May 2025 Entry

Full-time, Part-time
Application Deadline
PhD & MPhil
About Programme
How to Apply

The Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies (CBS) has a comprehensive research profile in language sciences and linguistics, with special foci on Chinese, bilingualism and Asian languages. We aim for research results that merit a world-leading profile and the potential to generate knowledge and applications that will benefit mankind in general.


Research Objectives

  • To understand how language is used in context, in vivo, with special reference to meaning-making by bilingual speakers and writers in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Greater China.

  • To apply our knowledge to language issues in Hong Kong, especially in relation to Chinese language and bilingual education.

  • To train professionals and scholars who, upon successful completion of the postgraduate programme at CBS, can go on to play a crucial role in an increasingly competitive world characterised by multilingualism and multiculturalism.

  • To build a solid scholarly foundation for the effective application of language use in the domains of business and education, such as in the fields of corporate communication, language technology, language education and language testing.


Research Direction


CBS strives to gain a world-leading reputation in empirical, inter­-disciplinary research in language sciences by (i) enhancing our research capacity in computational and corpus linguistics, neurolinguistics and cognitive sciences; (ii) expanding international collaboration; and (iii) nurturing young scholars by targeting competitive external grants and producing top-quality publications in high-impact journals.


Major Research Programmes


Applied linguistics, with special reference to Bilingualism and Communication, Corporate Communication, Language Assessment and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Key research areas include bilingual education and second language learning; Chinese language curriculum development; Chinese language education; Chinese for specific purposes; language and society, language development and language use; language policy and planning; multilingualism; plurilingual pedagogies and assessment; and the strategies and processes of corporate communication.


Chinese and East Asian Linguistics

All areas of linguistics with foci on Chinese, Japanese and Korean, including but not limited to comparative linguistics; Cantonese linguistics/grammar; contrastive grammar of Chinese and other languages; dialect studies; discourse analysis; interface, lexical semantics; lexicography; lexicology; morpho­-syntax; orthography; pragmatics; phonetics; phonology; syntax; systemic functional linguistics; and language typology.


Computational and Corpus Linguistics

Research topics cover big data research on Chinese language sciences; Chinese language processing; computational modelling of language changes and variations; corpus-­based approaches to linguistic theories; digital humanities; language and emotion; language resources and language archives; linguistic ontology; learning technology; linguistic synaesthesia; machine(-­assisted) translation; metaphor and other non-literary meanings; ontology-­lexicon interface; semantic relations and event detection and representation; and computational and corpus-based approaches for topics in all other research areas.


Neurocognitive Studies of Language and Clinical Linguistics

Research areas range from ageing; amusia; communication disorders; developmental dyslexia; L2 pedagogical grammar; language acquisition; language variations; the creation and evaluation of learner tools; intercultural mediation; neurolinguistics (ERP, fMRI); psycholinguistics; reading (of characters and text); speech production and perception; the bilingual brain; the conversational brain; tonal production and perception; and clinical applications in speech therapy.


Translation and Interpreting Studies

Research areas include corpus-based translation studies, translation pedagogies, process­-oriented translation studies (including eye-tracking, key-­logging data and think­-aloud protocols), literary translation and the history of translation in China. Interpreting Studies focuses on the interplay of language and cognition, using neurophysiological and linguistic tools to study professional and novice interpreters’ cerebral lateralisation. Research topics in this area also cover the assessment of interpreting quality, the perception of interpreting performance, pedagogies of interpreting, court interpreting, community interpreting, simultaneous interpreting and corpus-based interpreting studies.

Research Area

Applied linguistics, including Bilingualism, Corporate Communication, Language Assessment, and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

  • Comparative discourse studies, globalisation and multilingual media communication in Greater China

  • Contrastive approaches to foreign language learning, learner tools creation & evaluation, intercultural mediation

  • Language and communication studies: theories, strategies and processes in corporate communication and corporate communication in Greater China

  • Language policy and language planning, sociolinguistic issues of multilingualism, bilingual education and guided second language learning, linguistic interference and L1 transfer

  • Multilingualism, language learning and use in multilingual societies, plurilingual language development; contrastive and pedagogical grammar of Chinese and other languages

Please refer to the departmental webpage for the information on the potential supervisor.

Chinese and East Asian Linguistics

  • Cantonese linguistics/grammar, Chinese dialect studies, language and society in Greater China; the history of Chinese language

  • Chinese language curriculum, pedagogy and assessment

  • Chinese language education, teaching Chinese for specific purposes

  • Chinese lexical semantics, non-­literal meaning, and linguistic ontology

  • Chinese morphology, syntax and pragmatics

  • Chinese phonetics and phonology

  • Japanese and Korean linguistics including but not limited to: advanced second/foreign language learning, comparative linguistics, discourse analysis, language typology, profiling of registers, systemic functional linguistic theory and description

  • Orthography and Chinese lexicology

  • Varieties of Chinese, language contact and language change, linguistic variation

Please refer to the departmental webpage for the information on the potential supervisor.

Computational and Corpus Linguistics

  • Chinese language processing, language resources, crowdsourcing

  • Computational lexical semantics, ontology-lexicon Interface, computer-assisted language learning, machine translation and machine-assisted translation, computer processing of non-literal meaning, including irony, metaphor, sarcasm, and synaesthesia, digital humanities especially the use of NLP technologies in the humanities

  • Corpus-based approaches to linguistics and linguistic theories in language technology

  • Speech and multimedia corpus design and research

Please refer to the departmental webpage for the information on the potential supervisor.

Neuro-cognitive Studies of Language and Clinical Linguistics

  • Development, morphological awareness and reading development

  • Developmental dyslexia: diagnosis, assessment and treatment, reading and writing development, profiling of syntactic development

  • Language acquisition and psycholinguistics, second language acquisition (SLA), reading acquisition and development,

  • Neurolinguistics (ERP, fMRI), psycholinguistics, speech production and perception, speech motor control lexical tone, tonal perception and production, perception of tones by people with amusia, neuro-cognitive studies of bilingualism, neuro-cognitive studies of conversation and other linguistic acts

Please refer to the departmental webpage for the information on the potential supervisor.

Translation and Interpreting Studies

  • Interpreting studies: assessment of interpreting quality, perception of interpreting performance, pedagogies of interpreting, court interpreting, community interpreting, simultaneous interpreting, and corpus-­based interpreting studies

  • Theories of translation, empirical studies of translation, neuro-­cognitive approaches to translation studies; corpus-based translation studies

Please refer to the departmental webpage for the information on the potential supervisor.

Research Facilities

Speech and Language Sciences Laboratory (SLS Lab)

State-of-the-art Event­-Related Potentials (ERP) systems, eye tracker, Electroglottograph (EGG), videostroboscopes, nasometer and audiometers.


Speech and Language Therapy Unit

A clinic with access to subjects diagnosed with symptoms of communication disorder was set up to facilitate empirical research grounded in clinical data.


Translation Research Centre

State-­of-­the-­art Interpretation Labs


Computational Linguistics Research Team

Corpora, other language resources and tools

Other Information

Priority will be given to PhD applicants.

Supporting Documents
Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required.

Curriculum Vitae


Research Proposal

Compulsory - A standard form must be used for the submission of research proposal.  Please click here to download the form.

Transcript / Certificate


  • Graduation certificate(s) with official stamp - Applicants with academic qualifications from Mainland China must submit both the Degree Certificate (學位證書) and Graduation Certificate (畢業證書); and

  • Transcript(s) with official stamp - showing all the courses and grades taken during the whole study period and containing all pages including the explanatory notes and the grading system.