Dr. Yong Ho was born and grew up in Nanjing, China. He taught English at Xuzhou Teachers College in Jiangsu, China for a number of years before he came to study at Columbia University in 1986. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology/ linguistics from Columbia University in 1992. His concentration was in Chinese anthropology and Chinese language. Currently Yong Ho coordinates the Chinese Program at the United Nations. Previously, he served as the Director of Curriculum and Language at China Institute1993 0-7734-2217-X
This study examines prominent aspects of discourse, including thematic structure, information structure, and word order. Data consist of transcriptions of interviews with over 20 Mandarin-speaking informants in both institutional and non-institutional settings. Texts of three interviews, representing narrative, expository, and procedural discourse types, are intensively examined and appended. In dealing with thematic structure, emphasis is placed on the sentence-initial devices used to establish the point of departure and on the implications of thematic structure on the conceptual and cognitive processes of Chinese speakers. On discussing information structure, it pays particular attention to the sentence-final devices used by speakers to indicate the focuses of their communicative interest. The study of word order is directed toward the intra-sentential dynamism, which is governed by a number of principles. All of these principles suggest a strong and significant isomorphism between word order on one hand, and real-world events and human perception on the other.