- I am a College Fellow in Harvard Linguistics. My research concentrates on formal semantics, syntax-semantics interface, involving both theoretical and experimental inquiry. I also have broad interests in East Asian linguistics and philosophy of language. I received my Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard in 2016, and B.A. in Chinese linguistics from Peking University in 2010.
- My dissertation, entitled "Interpreting questions with non-exhaustive answers," investigates the semantics of questions. It begins by re-examining several fundamental issues, such as what a question denotes, how a question is composed, and what a wh-item denotes. It then tackles questions with complex structures, including mention-some questions, multi-wh questions, and questions with quantifiers. It also explores several popular issues, such as variations of exhaustivity, sensitivity to false answers, and quantificational variability effects.
- Other projects that I have worked on include the architecture of exhaustification, polarity item licensing, neg-raising, Mandarin particle dou 都, and so on. To read more about these projects and others, please visit my research page.
During March 12-18, I will visit the Inquisitive Semantics Group at the Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation (ILLC), University van Amsterdam.
Composing questions: A hybrid categorial approach. Talk at Workshop of Compositionality at the Interfaces, Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) 40, Leiden University, March 14, 2017. (Slides)(Printer-friendly version)
Sensitivity to false answers in interpreting questions under attitudes. Invited talk at the Inquisitive Semantics seminar, Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation (ILLC), University van Amsterdam, March 17, 2017.
Composing complex questions: Multi-wh quesitons and questions with quantifiers. Invited talk at Discourse in Philosophy (DIP) Colloquim, Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation (ILLC), University van Amsterdam, March 17, 2017. (Abstract)
Xiang, Y. Accepted. ONLY: An NPI-licenser and NPI-unlicenser. Journal of Semantics. (Preprint version)
Xiang, Y. 2016. Solving the dilemma between uniqueness and mention-some. Proceedings of North East Linguistics Society 46. (Paper)
Xiang, Y. 2016. Complete and true: A uniform analysis for mention-some and mention-all questions. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 20. (Paper)
Xiang, Y. 2016. Mandarin particle dou: A pre-exhaustification exhaustifier. Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 11. (Paper)
Xiang, Y. 2015. Mention-some readings of questions: Complexities from number-marking. Proceedings of Amsterdam Colloquium 2015. (Link)
Recent Talks and Posters
Composing pair-list readings: Multi-wh questions versus questions with quantifiers. Poster at the workshop in honor or David Pesetsky's 60th birthday (DP@60). MIT. Feb. 11, 2017. (Poster)
[Cancelled] Wh-items quantify over polymorphic sets. Talk at Linguistic Society of America (LSA) 2017 Annual Meeting, Austin. Jan 5-8, 2017.
Mentions-some readings of plural-marked questions: Experimental evidence. Talk at North East Linguistics Society (NELS) 47, Umass Amherst. October 14-16, 2016 (with Alexandre Cremers).
Mandarin Particle dou: A pre-exhaustification exhaustifier. Talk at Exhaustivity and Cognitive Architecture workshop, MIT. September 10, 2016. (Handout)
Sensitivity to false answers in indirect questions. Talk at Attitudes and Questions workshop, Center for Formal Epistemology, Carnegie Mellon University. June 10-11, 2016. (Slides)