Dr CHEUNG, Kwan-hin | PolyU SPEED
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Discipline of Social Sciences

CHEUNG, Kwan-hin

Dr CHEUNG, Kwan-hin

Principal Lecturer


  • BA, MA (C.U.H.K.)
  • PhD (UCL)

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 Jyutping Work Group and Cantonese Proficiency Test Work Group of LSHK, whose joint work includes the development of Cantonese Read Aloud Test (CRAT) launched in 2019.


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.


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 a lot 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, witness his recent scholarly works mentioned in the last two sections. He was the Secretary General of Hong Kong Association of Cantonese Opera Scholars (2017 – 2019). Here are two works in this area that are scheduled for the 1st Quarter of 2020:


•    The 5th staging of original Cantonese opera Arena (拜將臺) (co-written with Rex Ng, premiere in 2011) 13-15 September 2019 [re-scheduled to 16-18 March 2020 in Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre because of social unrest].


•    CHAN, Sauyan & CHEUNG, Kwan Hin (ed.). Annotated Script of Floral Princess (to be published in February, 2020), Commercial Press (Hong Kong).

Teaching and Scholarly Interests