Research

  • Mandarin dou: the common core of distributivity, maximality, and EVEN. In press. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21.

    (Many people have looked at Mandarin dou. Some say it is a distributive operator, while some say it is a maximality operator. I say it is both — it is EVEN. EVEN forces both distributivity and maximality when it loses its likelihood flavor.)

  • Varieties of alternatives: Mandarin focus particles. 2016. Linguistics and Philosophy.

    (This paper illustrates how an integration of Link-Landman’s theory of pluralites into Rooth’s alternative semantics helps us understand systematic ‘ambiguities’ of Mandarin focus particles.)

  • Mandarin wh-conditionals as interrogative conditionals. 2016. Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 26.

    (This paper shows how to embed two questions (one in the antecedent, one in the consequent) under a semantics of conditionals. The result explains a series of interrogative properties of Mandarin wh-conditionals discussed in Cheng & Huang 1996″.)

  • Mandarin conditional conjunctions and only. In press. Studies in Logic.

    (This paper examines a conditional marker jiu in Mandarin. Jiu is independently motivated to be a focus-sensitive exclusive, with a meaning similar to English only. It indicates conditionality since combining with a juxtaposition of two clauses, it blocks the logical conjunction interpretation of the two. Together with a flexible semantics of natural language connectives as in Klinedinst & Rothschild 2012, jiu turns out to be compatible with only conditional juxtapositions and thus indicates conditionality.)

  • Exclusive and non-exclusive ONLYs in Chinese and English. 2016. Poster at WCCFL 34

    (Nonexclusive ONLYs are rarely discussed in the literature. This research tries to fill this gap with both empirical discoveries and theoretical proposals that shed light on how the semantics of ONLY should be set up to capture its nonexclusive uses and the cross-linguistic variations.)

  • Exclusive (dis)harmonies in Mandarin Chinese. 2016. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 22

    (This short paper discusses why ‘only’ cannot be associated with ‘more than n_F’ but is fine with ‘less than n_F’ (at least in Mandarin). It argues ‘only’ has a scalar presupposition that can trivialize its exclusive semantics in the case of ‘less than n_F’. )

  • Mandarin jiu as nonexclusive ONLY. In press. Proceedings of CLS 50

    (This paper explores how exclusive particles like ‘only’ can be non-exclusive. A weak ONLY is proposed that negates only alternatives that are strictly stronger than the prejacent; if no such alternatives, a non-exclusive ‘only’ obtains. )

  • Participant Sharing in Chinese Resultatives. 2015. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 21

    (This paper and the one below together argue Mandarin resultative verb compounds V1V2 have a VP-complementation syntax V1 [V2P] and a participant sharing semantics (the two events of the two verbs share a participant). Evidence includes independent modification and obligatory participant linking. )

  • Mandarin Resultative Verb Compound Involves VP Complementation. 2014. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 20