Audrey Li

Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Linguistics

Contact Information
E-mail: audreyli@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-3717
Office: THH 356M



  • Ph.D. , University of Southern California

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    • Professor, University of Southern California, 01/01/2001-  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Yen-hui Audrey Li, Ph.D. (University of Southern California); joint appointment with Linguistics. Audrey Li is interested in the structural properties of natural languages: how and why human languages are the way they are and how and why languages differ in the way they do. The theme of her works is that languages differ in a principled and systematic manner. Meaningful cross-linguistic comparison is based on in-depth investigation of individual languages. The topics of her research include the issues related to constituency and order at the sentential and nominal level, the interpretive mechanisms in universal grammar and the well-formedness conditions on the interpretation and spell-out of syntactic structures, constraints and interpretations of ellipsis structures, interaction between grammar and prosody. The data have been mainly drawn from English and East Asian languages from a comparative perspective. Li is also quite interested in the issues regarding language acquisition and pedagogical implications.
    Research Keywords
    syntax, Chinese language and linguistics, order and constituency, scope, syntax and prosody, quantification, ellipsis,
    Research Specialties
    Syntax, Chinese language and linguistics


    • Huang, J., Li, Y. A., Simpson, A. (2014). The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Chinese Linguistics. Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell Publisher. PubMed Web Address
    • Li, Y. A., Simpson, A., Tsai, W. D. (2013). Chinese Syntax in a Cross-linguistic Perspective. Oxford University Press.
    • Chen-Lin, C., Lee, L., Li, Y. A., Tan, D. (2013). Step Up, book II. Cengage Learning.
    • Huang, J., Li, Y. A., Li, Y. (2009). The Syntax of Chinese. Cambridge,: Cambridge University Press.
    • Simpson, A. A., Li, Y. (2003). Functional Structure(s), Form and Interpretation: Perspectives from Asian Languages. Routledge-Curzon.
    • Li, Y. A., Aoun, J. (2003). Essays on the representational and derivational nature of grammar: the diversity of wh-constructions.
    • Li, Y. A., Humphries, J., Wei, C. (2000). Ultimate Chinese, Living Languages.
    • Li, Y. A., Aoun, J. (1993). Syntax of Scope.
    • Li, Y. A. (1990). Order and Constituency in Mandarin Chinese.

    Book Chapter
    • Li, Y. A., Wei, T. (2014). Ellipsis. the Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on Chinese Linguistic Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Li, Y. A. (2014). Quantification. the Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on Chinese Linguistic Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Barrie, M., Li, Y. A. (2013). Analyses and syntheses: objects. Oxford University Press.
    • Li, Y. A. (2013). Chinese ba. The Wiley-Blackwell companion to syntax Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Li, Y. A. (2013). Case, Tense and Clauses. Breaking down the Barriers: Interdisciplinary Stud
    • Li, Y. A. (2012). Noun incorporation and non-canonical objects. West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics 30 Cascadilla Press.
    • Li, Y. A. (2011). Looking into clauses. Current Issues in Chinese Linguistics London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Li, Y. A. (2009). Case, Tense and Clauses. the Festschrift Alain Peyraube Taipei: Academia Sinica.
    • Aoun, J., Li, Y. (2008). Ellipsis and missing objects. pp. 251-274. MIT Press, Cambridge: Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory/MIT Press.
    • Li, Y. A. (2006). Chinese ba. pp. 374-468. Malden, Mass: Blackwell.

    Journal Article
    • Li, Y. A. (2014). Thematic Hierarchy and Derivational Economy. Language and Linguistics. Vol. 15 (3), pp. 295-339.
    • Li, Y. A. (2014). Structure of Noun Phrases - Left or Right?. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics. Vol. 12 (2), pp. 1-32.
    • Li, Y. A. (2013). Born Empty. Lingua.
    • Li, Y. A. (2013). P-insertion and Ellipsis. Studies in Chinese Linguistics. Vol. 34 (2), pp. 99-128. PubMed Web Address
    • Li, Y. A. (2013). Formal Linguistics and 'the Best Practices' of Language Instruction. Journal of Chinese Language Teaching. Vol. 10 (2), pp. 1-38.
    • Li, Y. A. (2012). The structure of Mandarin nominal phrases: from the perspective of the MinNan modification marker. Shanghai Education Publisher (Shanghai Jiaoyu Chubanshe). Vol. 11, pp. 82-92.
    • Li, Y. A. (2012). Mandarin de ? Taiwanese e. Studies in Chinese Linguistics. Vol. 33 (1), pp. 17-40. PubMed Web Address http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ics/clrc/english/pub_scl_catalogues_33.1.html
    • Li, Y. A. (2011). Non-canonical objects and case. Korea Journal of Chinese Language and Literature. Vol. 1 (1), pp. 21-51.
    • Ke, C., Li, Y. A. (2011). Chinese as a foreign language. Journal of Chinese Linguistics. Vol. 39 (1), pp. 177-238.
    • Li, Y. A. (2008). Theories of phrase structures and DE as a head. Contemporary Linguistics, Academy of Social Sciences. (2), pp. 97-108.
    • Li, Y. A. (2007). Beyond empty categories. Bulletin of the Chinese Linguistic Society of Japan. (254), pp. 74-106.
    • Li, Y. A. (2007). Theories of empty categories and Chinese null elements. Linguistic Sciences. Vol. 6, pp. 37-47.

  • Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • University of Southern California
  • Taper Hall 356
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0357

  • All photos taken by Elissa L., Yulee Kim and Ka Wong