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Keith Tse

Human Linguist

I love languages, as I believe that 'language' is a social-biological phenomenon which underlies all aspects of our daily lives. In this sense, I see the study of languages (linguistics) as on a par with traditional disciplines like mathematics and natural sciences, since it deals with one of the most (if not the most) important aspects of human existence. It is hard to explain my passion for languages, but thinking back, I guess it was probably when I was 14/15 that I realised just how important and pervasive 'language' was, as we humans (and all living species) cannot live without the ability to express ourselves, and even subtracting the sociopolitical (i.e. external) aspects of language use, it is inherent in our biological and cognitive (i.e internal) anatomy to organise our thoughts systematically and express ourselves coherently. My interests in 'language', therefore, lie in discovering the mechanisms which underlie and determine linguistic expression. It has been a fun ride, as I have learnt and experienced so much in my study and research on languages and linguistics. Furthermore, my research in language and linguistics has led to many places and made me experience many different cultures in many different parts of the world. Through my cultural adventures, I have been keen to discover not only the differences that separate us as different communities but also the similarities that unite us as a unified race. Such is the power of language, in my view, as it is a human universal as well as a cultural diagnostic, which makes me proud to be a 'human linguist' (see my blog). I hope to learn and experience much more! 

Welcome! And thank you for visiting.  

I am a professional linguist, and I do academic research on linguistics. I am also a public service interpreter, professional translator and language teacher with years of experience in translating and teaching Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) along with several European languages. Furthermore, I am a freelance data scientist and journalist, and I have contributed articles to the Opinion columns on Asia Times and Vox.com

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, China. I then completed high school education in England at Sherborne School, Dorset, after which I did my undergraduate degree (B.A. Literae Humaniores converted to M.A.) at Balliol College, University of Oxford where I studied Classics and Romance Languages and Linguistics (Spanish) and immersed myself intellectually in all the main disciplines of the humanities, namely literature, history, philosophy and philology in the western world from the archaic/pre-classical period all the way to modern-day Europe/America. After my undergraduate degree, I specialised in Languages and Linguistics (M.A.) at the University of Manchester with foci in Latin/Romance linguistics and theoretical syntax, and I offered a dissertation on the formation of (proto-)Romance clausal complementation. I recently completed a Master's by Research (M.Res) in Linguistics at the University of York and my dissertation dealt with formal (Minimalist) analyses of syntactic change and the interface effects of grammaticalization. The central question of my current doctoral research is: what could a formal (Minimalist) model of diachronic syntax inform us of the empirical properties of functional categories, and how many types of syntactic change are there within a formal (Minimalist) model? 

My research primarily focuses on historical syntax and syntactic change within the Chomskyan (Minimalist) framework, and I have worked particularly on grammaticalization, namely the creation of functional elements which is widely attested in all the world's languages (see Bernd Heine's typological compendia to get an idea of just how pervasive this phenomenon is). My theoretical research is deeply typological as it requires me to examine as many languages as possible, and my language specialisations include Indo-European, Latin, Greek, Romance (especially Ibero-Romance) and East Asian, in particular Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), since I studied classical philology and Romance linguistics at university (Oxford/Manchester/York) and I am a native speaker of Chinese dialects, namely Mandarin and Cantonese as I am from Hong Kong. For a synopsis of my academic profile, please visit my academic webpage

My professional work consists of simultaneous/telephone interpreting and language teaching, as I am a trained interpreter for Language Empire (UK) which offers language services in the North of England and I have taught foreign languages to high school students, university students and working adults in Oxford, Manchester and York.  

Aside from my work in languages and linguistics, I am interested in history/politics, especially the developments of western political thought and the historical and current trends in globalisation. I also like art, namely music, literature and drama, and I play the strings (violin/viola) and the keyboard (piano). I am also an avid football (soccer) fan and I have supported Fiorentina (ACFiorentina) in Florence, Italy since the 1990s. I am also a member of several charity organisations which offer humanitarian aid and environmental protection worldwide. Finally, I am an active blogger and I regularly publish blogs on a variety of topics, like languages/linguistics, history/politics, mathematics/numbers and reflexion/philosophy. 

Thank you for visiting my website. If you would like get in touch on any matter, please contact me.   

Keith Tse

Linguist

I love languages, as I believe that 'language' is a social-biological phenomenon which underlies all aspects of our daily lives. In this sense, I see the study of languages (linguistics) as on a par with traditional disciplines like mathematics and natural sciences, since it deals with one of the most (if not the most) important aspects of human existence. It is hard to explain my passion for languages, but thinking back, I guess it was probably when I was 14/15 that I realised just how important and pervasive 'language' was, as we humans (and all living species) cannot live without the ability to express ourselves, and even subtracting the sociopolitical (i.e. external) aspects of language use, it is inherent in our biological and cognitive (i.e internal) anatomy to organise our thoughts systematically and express ourselves coherently. My interests in 'language', therefore, lie in discovering the mechanisms which underlie and determine linguistic expression. It has been a fun ride, as I have learnt and experienced so much in my study and research on languages and linguistics. I hope to learn and experience much more! 

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keithtselinguist.wordpress.com

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