Yueh Hsin Kuo

Teaching Fellow

  • Linguistics and English Language
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 1.04, Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


Born and raised in the birthplace of bubble tea, I studied at National Taiwan University, SOAS and then the University of Edinburgh, where, in the midst of lockdown, I graduated with a doctoral thesis on late-stage grammatical change, supervised by Graeme Trousdale and Nik Gisborne and examined by Elizabeth Traugott and Rob Truswell.

I go by Yueh. My full name is written 郭岳鑫 (corresponding to Kuo Yueh Hsin in Mandarin) and pronounced Kuek Gk Him in Taigi (also known as Taiwanese Hokkien, Taiwanese Southern Min, etc.).

Research summary

I’m interested in issues of directionality in language change, especially from the perspective of usage-based, constructional approaches.

Specifically, I have dealt with

(1) changes from modal to conditional (Functions of Language and Journal of Historical Pragmatics)

(2) bidirectional changes between modal and conditional (Diachronicathe Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Associationthe Journal of Linguistics), and between temporal and conditional (Under review).

(3) Implications of bidirectional changes for (inter)subjectification and cyclicity (contributions in edited volumes to come out in 2024/25)

(4) the relationship between grammaticalisation and reinforcement (Constructions and Frames)

(5) linguistic loss/obsolescence (Lost in change)

One overarching theme of my research (thought not made explicit in earlier publications) is the notion of morphosyntactic vagueness (as proposed by Denison) and its diachronic implications (discussed in the papers in Diachronica, the Yearbook of GCLA and the Journal of Linguistics).

I draw most of my data from the history of Chinese and am particularly interested in the origins of some of its features (e.g. classifiers and expletive negation). Most of my research focuses on grammatical change, but I'm also interested in lexical change (e.g. the history of rǒng ‘idle; busy’, to be published in the Taiwan Journal of Linguistics).