Junfei HU


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Degree Education

  • 2020-present    PhD Candidate & Marie Curie Early-Stage Researcher, University of Louvain, Belgium
  • 2018-2020          MPhil. in Linguistics and Communication Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • 2012-2013          MA in Chinese Linguistics (with Distinction), City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 2008-2012          BA in Chinese Language & Literature, Liaoning University, Mainland of China

Non-degree Academic Experiences

  • 2023-present    Visiting PhD Researcher, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2021-2022          Guest Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
  • 2021-2022          Marie Curie Early-Stage Researcher, Laboratoire Parole et Langage (LPL), CNRS & Aix-Marseille University, France
  • 2015-2017          Visiting Scholar, University of California at Los Angeles, USA

Research summary

  • Discourse segmentation
  • Corpus analysis
  • Interactional linguistics: Turn-taking and backchannel
  • Gesture production and comprehension: gesture-speech cooperation; the role gesture plays in predictive language processing 

Current research interests

My PhD project investigates how to segment a spoken discourse into a series of segments called conversational discourse unit (CDU). It then further examines how CDU affects communication by exploring the role it plays in response management and discourse alignment. Specifically, this project is designed to answer the following three questions. How to define and identify CDU in dialogue? What is the role of CDU in the management of turn-taking and backchanneling? To what extent do interlocutors align at the discourse level in terms of their choice of CUD?

Current project grants

Marie Curie Action (EU, 2020-2024)
FNRS Mobility (Belgium, 2023)
Bourses de voyage FWB (Belgium, 2023)

Conference details

  1. Hu, J., & Degand, L. (December, 2022). Do speakers align at the discourse level? The role of conversational discourse unit in task-oriented dialogue. Talk presented at the CogLing Days 2022. Tilburg, The Netherlands [Oral presentation]
  2. Hu, J., & Degand, L. (August, 2022). Discourse alignment in English dialogue: Converging on discourse segments in instructive sequences. Talk presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE 2022). Bucharest, Romania. [Oral presentation]
  3. Hu, J., & Özyürek, A. (May, 2020). Temporal synchrony of speech and gesture: A corpus-based case study of Chinese conversation. International Conference on Multimodal Communication (ICMC 2020).Osnabrück, Germany. [Oral presentation]
  4. Hu, J., Özyürek, A., & Huettig, F. (March, 2020). The role of iconic gesture in predictive language processing. Centre for Language Studies (CLS) Lunch Talk, Radboud University, Nijmegen, TheNetherlands. [Oral presentation]
  5.  Hu, J., & Özyurek, A. (April, 2019). Gesture retraction: A turn-final go signal for timing turn-transition. Gesture Sign Workshop 2019, Charles University, Prague, Czech. https://calc.ff.cuni.cz/en/gesturesignws/ [Oral presentation]


Degand L., Villalobos Cardozo, M., & Hu, J. (2022). Discourse alignment and prediction. A panel session at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE 2022). Bucharest, Romania. https://societaslinguistica.eu/sle2022/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/12/WS-3-Discourse-alignment-and-prediction.pdf 

  1. Tao, H., & Hu. J. (2019). Structural, semantic, and pragmatic properties of nong constructions inMandarin discourse: Evidence from corpora. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 6(1), 162 - 176.http://doi.org/10.1075/ijchl.18003.tao. [Peer-reviewed journal article]
  2. Hu, J., & Tao, H. (2017). A corpus-based study of low transitivity features of the verb Nong in Chinese. Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 49(1), 64-72. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328192087_jiyuyuliaokudenongzijudejiwuxingyanjiu [Peer-reviewed journal article]