Wen Xu

The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH) recently held the Macao Humanities Forum. The event featured Wen Xu, Dean of the College of International Studies of Southwest University and a Distinguished Professor under the Ministry of Education, who delivered a lecture titled ‘The Grammatical and Semantic Features of the “V1OV2 de” Construction in Modern Chinese and Reasons for its Formation’. The lecture attracted more than 200 on-site and online participants, including faculty members and students of UM.

Xu Jie


At the forum, Li Defeng, Associate Dean of the FAH, welcomed and thanked Prof Wen and introduced his achievements in cognitive linguistics and cognitive translation studies. Afterwards, Xu Jie, dean of the FAH, introduced to Prof Wen the current situation of the departments in the FAH, the international ranking of the UM linguistics discipline, and the significance of the Macao Humanities Forum, and expressed his hope for further cooperation with Prof Wen. The forum was also attended by Professor Zhang Hongming, Dean of the University International College of the Macau University of Science and Technology, and Professor Shi Chunhong of the Beijing Language and Culture University.

Prof Wen first introduced the definition and categories of the Chinese ‘V1OV2 de’ construction, which is a non-typical verb-copying construction, and it can be used to explain the reason why an event has taken place in a certain situation. After that, from the perspective of form and meaning, Prof Wen explores the syntactic-semantic restrictions of this construction on the words entering the ‘V’ and ‘O’ slots and the nature and function of the constant ‘de’. Finally, Professor Wen explained that the formation and development of this construction are driven and constrained by multiple internal and external factors, including semantic and syntactic reasons, as well as non-linguistic reasons such as being a unit of formalized communication, the conceptualization of embodied experience and cognitive economy.

After the lecture, UM faculty members and students, as well as the online participants, had an in-depth discussion with Prof Wen. The Macao Humanities Forum aims to provide a platform for world-renowned scholars from different humanities fields to share their latest research results with the UM community and local teachers and students. This was the fourth lecture of the forum in the 2022/2023 academic year.

Zhang Hongming

Shi Chunhong