Universiteit Leiden

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Lisa Cheng

Professor of General Linguistics

Prof.dr. L.L. Cheng
+31 71 527 2104

Lisa Cheng is a Professor of General Linguistics at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.

More information about Lisa Cheng


What I find intriguing in language is the fact that languages can be superficially so different but at the same time so similar. This can be seen not only across dialects of a particular language (for example Chinese dialects), but also across language barriers (such as Basque vs. Dutch). The central questions of my research thus center upon the how’s and why’s of language variation. The answers to these questions can only be found by studying language as a system, and by doing interdisciplinary research on the brain. 
Starting with my thesis work on question formation, I find it absolutely fascinating to work on comparative syntax. It is fascinating and exciting to learn new facts and new phenomena, and it never gets dull. 

Research interests

  • Comparative syntax
  • syntax-semantics interface
  • typology
  • Chinese syntax
  • syntax-phonology interface
  • Bantu syntax 

Research Projects    

2015-2019    Ellipsis licensing beyond syntax. NWO (with co-investigator Anikó Lipták)

2014-2018    Understanding Questions. NWO (with co-investigator Jenny Doetjes)

2014-2019    Advancing the European Multilingual Experience. European Commission.

2004-2008  Research grant on the Word order and Morphological Marking 
                       in  Bantu. NWO, Principal Investigator  (with co-investigator  
                       Thilo Schadenberg) 



Professor of General Linguistics

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics
  • LUCL Taalwetenschap

Work address

Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
Room number 1.35



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