PolyU-PekingU Research Centre on Chinese Linguistics

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News & Events

15 05 2023

Good News!

The following paper has received the best paper award at the11th International Conference on Frontie....

03 05 2023

Good News! recently accepted papers

3 NLP papers are recently-accepted. They will be presented in May-June.   Rambelli, G., Che....

18 04 2023

A Student Grammar of Chinese

A Student Grammar of Chinese authored by Prof. Zhu Yongping and Prof. Hunag Chu-Ren will be publishe....

09 02 2023

5th HKLO

5th HKLO  You may register filling in THIS FORM before February 26th, 2023;  ....

12 01 2023

HKLO Mock Test 2022-23

HKLO Mock Test is now open for registration until 29th January.    HKLO Mock Test  ....

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13 12 2022


「第三屆中國語言學嶺南書院」將於2022年12月10-17日採取網路直播的形式進行授課,參加者可於場次開始前15分鐘進入以下任一直播間參加課程,三個直播間的內容相同。  主題:詞彙語意學與....

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Chair Professor Distinguished Lecture Series 2022/23 was held on December 7, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. An online research seminar entitled "Changing Time, Enduring Language, 時恆變 語常在",  The Speaker: Prof. HUANG Chu-ren (Chair Professor of Applied Chinese Language Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)


These unanswerable questions by Qu Yuan 屈原 were posed more than 2,200 years before Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle in physics and Quine’s indeterminacy of meaning in the philosophy of language. They share similar dilemmas of how to account for changes, such as the impossibility of tracking the movement of one single electron between two time points. In general, changes are captured by comparing two instantiations of the same entity at two different points in the space-time continuum. This leads to a methodological dilemma: a description of changes presupposes that two instantiations remain the same by presenting empirical evidence showing that they are not. In addition, a modeling dilemma arises from the hidden order (Holland 1995) of self-organizing complex systems, where neither the behavior of the whole system nor that of each individual component can be described in isolation.

  I propose in this talk that the foundation of conceptualization is the ability to commit to the enduring identity of an entity over a space-time continuum, in spite of observable differences. In addition, language as a system of knowledge representation is built both on the cognitive ability to assign time-dependent variations (i.e. changes) to the same entity (i.e. the ontological commitment of identity that endures changes), as well as the ability to flip time-dependency of linguistic units (e.g. denominal nouns, or deverbal verbs).

  The fundamental cognitive tool of manipulating time-dependency that I propose can be instantiated as the foundational endurant/perdurant (i.e. continuant/occurrent) bifurcation of formal ontologies, or as the SNAP/SPAN perspective alternations in knowledge representation. Using this foundational concept, many challenging linguistic issues can be resolved, and a few instances of conventional wisdom underlying the theoretical foundations in linguistics can be updated for better explanatory power.