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Faculty – Chao Fen Sun


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas

  • Chinese linguistics
  • Morphosyntactic changes in the history of Chinese
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Chinese syntax

Selected Publications


  • Chinese: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Studies on Chinese Historical Syntax and Morphology. Co-editor. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Center de Recherces linguistiques sur l'Asie Orientale, Paris, 1999.
  • Proceedings of the North American Conference of Chinese Linguistics Volumes 1 and 2. Editor. GSIL, Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California, 1999.
  • Studies on the History of Chinese Syntax. Editor. Monograph 10 of THE JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS, April 1997.
  • Word Order Change and Grammaticalization in the History of Chinese. (Won a publication subsidy grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Exchange, 1995) Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1996.


  • "Grammaticalization and word order Change. Co-auther with Elizabeth Closs Traugott. In Heine and Harrog (eds) Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization. 2011: 378-388.
  • LE2 de laiyuan jiqi yufahua guocheng (The origin of the sentence-final LE and it grammaticalization process). Co-author. In Studies Historical Linguistics, Institute of Linguistics, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Beijing: Commercial Press 2: 183-95. 2009.
  • "Two conditions and grammaticalization of the Chinese locatives," in Xu (ed) Space in Languages of China: Cross-linguistic, Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Science, 2008, 199-288.
  • "A study on subjectification and the BA construction," in Shen and Feng (eds) Contemporary Linguistic Theories and Related Studies on Chinese (Dang dai yuyanxue lilun). Beijing: Commercial Press, 2008, 375-93.
  • To use and to cause: Shiyong "to use" and the derivation of indirect causation in Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics Vol.33-1: 140-63. 2005
  • Review article in Journal of Linguistics (London: Cambridge University Press) on Sinitic grammar: synchronic and diachronic perspectives, Hilary Chappell (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Volume 39:1: 167-200. 2003.
  • "Hong Kong's Language Policy in the Postcolonial Age: Social Justice and Globalization," in Crisis and Transformation in China's Hong Kong, edited by Ming K. Chan and Alvin Y. So. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2002. [refereed]
  • "Aspectual categories that overlap: A historical and dialectal perspective of the Chinese zhe." To appear in Journal of East Asian Linguistics, 1998.
  • "Ambiguity in context-induced semantic changes: the History of the Chinese BA Construction." In Sun (ed.), Studies on the History of Chinese Syntax. Journal of Chinese Linguistics Monograph 10, 1997, pp225-56.
  • "On zhe again." Zhongguo Yuwen 2, 1997, pp 139-46.
  • "The origin of the Mandarin sentence-final laizhe." Journal of American Oriental Society, 115.3: 434-42, 1995.
  • "Transitivity, BA Construction, and its History." Journal of Chinese Linguistics 23.1: 159-95, 1995.
  • "On Grammaticalization." (Review article.) Guowai Yuyanxue (Linguistics Abroad) 62.4: 19-25, 1994.
  • "The adposition YI and word order in classical Chinese." Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Vol: 19: 2: 203-28, 1991.
  • "A Conditinal Maximal Match: Chinese Text Segmentation Algorithm Using Mainly Tags for Resolution of Ambiguities" (co-authored with Maosong Sun, and Tom Lai). Proceedings of ROC Computational Linguistics Conference, 1991: 135-46, Kenting, Taiwan.
  • "The History of DE." Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale, XVIII: 1: 5-27, 1989.
  • "The Sentence Final lai in Wu Dialect and the Sentence Final LE in Mandarin." Proceedings of the 1988 Wu Dialect International Conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. 1995.
  • "The Discourse Function of the Numeral Classifiers in Mandarin Chinese." Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Vol: 16: 2: 298-322, 1988. Chinese translation in Hsueh and Tai (eds.) Gongneng Yufa, Beijing: Yuyan Xueyuan Chubanse, 1994.
  • "On the So-called SOV Word Order in Mandarin Chinese: A Quantified Text Study and its Implications" (co-authored with Tom Givón). Language, Vol: 61: 2: 329-51, 1985. Chinese translation in Hsueh and Tai (eds.) Gongneng Yufa, Beijing: Yuyan Xueyuan Chubanse, 1994.


  • Classicial Chinese
  • Chinese language, culture and society
  • Structure of Chinese
  • History of Chinese
  • Seminar on Chinese morphosyntactic changes

Professional Activities

  • President, Chinese Language Teachers' Association of California, 2003-06.
  • Director, Board of Directors, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies, Berkeley, 2002-present.
  • Executive Secretary, International Association of Chinese Linguistics. Editor, Newsletter of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics, 1996-2000.
  • Invited speaker, gave a lecture on the two conditions and grammaticalization of the Chinese locative, Zhejiang University, September 2006.
  • Taught a course on the history of Chinese for the 2006 Summer Linguistic Institute, Nankai University, Tianjin, July 2006.
  • Invited to presented a paper on cause and effect and the Ba construction, Conference on Modern Chinese linguistics, Beijing University of Language and Culture, June 2006.
  • Keynote speaker, grammaticalization of the Chinese locative, the 18th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics, Western Washington University, June 2006.
  • Invited to resent a paper on the history of the Chinese locative, Conference on comparative linguistic studies in honor of Professor Fang-Kuai Lee, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, May 2006.
  • Invited speaker on Effective Use of Technology in Everyday Instruction to the Fourth Conference on Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, University of Southern California, May, 2006.
  • Invited to present a paper on Specificity and Chinese Spatial Terms, Conference on Space and Chinese, University of Melbourne, December 2005.
  • Discussant, panel on speech act verbs and teaching materials developments. ACTFL conference in Baltimore, November 2005
  • Invited speaker to the 2005 International Conference on Classical Chinese Grammar and the History of Chinese, gave a paper on Cause and Effect: The Making of the Ba Construction. Columbia University, New York.
  • Invited speaker, gave a lecture on The Ba Construction in Early Modern Chinese. Department of Linguistics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, September, 2005.
  • Invited speaker, gave a lecture on The Ba Construction in Early Modern Chinese. Institute of Linguistics, China Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, September, 2005.
  • Participated the 2005 First World Chinese Conference, Beijing, July 2005.
  • Keynote speaker, The Making of the Ba construction in Early Modern Chinese. The 17th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, June 2005.
  • Invited speaker, gave a presentation entitled The Knowledge About the History of Chinese That a Teacher of Chinese Needs. Beijing Language University (December 25) and Zhongshan University (December 27), 2004.
  • Participated the annual ACTFL conference in Chicago, November 2004.
  • Invited speaker, gave a lecture on the grammaticalization of the Chinese auxiliary -de. Institute of Linguistics, the Academy of Social Sciences. August, 2004
  • Participant, presented a paper on the semantic changes of the Chinese auxiliary de. International symposium on the studies of Chinese dialects. Fudan University, August 2004.
  • President, presided over the annual Mandarin Speech Contest of the Chinese Language Association of California, UC-Berkeley, April 2004.
  • Guest lecturer, gave a lecture on the history of Chinese writing, Stanford University Sophomore College, April 2004.
  • Presenter, gave a lecture, entitled looking for a national language: from Espranto to Beijing dialect. Stanford Humanities Center, March 2004.
  • Invited Speaker, presented a paper on the teaching of Chinese composition. Workshop on Advanced Chinese instruction, Harvard University, March 2004.
  • Invited speaker, gave a lecture on pictorials used in Chinese New Year. East House, Stanford University, January 2004.
  • Pariticipant, presented a paper on the grammaticalization of some Chinese verbs in the serial-verb constructions. Wenzhou Teachers©– university, January, 2004.
  • Invited speaker, presented a paper on the functions of different Chinese serial-verb Constructions in a Symposium on the history of Chinese Grammar, Zhejiang University, December, 2003.
  • Invited speaker, gave an hour-long lecture in the Pacific University East Asian lecture series on Language policy and national identity in China. December, 2003.
  • Discussant, Panel on Classical Chinese grammar, ACTFL annual meeting in Philadelphia, November, 2003.
  • Convener, 2003 Fall research conference in the University of San Francisco, Chinese Language Teachers Association of California, November 8, 2003.
  • Speaker of the lecture series on diversity of language, Chinese clause linkage, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University, November 7, 2003.
  • Invited speaker, On the meanings of Use and Causative in Chinese. East China Normal University, October, 2003.
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