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Yao Tong, MA

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    Personal information

    I’m a PhD candidate in the research group of language use and cognition. My PhD project focuses on abstract concepts and co-speech gestures. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods and the corpus-analytical approach, my dissertations contributes to the following research questions: To what extent abstract thought is related to our bodily experiences? What is the role of embodiment in structuring abstract concepts? To what extent are gestures co-occurring with concrete and abstract meaning related to, or different from each other?

    This project is being supervised by Alan Cienki (https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/alan-cienki), Christian Burgers (https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/christian-burgers), and Gudrun Reijnierse https://www.ru.nl/english/people/reijnierse-w/

    My research interests include embodied cognition, simulation semantics, conceptual metaphor, co-speech gesture, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, usage-based linguistics, and quantitative empirical methods involving corpora. 

    Education

    2015-present      PhD candidate, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    2013-2015         Research Master’s in Linguistics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    2011- 2013         Master in English Composition: Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language, California State University (San Bernardino), United States

    2007- 2011         BA in English, Xi’an International Studies University, China

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