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HNU Assistant Professor Publishes Paper on World’s Top Linguistics Journal


Assistant Professor Liu Mingming from College of Foreign Languages of Hunan University (HNU) published a paper Varieties of alternatives: Mandarin focus particles on world top semantics journal Linguistics and Philosophy recently. It was the debut of Chinese mainland researcher on such journal.
The paper concentrates on two mandarin focus particles – “Jiu (only)” and “dou (even)”. By examining details of two focus particles jiu ‘only’ and dou ‘even’, this paper explores the hypothesis that varieties of alternatives give rise to systematic ‘ambiguities’. Specifically, by positing sum-based alternative sets and atom-based ones, it maintains unambiguous semantics of jiu as only and dou as even, while deriving their variability through interaction with alternatives. Independently motivated analyses of distributive/collective readings and contrastive topics, combined with varieties of alternatives, deliver the full range of facts concerning jiu and dou. Theoretically, the paper illustrates an integration of Link, Landman’s theory of pluralites into Rooth’s alternative semantics. (Excerpts from abstract of the paper)
The Linguistics and Philosophy, a SSCI journal on linguistics and a top-level journal of semantics, published its first issue in 1977. It focuses on issues related to structure and meaning in natural language. According to Journal Citation Reports (JCR) data 2015, the journal topped among the four major journals on formal semantics in terms of impact factor (IF), with the other three being Journal of Semantics, Natural Language Semantics, and Semantics and Pragmatics. The Linguistics and Philosophy once published another two papers on Chinese language, namely, Double quantification and the meaning of shenme `what' in Chinese bare conditionals (1999), and Alternatives in different dimensions: a case study of focus intervention (2016).

Liu Mingming obtained his doctorate in 2016 from Linguistics Department of Rutgers University, a world’s leading research institution on philosophy and linguistics. He joined HNU College of Foreign Languages as an assistant professor in September 2016.