As one of the fundamental properties of human beings, the origin of language has been the subject of many speculations since ancient times. What is language? And where did it come from? Why all people, no matter where they live, have their own language? This lecture will take you back to the beginnings of language and communication to explore the development of language. It will also discuss the unique properties of human language, the major language families and branches in light of the functions of language in communication and the study of a foreign language so that your rational understanding of language may be strengthened and your awareness of language use in cross-cultural communication may be enhanced.
杨瑞英教授（西安交通大学） Prof. YANG Ruiying (Xi’an Jiaotong University)
杨瑞英，西安交通大学外国语学院教授，博士生导师，新加坡国立大学博士；荣获2006年教育部政府特殊津贴，富布莱特研究学者；曾赴美国、荷兰进行短期学术交流。研究方向为：语篇体裁分析、学术英语教学及语料库语言学；主持国家社科基金、教育部人文社会科学等研究项目，发表SSCI及CSSCI论文多篇，出版专著2部，主编与参编英语教材11部。曾任TESOL Quarterly 国际学术期刊顾问编委会委员，现任中国学术英语研究会副会长，中国英汉语比较研究会专门用途英语专业委员会常务理事及中国功能语言学研究会常务理事。
Prof. YANG Ruiying obtained her Ph.D degree from the National University of Singapore. She was granted 2006 Special Contribution Allowance of the Ministry of Education and Fulbright Research Scholarship. Her research interests include Discourse and Genre Analysis, EAP teaching and corpus linguistics. She has served as the principal investigator of research projects supported by the National Social Science Foundation and the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education. She published widely, including SSCI-cited and CSSCI-cited papers, monographs and textbooks. She was a member of the TESOL Quarterly Editorial Advisory Board (2014-17). Now she serves as the vice-chair of China EAP Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of EAP and Functional Linguistics Research Association.