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ProfessorChen Xinren from Nanjing University Visiting and Lecturing at the College


      On 29th Oct, 2015, Professor Chen Xinren from Nanjing University paid a visit and made a lecture at the College at the invitation of the Department of English. As the director of the Foreign Language Research Center from Nanjing University, Professor Chen Xinren, is not only a doctoral supervisor, but also an academic leader in the sub-discipline of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. And the topic of his lecture was Discussion on Chinese Theoretical Construction of Pragmatics. The lecture was intended for all the students and faculty members from the Department English as well as from the major of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in Foreign Languages.

      The lecture was composed of four parts. The first one focused on the current state of Chinese local linguistics theory. Professor Chen has pointed out that the number of scholars studying in linguistic has gradually risen and, due to their increasingly active engagement with international community, they began to realize the significance of carrying out the linguistic research from the perspective of our own language culture instead of adapting unduly the theory that’s characteristically western centrism. The second part is about the development path of Chinese local linguistics theory, which has already stepped from focusing on introduction plus application to innovation. Under the mainstream framework of western theory and in the spirit of liberating pragmatics, Chinese scholars, taking advantage of culture thematic analysis method as well as corpus-driven qualitative research method, have discovered distinct Chinese language text and illustration resource, in an effort to build up the system for Chinese local pragmatics theory. Thirdly, it has discussed the construction orientation of Chinese local pragmatics theory, whose frontier studying fields currently include the research on linguistic behavior and manner, and linguistic behavior and morality, interpersonal relation management, capacity prompting and supporting research as well as programming research on linguistic behavior. Professor Chen encouraged relevant researchers to find out the root cause for language behaviors and come up with practical criteria for pragmatic from corpus. For example, traditional Chinese culture and value, best represented by "Benevolence, Justice, Courtesy, Wisdom, Faith”, and the doctrine of the mean, are the precious local resource that can be used in building the framework of Chinese local linguistics theory. The last part was about the problems and solutions to the construction of Chinese local pragmatics theory. Professor Chen pointed out that all the problems can be traced back to Chinese cultural diversity and regional variation. Chinese culture distinguishes itself from the rest of the world and is under a constant impact from western cultures. As for this, he put forward solutions and inspired the audiences to see from the micro-view and, after adequate accumulation, to make use of research methods such as discourse analysis, metapragmatics, corpus approach, ethnography to construct systemic theories. After that, Professor Chen interacted with audience and the lecture came to a successful end.

      In his lecture Professor Chen also mentioned that, the innovation subject for Chinese local pragmatics theory is those scholars studying and working in the area of foreign languages, who thus have undertaken the responsibility of developing original theory of Chinese pragmatics theory and introducing Chinese traditional culture to the international arena. A long way as it is, we are still confident to make greater breakthrough in Chinese local pragmatics theory as we researchers communicate and learn each other ceaselessly.

       The Foreign language Research Center of English Department has committed to pushing forward the development of applied linguistics and has invited numerous scholars and experts home and abroad to make lectures here. It will continue to play a significant role in promoting the development of applied linguistics in central China.


(Contributed by Xia Sichen and Dai Xiongli)