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Dr Phoenix Lam
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Phoenix Lam

Associate Head and Associate Professor

Research Overview

I am interested in exploring the interaction between language and other semiotic modes in online spaces and also in the physical landscapes. The key focus of my current research is twofold: One is on digital tourism discourse, in particular, in user-generated posts on travel forums; and the other is on the use of signs in public spaces in the urban environment. One main academic goal of my research is to understand and theorize the relationship between a place and the communities interacting with it, both physically and virtually, through the study of the associated discursive practices. Practically, my research aims to inform industry practitioners, policymakers and relevant stakeholders of the physical and virtual discursive construction, representation and perception of a place, which will in turn help to make a place more accessible, livable, and sustainable.

My current project investigates the top questions asked by TripAdvisor users about Hong Kong following a corpus-based approach.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts in Language Studies with Business, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Teaching Areas

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Discourse analysis
  • English grammar
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Language and advertising
  • Language and education
  • Pragmatics

Research Interests

  • Applied linguistics
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Corpus linguistics
  • (Multimodal) discourse analysis
  • Professional communication

Research Output

  1. Lam, P. (2020). Online place branding: The case of Hong Kong. London; New York: Routledge.
  1. Cheng, W., Lam, P. & Kong, K. C. C. (2019). Learning English through workplace communication: Linguistic devices for interpersonal meaning in textbooks in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes, 55, 28-39. (SSCI)

  2. Kong, K. C. C., Lam, P. & Cheng, W. (2019). Corpus-based empirical approach to professionalism: identifying interactional roles and dispositions in professional codes of ethics. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 14(1), 3-28.

  3. Lam, P. (2018). The discursive construction and realization of the Hong Kong brand: a corpus-informed study. Text & Talk, 38(2), 191-216. (AHCI & SSCI)

  4. Lam, P. & Graddol, D. (2017). Conceptualising the vertical landscape: The case of the International Finance Centre in the world’s most vertical city. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 21(4), 521-546. (SSCI)

  5. Forsyth, R. & Lam, P. (2014). Found in translation: to what extent is authorial discriminability preserved by translators? Literary & Linguistic Computing, 29(2), 199-217. (SSCI)

  6. Lam, P., Cheng, W. & Kong, K. C. C. (2014). Learning English through workplace communication: An evaluation of existing resources in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes, 34, 68-78. (SSCI)

  7. Lam, P. (2014). Professional e-mail communication in higher education in Hong Kong: A case study. Text & Talk, 34(2), 143-164. (AHCI & SSCI)

  8. Lam, P. (2013). Interdiscursivity, hypertextuality, multimodality: A corpus-based multimodal move analysis of Internet group buying deals. Journal of Pragmatics, 51, 13-39. (AHCI & SSCI)

  9. Cheng, W. & Lam, P. (2013). Western perceptions of Hong Kong ten years on: A corpus-based critical discourse study. Applied Linguistics, 34(2), 173-190. (SSCI)

  10. Lam, P. (2010). Toward a functional framework for discourse particles: A comparison of well and so. Text & Talk, 30(6), 657-677. (AHCI & SSCI)

  11. Cheng, W. & Lam, P. (2010). Media discourses in Hong Kong: Change in representation of human rights. Text & Talk, 30(5), 507-527. (AHCI & SSCI)

  12. Lam, P. (2010). Discourse particles in corpus data and textbooks: The case of well. Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 260-281. (SSCI)

  13. Lam, P. (2009). The making of a BNC customised spoken corpus for comparative purposes. Corpora, 4(2), 167-88.

  14. Lam, P. (2009). The effect of text type on the use of so as a discourse particle. Discourse Studies, 11(3), 353-372. (SSCI)

  15. Forsyth, R., Clarke, D. & Lam, P. (2008). Timelines, talk and transcription: A chronometric approach to simultaneous speech. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 13(2), 225-250. (AHCI & SSCI)

  16. Lam, P. (2006). Well but that’s the effect of it: The use of well as a discourse particle in talk shows. Sprache und Datenverarbeitung (International Journal for Language Data Processing), 30(1), 99-108.

  1. Cheng, W. & Lam, P. (forthcoming). What can a corpus tell us about language teaching? In O’Keeffe, A. & McCarthy, M. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics (2nd edition). London; New York: Routledge.

  2. Cheng, W. & Lam, P. (2020). Ideology in media discourse. In Conrad, S., Hartig, A. & Santelmann, L. (eds.) The Cambridge Introduction to Applied Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Cheng, W. & Lam, P. (2020). Speech acts, facework, and politeness: Sociopragmatics, facework, and intercultural relationship-building. In Jackson, J. (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication (2nd edition). London; New York: Routledge.

  4. Harrison, M. & Lam, P. (2020). Understanding both the perspectives of counsellors and clients in school-based counselling in Hong Kong. In Watson, B. & Krieger, J. (eds.) Expanding Horizons in Health Communication. Berlin: Springer.

  5. Lam, P. (2016). Academic email requests: A pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic comparison between faculty and students. In Bianchi, F. & Gesuato, S. (eds.) Pragmatic issues in specialized communicative contexts (pp. 127-146). Leiden; Boston: Brill | Rodopi.

  6. Cheng, W. & Lam, P. (2012). Prosody in discourse. In Gee, J. P. & Handford, M. (eds.) Routledge handbook of discourse analysis (pp. 271-284). London; New York: Routledge.

  7. Lam, P. (2009). What a difference the prosody makes: The role of prosody in the study of discourse particles. In Barth-Weingarten, D., Dehé, N. & Wichmann, A. (eds.) Where prosody meets pragmatics (pp. 107-126). Bingley: Emerald.

  1. Lam, P. (2015). Review of Stanca Măda and Răzvan Săftoiu (eds.) Professional Communication across Languages and Cultures. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2012, vi + 284 pp. Pragmatics and Society, 6(1) 147-151. (AHCI & SSCI)



  • Top questions asked by TripAdvisor users about Hong Kong: A Linguistic Approach (Internal)

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