Minqi Liu

刘敏旗 • [min.t͡ɕʰi] [ljou̯] • she/her

UCLA Department of Linguistics
3125 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543
United States of America

I recently earned my Ph.D. degree in Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in June 2023 and started working in the UCLA Language Acquisition Lab, where I conduct various infant linguistic experiments and manage the lab.

I am primarily interested in first language (L1) acquisition and theoretical syntax. I employ experimental methods to address core issues in children’s syntactic development and believe that L1 data can inform linguistic theory in meaningful ways. My recent research focuses on the L1 development of syntactic locality constraints through lens of constructions triggering locality difficulties (‘Intervention Effects’) in child grammar, such as sluicing or passive constructions in Mandarin Chinese.

Besides L1 acquisition and syntax, I am also working on Mandarin-speaking children’s second language (L2) English, especially how their perception and production of consonant clusters reveal their grammatical sensitivity to sonority sequencing. I have also conducted fieldwork on San Cristóbal Lachirioag Zapotec, an under-documented language spoken in Oaxaca in south-western Mexico, and Tonggu Gan, a non-Mandarin Chinese dialect spoken in Jiangxi in south China.

Before entering the Ph.D. program at UCLA, I earned my B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University, China.


Jun 2023 I graduated!! My dissertation Featural Relativized Minimality in Child Grammar: An Investigation of Mandarin Long and Short bei-passives (Co-Chairs: Nina Hyams and Ethan Poole) can be accessed on ProQuest and here.
Nov 2022 I gave a talk on Intervention effects in Mandarin-speaking children’s comprehension of passives at the 47th Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD 47) with Victoria Mateu and Nina Hyams. I received a Paula Menyuk Travel Award ($350) for this trip. Here are our slides and conference paper.
Jul 2022 A paper co-authered by me, Nina Hyams, and Victoria Mateu was published in the inaugural issue of Tsinghua Linguistics, entitled The syntax and acquisition of Mandarin sluice-like constructions. (pre-print version)
Jul 2022 I received a Dissertation Year Fellowship ($20,000) by UCLA.
Mar 2022 I received a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant ($15,001) by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for my dissertation project Intervention Effects in the Acquisition of Passives (with faculty PI Prof. Nina Hyams).