Xiaoting Li, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept
(780) 492-7583
356 Pembina Hall
8921 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H8



Dr. Xiaoting Li is an Associate Professor of Chinese Linguistics at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta. She received her PhD in linguistics and applied linguistics at Peking University, China, in 2011. She was a DAAD fellow at the University of Potsdam in 2008-2010. Recently, she received the Humboldt Fellowship to conduct her research at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 2019-2021.


Her research interest is language in interaction and multimodal analysis. She uses the methodology of Conversation Analysis, Interactional Linguistics and multimodal analysis in the study of everyday Mandarin talk-in-interaction. Her research explores how multimodal resources such as lexico-syntax, prosody and embodied actions are used by interactants in organizing turns, sequences and courses of actions in Mandarin conversation. The topic of multimodal organization of turns in Mandarin conversation is examined in her book Multimodality, Interaction, and Turn-taking in Mandarin Conversation (John Benjamins, 2014). Her recent work on multimodality in Chinese interaction is published in her co-edited book volume "Multimodality in Chinese Interaction" (Mouton, 2019). 


She teaches in the areas of Chinese linguistics, and language in Chinese society, and supervises graduate students in the field of Chinese linguistics, interaction and multimodal analysis.


Her current research projects include the SSHRC project "Unfinished utterances in Mandarin conversation", and the KIAS team project "Intercultural and interpersonal communication". She is a member of the International Network of Interactional Linguistics, and the Scientific Network of Multimodality and Embodied Interaction. 

Scholarly Activities

Research - Interactional Uses of yinwei ‘because’ and its Multimodal Production in Mandarin Conversation

Started: 201603

Keynote talk at the 2nd International Conference on Interactional Linguistics and Chinese Language Studies, Shanghai, China

Research - International Network of International Linguistics

Started: 201903

Member of the Network. First Network meeting at the University of Freiburg

Research - Interpersonal Touch in Mandarin Interaction

Started: 201810

Center for Language, Interaction, and Culture, Colloquium Talk, UCLA

Research - Language and the Body in Person Reference in Mandarin Interaction

Started: 201811

Pre-conference workshop “Referentiality in East Asian Languages”, the 26th Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference, UCLA

Research - Multimodal analysis of Chinese interaction: theoretical foundations

Started: 201806

Invited talk at the Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

Research - Multimodal Interaction: Theory and Methodology

Started: 201808

International Workshop “Frontiers of Interactional Research on Chinese Language”, Beijing Language and Culture University, China

Research - Suspensions in interaction

Started: 201906

Co-organized the panel with Dr. Shimako Iwasaki (Monash University) at the 16th International Pragmatics Association Conference in Hong Kong.

Research - Talk and the Body in the Construction of Interactional Units in Mandarin Conversation

Started: 201612

Invited talk at the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures, University of Calgary

Research - Units of Language—Units of the Body

Started: 201809

International Workshop “Divergent Units and Fuzzy Boundaries”, University of Potsdam, Germany


Multimodality in Chinese Interaction

Author(s): Xiaoting Li, Tsuyoshi Ono (ed.)
Publication Date: 2019
External Link: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/467757

Some Discourse-Interactional Uses of yinwei ‘because’ in Mandarin Conversation

Author(s): Xiaoting Li
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Language Sciences
Volume: 58
Page Numbers: 51-78
External Link: https://www.ualberta.ca/arts/media-library/people/xml/b8d2610b783247f686174d7fcdcb245f/ls-2016_final-paper.pdf

Some Interactional Uses of Syntactically Incomplete Turns in Mandarin

Author(s): Xiaoting Li
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Conversation. Chinese Language and Discourse
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 237-271
External Link: https://www.ualberta.ca/arts/media-library/people/xml/efe23e4e0fbf4f4b955dcab6ec9c68fb/final-publication.pdf

Leaning and Recipient Intervening Questions in Mandarin Conversation

Author(s): Xiaoting Li
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Journal of Pragmatics
Issue: 67
Page Numbers: 34-60
External Link: https://www.ualberta.ca/arts/media-library/people/xml/019dd8d0aa69422086c71f8b6580e4ff/xl_j-of-p.pdf

Multimodality, Interaction and Turn-taking in Mandarin Conversation.

Author(s): Xiaoting Li
Publication Date: 2014
External Link: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/scld.3/main