Chinese linguistics centre opens

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 May, 2009, 12:00am

Polytechnic University has teamed up with Peking University to carry out research on Chinese linguistics in light of the growing importance of the language globally.

The Hong Kong office of the PolyU-Peking U Research Centre on Chinese Linguistics opened this week at the Hung Hom campus. It is an equal partnership between the two institutes to enhance research collaboration in the field.

At the opening ceremony, Huang Churen, dean of PolyU's faculty of humanities, said: 'With the growing importance of Chinese language around the world, research on Chinese linguistics is gaining momentum.'

Professor Huang, who is also the chair professor of Chinese and bilingual studies, said Chinese linguistics was a unique discipline.

'In China, Chinese linguistics is a well-developed field but it has not connected with international academia. It's isolated in that researchers haven't been linked up with international theories in the field.' he said.

'PolyU wants to be able to link up the two by introducing international training methodology to China.'

He said the centre's first concrete project would be to write the most comprehensive, updated reference on Chinese grammar for scholars and learners. It is expected to be published by the Cambridge University Press by the end of next year.

'This is different to most of the pedagogical Chinese grammar available in the market ... This reference will provide a full picture on the grammar of Chinese. It will be authoritative,' Professor Huang said.

The research centre has 20 core members with 10 each stationed in the Hong Kong and Beijing offices but there are also affiliated members around the world.

The centre will also carry out research on Chinese linguistics, with an emphasis on the study and application of modern Chinese language.

Research activities include teaching Chinese as a foreign language, teaching materials for primary and secondary schools, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of modern Chinese, dialects and standardisation and modernisation of modern Chinese language.