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.