Associate Professor
wli@email.unc.edu
843-7500
New West 318

Research

My research interests are mainly in two areas: Chinese linguistics (discourse analysis) and Chinese language pedagogy. I am interested in analyzing the unique features of Chinese as an isolating and “discourse-oriented” language. Different from the majority of languages commonly studied, Chinese has meager grammatical markings within the clause, but more devices and strategies at the discourse level for the construction of text. The identification of these devices and strategies and the understanding of how they work together are important not only for the study of the grammatical system, but also for second-language teaching and learning.

In discourse analysis, I have worked on topic-comment structures and topic chains in Chinese. Projects currently in progress include (1) temporal/aspectual information and word order in Chinese and (2) grounding structure in Chinese narrative text. In second-language acquisition and teaching, my research centers on acquisition at the discourse level and how it influences the learning of grammatical features in the sentence. I have worked on discourse grammar of Chinese applied to second-language teaching, word order, and the acquisition of the written genre.   

Courses

CHIN 253: Chinese Language and Society
CHIN 354: Chinese Culture through Calligraphy
CHIN 407: Readings in Modern Chinese I
CHIN 408: Readings in Modern Chinese II
CHIN 440: Advanced Chinese Grammar
CHIN 441: Chinese-English Translation and Interpreting
CHIN 511: Literary Chinese

Publications

美国高校的中国书法课程刍议 (Chinese calligraphy courses in American Universities). Yuyan Jiaoxue yu Yanjiu (Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies) 2011(4).

Chinese Writing and Calligraphy. Hawaii: University of Hawai’i Press (2010).

书面语体输出偏误对汉语词语教学的启示 (Features of Advanced L2 Chinese Writing and their Implications for the Teaching of Vocabulary). Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association 45.3 (2010).

The Role of a Chinese Calligraphy Course to Supplement Chinese Language Teaching.  Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association 44.2 (2009).
把 话题链纳入汉语教学语法体系–汉语语篇特点在外语教学中的体现 (Incorporating Topic Chains into Pedagogical Grammar of Chinese: Discourse-Oriented Nature of Chinese reflected in Second Language Teaching). Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association 41:1 (2006).

Topic Chains in Chinese – A Discourse Analysis and Applications in Language Teaching. Muenchen, Germany: Lincom Europa (2005).
The Discourse Perspective in Teaching Chinese Grammar. Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association 39.1 (2004).

Topic Chains in Chinese Discourse. Discourse Processes 37.1 (2004).

people.li.book.eastasiancalligraphy people.li.book.topicchains people.li.book.chinesewriting