The department offers two research degree programmes at the postgraduate level: MPhil in Linguistics and PhD in Linguistics, as well as two postgraduate taught degree programmes: MA in Linguistics and MA in Chinese Linguistics and Language Acquisition.
The MPhil/PhD programmes emphasize foundational training in the core areas of linguistic theory, and original research that sheds light on the properties of language and mind. The research theses completed at this department aim to integrate general theories of language structure, language acquisition and language use with the detailed, in-depth study of the languages of Hong Kong and the region from a comparative perspective.
We encourage research into different language phenomena pertinent to Hong Kong, China and the Asian-Pacific region, with emphasis on general theory and methodology. Students generally work in one of the areas of specialization of the faculty members: Theoretical Linguistics, Chinese Linguistics, Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, and Sign Linguistics. The data for investigation will depend on the nature of the research project and may involve any relevant language.
Applicants to the MPhil programme in Linguistics are expected to have received a solid undergraduate training in language study or have previously obtained an MA in language study. Applicants to the PhD programme in Linguistics are expected to have obtained an MPhil degree or its equivalent, have completed a piece of original research in language study, and demonstrate a good ability in independent research.
The MA programme in Linguistics provides a foundational training in language study for students who have not had a systematic, intensive undergraduate training in Linguistics. We encourage a comparative perspective on the study of language structure, language acquisition and language use. Students are exposed to current theories in Linguistics and their various applications to language acquisition, language typology, language teaching, as well as culture and society.
The MA in Chinese Linguistics and Language Acquisition offers an intensive training in contemporary analysis of Chinese language structure, the acquisition of Chinese as first and second languages, and the application of linguistic theory to language teaching. It is intended for current or prospective Chinese language teachers and students of Chinese who are interested in a scientific understanding of the cognitive processes underlying language learning and teaching.