University of Connecticut

Events Calendar


Tuesday, October 2, 2018
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Oak 338

Muyi Yang will give a practice talk for NELS 49 on 'Causal networks in discourse: A case of Mandarin negative conditionals'.

Mandarin has negative conditionals (NCs) which are headed by the complementizer yaobushi `if not'. Previous works (Henderson 2010, 2011; Ippolito and Su 2014) observed that NCs (i) are obligatorily counterfactual, (ii) lack backtracking interpretations, and (iii) presuppose the truthfulness of the complementizer's prejacent. I argue that NCs instantiate a linguistic form of causal reasoning to the best explanation in discourse: yaobushi-conditionals provide a causally maximal answer to a contextually salient Why-question. This account captures the new observation that NCs cannot be contrastive topics.


Lily Kwok ( and Shuyan Wang (

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (primary), Linguistics Department, UConn Master Calendar

Control Panel