Second Language Research
Our second language research is motivated by China’s pressing need for highly skilled foreign language users due to the nation’s rapid political, economic and industrial development. Drawing on cutting-edge theories and methodological developments in fields such as linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience, this lineof research involves in-depth investigation into the physiological and psychological mechanisms by which various Chinese populations learn foreign languages, and conversely by which foreigners learn Chinese languages. The specific goals of this research are threefold: 1) Construct theories of foreign language learning and teaching; 2) Develop innovative ways to cultivate highly skilled foreign language users; and 3) Create a system for assessing those foreign language skills best suited to the needs of the country’s socio-economic development. For many years researchers in this area have undertaken a steady stream of federal and provincial grants, have served as editors for authoritative second language research journals, and have served as members of influential committees in the field, including as chairmen and secretaries of the China Lex Bilingual Committee, The International Conference on Psycholinguistics, and the SLA Research Committee.
Societal and Public Discourse Studies
Our social andpublic discourse research investigates human linguistic behavior in communication in order to shed light on the interconnection between language, society, and culture. This research draws on a variety of areas in linguistics, including forensic linguistics, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis. In so doing, it emphasizes how these areas are not only compatible, but also complementary. High value is placed on pragmatic models of Chinese culture. The findings are used to guide national social practice but also international economic cooperation. The researchers involved have a strong presence in the field. For example, they have organized multiple national academic forums, have successfully completed many national and provincial grants, and have served as chairmen and secretaries for the China Association of Forensic Linguistics and the National Conference on Pragmatics.
Language ontology constitutes a core branch of linguistics that promotes the developmentof other branches, such as by giving them theoretical grounding. Through many years of research on language ontology, our center has developed an internationally distinguished team of researchers in this field whose work broadly encompasses theoretical research, dialect grammars, and speciallanguage impairment (SLI) in young children.