DEC Activities and Works

Course based

Gateway Education

GE1133 Culture and Language in Manga, Anime and Beyond

2015-2016

Use of Kana (仮名) in Japanese Names: Gender Difference and Reasons Behind

Student Teacher
Dr. HARA, Yurie

In this project, we investigated the use of kana1 in Japanese names, analyzing the gender difference and reasons behind. In Japanese Manga/Anime, most of character names are in kanji2. However sometimes we may encounter names of kana only. For example, 伊波まひる (Inami Mahiru) in WORKING!!! (in hiragara3) or 涼宮 ハルヒ (Suzuyami Haruhi) in 涼宮ハルヒシリーズ (in katakana4). According to our past experience, the kana names are more popular among female characters. Inspired by this phenomenon, we decided to study the gender difference in the use of kana, and explore the possible reasons. So we did data collection and analysis, and then conducted a survey to support our hypotheses.

1 Kana (仮名): syllabic Japanese scripts, which is part of the Japanese writing system.
2 Kanji (漢字): the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana and katakana.
3 Hiragana (平仮名): one component of kana, the word hiragana means "smooth kana".
4 Katakana (片仮名): the other component of kana, the word katakana means "fragmentary kana".

Good Guys Good Names
Bad Guys Bad Names?

Student Teacher
Dr. HARA, Yurie

According to the theory of Kohler, sounds and shapes have some kind of relation. This theory is well applied by many authors in creating their characters’ names. For instance, Roronoa Zoro (ロロノア ゾロ), one of the heroes has four sonorants but only one obstruent in his name. However, Marshall D Teach (マーシャル D ティーチ), the villain, has three obstruents and two sonorants. Our project aims to investigate whether there is a connection between the sounds of names and the moral characters of the figures in One Piece. We are going to gather fifty hero names and fifty villain names, analyze the composition of their sounds, and then calculate the ratio of the sonorants and obstruents used in these names. Our hypothesis is that the names with more sonorants tend to be more heroic, while the names with more obstruents are likely to be more villainous.

 

GE2111 Image of the City – Language, Culture and Society

2017-2018

The Aging Asian Tigers: Ageing Population and Cultural Conflicts in Hong Kong and Singapore

Student Teacher
Dr. CHAN, Yuet Hung Cecilia

Ageing population is a major challenge for both the Hong Kong and Singaporean government. Despite the different kinds of policies adopted to attract global talents the increasing welfare burden is still a daunting issue for both governments. In addition, the immigration policies led to the problem of cultural conflicts between local people and immigrants in different extent. in the use of kana, and explore the possible reasons. So we did data collection and analysis, and then conducted a survey to support our hypotheses.

GE2124 The World through Languages

2015-2016

Code-mixing among University Students in Hong Kong

Students Teacher
Dr. LI, Bin

Hong Kong was a British colony. It has a unique bilingual environment, where both English and Cantonese are regarded as official languages students have to learn. Code-mixing, as in combing two languages or language varieties together in speech (Muysken, 2000), is well-developed in such bilingual environment. Not to mention that many people have gotten used to it, this linguistic phenomenon has become part of our life and to a certain extent it represents some of our culture.

Cantonese University students in Hong Kong are found to code-mix and create new bilingual terms most often, such as “libar” from library; “re-u” from reunion. Code-mixing is usually found among university students as one of its functions is to facilitate communication. Despite students’ tendency to code-mix, code-mixing does somehow affect their language behavior.

In this report, we would talk about the types of code-mixing, the reasons and effects of this practice. Not only did we review the literature, we also designed an experiment (meanwhile it is also a game)---to compare and analyze the performance of students reading code-mixed and non-code-mixed texts.

 

Full report

Link to full report

 

GE2125 The Bible: Its History, Literature, and Influence

2016-2017

Jesus' Identity in the Gospel of Mark

Student Teacher
Dr. LEE, Sie Yuen John

The people around Jesus had rather different understanding of who he was. This paper discusses what Jesus himself said about his own identity in the Gospel of Mark, and explains how the various characters in the Gospel of Mark recognized or failed to recognize the identity of Jesus. A significant novelty is that the discussion is based on an analysis of the "social network" of Jesus, i.e., a graph illustrating conversations between Jesus and other characters, of the Gospel of Mark.

Full report

Link to document

LT2201 Introduction to Linguistics

2016-2017

Linguistic Analysis of Airbnb's Eleven Registered Chinese Names ——Whether “爱彼迎” Has Advantages among the Others

Students Teacher
Prof. LIU, Meichun

This project aims to explore linguistic explanation of Airbnb’s final Chinese translation “爱彼迎” compared with the other registered ones. These eleven names are fastidiously analyzed from the perspective of phonology, morphology and semantics. Within each of these aspects, quantitative and qualitative are two main methods employed so as to organize and substantiate the project in a logical approach. Finally, a conclusion is drawn that “爱彼迎” needs further polish since it is inflicted with awkward pronunciation, inappropriate collocation and negative meaning association.

 

Full report

link to full report

 

The three special word order features in Cantonese

Students Teacher
Dr. ZHANG, Wei

This project mainly discusses about three special word order features in Cantonese compared to Standard Modern Chinese, and local people's awareness of these features. The three special word order features are the post-positioned adverbial clauses, the post-positioned attributive and the post-positioned indirect object. The report lists several examples which are commonly used in daily life, such as local newspaper, forums, videos. The resources assists us to further study and explain the interesting language features. Also, a kind of quantitative methods, the questionnaire, is used to test local people's awareness of those features. This project also aims to have a great impact on translation researches between Cantonese and Mandarin, and help Cantonese speakers avoid making some mistakes when writing.

 

Full report

link to full report

 

Word Association in Cantonese

Students Teacher
Prof. LIU, Meichun

In this study, we have chosen Cantonese as target to figure out how words or phrases are stored in human brain. We hypothesized that collocation should be the most dominant sense relation among all since it had no clear-cut to define it. 30 Cantonese native speakers were invited in our study. Finally, we found that Collocation was the most dominant sense relation for Verb and Noun in Cantonese. Whereas, Attributive was the majority for Adjective. Also, Collocation shared the highest proportion which is consistent with our hypothesis and functional relation shared the lowest proportion in the data.

 

Full report

link to full report

 

 

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Last updated: 18 July 2018