Fang Jackson-Yang

PhD Psychology

  • Psychology
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room S35
7 George Square

Post code


I am a psycholinguist, linguist and Chinese-as-a-second-language teacher. I was born and grew up in central China. I worked as a Chinese (as a second language) teacher, an English (as a second language) teacher, and a journalist before coming to academia in the UK. I have studied linguistics, applied linguistics and psycholinguistics at MSc and PhD levels in Beijing, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Undergraduate teaching

Psychology 1A

Psychology 1B

Psychology Year-4 Poster Clinic

PPLS Writing Centre tutorials and workshop



Postgraduate teaching

PPLS Writing Centre tutorials and workshops 

Research summary

My primary research interests lie in information structure and language production. However, I am interested in all psycholinguistic and linguistic topics. I am always happy to discuss these topics with people both within my fields and beyond. Please see below for my current research and the projects I have done previously. If you are interested in my research, please get in touch!

Current research interests

In conversations, people package information in messages that they try to convey. Interestingly, they often have more than one way to package information. For example, you could say ‘Our boss, everyone likes him’ or ‘Everyone likes our boss’. The meaning of the two messages are almost identical. But why do you say one rather than the other? My research investigates how people package information in conversations and what factors can affect their choice of information packaging. I use psycholinguistic methods to investigate these questions (mainly priming studies so far; I plan to also use other methods such as eye-tracking and event-related potentials (ERPS) in future in order to find converging evidence).

Past research interests

In my previous MSc project, I investigated how people influence each other on emphasizing certain semantic components across messages in dialogue. For my previous MA projects, I conducted empirical studies on English speakers’ second language acquisition of Mandarin topic-comment constructions. I have also built a database of spontaneous speech of Mandarin and conducted a corpus-based study in Mandarin left-periphery.

Invited speaker

25-27 Oct 2017           “Is topicalised topic more prominent than left-dislocated topic? – Evidence from Mandarin sentence production”, the 1st International Workshop on the                                                        interface of Information Structure and Argument Structure (InfoStars), Seville, Spain.

26-27 June 2017        “The persistence of prominence in production: Evidence from spoken Mandarin Chinese”, Discourse Expectations: Theoretical, Experimental and                                                                      Computational Perspectives (DETEC 2017), Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

28-30 Sep 2016          “The persistence of linguistic prominence in language production: Evidence from spoken Mandarin Chinese”, departmental lab meeting at The                                                                          Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI)’s 75th Anniversary Event, the University of Geneva, Switzerland.


2013 Manchester Forum in Linguistics (mFiL)


7-9 Sep 2017              “How do speakers grammatically encode conceptually prominent information?”, poster presentation, the 23rd AMLaP conference: Architectures and                                                               Mechanisms of Language Processing, 7-9 Sep, 2017, Lancaster, UK.

31 May 2016               “What makes it difficult for English speakers to learn Chinese Topic Constructions?”, poster presentation, the Bilingualism Matters Summer Event for the                                                       general public, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, UK.

23-24 March 2016      “Corpus-based study on topic-comment realisation in spoken Mandarin Chinese”, poster presentation, Prosody and Information Structure in Stuttgart (PINS                                              2016), Stuttgart, Germany.

6-8 Jan 2016               “Topic-comment Constructions in Spoken Mandarin Chinese”, poster presentation, the 24th Conference of the Student Organisation of Linguistics in Europe                                             (ConSOLE XXIV), York, UK.

22 Oct 2015                "Topic-comment realisation at sentence level in Spoken Mandarin Chinese", poster presentation, the 49th Language at Edinburgh Lunch, Edinburgh, UK.

Papers delivered


Yang, F. (2012). “Speech Error Correction from the Perspective of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language”, in Huang, D. & Xing, M. (eds). Applied Chinese Language Studies III:                                                Innovations in teaching and learning Chinese as a foreign language. pp. 221-230, London: Sinolingua London Ltd.