LATEST PROJECTS/GRANTS

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CASE MARKING

I work on variation in case marking and related issues in morphosyntax with a focus on Himalayan languages. I started a documentation project on Nubri (Nepal), and continuing to work on Bumthang language from Bhutan. I am interested in non-canonical uses of case (such as differential argument marking, "quirky case") and case in valence changing contexts. I adopt a cross-linguistic approach and use multiple methods where possible, including varied elicitation methods, online judgement tasks, corpus approaches, in order to form a clearer picture of the many and varied factors involved in case marking. I am currently looking at grammatical subsystems to examine the role of contact in dialectal variation. 

TONE IN ASIA

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My current research investigates the nature of tone and its interaction with segmentals, phonation and duration through a series of experiments. In a pilot study, I showed that slight contouring and phonation change are both significant factors in tonal identification in Fuzhou. I am also interested in the role of vowel changes and phonation changes and tonal phenomena in Southeast Asia more generally and the role of phonation and vowel changes in phonological tonal systems.

 

I am also studying tones in Himalayan languages that I am already working on, especially Nubri and Bumthang. My recent work has investigated the grammatical use of tone in Nubri. 

 

 

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LOCAL DIALECTS IN HONG KONG

I have been working with local dialect communities in Hong Kong, to understand the social factors behind language change (and loss, in particular), and exploring sociophonetic markers of the varieties.

Preliminary pages are up at dialects.hku.hk with more information coming soon. 

In addition to descriptive and sociolinguistic work of the minority dialects in HK, I am also interested in examining similar issues of identity and its role in language vitality in the diaspora communities. I'm currently investigating this in the Taishan community in Chicago. 

RECENT GRANTS

2022    RGC RGMS (HKD156,080: Grammatical variation in a diaspora community, 7/2022 - 6/2024)

 

2020    RGC GRF (HKD573,000: Case variation in Nubri, 1/2021 - 7/2024)

2019    HKU Seed Funding Research Grant (HKD48,200: Archiving Nubri: data processing).

2019    HKU Knowledge Exchange grant (HKD20,000: Impact evidence collection: Medical practices in Nubri).

2019    HKU Seed Funding Research Grant (HKD93,200: Case variation).

2018    HKU Knowledge Exchange Grant (HKD100,000: Medicinal practices in Nubri).

2018    HKU School of Humanities (HKD12,390: Bringing research into the public forum).

2018    HKU China Affairs Office (HKD13,336: Tibetan communities in Sichuan, China 7/2018)

2018    HKU travel grant (HKD9,500: Tibeto-Burman languages in Sichuan, China 6/2018)      

  

2017    HKU Faculty of Arts Research grant (HKD50,000: Documenting Nubri, 1/2017 - 9/2019)

2017    RGC GRF (HKD367,038: Understanding case in Bumthang, 1/2018 - 12/2019)

2017    HKU Seed Funding (HKD77,570: Investigating the Nubri language, 6/2017-6/2018)

2017    HKU travel grant (9,800: Case marking in Nubri, Kathmandu, Nepal 5/2017)

2016    HKU travel grant (HKD16,500: Researching language in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, CA 6/2016)

2016    HKU Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre Fund (HKD2,800: Documenting Hong Kong’s disappearing dialects, 9/16-8/17)

2015    HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund (HKD23,000: Losing your voice: Hong Kong’s disappearing dialects, 8/15-6/16)

2015    HKU Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre Fund (HKD7,500: Tanka: Exploring the Language, History and Culture, 9/15-8/16)

2015    HKU Small Project Funding (HKD54,600: A study of the Weitou dialect: A documentary, 5/15-11/15)

2014    HKU School of Humanities Conference Grant to organize HKU Tone Workshop and HKU Tone Conference (HKD24,264: Award date 11/14; Event dates: 12-16 January 2015 & 17 January 2015) http://linguistics.hku.hk/tone

2014    HKU travel grant (HKD16,500: The syntax and semantics of experiencers, Berlin, June 2014)

2014    HKU Seed Funding Research Grant (HKD120,000: Complex tones and register in Bumthang and Nepali, 5/14–5/16)