Dr CHEUNG, Kwan-hin

Associate Division Head 學部副主任

BA, MA (C.U.H.K.); PhD (UCL)  

Teaching and Scholarly Interests


  • Phonetics & phonology
  • Chinese dialectology
  • Cantonese linguistics
  • Chinese language interface (with computers)
  • English-Chinese bilingual studies
  • Tone-melody interface of Cantonese singing
  • Cantonese Opera


Before joining PolyU SPEED, Dr Cheung had taught in the Department of Chinese & Bilingual Studies or CBS (and its predecessors) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for 28 years full-time and another year part-time. He was Head of Department from 1995 to 2004 and was Associate Professor on retirement. He was the founding Programme Leader of the two longest lasting programmes of CBS, namely MA in Chinese Linguistics and BA in Bilingual Studies.

He is an 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 in 1993, often nicknamed Jyutping, which is a fast emerging standard worldwide.

He was a member of the Chinese Language Interface Advisory Committee (CLIAC) of HKSAR since its inception in 1999 till 2011. Afterwards he has continued serving for its specialized working groups to date.

He has published extensively and has twice (1999 and 2006) served on the Humanities Panel of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of the UGC. The book The representation of Cantonese with Chinese characters (by Cheung, Kwan-hin & Robert Bauer, Journal of Chinese Linguistics Monograph Series #18, 487pp, 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 Unicode Han Database. This book and the work of CLIAC have contributed a lot to enabling universal computer processing and display of local HK characters.

In the past decade his academic interest has extended to tone-melody interface of Cantonese singing and the study and writing (as playwright) of Cantonese Opera, witness the 3 most recent scholarly works:

Co-playwright (with Rex Ng) for original Cantonese opera script Arena (拜將臺), publicly performed by Cantonese opera professionals on 15-16 Jan 2011 in Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre (葵青劇院演藝廳), Hong Kong and restaged on 30 Sep – 2 Oct 2015 in Shatin Town Hall.

“Ripples Riding on Waves: Cantonese Tone-melody Match Mechanism Illustrated”. 載於孫景濤、姚玉敏(主編)《第十八屆國際粵方言研討會論文集》(Collected works of the 18th International Conference on Cantonese and other Yue Dialects),廣州:暨南大學出版社,2015, 頁28-61.

Translation into English,《紫釵記首輪演出劇本及英文譯本/Chinese-English Bilingual Script Based on Manuscripts Used for the First Season of Staging》(Author: 唐滌生/TONG Tik-sang; Editor: 吳國亮/Rex Ng),香港/Hong Kong:桃花源粵劇工作舍/Utopia Cantonese Opera Workshop, 2016.