January 21, 2020 at 12:24 pm

Tao Presents on Grammar and Cognitive Processes at Two International Conferences

Dr. Liang Tao presents at international conference.

Dr. Liang Tao presents at international conference.

Dr. Liang Tao, Professor  of Linguistics at Ohio University, presented two different research talks at two highly prestigious international conferences: the 16th Biennial Conference of the International Pragmatics Association in June in Hong Kong and the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society in November in Montréal, Canada.

At the 16th International Pragmatics Conference, Tao presented a study on language variation and current language change in Mandarin Chinese with the title: “Coherence, intersubjectivity, stance building and language change: A case study in emergent grammar.” Tao’s talk proposed a current language variation and grammatical change. The change occurred due to high-usage frequency of a construction that serves the purpose of coherence and intersubjectivity in communication. The change impacts speakers’ cognitive processes. This study supplements the theoretical proposal of emergent grammar through usage-based language development.

Liang Tao at International Pragmatics Association

Dr. Liang Tao at International Pragmatics Association

At the 60th meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Tao presented a talk titled “Function Words Restoration.” Previous studies find that highly frequently used function words such as “the” or Chinese “de” are only processed minimally either during specific word search or in eye movement studies. Some speed-reading techniques even suggested ignoring those words. However, the current findings indicate those words are by no means ignored by native speakers in reading Chinese or English passages, reflecting a word-restoration effect.

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