Prosodic Literature is a study of structural aesthetics of prosody in ancient Chinese literature.

Prosody is important in all genresof ancient Chinese literature, especially in verses and poetry. The study of prosodic literature focuses on questions such as following: where the rhythmic beauty of poetry and verses comes from; what mechanism it is for ancient Chinese poetry evolving from disyllabic lines to tetrasyllabic, trisyllabic, pentasyllabic and heptasyllabic lines of poetry; why there is no monosyllabic, hexasyllabic or octosyllabic poetry; how different genres of literature, including Chu Ci,Fu, Ci and Qu, were linguistically motivated in different periods of history. These questions are not only of great significance in literature study, but also deserve exploring in prosodic literature, from perspectives of prosodic phonology, historical syntax and register grammar.

Significant achievements have been made recently in the field of prosodic literature, including: the prosodic mechanism of formation and evolution of Chinese poetry, the prosodic contribution of Lisao , the prosodic disposition of Pianwen (Parallel-prose, or four-syllable poetic expressions with six-syllable prosaic phrases), fundamental principles of Prosodic Literature (including ballanced prosody , inbalanced prosody , and contradistinctive prosody) and the Supra-time-space Grammar in writing and literary creative works, etc.. These findings illustrate that Chinese genres are deeply rooted in the prosodic mechanism within the framework of universal grammar.

The centre aims to explore literature study from new perspectives of prosodic phonology, historical syntax and register grammar, which build the foundation of our research. Combining the theories of both ancient Chinese literature and western literature with the method of formal analysis and reasoning, the research aims to explain the prosodic nature and the rhythmic arts of ancient Chinese literature, and to reveal the linguistic motivation of literature based on the new perspectives of Chinese historical phonology.