The discipline of Chinese Linguistics and Philology in Central China Normal University have enjoyed over 50 years’ history and witnessed rapid development during the 1970s. It began to enroll postgraduate students and PhD candidates respectively in 1978 and in 1991. In 1996 it obtained the right to confer doctoral degree. In 1997, the discipline of "Chinese Linguistics and Philology — Chinese Language and Chinese education” was established, under the approval of Ministry of Education in accordance with the key discipline of the “Project 211”. In 2000, “Research Center for Languages and Language Education” based on the discipline was accredited as one of the hundred national key research bases for liberal arts and social science. In 2002, the discipline was accredited to be a national key discipline of higher learning institution by Ministry of Education. In 2008, it was awarded provincial vantage discipline in higher learning institutions.
Over 20 research faculties work for this discipline, among which 11 are professors, 9 associate professors and 7 doctoral supervisors. This discipline boasts for its well-structured diverse expertise, pioneered by the renowned linguist professor Xing Fuyi, followed by a number of young and middle-aged innovative scholars such as Li Xiangnong, Wang Guosheng, Chu Zexiang, Xu Jie, Wu Zhenguo and Fan Xingan. The establishment of the academic team encourages research faculties to work cooperatively for a common goal.
There are three research fields under this discipline, namely Contemporary Chinese, History of Chinese Language and Application of Chinese Language. Notable achievements have been made in the field of Contemporary Chinese, especially in contemporary Chinese grammar. A series of significant academic viewpoints have been presented as “the Theory of Clausal Pivot”, “the Governing Force of Clauses”, “Verb as the Core of the Clause”, “Noun as the assigner of the Clausal Patterns”, “the Counter-governing of Compound Sentence Patterns to Semantic Relations”, and thus the research approach of the “Two-triangle” theory (consisting of a Small Triangle as “syntactic forms-semantic meanings-pragmatic effects” and a Big Triangle as “Mandarin Chinese-Chinese dialects-Ancient Chinese”) has been established. In the field of History of Chinese Language, with the research emphasis on the history of Chinese lexicology and the history of Chinese phonetics and phonology, great progress has been made in the cognitive mechanisms of the formation and development of Chinese lexical words, the mutual dynamic relations of Chinese lexical words and ancient Chinese culture, and studies on phonetics and phonology in Eastern Jin Dynasty. Research in the field of application of Chinese language focuses on two aspects, among which one is studies on Chinese teaching, including the teaching of Chinese as a native language and the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language. Two doctoral programs — “Comparison of Chinese and Foreign Languages” and “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language” have been forged so as to strengthen studies in this field. “The Research Base for International Promotion of Chinese Language” has been established as a key research base for liberal arts and social sciences in Hubei Province. Researches are being carried out in strategies for international promotion of Chinese language, approaches to teaching Chinese as a foreign language, compilation of textbooks for teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and teacher training for Chinese as a foreign language. The other aspect of research in the application of Chinese language is focused on Chinese information processing. Dynamic corpus for contemporary Chinese and complex sentence corpus for contemporary Chinese have been established; major projects such as “The Connecting Mechanisms and the Analysis Strategies of Marked Chinese Complex Sentences from the Perspective of Chinese Information Processing”, “Studies on Automatic Typing of Connectives in Chinese Complex Sentences from the Perspective of Chinese Information Processing” have been accomplished; the doctoral program of “Chinese Information Processing” has been established to cultivate interdisciplinary talents excelling both at Chinese language and computer science. We have co-established “Surveillance and Research Center for national Language Resources (Internet Media)” with the State Language Commission. This center is responsible for real time surveillance on the domestic influential websites and downloading, classifying and storing internet language materials and thus form super-size dynamic internet media corpus and release observatory analysis on internet language to the public, so as to offer consultancy to the State Language Commission.
In terms of cultivating talents, especially postgraduate programs, we follow rigid regulations and adopt a quality-oriented approach. In implementation, emphasis is laid on three points (pioneering thoughts, research ability and sound learning atmosphere) and two “teaching chains” (learning chain: course study - research practice - graduate thesis; tutoring chain: learning guide - research guide - cooperative research).
In terms of academic research, since 2005, over 50 research projects including the research project from the State Social Science Fund have been undertaken under the discipline, with a total fund of over 5 million RMB; over 40 books have been published by Commercial Press, Zhonghua Book Press, etc. over 400 articles have been published in the prestigious journals as Zhongguo Yuwen (Chinese Language), Fangyan (Dialects); over 10 top awards have been accredited to this discipline.
We pay great attention to academic exchange. Faculty members have been frequently invited to attend academic conferences or lectures in US, Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore, etc. and many distinguished scholars from home and abroad have been invited to give lectures in our school. We have hosted many Large-scale academic conferences, such as International Symposium on Verb-Object Relations (2005), International Symposium on Comparison of Grammar (2007), International Symposium on Sentence Functions (2009), etc.
The discipline offers superior resources for academic research, with the space for research up to 400 square meters, and provides large-scale corpuses and library collections. Two academic publication fronts have been set up to publish research achievements: Journal of Chinese Language by the Commercial Press and “Central China Language Research Series” for a series of academic books.