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Comparative Prosody Modelling across Languages

Two problems have remained unresolved in speech prosody research. The first one is that there are numerous rival theories that have coexisted for decades -- supporters for one do not necessarily understand the others well. The second one is that in the absence of a universally accepted framework, field linguists working with a new language could propose prosodic analyses not otherwise satisfactory to fellow researchers, in part also due to field-related practical challenges compared with lab settings. Computational modelling can be a useful tool for addressing these problems. This project seeks to promote computational modeling of fundamental frequency as a tool for (i) theory comparison and (ii) hypothesis testing and analysis *for field linguists*. Here we specifically target linguists without background in computer science or statistics.


Year: 2021 - 2023

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert

Capacity: PI

Diagnostic Assessment of Academic Writing from Sources in English: Investigating the Mediation Effects of Self-regulatory Control Strategy and Discourse Synthesis via Structural Equation Modeling

Writing from sources is an important academic literacy skill essential for university students to succeed in academia. Nonetheless, because it involves a set of complex cognitive, metacognitive, and self-regulatory processes and strategies, it is extremely challenging. Existing research primarily focused on the cognitive processes of sourcebased writing, adopting qualitative and case-study based methods. While the research generated a nuanced understanding of the intricate mental struggles and issues during the reading-to-write process, it did not investigate the contextual and behavioural aspects of the process, such as the regulation of time, environment and motivation. There is also a paucity of research adopting quantitative means to connect important antecedent, process and outcome variables to generate a comprehensive picture with sufficient clarify to guide practice and further research. The proposed study will attempt to address the above gaps in the literature.


Year: 2021 - 2023

Project Leader -

Dr XIE Qin

Capacity: PI

Third language (L3) phonological development for multilingual learners in the Chinese context

In Hong Kong, multilingualism is prevalent, where citizens have Cantonese as their first language (L1), Mandarin and English as their second (L2) or third language (L3). Previous studies pointed out that the language acquisition of a multilingual is nonlinear and dynamic (Jessner, 2008), and L3 speakers possess a greater repertoire than L2 speakers in terms of cognitive flexibility, phonetic-phonological articulatory, perceptual knowledge and language-learning awareness that helps L3 learners better acquire a new language (Gut, 2009). Regarding the complexity of language teaching and acquisition, this project aims to examine the interaction amongst L1, L2, and L3 and provide in-depth insights for language teachers and learners in Hong Kong and researchers worldwide.


Year: 2020 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Capacity: PI

A Self-Regulated and Personalised Vocabulary Learning Approach Mediated by Mobile Technologies for University Students

Effective learning of second language (L2) vocabulary hinges on the learners’ ability to self-regulate their learning. However, little research interest has been shown in how students self-regulate when they are left on their own to explore L2 vocabulary learning mediated by mobile technologies. In this research, a self-regulated and personalised (SRP) vocabulary learning approach is developed and its effectiveness measured. This research aims to help students develop a heightened capacity for self-regulation to learn L2 vocabulary with mobile technologies more efficiently and effectively. This research adopts a mixed-method design. An experimental design is adopted to find out to what extent students can learn L2 vocabulary using the SRP approach in a mobile technology-mediated environment via a self-directed intervention for one semester. In addition, a multi-case study will be conducted to provide qualitative evidence to verify whether the self-directed SRP approach can lead to a heightened capacity for self-regulation.


Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr MA Qing Angel

Capacity: PI

Effects of Phonological Rule-Based and Acoustic Perceptual-Based Instructions on the Prosodic Acquisition of English Word Stress by Chinese ESL Learners

English is stress-timed while Chinese is syllable-timed, which makes English word stress placement difficult for Chinese learners of English. This project aims to develop assessment tasks to identify Chinese learners’ difficulties in English word stress placement in perception and production, design training programmes to examine whether word stress can be acquired systematically, and conduct a teaching experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of the training programmes in facilitating the learning of word stress. This project will generate substantial impact in both theory and practice.


Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Capacity: PI

L2 Phonemic Quantity Contrasts: Production and Perception by Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Japanese Speakers

This project examines an underexplored yet fundamental question in second language (L2) research: when acquiring new speech sounds, do L2 learners draw on knowledge of their first language (L1) phonology sound-by-sound or along some continuous dimension such as length?

Taking phonemic length (i.e. short vs. long sounds) as the test case, we will compare native listeners with different L1 backgrounds producing and perceiving length contrasts in non-native language(s). Their relative performance will answer numerous questions about how L1 transfer occurs.

The findings of the study are expected to have both theoretical and pedagogical implications. At the theoretical level, our findings can lead to a definitive conclusion at the ‘feature vs. category’ dialogue in L2 phonological acquisition. In turn, this will benefit learners of languages where length distinctions matter, such as Japanese. In the long run, our findings can also help teachers devise more effective pedagogical strategies.


Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert

Capacity: PI

A self-learning open platform of Chinese for non-Chinese speaking learners

Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr CHIN Chi On Andy

Capacity: PI

A study of Western missionaries' production of religious and pedagogical books in the Cantonese language in late-Qing period

Year: 2021 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr KATAOKA Shin

Capacity: PI

Digitalisation and Publication of Audio Storybooks for Hong Kong Indigenous Languages: Hakka and Waitau

Year: 2021 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr LAU Chaak Ming

Capacity: PI

Toward a Research Cluster in Clinical Linguistics

Year: 2020 - 2022

Project Leader -

Prof CHEUNG Hin Tat

Capacity: PI (Prof CHEUNG Hin Tat)

Capacity: Co-I (Dr CHIN Chi On Andy, Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert)

Enhancing students’ professional development and knowledge exchange in translation via Mahara

Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr LIU Fung Ming Christy

Capacity: PI

Revamp of the corpus-based online pronunciation learning system and acoustic analysis of spoken learner corpus for Cantonese learners of Mandarin

Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Capacity: PI

Enhancing Learners’ Self-regulated Skills Mediated by Mobile Technologies for Language Learning

Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr MA Qing

Capacity: PI