Jiahui Huang

Posted: July 2021

On July 5th, the LSA announced the loss of LSA member Dr. Jiahui Huang (1991-2021), who was completing his graduate studies in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Washington in Seattle when his life was lost in a hiking accident on Mt. Rainier. The posthumous award of Huang’s doctoral degree was announced at a ceremony on July 9, 2021. Huang’s research interests included second language acquisition, comparative Mandarin and Cantonese grammar, and Chinese linguistics, with emphasis on the syntax of tense, aspect and modality. Huang’s conference presentations included a co-authored poster (with C. Zheng) and paper (with Z. Chen), both presented at the 94th annual meeting of the LSA. His 2021 poster presentation ‘The semi-complementzer shuĊ and non-referential CP in Mandarin Chinese’ will appear in the proceedings of the 95th annual LSA meeting. Huang also presented research at the 32nd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics at UConn, and at the 5th Workshop on Innovations in Cantonese Linguistics at Columbus Ohio. Huang’s dissertation research examined the distribution of overt subjects, incompleteness effects, and related phenomena, as evidence for a finite/non-finite distinction in Chinese, and argued that finiteness was systematically related to event individuation. Huang was awarded the Ph.D. posthumously by the University of Washington in June. He was to begin a teaching position in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at the Chinese University of Hong Kong upon completion of his Ph.D.

Huang received a B.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from the Beijing Normal University in 2014 and an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. Huang attended the LSA Linguistics Summer Institute at the University of Chicago in 2017. While at the University of Washington, he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and an Undergraduate Academic Advisor and received a Graduate Research Excellence Award and Excellent Scholar Fellowship, among other recognitions. As well as a gifted scholar, Huang was a talented and dedicated teacher, a thoughtful and resourceful graduate mentor, and a kind and generous advisor to undergraduates. He was a cherished friend to many and a beloved colleague to UW students and faculty alike. He will be greatly missed.

For information on archives of Dr. Huang’s research please contact the Department of Linguistics, University of Washington (phoneme@uw.edu).