I am Yi-Hsun Chen. I recently graduated from the Department of Linguistics at Rutgers University (New Brunswick). Currently, I am a research fellow in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Nanjing University (NJU).
My research interests are primarily in formal semantics, formal pragmatics, semantics-pragmatics interface, semantics-syntax interface, universals/ cross-linguistic variation in semantics, and Chinese linguistics.
Specific topics include: scalarity, gradability, measurement, vagueness, alternatives, scalar implicatures, questions, (not-)at-issueness, information structure, argument structure and phrase structure.
My dissertation was mainly dedicaed to two puzzles posed by Superlative Modifiers in natural language: the ambiguity puzzle and the morpho-semantic puzzle. The ambiguity puzzle concerns why cross-linguistically, superlaive modifiers typically demonstrate the ambiguity between an epistemic reading conveying speaker ignorance and a concessive reading conveying speaker concession. The morpho-semantic puzzle concerns why cross-linguistically, quantity adjectives and degree morphology are typicaly involved in the morhological makeup of superlative modifiers.
The central proposal of this dissertation is two-fold. First, it is proposed that the EPI-CON ambiguity results from one unified semantic entry combining with different pragmatic factors such as informativity and evaluativity. That is, the two meanings can be seen as pragmatic variants in natural language. Second, the proposed semantics of SMs can be further decomposed into three pieces: a quantity adjective (Q-adjective), a superlative component and an existential operator E-OP.
[last updated: November 13, 2018]