bare nouns may co-occur with numerals or quantifiers to indicate quantity of the noun…


However, in other languages, such as Chinese, bare nouns typically require classifiers (CL), sometimes called measure words, to intervene before the bare noun…

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The interlanguage of L1 Chinese speakers learning English as a second language

In this paper, I will survey research from a variety of different linguistic subfields on characteristics of L2 English from adult L1 Chinese speakers. I will provide an overview of various phonological, morphological, syntactic, and pragmatic features of Chinese-English interlanguage. Although there may be variation between individuals in the realization of this interlanguage (see Rau et al. 2009 for a variationist approach to individual variation in the interlanguage), as well as variation depending on the type of L1 Chinese and type of L2 English, this survey should still provide some broad characteristics of Chinese-English interlanguage.

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The acquisition of Mandarin wh-question intonation by American English-speaking learners of Mandarin

This study aims to shed light on the general question of how second-language learners acquire intonational phonology through the window of the acquisition of Mandarin question intonation by American English speak- ers; specifically, this study will focus on wh-question intonation. Ladd (2008: 227) proposes that wh-question intonation patterns fall into two categories: languages in which stress patterns in wh-question are the same as stress patterns in other types of statements, and languages in which the neutral location of the accent in wh- questions is on the wh-word. English falls into the first category, and Mandarin into the second…


Because the two languages are typologically distinct, it is expected that L1 transfer can be identified easily; that is, it is expected that American English speakers would draw on the intonational patterns of English when determining where the focus of a wh-question lies and place the stress accordingly. However, the location of the stress would differ from expected Mandarin patterns.

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A categorial grammar for Chinese mood and aspect particles

Although Chinese and English are both SVO languages, there are a number of key differences between their syntax systems. One of the most notable differences is that Chinese has rich system of mood and aspect but lacks tense; mood and aspect are represented via particles. In this paper, I will propose categories for these particles and show how they integrate with existing categories for Chinese.

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