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Lecture Series on Theoretical Linguistics (VII)

【 Time:2019-12-20 】

Title: The lagging of theoretical linguistics vs the broad prospect of transdisciplinarity research

Speaker: Professor Ping Chen, Department of language and Culture, University of Queensland, Australia

Time: 25th December, 2019  16:00-17:30

Location: Beijing Language and Culture University, Adm Building, 329

Organizer: Department of Linguistics of BLCU



Ping Chen is a chair professor from Department of Language and culture of  University of Queensland, Australia. He holds a masters degree in modern Chinese from the Department of Linguistics of Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and masters and doctorate degrees in linguistics from the Department of Linguistics of UCLA. He has taught and researched at UCLA, the University of Oregon, the Language Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the City University of Hong Kong. Later on, He has worked at the University of Queensland till now. Professor Ping Chen’s main research areas are functional grammar, discourse analysis, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics and historical linguistics.

The lectures will focus on three main topics:

1. The theoretical linguistics represented by the Generative Grammar of the 1950s is quite different from the former dominant structuralism in terms of philosophical basis, object of study, purpose and methodologhy. It appears to be a revolution which has led to the emergence and development of some other linguistic schools. After nearly three decades, this revolution reached a bottleneck at 1990s. In the past 30 years, theoretical linguistics, including formal grammar, functional grammar, cognitive grammar and discourse analysis, hasn’t developed as fast as its early stage.

2. Starting with the 1970s, the applied linguistics and the transdisciplinarity researches developed rapidly.It conformed the historical trend of interdisciplinary research of natural sciences, engineering, society and the humanities to solve increasingly complex natural and social problems. It was also the natural result of linguists seeking for new subjects, new fields and new breakthroughs as the subject matured. In the past 20 or 30 years, applied research, including language studies and transdisciplinary studies have become increasingly mainstream. We will also review the development of linguistics in China over the past 100 years, showing that applied research and transdisciplinarity not only contributed significantly to social progress, but also played an important role in the development of language theory.

3. How to adapt to the situation mentioned above in terms of the curriculum and scientific research planning of the linguistic major (including Chinese, Foreign Language and international Chinese education).