Lisa Cheng

Titels Prof. dr.
Initials L.L.
Main position Hoogleraar UL
Disciplines Linguistics
Chair Algemene taalwetenschap
Domain Humanities
Member of Humanities
Employed by Universiteit Leiden
Leiden University Centre for Linguistics
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden
tel.  071 527 2104
Personal website

Lisa Cheng compares the syntax of Chinese languages with African and European languages. She became renowned for her analyses of interrogative phrases containing ‘wh-words’ (e.g. who, what and where). In English, the wh-word always appears at the start of the sentence, in Mandarin never, and in French occasionally. And yet the question is the same in all three languages. By comparing different languages, Cheng is seeking to understand the essence of human language grammar. She is also the coordinator of a major European study exploring various facets of multilingualism.