New edition of linguistics textbook released by Oxford University Press

14 January 2015

A fully revised and updated second edition of Professor Yan Huang’s highly successful textbook on pragmatics – the study of language in use – has been released by Oxford University Press. The second edition of Pragmatics includes a brand new chapter on reference, a major topic in both linguistics and the philosophy of language.

Professor Huang is co-ordinator of Linguistics within the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics. This disciplinary area was placed 36th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2013/14. Oxford University Press describe Professor Huang as “one of the leading scholars in the field”.

The first edition of Pragmatics was released in 2006 and described by the Journal of Pragmatics as “an excellent textbook in pragmatics… Huang’s achievement is impressive”. The textbook is being translated into a number of languages, with Korean and Chinese translations already published.

The book draws on data from English and a wide range of the world's languages, and shows how pragmatics is related to the study of semantics, syntax, and sociolinguistics and to such fields as the philosophy of language, linguistic anthropology, and artificial intelligence.

Chapters have also been updated to include new material on upward and downward entailment, current debates about conversational implicature, impoliteness, emotional deixis, contextualism versus semantic minimalism, and the elimination of binding conditions.

A review of the first edition from the International Cognitive Linguistics Association explained that “[w]hile all topics are introduced in terms accessible to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this text, authoritative and up-to-date, can serve as a valuable resource for scholars from pragmatics and neighbouring areas of inquiry who wish to keep abreast of advances in the discipline.”

Professor Huang is also the author of three other books published by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, including two monographs and an Oxford dictionary on pragmatics. He is currently editing the Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, which is due to be published in early 2016.

Professor Huang obtained his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Cambridge, where he was supervised by Professor Stephen Levinson and taught personally by Professor Sir John Lyons, Professor Peter Matthews and Professor Nigel Vincent. He also holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was influenced by Professor Dame Anna Morpurgo-Davies.

Prior to taking up his present position at the University of Auckland, Professor Huang taught linguistics for twenty years at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Reading, where he was Professor of Theoretical Linguistics.

Find out more about Professor Yan Huang.

Find out more about studying Linguistics.