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Dr CHEUNG, Kwan-hin

Dr CHEUNG, Kwan-hin

Associate Division Head

BA, MA (C.U.H.K.); PhD (UCL)

Teaching and Scholarly Interests: Cantonese Linguistics; Cantonese Opera; Chinese Dialectology; Chinese Language Interface (with Computers); Phonetics & Phonology; Tone-melody Interface of Cantonese Singing

Output/ Activities/ Achievements

Dr Cheung was the first ever MA graduate of the Dept of English, CUHK. He was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship and studied after Prof. John Wells of University College London 1983-86 leading to PhD in Phonetics.

Before joining this institution in 2016, he had taught in the Dept of Chinese & Bilingual Studies or CBS (and its predecessors) of PolyU for 29 years. He was Head of Dept 1995-2004 and was Associate Professor on retirement. He was the founding Programme Leader of MA in Chinese Linguistics and BA in Bilingual Studies. He has successfully supervised 5 PhD students, all of whom teach or taught in universities.

He is a veteran and active member of the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong (LSHK), serving as Secretary in 1992 and 1993 and as President in 2012 and 2013. He was Convener for a 13-strong Working Group devising the official LSHK Cantonese Romanization System, aka Jyutping, in 1993. He is a member of the Cantonese Proficiency Test Work Group of LSHK, whose joint work includes the development of Cantonese Read Aloud Test (CRAT) launched in 2019 and the Cantonese Proficiency Test aiming for launch in 2022.

He served as co-investigator as a language expert in an ITF project by Prof. LU Qin of PolyU. One of the deliverables of this project is a table with 29000+ Chinese characters mapped to Jyutping, which is 3 times the size of existing 10000-strong tables. The table has prompted the HKSAR government to treat Jyutping as a de facto standard and was a great push for Jyutping becoming a worldwide standard on the internet.

He applied for CERG (a predecessor of GRF) research funding as sole investigator twice, successful in both instances. He has twice (1999 and 2006) served on the Humanities Panel of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of the UGC.

He was a member of the Chinese Language Interface Advisory Committee (CLIAC) of HKSAR since its inception in 1999 till 2011. He has also been serving in its Working Group(s) to date. This year (2021) he served on the Assessment Panel of CLIAC for Government’s Member Self-recommendation Scheme for Youth.

He has published extensively. The book The representation of Cantonese with Chinese characters (by Cheung, Kwan-hin & Robert Bauer, Journal of Chinese Linguistics Monograph Series #18, 2002) is a pioneering work in the codification of Chinese characters for Cantonese and has earned itself the “kCheungBauer index” for such characters in the prestigious Unicode Han Database. This book and the work of CLIAC have contributed to enabling universal display and computer processing of local Hong Kong characters.

In the new millennium, his academic interest has extended to tone-melody interface of Cantonese singing and the study and writing of Cantonese Opera. He was the Secretary General of Hong Kong Association of Cantonese Opera Scholars (2017 – 2019). Here are two recent books in this area he published and two plays with recent or scheduled performances:

  • CHAN, Sauyan & CHEUNG, Kwan Hin (ed.). Annotated Script of Floral Princess (帝女花), February, 2020), Commercial Press (Hong Kong).
  • CHAN, Sauyan; CHEUNG, Kwan Hin; Ho, Koon-wan (ed.). Annotated Script of Purple Hairpin (紫釵記), November 2021, Commercial Press (Hong Kong).
  • Original Cantonese opera Arena (拜將臺, co-written with Rex Ng, premiere in 2011):
    • The 5th staging on 11 November 2021 in Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre.
    • The 6th staging scheduled for 8-9 January in Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre.
  • Retouching (with Rex Ng) the script of Cantonese Opera classic Floral Princess (帝女花), scheduled for a grand season 8-18 January with 15 performances in Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre.