Linguistics at HKU is empirically driven as well as theoretically grounded. Our main areas of expertise are in language description and cognitive linguistics.

In the field of language description our research focuses on languages of China, both in terms of Sinitic - the dominant family which includes Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as minority languages of China and Southeast Asia. Our approach here focuses on primary data collection through fieldwork and our framework relies heavily on functional-typological theory with the goal of learning and understanding more about the diversity of languages. We are currently also expanding our program in language documentation as part of our commitment to the study of endangered languages. In terms of cognitive linguistics our research, conducted in collaboration with the State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, focuses on empirical psycholinguistcs and the role of language in the brain. Our aim is to further our understanding of language disorders especially in Chinese and East Asian languages, as well as advance the ongoing quest of human brain mapping.

See the 2014 QS world rankings for Linguistics here

HKU Tone Conference: 17.1.2015

HKU Linguistics hosted a one-day conference on Tone on 17 January 2015, following a week-long workshop on Tone, led by Prof. Phil Rose.

To all students and staff of the Linguistics department in the School of Humanities at HKU:

The people of Hong Kong are making choices about deeply held beliefs. The Linguistics department does not condone the use of force and violence.

The Linguistics department is doing its utmost to support students and staff during these turbulent times in order to minimize the disruption to our students' education while allowing them to participate in accordance with their civic consciences, as well as to accommodate those whose travel to class is disrupted.

Please also see the following for a message from Professor Timothy Leary, Head of the School of Humanities: