Academic and Teaching Staff

Prof. WANG Shi Yuan, William 王士元
Chair Professor

ORCID: 0000-0001-6153-8240

Scopus Author ID: 35726254300


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Research/Teaching Interests

Biological and evolutionary bases of linguistic & cognitive abilities, including their decline; historical development of languages, both spoken and written, especially Chinese phonetics and phonology.


Bio Note

William S-Y. Wang is Chair Professor of Language and Cognitive Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Honorary Professor at several universities, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Peking University. He is Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Berkeley, and Academician of Academia Sinica in Taiwan. He proposed the theory of lexical diffusion in 1969, which has been widely adopted and applied to many languages of the world. He founded Journal of Chinese Linguistics in 1973 and served as its Editor through 2018. His interests are in the biological bases of language evolution, focusing recently on cognitive decline due to ageing and disease. In 2009 he started the series of International Conference in Evolutionary Linguistics, or CIEL, promoting multi-disciplinary research of linguistics. He received Lifetime Achievement Award in Anthropology from Shanghai Society of Anthropology in 2017, and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from University of Chicago in 2018.


Selected Publications

  1. Wang, W.S-Y. 1969. Competing changes as a cause of residue. Language 45.9-25.

  2. Wang, William S-Y. 2016. Chinese linguistics. The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Chinese Language, ed. by Chan Sin-wai, 152-83. London/New York: Routledge.

  3. Wang, William S-Y. 2018. Language and the brain in the sunset years. In The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Applied Linguistics, ed. by C.-R. Huang, Z. Jing-Schmidt & B. Meisterernst. Routledge.

  4. 王士元, 彭剛. 2006. 語言, 語音與技術. 上海教育出版社.

  5. 王士元. 2011. 語言、演化與大腦. 北京: 商務印書館.

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