• PhD, University of Arizona, 2006

Research Interests

  • Chinese linguistics
  • East Asian Psycholinguistics
  • Sentence processing
  • Linguistic anthropology

Courses Recently Taught

  • EALC C 421/520, Introduction to Chinese Linguistics
  • EALC C505, Chinese Syntax & Semantics
  • EALC C600, Seminar on Chinese Language, Culture, and Cognition
  • EALC E301, Chinese Language and Culture
  • EALC E350, East Asian Language and Cognition
  • EALC E600, East Asian Psycholinguistics
  • EALC E600, Seminar on Sentence Processing

Awards and Distinctions

  • Young Scholar Award on Interdisciplinary Research from the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL), May 2010
  • International Young Scholar Award, PACLIC-19, 2005
  • Dissertation Scholarship, Ministry of Education, TAIWAN, 2005-2006
  • Fulbright Scholarship, 2001-2003
  • Chao Yuan-Ren Foundation Scholarship, 2001

Publication Highlights

Journal Articles

  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (resubmitted). Subject prominence and processing filler-gap dependencies in prenominal relative clauses: The comprehension of possessive relative clauses and adjunct relative clauses in Mandarin Chinese. Language.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (accepted). Thematic orders and the comprehension of subject-extracted relative clauses in Mandarin Chinese. Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles, & Chen, Yi-Rung. (accepted). Exhaustive semantic activation for reading ambiguous verbs in Chinese sentences. Lingua Sinica.
  • Chang, Yuchun, Lin, Chien-Jer Charles, & Ahrens, Kathleen. (2015). Conventionalization of lexical meanings and the role of metaphoricity: Processing of metaphorical polysemy using a cross-modal lexical priming task. Language and Linguistics 16, 587-614.
  • Jaeger, Lena, Chen, Zhong, Li, Qiang, Lin, Chien-Jer Charles, & Vasishth, Shravan. (2015). The subject-relative advantage in Chinese: Evidence for expectation-based processing. Journal of Memory and Language 79-80, 97-120. (doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.10.005)
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2014). Effect of thematic order on the comprehension of Chinese relative clauses. Lingua 140, 180-206. (doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2013.12.003)
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles, & Ahrens, Kathleen. (2010). Ambiguity advantage revisited: Two meanings are better than one when accessing Chinese Nouns. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 39, 1-19.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2008). The processing foundation of head-final relative clauses. Language and Linguistics 9, 813-38.

Book Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Edited Volumes

  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (in press). Comprehension of Chinese relative clauses. In C.-T. James Huang, James Myers, & Rint Sybesma (eds.) Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Brill.  
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2013). Thematic templates and the comprehension of relative clauses. In Montserrat Sanz, Itziar Laka, & Michael K. Tanenhaus (eds.) Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Basis of Linguistic Structures (pp. 141-148).Oxford Studies in Biolinguistics.Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2012). Distinguishing grammatical and processing explanations of syntactic acceptability. In James Myers (ed.) In Search of Grammar: Experimental and Corpus-Based Studies (pp.119-137). Language and Linguistics Monograph Series 48. Academia Sinica, Taipei.  
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2011). Processing (in)alienable possessions at the syntax-semantics interface. In Raffaella Folli, & Christiane Ulbrich (eds.) Interfaces in Linguistics: New Research Perspectives (pp.351-367). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles & Bever, Thomas G. (2011). Garden path in the processing of head-final relative clauses. In Hiroko Yamashita, Jerry Packard, & Yuki Hirose (eds.) Processing and Producing Head-final Structures (pp. 277-297). New York, NY: Springer.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles, & Ahrens, Kathleen. (2005). How many meanings does a word have? Meaning estimation in Chinese and English. In James W. Minett & William S-Y. Wang (eds.) Language Acquisition, Change and Emergence: Essays in Evolutionary Linguistics (pp. 437-464). Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.

Proceedings of Peer-Reviewed Conferences

  • Lin, Yu-Jung, Yang, Chung-Lin, & Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2013). The effect of phonetic orthography on the perception of Mandarin syllables. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 134(5): 4072. DOI:10.1121/1.4830870. (published abstract)
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2011). Chinese and English relative clauses: Processing constraints and typological consequences. In Zhuo Jing-Schmidt(ed.) Proceedings of the 23rd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-23), Volume 1 (pp. 191-199). University of Oregon, Eugene. [online access: ] Proceedings of the 23rd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-23), 2011.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2010). Comprehending Chinese relative clauses in context: Thematic patterns and grammatical functions. In L. E. Clements and C.-M. L. Liu (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-22) and the 18th International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL-18): Volume 1 (pp. 413-428). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. [online access:]
  • Lin, Hsin-Ni Vicky, & Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2010). Perceiving vowels and tones in Mandarin: The effect of literary phonetic systems on phonological Awareness. In L. E. Clements and C.-M. L. Liu (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-22) and the 18th International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL-18): Volume 1 (pp. 429-437). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. [online access:]
  • Chen, Yi-Rung, & Lin, Chien-Jer Charles. (2010). The effect of sense relatedness on lexical ambiguity resolution: Evidence from Chinese verbs. Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Chinese Languages and Linguistics (IsCLL-12) (pp. 347-366). Taipei: Academia Sinica.
  • Lin, Chien-Jer Charles, & Bever, Thomas G. (2006). Subject preference in the processing of relative clauses in Chinese. In Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon (eds.), Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (pp. 254-260). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Research Grants

  • Center for Advanced Study of Language, University of Maryland (2015). Project title:  Linguistic correlates of Chinese language proficiency.
  • Mellon Innovating International Research, Teaching and Collaboration Short Term Faculty Fellowship, Indiana University (2014). Project title: The influence of non-alphabetic orthography on Mandarin speech perception.
  • Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Junior Scholar Grant (2013). Project title: Restrictiveness and Chinese relative clauses: Perspectives from sentence processing.
  • Faculty Research Support Program, Indiana University (2011-2013). Project title: Floating thematic templates and Chinese sentence comprehension.


Charles Lin is assistant professor of Chinese linguistics at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Linguistics and the Cognitive Science Program. He directs the Language and Cognition Lab, where research on the interface between grammar and cognition is conducted. His lab is equipped for behavioral and neurolinguistic experiments (e.g., EEG). His main research interests include processing dependencies in head-final relative clauses (in particular, the comprehension and production of Chinese relative clauses), processing issues in syntactic theorization, processing thematic role orders (such as in relative clauses and resultative verb compounds), mass/count distinctions in a classifier language, the representation and processing of lexical ambiguity, and the perception and acquisition of Chinese vowels and tones in relation to phonetic orthography. He welcomes students interested in (East Asian) language processing to join his research team.