The Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages is committed to the scientific study of language as an integral part of mind. We emphasize interdisciplinary research and training that draws on knowledge and methods from a wide range of related disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, engineering, and education, with the goal of nurturing scholarship and advancing knowledge of language, its structure, use and acquisition.
Linguists of the department research actively on four strategic areas of development: Theoretical and Comparative Linguistics, integrating linguistic theories with the study of Modern Languages from a cross-linguistic, comparative perspective, and with a focus on Chinese languages; Language Acquisition which encompasses first language acquisition, second language acquisition, bilingual acquisition and sign language acquisition; Bilingualism which investigates the acquisition and processing of two or more languages; and Sign Linguistics which encourages the extension of contemporary linguistic theories to cover languages in the manual-visual modality. These four areas represent the major new sub-disciplines in the field of Linguistics, having great potential for collaborative research with other disciplines such as Psychology, Speech and Hearing Science, Information and Systems Engineering, Education and Medicine.
Our Ph.D. and M.Phil. programmes in Linguistics emphasizes foundational training in the core areas of linguistic theory, and original research that sheds light on the properties of language, mind and brain. We encourage research into different language phenomena pertinent to Hong Kong, China and the Asian-Pacific region, with emphasis on general theory and methodology. The research theses completed at this department aim to unravel underlying regularities by integrating general theories of language structure, language acquisition and language use with the in-depth study of the languages of Hong Kong and the region from a comparative perspective.
Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Philosophy
Master of Arts in Linguistics / Master of Arts in Chinese Linguistics and Language Acquisition