Nian Liu

Assistant Professor, Chinese and Theoretical Linguistics


Norman, OK 73019
Copeland Hall 120 B
(405) 325-5497
        PhD, M.A. in Linguistics, University of Hawaii at Manoa
        M.A. in Chinese Language and Linguistics, University of Hawaii at Manoa
        M.A., B.A. in English Linguistics and Literature, Wuhan University
        Cognitive Linguistics
        Language Acquisition


Nian Liu, Assistant Professor of Chinese and Theoretical Linguistics, joined the faculty of Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics in 2012.


Dr. Liu's research interests cover diverse topics including simulation semantics, embodiment of linguistic constructions, linguistic relativity, and Chinese language processing. She was a visiting scholar at University of Latvia, Peking University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong working on several cross-linguistic comparison projects and bilingualism study.


Her most recent research projects focus in the areas of language acquisition, which she approaches from a cognitive perspective. The cognitive perspective is one which sees language as being inextricably linked to other cognitive functions, and so it is hypothesized that language affects and is affected by these other functions. Her current research project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), explores the relationship between language and cognition— how language is influenced by and influences general cognition. More specifically, it tests whether the use of numerical systems in time concept names affect how children acquire time concepts and how adults reason about time. 


Liu, Nian & Benjamin Bergen. (accepted). When do language comprehenders mentally simulate locations? Cognitive Linguistics.


Liu, Nian. (2013). Implicit Priming Effects in Chinese Word Recall: the Role of Orthography in the Mental Lexicon. International Journal of Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing, Vol. 18,  No. 3, 1-20.


Liu, Nian & Benjamin Bergen. (2013). When Tuesday comes before Threesday: Cross-linguistic differences in numerical transparency of time words predicts temporal reasoning strategy and performance. In M. Knauff, M., Pauen, N., Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 924-929). Austin TX: Cognitive Science Society.


Liu, Nian. (2010). Systematic Linguistic Coding Facilitates Children’s Lexical Acquisition. Proceedings of the 10th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Association (pp. 289-295). Edited by Yosuke Nomiyama. Japan: Kyoto University.


Liu, Nian. (2010). Tuesday, Threesday, Foursday: Chinese names for the days of the week facilitate Chinese children's temporal reasoning. In ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 210-215). Edited by Wayne Christensen, Elizabeth Schier, and John Sutton. Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science.