Linguistics Program will host international symposium April 22-23

Western Washington University's Linguistics Program will host an International Symposium on Typological Regularity of Semantic Change in Grammaticalization and Lexicalization

Saturday, April 22 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 23 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Miller Hall 121


Based on Indo-European languages, earlier studies (Traugott & Dasher 2002, Heine et al 1991) claim that semantic change follows the cline A>A, B> B. Xing (2015), on the other hand, provides evidence from a number of case studies suggesting that semantic change in Chinese follows a somewhat different pattern: A>A, B>A,B,C. She argues that such a discrepancy of tendency in semantic change is a result of different evolution pathways between typologically different languages. This symposium aims to bring the discussion about these two views to the next level – fine-grained investigations of tendencies of semantic change in grammaticalization and lexicalization in genetically unrelated and typologically different language families.


Invited speakers and topics:

  • Dr. Walter BISANG, University of Mainz, Germany

Topic: “Grammaticalization in Chinese—A Cross-Linguistic Typological Perspective

  • Dr. Xiufang DONG, Peking University, Beijing, China

Topic: “From Denotation to Description: Categorical Polysemy in Chinese”

  • Dr. Mei FANG, Institute of Linguistics, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China;

Topic: “The Use of Shuoshi and Interactional Motivations of ChineseEmergent Compound Words with Copula Morpheme”

  • Dr. Shengli FENG, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong;

Topic: “A Multidimensional Semantics in Classical Chinese”

  • Dr. Ekkehard KӦNIG, Berlin Free University, Berlin, Germany;

Topic: “Establishing Transphrastic Relations: On the Grammaticalization of Demonstratives and Interrogatives”

  • Dr. Barbara MEISTERERNST, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany;

Topic: “A New Approach on the Development of Deontic Markers in Pre-Modern Chinese”

  • Dr. Alain PEYRAUBE, EHESS, Paris, France;

Topic: “New Insights on the Historical Evolution of the Differential Object Marking in Chinese”

  • Dr. Chaofen SUN, Stanford University, San Francisco, USA;

Topic: “

  • Dr. Fuxiang WU, Institute of Linguistic, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China;

Topic: “Anti-grammaticalization in Chinese Dialects”


The Symposium will be held at Miller Hall 121 and free for WWU faculty and students. Please contact Janet Xing at if you have any questions.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 - 10:24am