October 2016 Kim-Renaud Lecture: Semantic Structures We Live By

Semantic Structures We Live By: Comparing English and East Asian Languages


Speaker: Professor Nan Jiang of the University of Maryland

Friday, October 14, 2016, 3:30pm-5:00pm

Location: Rome Hall 459 (801 22nd St. NW, Washington, DC 20052)

Each and every language has a semantic system underlying its linguistic form. How this system is structured differs across languages. Systematic comparison of semantic structures across languages is importantly pedagogically because accurate and idiomatic use of a second language (L2) is dependent on the development of an L2-specific semantic system (which is often neglected in L2 teaching). It is also importantly theoretically because understanding how semantic differences impact L2 learning may shed light on human learning and cognition. In the lecture, Dr. Jiang will share his observations of how semantic structures differ at both the lexical and sentence level between English and Chinese (and potentially other East Asian languages). The purpose is to enhance the awareness of such differences among L2 learners and teachers.