Dr Wang Cong, Assistant Professor at the Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), has been awarded funding of HK$1.95 million under the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme, to support her project ‘Language Contact and Areal Diffusion of Sinitic Languages in the Greater Bay Area (GBA)’. Parallel funding of about €226,000was awarded to Dr Qi Chong at Université Paris Cité, the co-principal investigator of the project.
The three-year project aims to examine language contact and language endangerment through a large-scale typological study of languages in the GBA based on Cantonese, Tankas, and Southern Pinghua to uncover the relationship between Cantonese and other Sinitic languages, and the typological features of languages in the GBA. In studying language origins and gene-related languages in the GBA, this project will also contribute significantly to humankind’s evolution by providing rich data of Tankas and Southern Pinghua for the communities.
This is the second Hong Kong-France joint project for which Dr Wang has obtained funding from RGC. It was preceded by a two-year project, ‘Inclusive and Exclusive: Language Contact between Sinitic Languages and Altaic Languages’ (2021-2023), under the PROCORE-France/Hong Kong JRS.
The ANR/RGC Joint Research Scheme aims to strengthen collaboration between French and Hong Kong research communities. The proposed projects need to fully meet the requirements in application for the RGC General Research Fund in Hong Kong, as well as those stated by the ANR in France. This year, only two projects have been awarded by the ANR/RGC joint research scheme; and in France, Dr Wang’s project stood out from thousands of projects from 12 countries and regions.