Dr Zhengdao Ye

BA (ECNU), Grad.Dip, MA, PhD (ANU)
Senior Lecturer, Linguistics Program (School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics)
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 6125 2887

Areas of expertise

  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) 200408
  • Lexicography 200407
  • Language In Culture And Society (Sociolinguistics) 200405
  • Multicultural, Intercultural And Cross Cultural Studies 200209
  • Translation And Interpretation Studies 200323
  • Discourse And Pragmatics 200403
  • Cognitive Sciences 1702
  • Chinese Languages 200311

Research interests

general linguistic issues pertaining to meaning, culture and human cognition and their implications for human communication, including the practice of translation; semantics; pragmatics; semantics-pragmatics interface; intercultural communication; translation and stylistics; translatability; the language of emotion; emotion and bilingualism; psychological anthropology; Chinese linguistics; Chinese literature; life writing.

Teaching interests: 

LING2008 & LING6008 Semantics 

LING2015 & LING6015 Language, Culture, Translation 

LING2017 & LING6017 Chinese Linguistics 

LING2021 & LING6021 Cross-Cultural Communication 

LING3035/6015 Semantic Typology  

LANG3002 & LANG6002 Translation Across Languages: Specialised Materials 

LANG8016 Translation Project 



Zhengdao Ye moved to Australia after receiving her BA in Chinese Linguistics and Literature from the East China Normal University. She completed a Grad.Dip in Applied Linguistics from the Australian National University in 1998, followed by an MA in Linguistics (2000) and a PhD in Linguistics (2007). She has taught linguistic courses at the University of New England, Monash University, and the Australian Linguistic Institute held at the Macquarie University. The courses she has taught in a number of institutions include: Semantics; The Language of Emotions; Chinese Linguistics; Cross-Cultural Communication; Language, Culture and Translation; Translation Across Languages (Literary Texts & Specialised Materials); Second Language in Use; and Introduction to the Study of Language. Some of the highlights in her academic experiences include invited linguistic consultant at the Instituto Universitario Orientale (IUO) in Italy, invited lecturer on Lexicography and Cultural Semantics at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) , invited speaker as ‘Distinct New Voice’ on Intercultural Communication at IATEFL conference in Aberdeen, invited panellist on words and feelings at International Congress of Psychology in Berlin, invited keynote speaker at the Naming the Humans conference (Strasbourg University), and invited keynote speaker at the Sinologists in Bydgoszcz conference (Universytet Kazimierza Wielkiego). She was the keynote speaker on Cross-Cultural Communication for the Pre-Departure Training for the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, and delivered a training session on culture and communication at the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). She is the editor of the book The Semantics of Nouns (Oxford University Press, 2017), the co-editor (with Cliff Goddard) of 'Happiness' and 'Pain' across Languages and Cultures (John Benjamins, 2016), the co-editor (with Helen Bromhead) of Meaning, Life and Culture: In Conversation with Anna Wierabicka. (ANU Press, 2020, open access), and the general editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies (Palgrave McMillan, 2022;The Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies | SpringerLink ).  She has presented seminars at Aarhus University, Copenhagan Business School, l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), and Nanyang Technological University. 

Zhengdao Ye joined the ANU as a full-time lecturer in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics in 2014. 

In 2021, she was a recipient of the VC's Award for Excellence in Supervision.  

[my bio as an ANU alumna] https://slll.cass.anu.edu.au/people/zhengdao-ye

Researcher's projects

- Zhengdao is a key member of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) international research network, of which ANU is the home base. With Anna Wierzbicka, the founder of NSM theory (ANU), and Cliff Goddard (Griffith University), she co-organises the annual NSM workshop at ANU. She cooridnates the NSMLab@ANU research node.  

- The building blocks of meaning: a linguistic appraoch (ARC DP2021-2023, CI-2)

- Linguistic Profiles of New Chinese Migrants to Australia: 1980-1995 (CASS Small Grant Scheme 2019)

- Understanding the Intercultural Experiences of New Chinese Migrants to Australia:  1980-1995 (Australian Centre of China in the World Research Grant Scheme 2022-2023)

-  Re-examining peripheral structures: theoretical and empirical perspectives on linguistic ‘(un)productivity’ | Research School of Humanities & the Arts (anu.edu.au) (with Manuel Delicado Cantero) 

- A monograph on Emotion, Senses, and Social Categorisation: A Chinese Perspective. 

- Preserving Shanghai Wu 


Google Scholar page: 


Current student projects

PhD theses (as Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor)

The Semantics of Landscape Terms in Mandarin Chinese: An NSM approach 

The categorisation, compositionality and comprehension of chengyu

Investigating Community Interpreting as a Dialogic and Multimodal Process: Developing a Framework for Understanding the Psycholinguistic Process of English-Chinese Sight Translation

Developing an interdisciplinary framework to assess character voice: Vietnamese translation of J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace as a case study. 


Past student projects

PhD Theses

The Uncle-Type Kinship Terms in Sinitic Languages: An NSM-based Semantic Typological Approach (as Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor)

Translators’ Ethics: Case Studies of English–Japanese Translators in Community Translation (as Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor)

An NSM-based cultural dictionary of Australian English: from theory to practice (as Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor)

Foreign Literary Influence in Liu Cixin's Diqiu Wangshi (as Chair of Panel and Primary Supervisor) 

Adaptation of Shakespeare in Traditional Chinese Opera (as Associate Supervisor)

The Cultural Semantics of Forms of Address: A Contrastive Study between English and Italian (as Associate Supervisor) 


Honours Theses

Wenzhounese Ideophones: Phonosemantic Mapping, Marking and Semantic domains

An exploration of dialogue Features in the Dialect Novel The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai (Haishanghua liezhuan, 1894)

Translation and Exegesis: Chinese State Media for the English Reader: A Case Study of People's Daily Zhong Sheng Editorials on the Belt and Road Initiative 

Address Terms as a Pragmatic Resources for Speakers of Chinese. 

The Semantics of Cantonese Particles laaand laa3. 


Master's Theses

NSM Analysis of the Conceptualisation of Pain-related Words in Bahasa Indonesian

Translation and Exegesis: Collection of Life Writing by New Chinese Migrants to Australia in the Late 1980s to the Early 1990s: Cultural Identity, Translator's Activism, and Migrant Literature

Indonesian Cultural Keyword Hati and its English translations 

Chinese passives and their translations in literary texts: a preliminary study

Semantic Primes and Universal Syntax in Mandarin Chinese: An Update.

The Semantics of 'Uncle-type' Kinship Terms in Cantonese (Guangzhou) and Teochew (Jieyang). 

Applications of NSM and Minimal English in Second Language Teaching. 

Rules to be Broken: Translating the Avant-Garde Writing of Ma Yuan. 

George Orwell in Chinese Translation: Rebellion and Compromise. 

'Happiness' and 'Pain' in Javanese: Meaning, Culture, and Implications for Community Development. 

Translation and Exegesis: Speakability in Drama Translation: The Case of Ray Lawler's Summer of Seventeenth Doll into Chinese. 

Translation and Exegesis: Megan Marshall's Biography Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. 

How easy is it to translate 'Type 2 Diabetes for Dummies' into Arabic: Challenges and Solutions.

An Inquiry into Happiness and Anger in Romanian. 



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  19 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers