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Xinyu Zhu

Doctoral Student in Literature - Xinyu’s thesis is entitled ‘Adverbial Flexibility: A Minimalist Approach'

Research project title

Adverbial Flexibility: A Minimalist Approach


Prof Michelle Sheehan + Dr William van der Wurff

Contact details



Research interests

  • Generative Syntax: the syntax of adverbs with multiple placements; Chinese dialects syntax (esp. Wu Chinese)
  • Minimalist Program: merge; labeling; workspaces
  • Probabilistic linguistics
  • Syntactic Cartography: split-VPs; left periphery in Chinese & dialects

A brief outline of my research project

My research is centred upon adverbial flexibility in English and varieties of Chinese. By adverbial flexibility, I mean the variable placements of adverbs and other flexible phenomena in terms of the syntax of adverbs. Based on the framework of minimalism, my research will investigate the syntactic distribution of adverbs at a fine-grained level, focusing on adverbs which fall outside previous approaches.

My academic background

  • MA Linguistics, University of Leeds
  • BA English Language & Literature, China Jiliang University
  • Diploma in Business English, Zhejiang Financial College