Francis Y. Lin

Francis Y. Lin
Beijing International Studies University | BISU · School of English

DPhil. in Linguistics (Oxon); PhD in Computer Science (Essex)

About

22
Publications
31,104
Reads
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112
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
Beijing International Studies University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
May 2010 - September 2016
Beihang University (BUAA)
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2004 - May 2010
Beijing Normal University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
October 1996 - August 2003
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Linguistics
October 1986 - August 1992
University of Essex
Field of study
  • Computer Science

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I examine the grammatical nature of Wittgenstein's private language argument (PLA). On my interpretation, the definition of private language implies that the private speaker has no natural expressions for his sensations. This in turn implies that he has no criterion of correctness for using his sensation‐words. This then implies, tog...
Article
Thomas McNally’s “More than a feeling: Wittgenstein and William James on love and other emotions” is one of the very few studies on Wittgenstein on love. McNally claims that Wittgenstein does not have a unified account of emotions. In his opinion, Wittgenstein’s criterial view applies to simple emotions and simple kinds of love, but not to deep kin...
Article
Wittgenstein’s remark that one cannot follow a rule only once has generated two puzzles: (1) how can everyone accept it to be true? and (2) why does Wittgenstein advance it? These two puzzles have tormented commentators for decades. In this paper I put forward a new interpretation and explain away the two puzzles. I shall show that Wittgenstein’s r...
Article
Full-text available
In trying to make clear whether understanding is a mental state Wittgenstein asks a series of questions about the timing and duration of understanding. These questions are awkward, and they have posed a great challenge for commentators. In this paper I review the interpretations by Mole and by Baker and Hacker, and point out their problems. I then...
Article
Kim (2018) argues that the method adopted in universal grammar (UG) is the same as that employed in the empirical sciences such as physics, chemistry and biology, and that my rejection of UG in Lin (2017a) amounts to a rejection of these sciences. In this reply I show that Kim has misunderstood the main point of my original paper, which is that UG...
Article
Relevance Theory (RT) argues that human language comprehension processes tend to maximize “relevance,” and postulates that there is a relevance-based procedure that a hearer follows when trying to understand an utterance. Despite being highly influential, RT has been criticized for its failure to explain how speaker-related information, either the...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper I focus on a major aspect of the later Wittgenstein's investigation of thinking-his discussion of the idea of thinking as a process or an activity. I shall show that Wittgenstein's remarks, apart from some concerning the methodology and conception of philosophy, are grammatical remarks, meaning that they describe the use of the word "...
Article
Full-text available
This paper offers a refutation of Chomsky's Universal Grammar (UG) from a novel perspective. It comprises a central part, clarifications and comparisons. The central part starts with an examination of Chomsky's research method and then argues that the method is seriously flawed and that it cannot lead to the discovery of any innate universals of la...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I first review previous interpretations of Wittgenstein's remarks on private language, revealing their inadequacies, and then present my own interpretation. Basing mainly on Wittgenstein's notes for lectures on private sensations, I establish the following points: (i) ‘remembering the connection right’ means ‘reidentifying sensation-...
Article
Full-text available
Ambridge, Pine, and Lieven (2014; AP&L) identify three problems with universal grammar (UG), namely: linking, data coverage, and redundancy, and argue for an alternative approach to child language acquisition. Behme (2014) aims to make a stronger case against UG. She attempts to show, by combining AP&L's arguments with evidence from developmental p...
Article
Full-text available
There are numerous occasions on which we need to reason about a finite number of events. And we often need to consider only those events which are given or which we perceive. These give rise to the Criteria of Finiteness and Closedness. Allen’s logic [J. F. Allen, Commun. ACM 26, 832-834 (1983; Zbl 0519.68079)] provides a way of reasoning about eve...
Article
Full-text available
Zellig S. Harris's original idea of transformations has been transformed (changed) several times in Chomsky's work. In this paper I shall explicate all these transformations (changes). I shall argue that, though their motivations are highly understandable, these transformations (changes) are not necessary for understanding the workings of natural l...
Article
Full-text available
There is a common-sense view of language, which is held by Wittgenstein, Strawson Dummett, Searle, Putnam, Lewis, Wiggins, and others. According to this view a language consists of conventions, it is rule-governed, rules are conventionalised, a language is learnt, there are general learning mechanisms in the brain, and so on. I shall call this view...
Article
This paper develops two theories of time. One is a relational theory based on Russell's account of lime and the work by Kamp The other is a moderate absolute theory based on Allen and Hayes' account of time and the work by flambhn and Walker. The two theories are then compared in detail: the logical relationships between them are uncovered, and som...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Essex, 1991.
Article
Full-text available
It is both desirable and plausible to treat natu- ral language itself as a "knowledge representation (KR) formalism. Every KR formalism has syntax and support certain inferences. The syntax of a KR formalism specifies the form in which knowl- edge must be encoded, and its inference mecha- nism depends on its syntax. If natural language is a formali...
Article
Full-text available
Construction Grammar (CG) as developed by Fillmore, Goldberg and others is a recent development in syntactic theory, which has become more and more influential. Its central claim is that in a language there are a large number of grammatical units, called constructions, which are the basic forms for the speakers to express their meanings. Systemic F...
Article
Supervisor: Professor James Higginbotham. Thesis (D. Phil.)--University of Oxford, 2002. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 216-232).

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
To interpret the later Wittgenstein's philosophy by strickly following his advice that what he says are things that everyone would agree to.