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Faculty Profiles

Litong Cheng

Litong Chen, Ph.D.

Visiting Associate Lecturer of Chinese

On Faculty since 2019
Wyngarden 203


My research interest lies in the contact, change, and variation of dialects and languages in China and how linguistic features and language use of Chinese are influenced by social factors. A significant part of my research discusses these topics in a bilingual or multilingual context.

The Ohio State University
Ph.D., Chinese Linguistics, 2016 

The Ohio State University
M.A., Chinese Linguistics, 2012 

Renmin University of China
B.A., Chinese Linguistics, 2010


  • Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA)

  • CLTA Special Interest Groups • L2 Chinese Pronunciation Teaching & Research

    • Chinese Language Film Education Exchange

    • Context-based Inter-disciplinary CFL Curriculum: Research and Practice

  • International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL)

"Behind literature hides linguistics: Character frequency and rhyme occurrence correlation in Huajian-Ji." The 30th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-30), 9-11 March, 2018, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

"Teaching intermediate-low level Chinese through TV series." With Chi-ying Alice Wang and Bing Mu. Presenter and organizer of the panel: Teaching Different Levels of Chinese Language Courses Through TV Series. 2017 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) [held in conjunction with the 2017 Annual Meeting of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Expo], 16-18 November 2017, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

"Let’s watch and discuss Jesus’ story in the foreign language classroom: Using the Jesus Film as an example." The 25th Annual Conference of the North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA-25), 9-11 April 2015, Biola University, La Mirada, California, USA.

"What influences Southern Chinese dialect speakers’ Putonghua conversational ability?" Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics Conference 2014 (HAAL 2014), 7 June 2014, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong S.A.R.

"Subgrouping of Yue dialects in Guangdong: New lexical evidence from the distance-based network methods." The 22nd Annual Conference of the IACL & the 26th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (IACL-22 & NACCL-26), 2-4 May 2014, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

"Let’s say a silent “IXOYE”: Identifying Christian students in the Chinese classroom in American public universities." The 24th Annual Conference of the North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA-24), 20-22 March 2014, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA.

"Variation of the third-person singular pronoun in Hong Kong Cantonese." The 38th Annual Penn Linguistics Conference (PLC-38), 28-30 March 2014, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

"湘、贛、客语异同之量化分析" (A quantitative analysis of the Xiang-Gan-Hakka relationship, presented in Chinese). With 徐子谦 (Tsz-Him Tsui). 全国汉语方言学会第 17 届年会暨汉语方言国际学术研讨会 (The 17th Annual Meeting of National Chinese Dialect Society and International Symposium on Chinese Dialect), 13-15 December 2013, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P. R. China.

"Genetic relationship versus synchronic similarity: A case study of Shaoguan Tuhua and Hakka." The 46th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (ICSTLL-46), 7-10 August 2013, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.

"Motivation of code-switching in Chinese Christian church in the United States." Symposium about Language and Society-Austin (SALSA-21): Language Variation and Change. 12-13 April 2013, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.

  • Contact linguistics Contact phenomena among Cantonese, Hakka, and Mandarin in Guangdong Province, especially the mechanisms of mixed language formation (such as the Dapeng dialect)
  • Chinese dialectology Diachronic development and synchronic (both quantitative and qualitative) analysis of Standard Mandarin, Chongqing Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, and southern vernacular dialects
  • Sociolinguistics Language use in the Chinese-speaking community in China and in the U.S.; language attitude of Chinese speakers; language vitality of less-spoken dialects of Chinese
  • Early Cantonese text Rhyming and dialect writing in early (16th —19th century) Cantonese texts, including Bible translation and songbooks (Yue-ou and Huajian-Ji)


At Wheaton:

  • CHIN 103 Accelerated Elementary Chinese
  • CHIN 201 Intermediate Mandarin Chinese
  • CHIN 336 Chinese Cinema
  • CHIN 346 Modern Chinese Literature


At Other Institutions:

  • Elementary Chinese
  • Intensive Elementary Chinese
  • Intermediate Chinese
  • Intensive Intermediate Chinese
  • Advanced Chinese
  • Selected Readings in Scholarly Chinese Texts
  • Peoples and Cultures of Contemporary China (Taught in English)
  • Chinese Popular Culture: Past and Present (Summer abroad, Taught in English)
  • ESL Reading & Writing
  • Conversational Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers


  • [Forthcoming] 陈利砼 (Chen, Litong). 你说的真的是“中文”吗?——记一节探讨中国语言与方言的美国大学通识课 (Do you really speak “Chinese”? –A general education class on Chinese languages and dialects) In: 刘刚 (Gang Liu) and 汪海霞 (Haixia Wang) (eds.), 传统与现代:海外中文文化教学 (Tradition and Transition: Teaching Chinese Culture Overseas). Beijing: Beijing University Press.
  • [Under review] Chen, Litong. Behind literature hides linguistics: Character frequency and rhyme occurrence correlation in Yue-ou. Submitted to Chinese Linguistics: From the Field, From the Lab, and From the Armchair. Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics series. Springer-Nature and Peking University Press.
  • Chen, Litong. 2017. Development of Daohua: Social contexts of a Chinese-Tibetan creole. Asian Highlands Perspectives 44:122-140.
  • 徐子谦 (Tsui, Tsz-Him) and 陈利砼 (Litong Chen). 2016. 湘、贛、客语异同之量化分析 (A quantitative analysis of the Xiang-Gan-Hakka relationship, in Chinese). Journal of Chinese Dialectology 6:170-180.
  • Chen, Litong. 2015. Variations of the third-person singular pronoun in Hong Kong Cantonese. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 1.8:1-5.
  • Chen, Litong and Nicholas Joch. 2015. Cantonese love songs (Yue-ou 粤讴): Preface two. Asian Literature and Translation 3(2):1-15.
  • Chen, Litong and Tsz-Him Tsui. 2015. Chongqing Mandarin as a contour tone-only language. Proceedings of Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS-49) 49:61-68.
  • Chen, Litong. 2013. Motivation for code-switching in the Chinese Christian church in the United States. Texas Linguistic Forum 56:1-11.
  • Chen, Litong. 2011. The imposition of Cantonese on Mandarin in the city of Guangzhou. Proceedings of the 23rd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-23) 2:93-104.