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YANG, Xiaolu    
Professor of Linguistics, Department of Foreign Language and Literatures (DFLL), Tsinghua University


MPhil, Ph.D. in Linguistics, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Work Experience

2009 – present  Professor, DFLL, Tsinghua University

2001- 2009 Associate Professor, DFLL, Tsinghua University

June – December, 2005  Visiting Scholar of Wexler Lab, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

2000 - 2001  Lecturer, DFLL, Tsinghua University

1996 – 1999  TA/RA, Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

1989-1992  Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics

1983-1987  English teacher, No.1 Middle School of Xiangtan, Hunan


Research Interests

Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Language and Cognition

Courses Taught

Undergraduate courses: Introduction to Linguistics, Language and Cognition

Graduate courses: Semantics, Language Acquisition



Yang, Xiaolu. 2012. Language: Rainbows that Reflect on Psychology--An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Beijing: Beijing University Press.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2009. Focus and Scales: An Experimental Study of L1 Acquisition of CAI and JIU in Mandarin Chinese. Beijing: Beijing University Press.


Yang, Xiaolu. 2016. Acquisition of BA and BEI. In Rint Sybesma et al. (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. The Netherlands: Brill.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2016. Child language acquisition and cognition. In Cai, Shushan (ed.), Contemporary Cognitive Science: Theories and Applications. Beijing: China Higher Education Press.

Yang, Xiaolu and Yang, Cheng. 2015. “Control in Mandarin-speaking Children’s Early Speech Production.” Lingua 163:1-22. 

Ji, Yue and Yang, Xiaolu, 2015. ‘Lai’ and‘Qu’in early child speech. Studies in Chinese Languages 364:28-37.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2012. Early syntactic development: Rule-based or usage-based? (In Chinese) Foreign Language Teaching and Research 44: 606-615.

Yang, Cheng and Yang, Xiaolu. 2012. Are Mandarin-Speaking Children in Early Control? In Y. Otsu (ed.), The Proceedings of the Thirteenth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics. Tokyo, Japan: Hituzi Syobo Publishing.

Yang, Xiaolu and Xiao, Dan. 2008. A case study of acquisition of the BA construction in modern Chinese. Contemporary Linguistics 10:200-210.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2008. Continuity and L1 Acquisition of BA in Mandarin. In tor Afarli (ed.) Comparative Grammar and Language Acquisition in the Age of Globalization: Norwegian and Chinese. Trondheim, Norway: Tapir Academic Press.

Xu, Ting and Yang, Xiaolu. 2008. Children's acquisition of passives in Chinese. In Y. Otsu (ed.), The Proceedings of the Ninth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics. Tokyo: Hituzi.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2004. About the debate over the poverty of stimulus argument. Foreign Language Teaching and Research 36:131-136.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2002, Focus adverbs CAI and JIU in L1 acquisition of Mandarin Chinese: a preliminary study. In S.-W. Tang and C.-S. Luther Liu (eds.), On the Formal Way to Chinese Linguistics. Stanford, CA.: CSLI.


Yang, Xiaolu. 2001. Mandarin-speaking children’s interpretation of scalar particles CAI and JIU. In M. Nakayama (ed.), Issues in East Asian Language Acquisition. Tokyo: Kurosio Publishers. Yang, Xiaolu. 2002. Restrictive focus in child Mandarin. Contemporary Linguistics 4:225-237.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2001. Triggering data in L2 acquisition of English by Chinese Learners. Foreign Language Teaching and Research 33:48-56.

Yang, Xiaolu. 2000. L1 acquisition of CAI and JIU in Mandarin Chinese. Modern Foreign Languages 23:331-348.


Academic Services

Vice president of the Professional Committee of Formal Linguistics of China

Lecturer of the Linguistic Academy of China

Referee for:

Language Acquisition, Lingua, Journal of East Asian Linguistics, Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Language and Linguistics; Studies for Chinese Languages (Zhongguo Yuwen, China), Foreign Language Teaching and Research (Waiyu Jiaoxue Yu Yanjiu, China), Contemporary Linguistics (Dangdai Yuyanxue, China),Modern Foreign Languages (Xiandai Waiyu, China), Language Sciences (Yuyan Kexue, China) 

Grants proposals for the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong; Linguistics book series of the Commercial Press

Research Grants

 “Syntactic Categories and Phrase Structures in Child Mandarin.” National Social Science Grant of China, 2011-2015, Principal Investigator.

 “Syntactic Categories in Early Grammatical Development.”  Humanities and Social Science Development Grant, Tsinghua University, 2010-2012, Principal Investigator.

 “Rules and Usage: Early Grammatical Development of Mandarin Chinese.”  National Social Science Grant of China, 2005-2009, Principal Investigator.

 “Contemporary Cognitive Science: Theories and Applications” Key project of the Ministry of Education of China, 2007-2013, Co-investigator.

 “The Chinese Early Language Project (CELA).” HK RGC project, 2002-2005, Co-investigator.

 “Prominence and Locality in Grammar: An Experimental Study of the Conceptualization of Quantification Scope in Chinese.” HK RGC project, 2005-2009, Co-investigator.


Contact Information

Address: Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, Beijing

Postal code: 100084

Tel.: 010-62781217

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