Statement of Purpose for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in the University of Leipzig

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  • Maggie
    University: Beijing Language and Culture University
    Nationality: China
    June 29, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Statement of purpose (1-2 pages) that clarifies the research interests of the applicant, in particular detailing how these would fit in with the broader research goals of the PhD programme; this can be in English or German.

    “However, what is so far lacking is a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the possible interactions of grammatical building blocks from different theoretical perspectives, on the basis of detailed empirical studies of phonological, morphological, and syntactic phenomena from an array of typologically diverse languages. It is the primary goal of the graduate programme to address this gap.”

    Human beings are born with curiosity and talented intelligence. They want to understand the world, also themselves. Language, as one of the greatest characteristics of human beings, is especially closely related to wisdom. Just as practical disciplines such as physics and chemistry, linguistics is also a way for humans to deeply explore the world (external and internal). The interdisciplinary study of linguistics research has been always played an important role. For example, in the field of artificial intelligence, it can help achieve free human-machine dialogue and smooth machine translation; in the medical field, it can help patients with aphasia recover their speech ability and help deaf and mute people improve their vocal language ability; in the field of linguistic theory, the theoretical exploration based on empirical research can help us understand the nature of various languages. These all seemed like magic and linguistics research is a very attractive subject to me. Therefore, I selected Linguistics and Applied Linguistics as my master’s major without hesitation. My academic enthusiasm has continued I am committed to further exploration in this field.

    Upon concluding my undergraduate studies with a brilliant academic record at Liaocheng University (LCU), I was recommended to pursue graduate study at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). Over the course of my four-year undergraduate study at LCU, my overall GPA reached 89.1/100, ranking No.1 among 28 students of my major, which saw me awarded a series of great scholarships and prizes. Due to my outstanding performance, I was admitted to BLCU graduate school for further study and earned a 90.5 GPA. Besides possessing knowledge regarding linguistic theories, such as Transformative-Generative Grammar, Minimalism, Systemic Functional Linguistics, etc. which are obtained from my registered linguistics course and textbook readings, I have also undertaken statistics modules at which I excelled, achieving a grade of 90%. I accumulated a lot of statistical techniques and learned to use SPSS, Matlab and even R. For example, I conducted a bilingual empirical research as my master thesis and applied SPSS to analyze the data connected.

    I have participated in many academic projects under the supervision of professors from both LCU and BLCU, such as Application of Construction Theory, which analyzed the Chinese construction “X buliao duoshao (O)” using Goldberg’s Construction theory and we fund this kind of construction means the limits of subjective evaluation carrying with a strong personal sentimental color. We also proved that not only the verbs but also the adjectives could be put into the position of X, and monosyllables are predominant in here.

    Another project I want to mention is EEG Characteristics of Cognitive Inhibition Control in Hearing Impaired Children. This project investigated the behavioral characteristics and intracerebral temporal features in cognitive inhibition control in children with hearing impairment and control group using event-related potentials through Stroop paradigm controlled by cognitive inhibition. In this project I am responsible for the recruitment and experimental operation of hearing-impaired children.

    Additionally, I have independently completed my own research projects, both of which were funded by my university. The first project Psychological Distance from the Perspective of Cognitive Reference Point (17YCX131) probed into the psychological distance from the cognitive perspective and fund that people always take ourselves as the reference point, which could explain the psychological mechanism of human language learning. The second academic program A Study of Chinese DO Structure and PO Structure on Cross-Linguistic Syntactic Priming in English-Chinese Bilinguals (18YCX021) aimed to study the cross-linguistic syntactic priming of the double and preposition object structure between English and Chinese. Using the picture-description paradigm and translation selection task, I designed two experimental environments and investigated the internal mechanism of bilingual syntactic learning of English and Chinese bilinguals at different levels.

    Besides, I have drafted some paper for review during international conferences such as “Syntactic Structures” and Generative Linguistics: A 60-year Academic Seminar and Symposium (July 2017), The Fifth International Symposium on the construction and application of Chinese Interlanguage Corpus (July 2017), The Second Symposium on the Construction and Innovation of International Chinese Teaching Materials (July 2018), The 10th National Symposium on Cognitive Linguistics (Nov 2016), etc.

    These experiences and knowledge make me more firmly believe that the IGRA project provided by the University of Leipzig is in line with my research interest as well as my career planning. IGRA focuses on the phonetics, morphology and syntax of natural languages. The purpose is to conduct comprehensive and systematic studies of the possible interaction of grammatical building blocks from different theoretical perspectives on the basis of a detailed empirical study of phonetic, morphological and syntactic phenomena from various types of languages. My research interest lies in analyzing the structure of language, such as gerunds, noun predicates, special sentence patterns, etc. applying empirical methods. I want to carry out doctoral research under the guidance of Professor Stiebels, using quantitative data to explore natural language phenomena based on widely recognized linguistic theories. I want to exercise my research ability in such a project team with strong academic atmosphere, good international reputation and very suitable for my research interests, and make my own contribution to the group with my background knowledge.

    My passion has always been to go to institutions or universities to progress in research work that I am interested in. As such, I intend to continue my research life in linguistics at a university or a research institution. I expect to work as a postdoctoral researcher in this field in Europe, especially in Germany, and then find a research job in universities or research institutions. I am very willing to supervise graduate students interested in this field.

    I hope to discuss more details and related issues with you in the interview. Thank you so much for your time!

    July 2, 2020 at 2:04 am

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