* responsible for video production
|Dr. LAW, Paul|
The project investigates how speakers of Chinese understand counterfactual statements in Chinese and English. The purpose of the project is to verify to what extent Whorf's linguistic relativity hypothesis is true in Chinese, a language without explicit special verb morphology expressing counterfactual statements, in contrast with English. Two experiments were conducted. The first one was with 10 speakers of Chinese and 10 speakers of English. They were given a questionnaire with ten questions containing counterfactual statements in the language they speak. In the second experiment, the original Chinese questionnaire was modified with some additional words to make it explicit that the sentences are spoken in a counterfactual context.
The responses from the participants showed that in contrast with English speakers, Chinese speakers had some difficulty in understanding counterfactual statements, if no explicit indications of the counterfactual context are given. However, when the Chinese examples were modified to contain explicit information expressing counterfactual situations, then there is notable difference in understanding them. In this light, we drew the conclusion that the weak version of the linguistic relativity hypothesis is likely to be true, that is, the language one speaks has some influence on understanding of the world, but does not determine it.
|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".
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
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