An abridged version can be found on my academic webpage.
On this page, I outline my formal education in reverse chronological order:
2014-2017 University of York (United Kingdom)
I did a Master's by Research (M.Res) in Linguistics and offered a dissertation (20,000-25,000 words) entitled ''Grammaticalization and "lateral" grammaticalization: new perspectives on linguistic interfaces and functional categories' under the supervision of Professor Giuseppe Longobardi and Dr George Tsoulas. My dissertation was subsequently examined and approved by Professor Peter Sells (internal) and Professor Elly van Gelderen (external: Arizona State University). I was a regular and active participant in the syntax-semantics research group to whom I presented my ongoing research on six occasions and received constructive feedback from members of my department. I also audited all the graduate seminars on advanced syntax and semantics given by Professor Longobardi, Professor Sells and Dr Tsoulas as well as other graduate courses on language acquisition, quantitative methods and sociolinguistics.
In addition to my research, I continued my career as a language teacher and taught Mandarin and Cantonese to university students at York. I was also a member of the Graduate Student Committee at the graduate college (Wentworth) of which I was a resident and member in 2014-2015 and helped organise graduate events in collaboration with the Graduate Student Association (GSA). I also played football (mostly left-back as opposed to my favoured role as centre back/defensive midfield, though I was imitating Ashley Cole in my playing style with varying rates of success depending on my physical form on the day) for the Wentworth College Football Team and we won promotion to the top division in 2015/2016 (!). That must have been the biggest miracle in football history, even more so than Leicester's historic triumph in the Premier League in 2015/2016.
York is a very young and modern university with a very pleasant study environment and very full resources for research. The people at the Department of Languages and Linguistic Sciences are also very competent and experienced with whom I get along very well. I have particularly enjoyed working with Pino and George, my supervisors, with whom I had almost daily communications on my research. I also saw a lot of Peter, our Head of Department when I first arrived and my internal examiner. We share a lot of research interests in common, namely East Asian (Chinese) syntax, and his expertise gave me a lot of inspiration. I also got along with the historical syntacticians: Susan (Pintzuk), Ann (Taylor), Caitlin (Light), Aaron (Ecay) and Anthony (Warner), as well as the postdocs on Pino's research team: Nina (Radkevich), Dimitris (Michelioudakis), Monica (Alexandrina-Irimia), Andrea (Ceolin), Shin-Sook (Kim), Cristina (Guardiano) and Chiara (Gianollo), and all the research students/staff on George's Minimalist syntax-semantics research group: Becky (Woods), Norman (Yeo), Margarita (Makri), Ghada, Zhishuang (Chen), David (Warren), Sam (Wells)all of whom were my seniors in my field of research and gave me a lot of guidance throughout my time at York. And the sociolinguists too, namely Paul (Kerswill) and Andrew (Macfarlane), who organised the sociolinguistics courses, and Dom (Watts), Carmen (Llamas) and Paul (Foulkes), who enlightened me on many issues in sociolinguistics. I hope to stay in touch with all of you for many years to come!
2009 - 2010 University of Manchester (United Kingdom)
M.A. Languages and Linguistics
I did a Master's of Arts (M.A.) in Languages and Linguistics where I studied the following taught components:
1) Theoretical Syntax and Grammatical Theory (Professor John Payne)
2) Phonology and Phonetics (Dr Yuni Kim)
3) Language Change and Historical Linguistics (Dr Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero)
4) Language Contact (Professor Yaron Matras)
In addition, I attended two courses on Research Methods and took part in the sociolinguistics project organised by
Dr Maciej Baranowski on the dialects of Manchester ('Mancunian' dialects). For the second half of my degree, I offered two research papers (Directed Reading) on 'Language Contact in the Roman World' under the supervision of Professor David Langslow and 'Approaches to Morphosyntactic Change' under the supervision of Professor Nigel Vincent in Spring 2010. In Summer 2010, I researched on Latin-Romance clausal complementation under the supervision of Professor Vincent and submitted my M.A. dissertation (12,000-15,000 words) on the Latin prehistory and formation of (proto-)Romance prepositional infinitives. My dissertation was subsequently approved by Professor Vincent (first marker) and Dr Paul Bennett (second marker), and I graduated in December 2010, after which I worked as a language assistant at the university and offered foreign language tuition to undergraduate students of Spanish, Italian and Chinese.
When I was at Manchester, I was a resident member of Vaughan House, our graduate hall, which was located right next to Jabez Clegg and was very close to our faculty building (Samuel Alexander Building) and our central university library (John Rylands) and hence a very convenient spot. Throughout the academic year I was the chief organiser of social events in our hall and regularly advertised meetings and reunions for my fellow residents. I also took part in the teaching and administration of language exchange at our university language centre (bottom floor of the Samuel Alexander Building) and throughout the year I co-ordinated more than a hundred pairs of language partners. For a recent recollection of my time at Manchester, see my blog.
Manchester was truly a transformative experience for me as I grew from a freshly graduated student to a mature postgraduate researcher within the space of a one year (such is the nature of most Master's courses in the UK and beyond). It was also there that I launched my career as a professional linguist and did my first placements as an interpreter. Many people played a part in my development. The Department of Linguistics and the English Language (as well as the Classics Department) had amazing scholars in each sub-field of linguistics and my education in their hands opened my eyes to the new and amazing world of theoretical linguistics. I went to Manchester at the recommendation of Dr Jim Adams with whom I studied Latin-Romance historical linguistics at Oxford (see below), who was (still is) the world's expert on Latin. Jim highly recommended Nigel and David to me as he described them as two of the best in the field. I especially enjoyed my time studying with Nigel, who was not only a world-class scholar but also an amazing teacher. I believe that I was his last research student before his retirement in 2011 and I am proud to have caught him just in time and to have become the baby member of the 'Nigel Vincent Romance Linguistics School', along with many prominent figures in our field (Martin Maiden, Adam Ledgeway, Delia Bentley, Sandra Paoli, Ioanna Sitaridou and many others). Nigel taught me everything about academia, and I shall never forget that magical session where he taught me how to write academic research papers. Those 10-15 minutes of brief yet succinct explanation radically changed my life. He is very much my intellectual father, to whom I owe everything.
2005-2009 Balliol College, University of Oxford
B.A. Literae Humaniores et Linguae Romanicae
(Classics and Romance Languages)
2012 M.A. Literae Humaniores et Linguae Romanicae
(Classics and Romance Languages)
I did my Batchelor's Degree (B.A. (Hons), converted to M.A. (Hons) in 2012) in Classics (Course IB (Latin and ab initio Greek)) and Romance languages and linguistics with specific reference to Spanish and I offered the following papers for the first part of my degree (Honour Moderations ('Mods')) (2007):
1) Homer's Iliad
2) Vergil's Aeneid
3) Texts and Contexts
a) City and the polis: Athenian conception of the State and its citizens (Sophocles' Antigone)
b) Greek Theatre in classical Athens (Aristophanes' Frogs)
c) The use of myth in Roman Literature and Art (Ovid's Metamorphoses)
d) Archaic Greek History (Herodotus' Histories)
e) Sex and the City: Roman conception of women (Cicero's Pro Caelio, Catullus' poemata)
f) Politics and Public Life in the Late Roman Empire (Statius' Silvae, Cicero's Epistulae, Pliny's Letters)
4) Special subject: Indo-European Comparative-Historical Philology (Dr Philomen Probert)
a) Language of Homer (Professor Andreas Willi)
b) Early Roman Inscriptions (Dr John Penney)
5) Philosophy: Introduction to Formal Logic (Mr Robert Hargrave)
6) Unseen Translation from Latin to English
7) Unseen Translation from Greek to English
8) Latin Prose Composition
9) Greek Prose Composition
10) Optional paper: Translation/Verse Composition
For the second part of my degree (Final Honours School ('Greats')) (2009), I offered the following papers:
1) Greek Core: Greek literature in the 5th century BC (Dr (now Prof) Adrian Kelly)
a) Pindar's Odes
b) Sophocles' Ajax
c) Herodotos' Histories
d) Euripides' Hippolytus
e) Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusai
2) Latin Core: Latin literature in the 1st century BC (Dr Robert Cowan)
a) Lucretius' De rerum natura
b) Catullus' Poems 64 and 68
c) Cicero's Pro Archia
d) Vergil's Eclogues
e) Horace's Odes
f) Propertius' Poems
3) Greek History 1: Archaic Greek history (Mycenaean Age to 5th century BC) (Dr (Prof) Rosalind Thomas)
4) Roman History 5- Late Roman Republic (Second Punic Wars to End of Republic (144-49 BC)) (Dr Jonathan Prag)
5) Plato's Republic (Dr David Bronstein)
6) Latin Didactic Poetry (Dr Robert Cowan)
a) Hesiod's Works and Days
b) Lucretius' De Rerum Natura
c) Vergil's Georgics
d) Ovid's Ars Amatoria
7) Greek Historical Linguistics (Dr John Penney)
a) Mycenaean Greek (Linear B) (Professor Andreas Willi/Dr Philomen Probert)
b) Greek dialects (Dr John Penney/Professor Andreas Willi)
c) Greek literary dialects (Professor Andreas Willi)
8) Latin Historical Linguistics (Dr Philomen Probert)
a) Language of Plautus (Miles Gloriosus) (Dr James Adams)
b) Languages of Ancient Italy: Oscan and Umbrian (Dr John Penney)
c) Latin Republican and Imperial Inscriptions (Dr John Penney)
d) Latin and Romance Historical Linguistics (Dr James Adams)
In addition, I attended all the undergraduate lectures and graduate seminars in Romance linguistics organised by Professor Martin Maiden, including the Inaugural Lecture marking the opening of the Oxford Research Centre for Romance Linguistics in November 2006 where Professor Maiden launched his Oxford Morphology (OxMorph) Research Project. I completed the Spanish course (Advanced) at the Oxford University Language Centre (OPAL) in 2005/2006 and achieved a (top) Distinction. I also had numerous meetings with Mr Eric Southworth, our college tutor in Spanish based at St. Peter's College, and we talked about the history of Spanish literature and language.
Apart from my studies, I continued my interest in music and participated in numerous string orchestras and ensembles, namely the Oxford Millenium Orchestra, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and the Balliol College Choral Orchestra. I also joined the University cross-country club and ran long distance in the University Parks.
There is just no place like Oxford, as it is the best university in the world, and Balliol College was a fantastic and highly elitist college of which I am proud to be a (life) member. It will always be my second home. There were many virgin
experiences, like having my first tutorial, doing my first 'collections' (college mock exams), sitting my first public examinations ('Mods'), the Skoliast (Classics dinner symposia, which were basically binge-drinking games), the Junior Common Room (JCR) and the Lindsay Bar, our college bops (sometimes fun, sometimes not), our Balliol Balls (like our bops, these fluctuated wildly in quality and attendance). I must thank all my tutors there, namely Bob and Adrian, two of the best literary critics of their generation and heirs to the gigantic stature of their predecessors,
Professor Oliver Lyne (RIP) and Professor Jasper Griffin, and the one and only Rosalind Thomas, who succeeded the unique Professor Oswyn Murray and taught me Ancient History. She was also my pastoral tutor and gave me many emotional lessons (among many other things that she gave me). The beauty of the Oxford system was its intricate inter-collegiate system, since not only did I get to meet all the university academics through centrally organised university/faculty lectures/seminars, I was also taught directly by quite a few of them e.g. Jonathan (Merton), with whom I studied Roman History- the hardest thing I had ever done at the time, and Eric (St. Peter's), who was by far the best Hispanist at Oxford. I am especially grateful to all the philologists/linguists in the Faculty of Philology, Phonetics and Linguistics, namely Andreas (Worcester), John (Wolfson), Philomen (Wolfson), Jim (All Souls), Peter (Wolfson), Martin (Trinity), Richard (New) and Sandra (Balliol, whom i bumped into in college almost every morning), who instilled in me a strong passion in language and linguistics and inspired me to go further in my research in linguistics. Special thanks must go to Philomen, who taught me Comparative Indo-European Philology in my first year and Latin linguistics in my last and oversaw my entire education at Oxford. It would be unfair for me to call her my intellectual mother, since Philomen is not that much older than me. I prefer to see her as a big sister who took care of me while I was at Oxford. She will always be my mentor.
2000-2005 Sherborne School, Dorset (United Kingdom)
I entered the Third Form (Year 9) and did my GCSEs and A-levels there. For GCSEs (2003), I did English (A), Chinese (A*), Mathematics (A*) (I was ranked among the top 50 in the country), Physics (A*), Chemistry (A*), Biology (A*), Latin (A*), History (A), Spanish (A*) (I was ranked among the top 100 in the country), Religious Studies (A*) (my Buddhism coursework was ranked the best in the country and was published as specimen material by my exam board (AQA)), Music (A*), and Greek (A*). For A-levels (2003-2005), I did Mathematics (A2) (A), Further Mathematics (A2) (A) (I was ranked in the top 60 in the country for both Mathematics and Further Mathematics), Latin (A2) (A) (I was ranked in the top 100 in the country), Spanish (A2) (A), Greek (A2) (A), Chemistry (AS) (A) and Chinese (A2) (A) as well as Advanced Extension (S-level) in Latin (Distinction) and Spanish (Distinction). I was awarded an Academic Exhibition for my performance at GCSEs where I was ranked among the top three in my yeargroup, and a Music Exhibition for my contribution to music as I was leader of the Second Violins (2002/2003), leader of the Violas (2003/2004) and leader of the orchestra (2004/2005) of both the Sherborne School Chamber Orchestra and the Joint School Symphony Orchestra with Sherborne School for Girls and St. Anthony's Leweston (our sister girls' schools). I also achieved distinctions in Grade 7 Viola (137/150) (March 2003), Grade 7 Piano (134/150) (December 2003) and Grade 8 Violin (138/150) (March 2004) and was a semi-finalist in the National Chamber Music Competition in two consecutive years (2003/2004, 2004/2005). In addition, I was a finalist at the National Poetry Competition (2003) and a semi-finalist at the Tower Poetry Competition (2004) sponsored by Christ Church, Oxford, at both of which my submitted poetry (a love poem for the former, and a mini-epic meditation for the latter) was published. I was appointed House/School Prefect and Student Librarian in my final year (2004/2005) where I was in charge of the cataloguing and organisation of library material in our School Library, our Classics departmental library and our House (Wallace) library. I also achieved the Duke of Edinburgh Award (Silver) in 2003/2004 and was a member of the Senior cross-country team in my last year (2004/2005) and competed in numerous venues across the country.
My time at school was strange, as I went from a young boy to a young man within the space of five years. That is not to say at all that my personal development was complete by the time I left school at age 18 (see above), but it is amazing how much I changed and grew during my time at school. I had two passions at school: 1) academic study 2) music. I took a lot of risks in both pursuits and due to a mixture of hard work, good fortune and shameless courage/stupidity, I achieved some of my objectives with the help of numerous people, namely Mr Martin Brooke, who taught me Classics (Latin and Greek language and literature) and whom I consider the biggest intellectual influence in my life, Mr Philip Rogerson, who introduced me to Latin in my first year and transformed the rest of my life, Dr Peter Such, who taught me Spanish language and literature in the Sixth Form and took my Spanish to a different level, and Mr Craig Bryson, who taught me Spanish in every single year of my time at school. These people confirmed my ability and passion for languages, especially Latin and Romance which have since played a central role in my research. My mentors in music were also very instrumental in my development (see literature, music and drama): Mr Oliver Nelson and Mr David Price taught me violin and viola while Dr Kenneth Weir taught me piano, and they inspired my literary sensitivity and artistic appreciation for western art forms. Finally, the mathematics department: Dr Mike Wade, Mr Paul Ryan, Mr David Thompson, Mr Richard Ambrose, Dr David Smart and Mr Mark Pryor, who taught me formal algebra and mathematical modelling which, coupled with my education in chemistry, physics and biology, inspired me to do formal research in theoretical linguistics. When I told everyone at school that I wanted to analyse human language algebraically using formal symbols and numbers, they all laughed at me and called me crazy. I hope that my work now has vindicated some of my arguments...! The strength of the British public school system is also its pastoral care, and I received invaluable guidance and support from my Housemaster (Mr Patrick Haigh) and my personal tutor (Dr Huw Ridgeway). I shall never forget these people.
1999-2000 Diocesan Boys' School, Hong Kong
I attended one year of secondary education in Hong Kong and was a member of Form 1, Class A.
I only had one year of secondary education in Hong Kong but that year was hugely significant and consequential for my adolescence and personal development, as these formative years tend to be but mine was extremely dramatic and impactful for me. A lot happened that year and those close to me know how much I was affected by the events and changed as a consequence. I wish that I had stayed longer since I really had a lot to prove to my folks in town (which I am currently still doing).
1993-1999 Diocesan Preparatory School
I completed primary education in Hong Kong and in my last year (1998-1999) I was appointed senior school prefect and was awarded an academic prize.
What can I say about primary school? It was an age of innocence when we did what we did either by obligation or for pleasure, but never by choice, since we did not possess enough intellect or conscience to make decisions for ourselves. I distinctly remember my last year (1998-1999) when I was made senior school prefect and was given social responsibility for the first time in my life. Graduation was also emotional, since it was the first time in my life leaving a place that I had considered home. 1998/1999 was also a remarkable football season, which made it even more memorable.