Comparing the Order of Multi-Layered Modifiers in English, Chinese and Vietnamese in Language Teaching

Multi-layer modifiers, cognitive linguistics, foreign language teaching


  • Vo Thi Quynh Trang
    Ho Chi Minh City University of Food Industry, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
June 8, 2021


From the cross-linguistic perspective and cognitive linguistic theory, this study has analysed the rules of multi-layered modifiers in English, Chinese, and Vietnamese, pointing out their common points and differences. Although all three languages belong to the SVO (subject-verb-object) type but modifiers in English and Chinese are in front of the core words, which shows that English and Chinese belong to the language in the left branch, but modifiers in Vietnamese, they are behind the core words which shows that Vietnamese belongs to the right branch. All the three languages have one thing in common, whether they are on the left or on the right branch, in which modifiers have the closest relationship with the core words that will stand nearest to them. Other modifiers that have a non-intimate relationship with the core words will stand further away from them. Thus, mastering this feature of the three types of languages will help in language teaching and learning.