People

Youngah_Do

Youngah Do

Faculty Member

webpage | youngah@hku.hk

I am broadly interested in understanding the human ability to learn sound patterns. How do we abstract patterns from continuous sound streams, and how do various learning mechanisms help or impede learning ? My research approaches individual phenomena in the acquisition of sound patterns from three directions: (a) formal analysis within the framework of generative grammar, (b) experimentation accessing learners’ linguistic knowledge, and (c) computational modeling incorporating components of linguistic theory. As a new PI of the Language Development Lab, I am excited to explore questions on language learning with the wonderful people.

JHavenhill1-249x300

Jon Havenhill

Faculty Member

webpage | jhavenhill@hku.hk

Dr. Jonathan Havenhill conducts research in phonetics, phonology, language variation and change, and sociophonetics. His research involves the use of ultrasound tongue imaging and other experimental methods to investigate the articulatory configurations that underlie linguistic sound systems.

Arthur Lewis Thompson

Postdoc

arthurlewisthompson@gmail.com

I am a postdoctoral researcher working on an approach which explains disparities in phonological structure of sound symbolism cross-linguistically. To develop this approach, I am looking at Japanese, English, as well as Chinese languages, such as Chaoyang (Chaozhou), Mandarin, and Cantonese. One of my main interests is how people use language to encode or imitate gestures, sounds, and events from the real-world. Research which focuses on how linguistic structure influences phonological acquisition or the phonological behavior of tone is also something I find myself drawn to. In LDL, I am working on both the morphological priming study as well as the phonological study looking at biases in child language acquisition.

Thomas

Thomas Van Hoey

Postdoc

thomas_van_hoey@outlook.com

My overarching research goal is to understand how people construe meaning through ideophones and iconicity, while balancing cognitive and cultural factors. To that end, I recently completed my PhD at the Graduate Institute of Linguistics at National Taiwan University (NTU) on the prototypicality and salience of Mandarin Chinese ideophones. I am the main maintainer of the open-access Chinese Ideophone Database (CHIDEOD) (https://osf.io/kpwgf/), together with Dr. Arthur Thompson. In the Language Development Lab at HKU I am currently focusing on the learnability of ideophones through manual and articulatory gestures.

Tingyu Huang

Tingyu Huang

Graduate student

huangty@hku.hk

I am a third year PhD student working on L2 phonological learning. I am interested in both L1 and L2 transfer. One of my main interest is how learning biases influence the acquisition of L2 sound patterns, in particular, segmental and tonal alternations. I am looking at segmental alternations among Chinese learners of English as well as tone sandhi patterns in Chinese dialects. Currently, I am working on a study that investigates biases in tone learning.

Jonah

Jonah Lack

Graduate student

jlack@hku.hk

I am a first year PhD student planning on researching L2 syntactic representations and morphosyntactic processing through EEG, and am specifically interested in the roles that implicit and explicit knowledge play during language processing and acquisition. My MA dissertation discussed structural priming in bilinguals, including current theories, methodologies, and trends. I'm heavily interested in L2 processing and acquisition broadly, and have been studying Korean and Mandarin since the start of my Bachelor's degree with the goal of attaining fluency.

Marcelo

Marcelo Robert Sevilla

Graduate student

u3545575@connect.hku.hk

I am a second year MPhil planning to research the morpho-phonology of certain Xiang dialects of Chinese, exploring the function of a particular grammatical marker. My recently completed MA dissertation involved OT applications to the phonological history of the Xiang dialect of Qidong. My main current interests include Hunanese varieties of Sinitic and their derivation from Middle Chinese. Other areas of interest include phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, diachronic development of the Sinitic and Semitic languages, philology, and language documentation (particularly of Andean languages).

Samuel Sui Lung SZE

Samuel, Sui Lung Sze

Graduate student

u3564255@connect.hku.hk

I am a PhD student planning to research second language acquisition. Deeply interested in L2 processing, I hope to utilise electroencephalography (EEG) and psycholinguistic paradigms to probe into L2 syntactic and morphological processing and L1-L2 differences. To explore these research themes, my research work will look into how Hong Kong L1-Cantonese L2-English speakers process L2 sentences and words.

Bingzi

Bingzi Yu

Graduate student

iceyu@connect.hku.hk

I am a first-year MPhil student working on phonology and learning biases. I am currently interested in why certain sound patterns are preferred by humans and are more prevalent in typology data, what kind of biases affect people’s choices and how they influence language change over generations. I plan to conduct an experiment by teaching participants artificial language and analyze their learning process as well as outcomes.

Xiaoyu Yu

Xiaoyu Yu

Graduate student

xyu97@connect.hku.hk

I am a first year PhD student planning to work on Chinese dialects and phonological learning. I am currently interested in how the speakers of a Chinese variety acquire the sounds of another Chinese variety based on the modern phonological correspondences, and how learning biases are involved in this process. For my MPhil in England, I researched the phonological and phonetic interaction between Mandarin and Chengdu Dialect, which is my own first dialect. My other interests include Middle Chinese phonology and analysis of sound changes using experimental methods.

Wing Cheung Aaron CHIK_dresden_cropped

Aaron, Wing Cheung Chik

Lab manager

aaeronc@connect.hku.hk

I graduated from HKU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Linguistics and German. My research interests lie in morphosyntax, second-language learning and orthography. Currently I am interested in language description, particularly Sino-Tibetan morphosyntax.

Previous Lab Members

  • Ping Hei Yeung (BA 2020, Georgetown PhD)
  • Dr. Eileen Waegemaekers
  • May Pik Yu Chan (BA 2020, UPenn PhD)
  • Ryan Ka Yau Lai (BA 2019, UCSB PhD)
  • Kelly Chun Wing Cheng
  • Katrina Ke Chun Li
  • Carrie Ka Yee Chan
  • Heidi Hui Lam Lui