Next Spring/Summer School


“L’Orientale” University of Naples 

Call for papers (pdf)

So far ten Spring schools have been held in Leiden (2006), München (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Moscow (2009), Bochum (2010), Paris (2011), Berlin (2012), Prague (2013), Rome (2014) and Amiens (2016) with great success.

The 11th edition (2019) will be organized by “L’Orientale” University of Naples.

When:  Sept. 9-14, 2019

Where:  “L’Orientale” University of Naples”, Department of Asia, Africa and Mediterraneum, Palazzo Corigliano, Piazza S. Domenico Maggiore 12, Naples, Italy

Which courses will be offered?

  1. Waltraud Paul: Facts and fallacies in the syntax of Mandarin Chinese
  2. Giorgio Francesco Arcodia: Sinitic Morphology
  3. Christoph Anderl: Dunhuang texts and the study of Vernacular Chinese
  4. Luisa Paternicò: Sources and Methodology for Chinese history of linguistics and historical linguistics (Mandarin and Cantonese)

In addition to these courses, two lectures on general linguistics will be given by two local general linguists.

The participants are expected to attend all the seminars and lectures.

Who can apply?

The EACL Spring School in Chinese Linguistics is organized for a maximum of 15 M.A. and Ph.D. students in Chinese linguistics affiliated to European universities. Applications that do not fit into these criteria (e.g. postdocs, young academics, students of non-European universities) may be considered if limitations allow.

How much is it?

  • An attendance fee of €80 will be charged.
  • Accommodation in hotel (double room) is included in the attendance fee.
  • Travel expenses, local transportation and meals are covered by participants.
  • All participants, except for M.A. students, are required to be EACL members, or join the Association at the time of registration. Membership fee for students is €15 (see the EACL website for further details).
  • A closing dinner will be offered by the organizers

How can the payment of fees be processed?

Membership fees and attendance fees should preferably be paid by money order or bank transfer; they can exceptionally be paid in cash at the on-site registration for the Summer School.


  • Good command of spoken and written Chinese and English.
  • Proven interest in Chinese linguistics

How to apply:

Applications for Ph.D. students and MA students and questions should be sent to Luisa Paternicò:, with the subject line “EACL Summerschool 2019”. Please attach a PDF file including personal information (name, surname, date of birth, Identity Card or Passport number, affiliation, short bio). Use the candidate’s name as the filename for the PDF. The EACL board deals with the applications and the selection process. The board of the EACL functions as admission committee. This information may also be found here:


The deadline for application is March 15, 2019.

Prospective participants will be notified by April 15, 2019.

Confirmation of attendance must arrive by April 30, 2019 by mail. By that date, the participants are required to pay the attendance fee (€80) and the EACL membership fee (€15, if PhD students and not members yet) or state in the confirmation email that they will pay in cash in Naples. The hotel rooms will be accordingly booked under the participant’s name


Previous Conferences

EACL–10, Università degli Studi di Milano and Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy – September 28-29, 2018

EACL–9, Department of Linguistics, University of Stuttgart, Germany – September 24-26, 2015

EACL–8, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France – September 26-28, 2013

EACL–7, Department of East Asian Studies and the Department of Language Sciences, Ca’ Foscari UniversityVenice, Italy – September 13-15, 2011

EACL–6, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań Poland – August 26-28, 2009

EACL–5, Institute of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany – September 4-7, 2007

EACL–4, The Research Institute for Linguistics (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) / Department of East Asian Studies, Budapest, Hungary – January 20-22, 2006

EACL–3, Universiteit Ghent , Faculteit Letteren & Wijsbegeerte, Vakgroep Talen en Culturen van Zuid- en Oost-Azie, Ghent, Belgium – September 7-10, 2003

EACL–2, Università degli studi di Roma, ‘La Sapienza’, Cattedra di Lingua e Letteratura Cinese, Rome, Italy – September 6-8, 2000

EACL–1, Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l’Asie Orientale – École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France, June 10-11, 1999

2016: Amiens, France, 6 – 9 June

10th EACL Summer School in Chinese Linguistics

June 6 (Monday) -9 (Thursday), 2016
University of Picardy Jules Verne at Amiens, France

Co-sponsored by
University of Picardy Jules Verne (UPJV), France : Chinese Department of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Cultures, International Affairs Directorate and Centre d’Etudes des Relations et Contacts Linguistiques et Littéraires (CERCLL EA4283).

Local organizing committee:

Challenging received views on the Chinese writing system
In this seminar, we shall look at the traditional approach of the Chinese writing system and point out some of the problems concerning its origins, the relation between the script and the language, the Liùshū 六書, etc. We shall question its definition from a linguistic point of view and consider what it can contribute to a general definition of writing.

Victor Junnan PAN (Université Paris Diderot, LLF)
Sentence-final particles in Mandarin Chinese: from syntax to discourse
This course will discuss the correlation between syntax and discourse by examining the system of sentences-final particles (SFPs) in modern Mandarin. The ordering between different types of SFPs is strict, reflecting their relative structural hierarchy. For instance, particles closely related to the speaker’s attitude or subjective opinion are always higher than those related to different sentential aspects; the combination between these two types of particles is possible. Such a hierarchy shows that discourse constraints influence syntax in a particular way. Precisely, I will show how a syntactic hierarchical order reflects the requirement from discourse.
No generative syntax background is required for attending this course.

Complex sentences in Mandarin Chinese and related issues
A careful analysis of Mandarin complex sentences shows that “subordinate” clause – but also “adjunct” clause – are foremost semantic labels which do not necessarily reflect the structural hierarchy; on the contrary, when preceding the main clause, the “adjunct clause” as clausal topic in fact occupies a position above the “main clause”. Labels such as “conjunctions” and “adverbial subordinator” are likewise semantically motivated, as witnessed by the categorial heterogeneity of the corresponding items in Chinese. This class does not correspond to a unique syntactic category in English, either (before, after are prepositions, that, if complementisers, and whether, when (wh-) phrases). Evidence is provided for the status of “conjunctions” in Chinese as either adverbs or prepositions; this analysis is tied up with general principles of Chinese syntax (among others the existence of both a sentence-external and sentence-internal topic position). Time permitting, the consequences are examined which the categorial heterogeneity of “conjunctions” in Chinese (and English) has for typological surveys such as WALS (Word Atlas of Languages:

Carlotta SPARVOLI (University College Cork, School of Asian Studies)
Modality in Mandarin Chinese
Modality (情态 qíngtài) is generally understood in two different ways: a) in the illocutionary sense, it corresponds with the expression of the speaker’s attitude towards the propositional content; b) from a logico-semantic perspective, it is a linguistic category related to the notions of possibility and necessity (i.e., similarly to tense and aspect, it enables to express contents beyond the “here and now”). In the first sense, the Chinese prototypical expressions of modality are the modal particles. In the second sense, modality is lexicalized as an array of items (the so called “modals” qíngtàicí) including verbs, adverbs and adverbials. We will present the main taxonomies related to Chinese modality and the lexical items that are prototypical for each division. More specifically, we will concentrate on a set of 12 main modals (yīdìng, yīnggāi, gāi, dāng, yào, bìxū, děi, dé, huì, néng, kěyǐ, kěnéng) and analyse their distinctive features with respect to concepts such as scalarity, interdefinability and interaction with negation.

Hongyuan SUN (Université de Picardie Jules-Verne, CERCLL)
Tense and aspect in Mandarin Chinese
This course investigates temporal reference in Mandarin. We review the proposals put forth for Mandarin (a language with no overt tense morpheme), as well as other morphologically tenseless languages, seeking to clarify what the tensed vs. tenseless split covers, theoretically and empirically, from the combined perspective of morphology, syntax and semantics.
After an introduction of the theoretical background on tense and aspect underlying the relevant proposals, issues such as interactions between aspect and temporal reference in Mandarin will be addressed with a focus on the temporal construal of sentences (root clauses as well as embedded clauses) without overt aspectual marking.

Invited talk by Catherine DOUAY (Université de Picardie Jules-Verne, CORPUS)
Revisiting verb aspect in English: the case of the progressive
The progressive form of the English verb (e.g. it is raining), as opposed to the simple form (it rains) is commonly defined as expressing imperfective aspect: it provides an interior view of the event, which is more or less represented as incomplete or ongoing at the time of reference. Numerous counter-examples have led “enunciation theories” to highlight functions of aspect in terms of presupposition or anaphora. This analysis in turn proves inadequate. We will see that the progressive form substitutes for the simple when a contrastive dimension is involved in communication, and conversely the lack of any contrastive dimension characterizes the simple form. This observation sheds new light on the communicational nature of aspectual distinctions and what is really at stake for the description of linguistic systems.

Download: 2016 EACL Summer School Amiens [pdf]


10th International Conference of the European Association of Chinese Linguistics (EACL-10)

Jointly organized by Clara Bulfoni (Università degli Studi di Milano) and Giorgio Francesco Arcodia (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca).

Milan, 28th-29th September 2018

Round table: Chinese syntax seen from a “distance”

Invited speakers:

Prof. Guglielmo Cinque (Università Cà’ Foscari Venezia)
Prof. Maria Teresa Guasti (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
Prof. Luigi Rizzi (Université de Genève/Università di Siena)
Prof. Henk van Riemsdijk (Emeritus, Tilburg University)

Organising committee

Giorgio Francesco Arcodia
Françoise Bottero
Clara Bulfoni
Maria Teresa Guasti
Victor Junnan Pan
Waltraud Paul
Carlotta Sparvoli


Next Conference

Chinese Linguistics in Leipzig (2008)

Chinese Linguistics in Leipzig 漢語語言學在萊比錫

Edited by Redouane Djamouri, Barbara Meisterernst & Rint Sybesma

This is the second volume in the Chinese Linguistics in Europe (CLÉ) series. It was published in 2008, by the EHESS/CRLAO, as the twelfth volume in the Collection des Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale. 250 pp. ISSN 1956-4295, ISBN 978-2-910216-09-8. Regular price: € 30 / US$ 35; EACL members: € 25.

The volume contains a refereed selection of the papers that were presented at the 5th bi-annual meeting of the EACL which was held at the Max Planck Insitute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, 4-7 September 2007.

Table of contents and abstracts

Table of contents

Bernard Comrie: The areal typology of Chinese: between North and Southeast Asia
Roman Shapiro: Glottochronology for the study of Beijing and Sichuan dialects of Mandarin Chinese
Haeree Park: A revision of the Old Chinese chuān 川 phonetic series through discovered texts
Yu-Cheng Huang 黃育正: 現代漢語「爆」的歷時語義與語法功能的演變過程
Elisabeth M. de Boer: The Middle Chinese tones through Japanese eyes
Patricia Mueller-Liu: Revisiting “successive tonal addition” – the forms and functions of rising utterance-final edge tones in Mandarin Chinese
Linda Badan: The “even”-construction in Mandarin
Robert Iljic: A unified account of the aspectuo-temporal marker guo in Mandarin Chinese
Jiun-Shiung Wu & Wen-Hsing Tseng: Locating antecedents to zero anaphora in Mandarin: an SDRT approach
Nai-Fai Wong: Scale, maximality and the Cantonese particle saai3 晒 ‘all’
Stephen Matthews & Virginia Yip: Passive, unaccusative and pretransitive constructions in Chaozhou
I-Hsuan Chen & Chinfa Lien: The interaction between the construction kóng + topic and its thematic markers in Taiwanese Southern Min
Chenju Chen & Chinfa Lien: Transfer of possession verbs in Taiwanese Southern Min: a case study of lexical and constructional effects
Jenny Yichun Kuo, May-Ling Lee & James H.-Y. Tai: Categorization patterns of classifiers in Taiwan Southern Min
Chinfa Lien: Special types of passive and causative constructions in TSM

Abstracts (in alphabetical order according to author’s last name)

The even-construction in Mandarin

Linda Badan

This paper aims to provide an analysis of the lian… dou construction. I first show that lian-XP can appear in the Left Periphery, in the CP area, but when it is on the right of the subject, it is in a position situated in the Low Periphery, within the IP (see Ernst & Wang, 1995; Paul, 2005 among others). I propose that sentence-initial lian and sentence-internal lian have different syntactic behaviours; the former has more Topic-like properties than the latter. Secondly, I show that lian and dou together contribute to the intepretation of even and that the presence of lian is not really optional. When lian is present, the XP on the left of dou has to be necessarily stressed in order to receive the even interpretation; otherwise, we get a quantificational meaning of dou. Finally, along the lines of Cheng & Giannakidou’s (2006) proposal, I define the even-dou as the overt realization of a Maximality OP which yields a set of totality of properties expressed in the sentence. I argue that Chinese must overtly express the set of alternatives that the Focus induces. On the contrary, in other languages this set is covertly realized.

The Middle Chinese tones through Japanese eyes

Elisabeth M. de Boer

The description of the Late Middle Chinese tones by the Japanese monk Annen in his work Shittan-zō (880) is an important source for the reconstruction of the tones of Late Middle Chinese. Annen’s text moreover, formed the starting point of a long tradition of Chinese phonological study by Buddhist monks in Japan. In due course, the Japanese Buddhist tone theories became increasingly theoretical and symmetrical. So much so that what were supposed to be the tones of Late Middle Chinese, eventually had little to do with the tones of a natural spoken language any more. The Japanese interest in the tones also led to the compilation of dictionaries that included tone dot markings; this material forms the most important source on the Middle Japanese tone system. Modern scholarship has however, failed to realize that an unnatural and idealized Chinese tone system rather than Late Middle Chinese formed the basis of the tone dot markings. This has led to serious misunderstandings in the interpretation of the materials. If accepted, the analysis of the nature and purpose of the Japanese tone theories outlined in this paper would call for a fundamental revision of the reconstruction of the Middle Japanese tone system.

Transfer of possession verbs in Taiwanese Southern Min: a case study of lexical and constructional effects

Chenju Chen & Chinfa Lien

This paper aims at exploring the distribution of transfer of possession verbs in a range of double object constructions in Taiwanese Southern Min. The transfer of possession verbs can be classified into three groups according to the direction of transfer of possession. The double object construction concerning the transfer of possession in Taiwanese Southern Min embraces four variants. The meaning of each syntactic variant is not straightforward and has to be arrived at on the basis of the interaction between the inherent senses of the verbs regarding the direction of transfer of possession and the construction of each variant. The constraints of each variant will also form focal points in our discussion. The factors underscoring the interaction between the inherent lexical properties of verbs and constructional patterns can help explain why a group or groups of verbs can or cannot enter certain types of constructional variants.

The interaction between the construction Kóng + topic and its thematic markers in Taiwanese Southern Min

I-hsuan Chen & Chinfa Lien

The inherent semantic property of the kóng ‘to say, talk, tell’ + topic constructions in interaction with peripheral elements is reflected on the selection of the types of markers such as kā ‘to’, kah/kap ‘with’, khit h³ (passive agentive marker), and thè ‘for’. The markers imply directionality, delivery mode and affectedness. Furthermore, as argued in this paper, the mapping of semantic structure to syntactic structure can be best accounted for in terms of the mechanism of profiling and shading. In brief, this paper aims to tease out the semantic and syntactic properties of kóng+ topic constructions in Taiwanese Southern Min.

The areal typology of Chinese: between North and Southeast Asia

Bernard Comrie

Examination of the geographical distribution of typological features provided by the World Atlas of Language Structures shows clearly that Chinese occupies an intermediate position between North and Southeast Asia.


Yu-Cheng Huang 黃育正


A unified account of the aspectuo-temporal marker guo in Mandarin Chinese

Robert Iljic

This is the first integrated approach of the aspectuo-temporal marker GUO in Chinese. One distinguishes between the suffix -guo (the experiential aspect GUO1) and the phase complement guo (GUO2). The unification of the two aspectuo-temporal values is carried out at a theoretical level. In the positive form, GUO marks in all cases that an event took place : either (GUO1) that in the (relative) past there is at least one occurrence of this type of event or (GUO2) that an expected, particular event took place, i.e. has entered the class of the past events, is over. The first reading is generic, the second is specific.

Categorization patterns of classifiers in Taiwan Southern Min

Jenny Yichun Kuo, May-ling Lee & James H.-Y. Tai

The correlation between nouns and classifiers in Taiwanese is conventionalized, but not arbitrary without cognitive motivations. The classifiers reflect the unique categorization patterns which its speakers have. Meronomy, shape, arrangement, and composition are all important cognitive bases in Taiwanese classifiers. Components of an integral object are often used to represent the whole, and become classifiers for the noun, such as bue (尾), and nĩã (領). Shape is the other important cognitive principle. The cognitive basis for tiau (條) and ki (枝) is longness; for tĩũ (張) is flatness, and for liap (粒) is roundness. Natural arrange¬ment is another base for categorization as in tsaŋ (叢), sui (穗), pi (枇?), and pha (葩). At last, kha (腳?) refers to a single container and a single part of a pair, referred as composition. This study is the beginning of a cognition-based study of the classifier system in Taiwanese. It is hoped that the cognitive principles uncovered will contribute to deeper understanding of categorization in numeral classifier languages, and provide valuable information for language teaching as well.

Special types of passive and causative constructions in TSM

Chinfa Lien

The paper aims at teasing out the semantic and syntactic properties of special types of passive and causative constructions in TSM. Passives featuring khit4-hoo7 or hoo7 as a grammatical marker fall into two subtypes: (1) passives with transitive verbs, and (2) passives with intransitive verbs. Type (1) involves an agent-patient relationship, whereas Type (2) denotes an affectee relationship. Transitivity is argued to be explicitly marked by ka7 in transitive passives. Special causatives embracing the explicit causative verb hoo7 are interlocked with the irrealis mood. Hierarchical structure has been established for both passives and causatives on the basis of the presence of hoo7 (or khit4-hoo7) and ka7, though in reversed order. Furthermore, the co-existence of khit4-hoo7 and hoo7 in TSM is construed as an intermediate stage in keeping with the principles of grammaticalization.

Passive, unaccusative and pretransitive constructions in Chaozhou

Stephen Matthews & Virginia Yip

We consider a set of grammatical constructions involving transitivity in Chaozhou dialects. Passives are marked with k’ih or k’eh, being grammaticalized forms of the verb ‘give’, as in many southern dialects. In Chaozhou the use of kih/keh is extended to overt marking of unaccusative predicates in the form k’ih i/k’eh i, in which the pronominal i is argued to be expletive. Pretransitive sentences are quite distinct in form from passive and unaccusative constructions. Alongside various counterparts of Mandarin ba constructions, pretransitive sentences include those with kai i where i again appears to be non-referential in irrealis contexts, but can be assigned an object-indexing function. From a typological perspective, we show that pretransitive constructions occur in head-marking, dependent-marking and double-marking configurations; in this perspective, Chaozhou kai i and Mandarin gei are head-marking indicators of transitivity. The discussion is intended to contribute to a fuller understanding of the grammatical diversity of Min dialects.

Revisiting “successive tonal addition” – the forms and functions of rising utterance-final edge tones in Mandarin Chinese

Patricia Mueller-Liu

Since its description by Y.R. Chao as an intonational means of signalling moods and emotions (1933, 1968), “successive tonal addition” has been one of the most elusive and controversial issues in Mandarin Chinese language research. Despite the large number of follow-up studies prompted by Chao’s work, for a long time only inconclusive evidence in favour of Chao’s claims was found (Egerod 1956, Abe 1971, Rumjancev 1972, Shen 1990). The issue thus remained unresolved until recently, when pitch-phenomena reminiscent of Chao’s falling and rising “successive tonal additions” were discovered in an investigation of spontaneous German and Chinese speech (Mueller-Liu 2004). Instrumental analyses of these phenomena, termed “utterance-final edge tones”, showed them to consist of falling and rising pitch-movements added onto utterance-final syllables in much the same manner as stipulated by Chao for “successive tonal additions”. Following the analysis of the first, falling type (Mueller-Liu 2006a, b), whose communicative functions were highly compatible with the labels suggested by Chao, this study investigates the forms and functions of the second, rising, type. Among the central questions asked is the possible identity of these newly-discovered phenomena with Chao’s successive tonal additions.

A revision of the Old Chinese chuān 川 phonetic series through discovered texts

Haeree Park

Textual variations in early Chinese texts provide data for Old Chinese phonology comparable to the xiéshēng phonetic series or rhymes in the Shījīng. Excavated texts from the Warring States and Early Han periods that have transmitted counterparts in particular can reveal information that calls for revisions to OC word reconstructions based on received sources. For instance, the chuān 川 in the Măwángduī manuscript of the Zhōuyì 周易 corresponding kūn 坤 in the received version suggests that the phonophoric 川 stands for the syllable type *Kәn with a velar initial. This supposition is further supported by Zhou bronze inscriptions and Warring States variant character forms that involve the graph 川.

Glottochronology for the study of Beijing and Sichuan dialects of Mandarin Chinese

Roman Shapiro

The purpose of this paper is to identify the time of splitting between Sichuan and Beijing dialects of Chinese using the glottochronology method. According to this method, first introduced by M. Swadesh (1952) and modified by other scholars, the time of cognate language divergence is defined through the number of differing vocabulary items in their basic word lists. Following the common procedure, basic lists for Sichuan and Beijing dialects have been compiled in this study on the basis of the standard 100-word English list. A refinement of the glottochronology method has been suggested.

Scale, maximality and the Cantonese particle saai3 晒 ‘all’

Nai-Fai Wong

It is well known, that Cantonese has particularly rich particle systems in the sentence final and postverbal domains. This paper investigates the semantic properties of the postverbal particle saai3, conventionally translated as ‘all’ in English. In the literature it has been observed that saai3, despite its fixed postverbal position, appears to be associated with a wide range of constituents in the sentence including object, subject, adverbials, verbal particles, verbal complements and different types of predicates. This paper argues for a unified analysis, which incorporates the claim that saai3 is a maximality operator taking an ordered set of events or degrees as its argument.

Locating antecedents to zero anaphora in Mandarin: an SDRT approach

Jiun-Shiung Wu & Wen-Hsing Tseng

This paper argues that the crucial step to locate the antecedent to zero anaphora in Mandarin is to identify the most appropriate attachment site for a clause containing a zero anaphor. We propose that the Available Attachment Points in Segmented Discourse Representation Theory is required to find the possible attachment sites and that Maximize Discourse Coherence is used to identify the most suitable attachment site from the available ones. All the NPs in the most suitable attachment site are potential antecedents to the zero anaphor. Other information, such as selectional restriction, domain knowledge and world knowledge, can help to choose the accurate antecedent, or perform a summation of the discourse referents when there is a lexical entry in the discourse which requires the ZA to have a plural antecedent.

Chinese Linguistics in Budapest (2006)

Chinese Linguistics in Budapest 漢語語言學在布達佩斯

edited by Redouane Djamouri and Rint Sybesma

This is the first volume in the Chinese Linguistics in Europe (CLÉ) series. It was published in 2006, by the EHESS/CRLAO, as the tenth volume in the Collection des Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale. 146 pp. ISSN 667367, ISBN 2-910216-09-8. Regular price: € 25 / US$ 30; EACL members: € 15.

It contains a refereed selection of the papers that were presented at the 4th bi-annual meeting of the EACL which was held at the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Department of East Asian Studies of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, 20-22 January 2006.

Table of contents and Abstracts

Table of contents

Edith Aldridge: VP-internal Quantification in Old Chinese
Christoph Anderl: Notes on the development of modal verbs and their functions in Late Middle Chinese texts
劉秀瑩: 禁忌的漂白-初探「死」的語法化過程與極性補語的用法
Yoonjeong Kim: 可能补语的非及物化
Zhang Jisheng & Jeroen van de Weijer: A Constraint-Based Account of Tone Sandhi in Shaoxing Chinese
Henning Klöter: Transcribing Chinese in the 19th century: transferability and applicability
Elena Papapavlou: Transcribing Chinese in Modern Greek. A historical study and the present-day reality
Valentina Pedone: Patterns of language choice for the second generation Chinese bilinguals in Italy
Li-Hao Yeh Angela Ku-Yuan Tzeng: The Effect of Association in Bilingual Memory


Abstracts (in alphabetical order according to author’s last name)

VP-internal quantification in Old Chinese

Edith Aldridge

This paper proposes an analysis of wh-fronting in Archaic Chinese as quantificational A’-movement to a focus projection between the subject and VP. What distinguishes this proposal from previous analyses of Archaic Chinese wh-constructions is its ability to provide a unified analysis of wh-constructions with other types of VP-internal quantification, i.e. constructions involving relative operators and quantifiers, which also had to be located outside the VP in overt syntax. The challenge for a unified analysis is that each of these elements occupies a different position between the subject and VP. This paper rather focuses on what these constructions have in common and proposes that there was a ban in Archaic Chinese on the appearance of quantificational material inside the VP at the time of Spell-Out. From a diachronic standpoint, it is important to note that Archaic Chinese wh-words were, unlike their modern counterparts, quantificational operators. This paper demonstrates that Archaic Chinese wh-words did not exhibit the behavior associated with variables, as they do in modern Chinese. The paper further shows that the loss of wh-movement in Chinese correlates with the ban on quantificational material within VP.

Notes on the development of modal verbs and their functions in Late Middle Chinese texts

Christoph Anderl

There have been significant changes concerning the modal system between the period of Archaic Chinese and Late Middle Chinese. During this period a variety of new modal markers appeared, including modal verbs, sentence final particles, adverbs, semi-grammaticalized phrases, and interrogative pronouns. The development reached a peak during the late Tang-Five Dynasties period, and early Song. During that period new literary genres appeared which made use of the contemporary colloquial language. Types of these texts include many dialogues and describe the lively interaction between individuals. In order to recreate the situational context of these encounters a complex system of modal markers is employed.
The paper gives a short historical outline of aspects of these developments and focuses on the system of modal verbs in Late Middle Chinese. It is demonstrated that the number of modal verbs had increased significantly, especially those indicating deontic and epistemic modality. Many of the modal verbs eventually formed disyllabic compounds. Depending on their pre-modal meanings as full lexical verbs, the functional realm and semantic range of many modal verbs is specialized and restricted. In addition, certain modal verbs expressing volition developed extended functions such as the marking of imminent action or conditional sentences. Another striking feature of the use of modal verbs in Late Middle Chinese colloquial texts is their interaction with other modal markers; for instance, modal verbs expressing obligation and necessity interact with rhetorical interrogative pronouns, verbal suffixes, intensifying adverbs, and sentence final particles.


Yoonjeong Kim

本文试图通过阐述可能补语的非及物化现象,揭示带可能补语的句子 中,受事者出现在句首的例子更符合可能补语的语用功能。可能补语非及物化现象,主要用可能补语的静态性和”得P2″的”受事-指向”特征来解释: 关于可能补语的静态性,提出可能补语的句法结构本身就表现[-动态]特征; ”P2″ 的受事-指向特征可说明受事者的话题化。同时,根据可能补语的静态性、受事者的话题化、非及物化等现象,提出可能补语表示被动意义的假

Transcribing Chinese in the 19th century: transferability and applicability

Henning Klöter

The 19th century saw the rapid development of missionary language studies in Southern China. Word lists, spelling books, and dictionaries were compiled for the purpose of teaching local languages to newly arriving missionaries; Christian texts were translated into local languages for the purpose of preaching to the local population. Missionary linguistics ventured into various terrae incognitae, most notably in the fields of orthography development and dictionary compilation.
This article introduces missionary efforts in devising an alphabetic orthography for the Southern Mǐn language. Two aspects of orthography design are analyzed, viz. phonological analysis and selection of letters and diacritics. It is shown how phonological analysis drew on traditional Chinese phonology of Southern Mǐn rhyme books. The question which letters should represent Southern Mǐn sounds was a controversial issue. One group of missionaries, most notably the Americans Elijah Coleman Bridgman and Samuel Wells Williams, advocated an orthographic scheme which was applicable to different Southern Sinitic varieties. Orthographic transferability across different languages was achieved by using various diacritics. This approach, however, was in conflict with the needs of missionary teachers and printers in situ who favored easy application of alphabetic writing above cross-linguistic transferability.




Transcribing Chinese in Modern Greek. A historical study and the present-day reality

Elena Papapavlou——Ruhr University, Bochum

This paper focuses on the transliteration of Chinese in Modern Greek.  The first examples presented are of Chinese place names encountered in the 1808 publication of “New Methodical School Atlas Newly Printed for the Use of Greek Schools”. We examine, chronologically, numerous examples of transliterations (primarily of proper names and geographical names) from books, periodicals and film. The material shows that there is little uniformity in the Greek spelling of Chinese words, which partly related to the history of the Greek orthography, partlky to the fact that the transliterations in Greek are based on different Latin or Cyrillic transcription systems. Sionce there is a lack of academic research on Chinese in Greece, there is no transliteration system of Chinese in Modern Greek. Despite the inconsistencies, there are some orthographic rules to be found in standard works of grammar (e.g. Triandafillidi 1913, 2002) and in dictionaries (e.g. Babiniotis 2002) for the transliteration of foreign names in Modern Greek. Besides, there are also other systems followed independently by publishing houses and individuals.
The focus of this paper is on the description and analysis of the principles underlying existing Greek transliterations, and discusses the problem of an adequate transliteration of Chinese in Modern Greek based on the phonology systems of the two languages.

Patterns of language choice for the second generation Chinese bilinguals in Italy

Valentina Pedone

As the Chinese immigrant community settles down in Italy, a new generation formed by individuals who where born in Italy or arrived at an early age, gradually develops a language usage that differs both from their parents and their Italian peers. The three linguistic varieties that constitute their speech repertoire, Italian, Putonghua and a Chinese dialect, are selected in their daily speech according to a number of factors.
In this paper I attempt to design an overview of language choice by the Chinese second generation in Italy, taking advantage of a corpus gathered from a 55 questions questionnaire submitted to 78 students of Chinese origin in a community school of Putonghua in Rome.
The results presented here deal mainly with repertoire and dominance. The findings show how the dominant variety in the subjects’ repertoire changes according to the point of view we adopt to consider their language use. Overall, dialect is to be considered the dominant variety in the diachronic perspective, while Italian turns to be the dominant variety when we consider fluency and frequency of usage. While dialect keeps being the favoured choice in the parental domain, Italian is the language of the school and of peer networking, where it shares the domain along with Putonghua. This way the latter appears to be the only choice that is marked both from the ethnic and the intergenerational point of view.

The Effect of Association in Bilingual Memory

Li-Hao Yeh and Angela Ku-Yuan Tzeng

The purpose of the research reported here is to examine the effect of association in the processing between L1 and L2 in bilingual memory. Two experiments were conducted. In experiment 1, the association between semantic similarity words was generated and measured in cross-language primed LRT. In experiment 2, whether the association could be found both between lexical and conceptual representations was examined. Several conclusions were drawn. First, L2 may not
directly connect to the concept, at least for non-fluent bilinguals. Secondly, association was found between the two languages in both lexical representation and conceptual representations by cross-language LRT. Furthermore, because Chinese and English have no shared lexical features, the two languages were probably “general separate, but interconnection” in bilingual memory.

A constraint-based account of tone sandhi in Shaoxing Chinese

Zhang Jisheng & Jeroen van de Weijer

This paper investigates the tone sandhi rules of Shaoxing Chinese and presents a constraint-based account of these rules. In Shaoxing Chinese there are four low-register tones and four high-register ones, which can be combined in different ways in phrases as well as reduplicated structures. We present the different output tones resulting from tone sandhi and present an account in terms of output constraints. It will turn out that a number of these constraints can be related to cross-linguistic well-attested strategies, e.g. a general preference for right-prominence, a dispreference for identical tones, and, of course, the necessity of having an output tone. As such, this paper contributes to the description and analysis of Chinese language and our understanding of the relation between tone and other forms of metrical structure.


9th International Conference of the European Association of Chinese Linguistics (EACL-9)

September 24-26, 2015

Department of Linguistics

University of Stuttgart/Germany

Confirmed invited speakers:
Kai von Fintel (MIT Cambridge, MA)
Niina Ning Zhang (NCCU Chia-Yi)
Barbara Meisterernst (HU Berlin)
Local organizer: Daniel Hole 


The 8th EACL Conference was held in Paris on September 26-28, 2013.

You can still access the programme and the Book of abstracts on the conference website:


EACL 8 (Paris, France)

Call For Papers

The Eighth Conference of the European Association of Chinese Linguistics will be held on September 26-28, 2013, at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France. Registration will be on Wednesday September 25, 2013.

All presenters must register (and pay registrations fees) to participate in the conference.

Each person my submit no more than one single-authored abstract in addition to one joint-authored abstract.

The requirements for the submission re given below:

1) Please note that if the working language of the conference my be English or Chinese, all abstracts must be submitted in English (for technical reasons).

2) Abstracts must reflect new research.

3) Abstracts will be submitted online, and should not exceed 400 words (including 3 to 5 keywords). They should be followed by the main references up to 5 titles. Be sure not to include any personal information for the sake of the anonymous reviewing process.

Opening of the online submission process : January 20, 2013. Please access the following Conference Website for online submission:

Deadline for submission of abstracts : February 20, 2013.

Notification of acceptance or rejection : April 20, 2013.

Conference languages : English, Mandarin Chinese

Registration fees : € 35 for students, € 70 for non-students

Confirmed keynote speakers :

CHEN Chao-jung 陳昭容 Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Mark HALE, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Christoph HARBSMEIER, Oslo University, Norway

Waltraud PAUL, CRLAO-CNRS, Paris, France


Christine Lamarre, EACL President, local organizer
Françoise Bottéro, EACL Vice-President, local organizer


Call for papers

The 7th Conference of the European Association of Chinese Linguistics (EACL-7)

Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy – September 13-15, 2011

The Seventh Conference of the European Association of Chinese Linguistics will be held on September 13, 14, 15, 2011, at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy. The conference is hosted by the Department of East Asian Studies and the Department of Language Sciences at Ca’ Foscari University. Registration is on September 12, 2011.

The organization committee of EACL-7 cordially invites abstracts for 20-minute talks (plus a 10-minute discussion) in all areas of Chinese linguistics. Abstracts in the field of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language will not be considered. Abstracts may also be submitted for the two panels outlined below.

Each person may submit no more than one single-authored abstract in addition to one joint-authored abstract. The requirements for the submission are given below:

1) The abstract should be no more than one A4 or letter-size page in length. For English: Times New Roman font, size 12 pt (single space). For Chinese: Songti font 宋体, size ‘small 4’.
2) Please indicate the topic on the upper corner of your abstract (e.g. phonetics, phonology, lexicology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse/pragmatics, Chinese traditional phonology and philology, historical syntax, prosodic syntax, historical comparative linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, language acquisition, syntax-semantics interface, language contact, etc.)
3) Three to five key words must be provided to indicate the framework, topic, language(s), or dialect(s) of your paper.
4) Abstracts must reflect new research.
5) Only EACL members can present papers. To become a member of EACL, please fill in the registration form:
6) For Membership information please click here
7) E-mail 2 copies of the abstract to and to, (a) one abstract in MS Word DOC format which includes the author’s name(s), affiliation(s), and e-mail address(es); and (b) the other abstract in PDF format identified by title only (for anonymous review).
8) The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 30, 2011.
9) Notification of abstract acceptance or rejection can be expected by March 31, 2011.

Special panels:“Classical Chinese” For information, please contact Barbara Meisterernst (ddurkin AT

“Chinese and typology” For information, please contact Guglielmo Cinque (cinque AT

Confirmed keynote speakers:

C.-T. James Huang (Cambridge, Mass.)
Christine Lamarre (Paris)
Federico Masini (Rome)
Luigi Rizzi (Siena)
Rint Sybesma (Leiden)

Conference languages: English, French, Mandarin Chinese

Registration fees : € 25 for students, € 40 for non-students
Student status will have to be certified.

Contact persons

§ Dr. Magda ABBIATI, local organizer
magda AT
§ Dr. Linda BADAN, EACL Vice-President and local organizer
linda.badan AT
§ Dr. Guglielmo CINQUE, local organizer
cinque AT

2014: Rome, Italy, March 31 – April 4

Sponsored by:

Roma Tre University, Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Rome, Italy
Course Programme:
Federico Masini & Chiara Romagnoli: Chinese lexicon and lexicography: Diachronic perspective and synchronic description
Daniel Kadar: Talking ABOUT Chinese language: An introduction into Chinese meta-pragmatics
Victor Pan & Linda Badan: Syntax of Modern Chinese: A generative introduction to topic, focus and wh-questions
In addition, two lectures on general linguistics by Raffaele Simone (lexicon) and Mara Frascarelli (syntax).


2013: Prague, Czech Republic, April 29 – May 3

Sponsored by:

Charles University (Univerzita Karlova v Praze), Prague, Czech Republic

Course Programme:
Christine Lamarre: “Morphosyntactic variation in Chinese dialects”
Claire Saillard:  “Sociolinguistics and language contact in the sinosphere”
Lukas Zadrapa:  “Classical Chinese between Lexicon and Syntax”

2012: Berlin, Germany, 26-30 March

Sponsored by:

Humboldt-University Berlin

Course Programme:
Meisterernst, Barbara: “Classical Chinese Grammar: theoretical approaches and syntactic analysis”.
Shapiro, Roman: “Non-canonical and foreign writing systems for Chinese”
Hole, Daniel: “Introduction to formal semantics”


2011: Paris, France, 10-15 April

Sponsored by:
UFR-LCAO (Langues et Civilisations d’Asie Orientale), Paris Diderot University, Paris, France
CNRS – UMR 8563, (CRLAO, Centre de Recherches Linguistiques surl’Asie Orientale), Paris, France
IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies), The Netherlands

Course Programme:
Françoise Bottéro (CRLAO, Paris) & Thekla Wiebusch (Paris,CRLAO): “Chinese: writing and classification systems”
Pierre Magistry (Paris Diderot University, Paris): Corpus linguistics
Marie-Claude Paris (Paris Diderot University, Paris) “Chinese syntax in synchrony”
Alain Peyraube (CRLAO, Paris): “Chinese syntax in diachrony”

2010: Bochum, Germany, 3-7 May

Sponsored by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), The Netherlands

Course programme:
Redouane Djamouri (Paris, CRLAO): Oracle Bone Inscriptions
Jeroen Wiedenhof (Leiden) Descriptive approaches to Chinese syntax
Henning Klöter (Bochum) Chinese languages recorded by Western missionaries (17th century)

2009: Moscow, Russian Federation, 15-19 June

Sponsored by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), The Netherlands and the International Association for Chinese Linguistics

Course programme:
Wolfgang Behr (Zürich): Theories of Old Chinese morphology
Waltraud Paul (Paris): Modern Mandarin: morphology, syntax, semantics
Roman Shapiro (Moscow): Tendencies in Chinese dialect phonology

2008: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 12-16 May

Sponsored by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), The Netherlands, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Taiwan

Course programme:
Umberto Ansaldo (Amsterdam): Chinese Pidgin English: contact, typology and grammar
Yiya Chen (Leiden): Tone
Barbara Meisterernst (Ghent): Classical Chinese syntax

2007: München, Germany, 19-23 March

Sponsored by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), The Netherlands, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Taiwan

Course programme:
Laurent Sagart (EHESS, Paris): Old Chinese among the other East Asian language families
Hilary Chappell (EHESS, Paris): Typology of Sinitic languages
Daniel Hole (LMU, München): (Formal) Semantics

2006: Leiden, The Netherlands, 27-31 March

Sponsored by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), The Netherlands, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Taiwan

Course programme:
Lisa Cheng and Rint Sybesma (Leiden): On modern comparative syntax
Wolfgang Behr (Ruhr-Universität, Bochum): On writing
Guillaume Jacques (CRLAO, Paris): On historical phonology

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