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Dr. Thomas James Hughes

作者:管理员 | 时间:2008-9-23 | 点击:1432

你好! Welcome to my BNUZ profile!

I was born on the north east coast of England, in a seaside town called Scarborough. I have spent the last six years of my life at Durham University studying philosophy of language and theoretical linguistics. I am thoroughly fascinated with language and, in particular, the relationship between grammar and meaning. The interest emerged after I read Syntactic Structures by Noam Chomsky, and I have been working within the Chomskyan tradition ever since. Outside of university I enjoy watching sport (Football/Boxing) and films.

I arrived in China in August 2015 and it is the first time I’ve ever been to Asia! The main reason for my leaving England was that I wanted to experience a new country with a distinct culture. I had heard nothing but good things about Zhuhai (great weather, amazing seafood, wonderful landscapes) and so I decided to come to BNUZ. So far I have enjoyed the experience immensely. My next goal is to try and learn more Chinese!

My academic life began at the University of Hull where I completed a BSc in Philosophy. Following this I moved to Durham University to work with Professor Wolfram Hinzen and completed an MA and PhD in philosophy. Now for the technical part! The thesis I defended in my PhD was to do with definite descriptions (e.g. the man, the ball) and it made the claim that the word ‘the’ has no meaning in isolation from the wider grammatical environments in which it can be felicitously placed. Furthermore, I argued that the word ‘the’ is derivative on the distal demonstrative ‘that’ and that this claim can be grounded in cross-linguistic evidence. The final idea that I pursued was that the claim concerning the word ‘the’ can be extended to across the board to all words. In other words, I claimed that no word has a fully-fledged meaning in isolation from grammar (which is an ‘exo-skeletal’ theory of word meanings). Outside of my PhD I have published on language evolution in the species (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12304-013-9189-1)  and philosophy of language and linguistics more generally (http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/247478) . I have also been lucky enough to present my research in conferences across Europe (notably PhilLang in Poland, and Bergen in Norway). I am currently working on a paper that deals with the thorny issue of word meanings, which will look at the interaction between descriptive and grammatical information that words carry.

I am interested in all areas of philosophy and linguistics, and I am always available for a chat about either of these subjects.



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