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The Syntax and Semantics of Chinese


Admission requirements

Students have to have basic knowledge of syntactic theory. Previous knowledge of Chinese is not required.


In this course, we discuss issues in Chinese syntax. We choose two or three topics, which may range from the structure of noun phrases (including discussions of classifiers) and the structure of the verb phrase to tense and aspect, quantifiers, questions, comparatives and relative clauses. We draw data from Mandarin and Cantonese, and sometimes other dialects

Course objectives

  1. Students are familiarized with issues in Chinese syntax and semantics.
    1. Students will understand analyses of particular issues.
    2. Students will be able to formulate questions and hypotheses based on current analyses.
    3. Students’ research skills will be further developed: they learn to report their findings both in writing and orally, for general as well as scholarly audiences.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 26 hours
time for studying the compulsory literature: 104 hours
time for assignments: 60 hours
time for the term paper: 90 hours

Assessment Method

Several written and oral assignments 40%
Term paper 60%
Compensation possible, but the term paper must minimally be awarded with a 5.
Resit: students who fail the course may resit the term paper.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

To be made available on Blackboard.
The syntax of Chinese, 2009. by C.T. James Huang, Y.H. Audrey Li, and Yafei Li, Cambridge University Press.


Enrolment in uSis is obligatory. If you have any questions, please contact the student administration, tel. 071 5272144 or

When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the coordinator of studies

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


MA Linguistics departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;