Sandra Thompson (linguist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Sandra Thompson, the Louisiana politician.

Sandra Annear Thompson is an American linguist specializing in discourse analysis, typology, and interactional linguistics.[1] She has published numerous books and her research has appeared in many linguistics journals. She is currently Professor Emerita of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and serves on the editorial board of several prominent linguistics journals.

Thompson is known for her large body of research on Mandarin grammar, much of which she has conducted in collaboration with UCSB colleague Charles Li. Their 1981 book Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar[2] is widely cited and often compared to Yuen Ren Chao's A Grammar of Spoken Chinese (1968).[3] That work, along with her earlier work in Chinese resultative verb compounds, was a major contribution to the study of Chinese morphosyntax, and stood apart from contemporary research in that it devoted attention to the internal structure of Chinese compound words, whereas other research focused on the syntactic nature of compound words.[4] She has also conducted research on discourse and grammar, collaborating with linguistics such as Paul Hopper on topics including transitivity and emergent grammar.[5] With Christian Matthiessen and Bill Mann she developed rhetorical structure theory.[6] Thompson and Charles Li also carried out extensive documentation of the Wappo language, and, with Joseph Sung-yul Park, published a reference grammar of the language in 2006.


  1. ^ "Sandra A. Thompson". UCSB Linguistics. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ Li, Charles N.; Thompson, Sandra A. (1981). Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-06610-6. 
  3. ^ Chan, Marjorie K.M. "Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar". The Ohio State University. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ Packard, Jerome (1997). "Introduction." New Approaches to Chinese Word Formation: Morphology, Phonology and the Lexicon in Modern and Ancient Chinese. In Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 105, ed. Werner Winter. New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 17–18.
  5. ^ See, for example, Hopper, Paul J.; Sandra A. Thompson (June 1980). "Transitivity in Grammar and Discourse". Language. 56 (2): 251–299. doi:10.2307/413757. JSTOR 413757. 
  6. ^ Mann, William C., Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen and Sandra A. Thompson (1992). Rhetorical Structure Theory and Text Analysis. Discourse Description: Diverse linguistic analyses of a fund-raising text . ed. by W. C. Mann and S. A. Thompson. Amsterdam, John Benjamins: 39–78.