At the beginning of the new year 2018, Professor Wang Wenbin, director of the National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education, and doctoral tutor and assistant to the principal of Beijing Foreign Studies University, gave a lecture to teachers and students in the conference room of the School of Foreign Languages. Professor Wang is engaged in the research of foreign linguistics and applied linguistics. He is proficient at cognitive linguistics, lexical semantics, syntax and contrast linguistics. He is the evaluation expert of the National Social Science Fund meeting, vice president of the China Cognitive Linguistics Association and deputy editor of the famous publication "Foreign Language Teaching and Research". Teachers, postgraduate students, and teachers and students off-campus actively participated in the lecture where was surrounded by a strong academic atmosphere.
Professor Wang started with explaining the significance of the comparative study on English and Chinese, the relevance of native language ability and foreign language proficiency and made a detailed explanation of the time and space differences between English and Chinese. Professor Wang pointed out that there are still issues remaining to be solved in the study of Chinese grammar: how to identify Chinese parts of speech, single and multiple sentences, subject and object components, are all worthy of our in-depth studies. Professor Wang encouraged young scholars to study the ancient Indian linguistics as a beginning when studying Western linguistics, such as a common language fact that "many nouns are derived from verbs", and he verified this fact with abundant examples. At the same time, Professor Wang examined the Han people’s belief in tangible objects from Western Sinologists’ observations of Chinese, the construction basis of Chinese characters, the pre-Qin scholars’ admiration of names and things, and the speculation of names and facts, so as to reveal the dominance of‘ objects and images in the thinking of the Han people and its status in affecting their language expression, thus reveals their spatialized thinking towards behavior. He pointed out that Chinese has features like spatial, massive, discrete, and reversible while English is temporal, connected, continuous, and irreversible. The essential difference is that English is temporal, while Chinese is spatial. Finally, Professor Wang proposed two research ideas: first, what the real Chinese grammar looks like, still needs to be deeply explored; second, Western sinologists’ observation of Chinese from a different perspective may give us some inspiration and improve our sensitivity to mother tongue. The whole lecture explained the profound things in a simple way, and a simple example could reflect a profound truth. Every vivid example and creative understanding presented to the audience many research topics on Chinese and language differences. Professor Wang's profound knowledge, unique insights and humorous language brought received laughter and applause from the audience. In the interactive part, Professor Wang had a lively discussion on the expressions of Chinese verbs with teachers and students. (Jin Nana/Text)