DEC Activities and Works

Programme based

Undergraduate

BALLT/BALLA

LT4216 Advanced Topics in Linguistics

2016-2017

Formal Semantic Analysis of Cantonese expressive adjective laap6saap3

Student Teacher
Dr. HARA, Yurie

Laap6saap3 (垃圾) has been used frequently in our daily lives. We usually say laap6saap3 when we want to indicate that specific thing is useless. We are thus interested in investigating whether laap6saap3 is a conventional implicature (CI) defined by Potts (2003) as introduced in our lectures. Surprisingly, we found that laap6saap3 is not a CI because it does not fit all CI properties. When we analyzed further, we found that laap6saap3 is an at-issue entailment. However, it is not a uni-dimensional at-issue entailment which we always encounter, but a multi-dimensional one which one or more at-issues are included in the sentence containing laap6saap3.

 

Slides

link to document

Full report

link to full report

 

LT4216 Advanced Topics in Linguistics

2016-2017

CI Analysis of 嘅 ‘ge2’

Student Teacher
Dr. HARA, Yurie

In Cantonese, a sentence final particle is used to modify an entire proposition. The declarative ‘ge2’ is one of the particles used to make an emphasis. This project aims to ascertain the conventional implicature (CI) status of 'ge2' by analyzing empirical data. It was found that ‘ge2’ demonstrates the four properties which are unique to CIs. They are: Lexicality, Commitment, Speaker’s Orientation and Independence of At-issue Meanings (Potts, 2003). Our hypothesis is that the Cantonese sentence final particle ‘ge2’ carries a secondary meaning ‘the speaker does not fully agree…’ and such secondary meaning is a CI. A formal analysis of ‘ge2’ based on LCI is provided to show the derivation of the four characteristic properties.

 

Slides

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Full report

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LT2204 Language and Mind

2015-2016

Word Association and Word Games

Student Teacher
Dr. CHAN, Yuet Hung Cecilia

In this project, a word association experiment that aimed at investigating sense relations between word stimuli and word responses given by participants was conducted. The sense relation most frequently appeared and the effects of parts of speech of word stimuli on the occurrences of different sense relations between stimuli and responses were discovered. The explanations for the findings of the experiment were given. Two word games were created by using the responses obtained from the experiment.

 

 

Youtube video

Full report

link to full report (4M)

LT2204 Language and Mind

2015-2016

Word Association and Word Games

Student Teacher
Dr. CHAN, Yuet Hung Cecilia

This project aims to investigate how words are stored in mental lexicon through a word association experiment. Sixty young adults were involved in the experiment. They were given 15 primes and required to produce the first word appeared in their mind. The collected data were then analysed through semantic networks. It is discovered that word categories have a great influence on the relationship between the primes and the words given by subjects. Subjects tend to retrieve words through attributive and taxonomic relations when the prime is a noun, but this does not hold when the prime is a verb. Language and culture also contribute to word storage in mental lexicon. Two word games are created based on the experimental results in order to help players activate their mental lexicons.

 

 

Full report

link to full report (1.7M)

LT3211 Semantics

2015-2016

Aspect verbal particles /zo2/ and /jyun4/ in Cantonese

Student Teacher
Dr. HARA, Yurie

In Cantonese, aspectual meanings are normally substantiated by the use of verbal particles. We focus on aspect particles which both state the completion of an action in Cantonese, namely /zo2/ and /jyun4/. Generally speaking, the particle /jyun4/ lexically means “finish”. When it is attached to a verb stem, it means “finish doing something” straightforwardly. The particle /zo2/ is grammatically similar to the “-ed” suffix in English. The meaning of the particle /jyun4/ is relatively more lexical while the meaning of the particle /zo2/ is more grammatical (Chor, 2004).

We conclude that /zo2/ and /jyun4/ are different when they are used in different circumstances. The choice of /zo2/ and /jyun4/ is dependent on the state of the preceding verb: /zo2/ is used to mark both completion and continuous state while /jyun4/ is only used to mark completion state. Last but not least, based on their presupposition in interrogative sentences, /jyun4/ carries presupposition in question while /zo2/ does not.

 

 

 

Slides

link to document

LT3215 Pragmatics

2015-2016

Conversation Analysis: Korean Drama

Students Teacher
Prof GERNER, Matthias

This project was a team work of six students. Three students recorded a natural discussion about a Korean drama. Two discourse participants were familiar with the drama content; the third was not very familiar. The conversational goal of the first two participants two was to display their familiarity; the goal of the third participant was to gain a foothold in the discussion. All participants contributed to the conversation analysis in Cantonese. The students discovered the conversation strategies in terms of speech overlap, turn-taking techniques and silence. They correctly associated these strategies with the communicative goals of each discourse participant.

 

 

Youtube video

 

Full report

link to document

LT4235 Project

2015-2016

Production of the English vowels in Cantonese and Japanese children

Student Teacher
Dr. LEE, Wai Sum Vanti

The project investigates the production of English vowels by Cantonese-speaking and Japanese-speaking children, male and female, of 6-7 years of age. A production experiment was conducted, involving collection of speech samples and acoustic analysis of formant frequencies (F1F2) of the English vowels /i ɪ ɛ æ u ʊ ɔ ʌ ɒ ɑ ɜ(ɝ)/ from the two groups of children. Errors in pronunciation of the vowel sounds are observed in the speech of both Cantonese and Japanese children. In general, Japanese children perform better than Cantonese children in producing the English vowels, which is assumed due to weak phonological awareness in Cantonese speakers. Cantonese children tend not to distinguish the English vowels /ɛ/ and /æ/ and also /ɔ/ and /ɒ/. Similar errors in English vowel production are reported in adult speech in the previous studies, suggesting that age is not an important factor in L2 acquisition of the English vowel sounds. This study has provided pedagogically useful information for teaching and learning of the vowel sounds of English.

 

LT3210 Electronic Publishing

2014-2015

Learning Chinese through Chinese Cuisine

Student Teacher
Dr. LEE, John Sie Yuen

We leveraged a small database of bilingual Chinese-English dish names, augmented with photos, to design a language learning website. On the website, users can search for dish names, translate a dish name from English to Chinese, do exercises to learn food-related vocabulary in Chinese, and assess his/her progress with a quiz.

LT4235 Project

2014-2015

An Acoustic Analysis of Mandarin Sibilants Produced by Cantonese Speakers

Student Teacher
Dr. LEE, Wai Sum Vanti

This study investigates the production of the three sets of sibilants in Mandarin, i.e. the denti-alveolar [ʦ, ʦʰ, s], post-alveolar (or retroflex) [tʂ, tʂʰ, ʂ], and alveolo-palatal [ʨ, ʨʰ, ɕ], produced by four university students, 2 male and 2 female, in Hong Kong whose native language is Cantonese, through acoustic analysis. Frequency values for the noise peak and noise range, which are two major acoustic properties for distinction among the sibilants in different place categories, were measured for the test sibilants produced by the subjects. In comparison of the data from a native speaker of Mandarin, some patterns of the sibilant production are generalized for the Cantonese subjects.

Generally speaking, the Cantonese subjects have not mastered the distinction of the three sets of Mandarin sibilants. The denti-alveolar sibilants [ʦ, ʦʰ, s] are most frequently mispronounced by the subjects; both denti-alveolar [ʦ, ʦʰ, s] and alveolo-palatal [ʨ, ʨʰ, ɕ] sibilants cannot be identified as one place category in most cases, which are not produced within a boundary of anyone of the three sets of sibilants and/or not consistently mixed up with other sibilant equivalents. The production of the retroflex [tʂ, tʂʰ, ʂ] is the best, and they can be clearly differentiated from the other two sets of sibilants. The patterns of errors in the production of Mandarin sibilants for the Cantonese subjects are similar to those for the Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese subjects reported in Chung and Si (2009). The findings of this study contributed to our deeper understanding towards the difficulties in the production of Mandarin sibilants of Cantonese learners, paving the way for Mandarin teaching or further investigation.

LT4239 Conversation Analysis

2014-2015

A Gaze is Worth a Thousand Words: Functions of Eye Gaze in Negotiation

Students Teacher
Dr. ZHANG, Wei

This project explores eye gaze in conversation. It is based on the students own video recording of natural conversation. The students' decision to work on this topic grew out of their own discovery of a feature which is salient in the recorded conversation. To explore the function of eye gaze, the students went beyond the course syllabus and conducted an independent study during which they learned the skill for analysing video data of natural conversation and discovered how language and body work together to achieve meaning in the multimodality of human social interaction.

 

Full report

link to full report

LT4242 Topics in Semantics

2015-2016

Conventional Implicature Analysis of Cantonese Mai6…lo1 Construction

Students Teacher
Dr. HARA, Yurie

We analyse the meaning induced by the Cantonese mai6…lo1 construction with regard to Potts’ view of conventional implicature (CI) and his logic of CI. In the project, we discover a sentence can be multidimensional and has more than one meaning. We learn that the mai6…lo1-inducing meaning possesses some properties which make it a CI and these properties can be manifested in the manner of formal semantics using the logic of CI.

 

Youtube video

Note: Text-to-speech function built in Mac OSX 10.11 was employed in narration production (reference link).

 

Full report

link to full report/paper

 

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Last updated: 19 June 2017