Professor Yan Huang

BA, MA, Nanking; PhD, Cantab (College: Trinity); DPhil, Oxon (College: Christ Church)


Yan Huang is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Auckland. He received his BA in English and MA in English Linguistics at the University of Nanking, and obtained his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Cambridge (College: Trinity). He also holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford (College: Christ Church). At Cambridge, he was supervised by Professor Stephen Levinson and taught personally also by Professor Sir John Lyons, Professor Peter Matthews and Professor Nigel Vincent. At Oxford, he was influenced by Professor Dame Anna Morpurgo-Davies. Before moving to Auckland, he had for twenty years taught linguistics at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Reading, where he was Professor of Theoretical Linguistics. He has also spent his sabbatical/research leave at Yale, Harvard and Cambridge Universities. His main research interests are in pragmatics, semantics and syntax, especially the pragmatics-semantics interface and the pragmatics-syntax interface including anaphora. His books include internationally acclaimed The Syntax and Pragmatics of Anaphora (Cambridge University Press 1994, re-issued in 2007), Anaphora: A Cross-Linguistic Study (Oxford University Press 2000), and Pragmatics (Oxford University Press 2007), The Oxford Dictionary of Pragmatics (Oxford University Press 2012) and Pragmatics 2nd edition  (Oxford University Press 2014). His Pragmatics is being translated into a number of languages, and the Korean translation and the Chinese reprint have already been published. He has also published a number of articles and reviews in leading international journals of linguistics. He is on the editorial board of a number of journals and research monograph series including the Journal of Pragmatics andCurrent Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface. He has been invited to lecture in around 120 universities and research institutes in many countries in Europe, North America, East Asia, Australasia, and North Africa. Currently he is editing The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, contracted to be published by Oxford University Press in 2015. On the administrative front, he was Head of Linguistics at Reading 2005-2007, and Head/Chair of Department at Auckland 2010-2013.

Research | Current

  • Pragmatics
  • Anaphora
  • Pragmatics-semantics interface
  • Pragmatics-syntax interface
  • Typology
  • Philosophy of language

Teaching | Current

LINGUIST 206 Semantics and Pragmatics

LINGUIST 320 Topics in Pragmatics

LINGUIST 724 Semantics and Pragmatics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Huang, Y. (2015). Pragmatics: language use in context. In K. Allan (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics (pp. 205-220). Londong: Routledge. Related URL.
  • Huang, Y. (2015). Neo-Gricean pragmatic theory of conversational implicature. In B. Heine, H. Narrog (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis (pp. 615-639). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199677078.013.0024
  • Huang, Y. (2015). Aspects of anaphora in Chinese and in some Germanic, Romance, and Slavic languages, the 'syntactic' versus 'pragmatic' language typology, and neo-Gricean pragmatics. Waiyu Jiaoxue yu Yanjiu, 47 (5), 673-694.
  • Huang, Y. (2013). Bayesian probabilistic model of discourse anaphoric comprehension, linguistic typology, and neo-Gricean pragmatics. Theoretical Linguistics, 39 (1-2), 95-108. 10.1515/tl-2013-0006
  • Huang, Y. (2013). Semantics and pragmatics. In B. Kaldis (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences (pp. 858-860). London: SAGE Publications, Incorporated.
  • Huang, Y. (2013). Research survey article: Micro- and macro-pragmatics: Remapping their terrains. International Review of Pragmatics, 5 (1), 129-162. 10.1163/18773109-13050106
  • Huang, Y. (2013). De se attitude/belief ascription and neo-Gricean truth-conditional pragmatics: logophoric expressions in West African languages and long-distance reflexives in East, South, and Southeast Asian languages. In N. Feit, A. Capone (Eds.) Attitudes de Se Linguistics, Epistemology, Metaphysics (pp. 185-209). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • Huang, Y. (2013). Logophoricity and neo-Gricean truth-conditional pragmatics. Perspectives on linguistic pragmatics (pp. 217-241). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-01014-4_8

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 323
New Zealand