Mr Chit Fung (Lawrence) Lam

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Research Interests

- Syntax and Syntactic Theory (Lexical-Functional Grammar)

- Corpus Linguistics and Bilingualism

- Chinese Linguistics

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 details, 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, 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 This year, I will deliver an oral presentation on the topic of anaphora at the 26th International Lexical-Functional Grammar Conference.

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 Academic English targeting speakers of other languages (TESOL) at a local school in Hong Kong for a couple of years before I embarked on my current PhD in Linguistics studies. This year, I am teaching 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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