Mr Chit Fung (Lawrence) Lam

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Research Interests

- Syntax, Syntactic Theory, Grammatical Architecture

- Corpus Linguistics and Bilingualism

- Linguistic Typology

- Linguistics of Sinitic Languages

In 2020, I published the article “Inter-sentential Code-switching and Language Dominance in Cantonese–English Bilingual Children” (co-authored with Prof Stephen Matthews) in the Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech. We used quantitative corpus methods to examine the relationship between language dominance and the under-investigated topic of inter-sentential code-switching in Hong Kong Cantonese–English bilingual children. Our findings suggested that intra-sentential and inter-sentential code-switching each have a different status in bilingual children’s developing grammar. We also suggested that, in societies where intra-sentential code-switching is a social norm, inter-sentential code-switching could serve as signs of early bilinguals’ dominance status. (For the published version, see; for the submitted version, see

Currently, I am working on a PhD project entitled “The Typology of Null Subject Languages: A Lexical-Functional Grammar Analysis”, jointly supervised by Prof Kersti Börjars and Prof Eva Schultze-Berndt. The current stage of my project focuses on Chinese data. My research approach is empirically-driven, involving meticulous analysis of data drawn from large-scale language corpora, coupled with native-speaker judgement. I model these empirical data within the theoretical framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar, which adopts a constraint-based parallel-correspondence architecture.

To disseminate my research findings, in year 2020, I gave a poster presentation entitled “Functional and Anaphoric Control in Mandarin Chinese” at the 25th International Lexical-Functional Grammar Conference in 2020. (For details, see In July 2021, I delivered an oral presentation on the topic of anaphora and logophoricity at the 26th International Lexical-Functional Grammar Conference ( In Oct 2021, I will give a talk entitled "A Data-driven Approach to Generalised Control Relations in a Discourse Pro-drop Language: Insights from a Parallel-correspondence System of Grammar" at the 30th South of England LFG Meeting to be held at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford.

Teaching Qualifications and Experience

With four years of teacher training at The University of Hong Kong, I am a qualified teacher formally registered with the Hong Kong Education Bureau. After obtaining my first degree, I taught English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) at a school in Hong Kong for some years before I embarked on my current PhD in Linguistics studies. The major classes I taught were at the pre-university level, with students sitting for the university entrance exam in Hong Kong.

In year 2021, I taught the weekly seminars of the Typology course for the 2nd and 3rd years of undergraduate students at The University of Manchester.


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