Dr Kataoka Shin Awarded a Grant from the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust
- Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies
Two years ago, Dr Kataoka Shin’s project got support from The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, with which he investigated the development of the Cantonese Bible translated and published by Western Protestant missionaries in Hong Kong and Guangzhou in the 19th century. The research outcome has been incorporated in the website of the Early Cantonese Bible Database (https://corpus.eduhk.hk/cantobible). While gathering information of missionaries and looking into their translation process, Dr Kataoka noticed that apart from the Cantonese Bible, the missionaries based in Guangdong and Hong Kong also produced many pedagogical materials for Cantonese such as textbooks and dictionaries as well as Christian-themed novels in Cantonese. Since only little has been studied about their production process, he reapplied for the funding from the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, which was again successfully approved by the Trust in 2021. The genres of missionaries’ Cantonese publications vary from religious texts such as catechisms, books of prayers, tracts, etc., to colloquial novels, or even to the words of the Emperor. Dr Kataoka hopes that this new project will shed light on a much neglected area in modern Chinese history. He particularly intends to: (a) explore the cultural tradition of Cantonese vernacular literature in Guangdong; (b) evaluate the values of selected Cantonese materials published in the 19th century; (c) examine the impact of missionaries’ Cantonese publications on Chinese people; and (d) analyse how Cantonese was used as a written language. The research outcomes will be incorporated into a database and a research booklet.