About the Centre Director

Dr Alex Chengyu Fang got his PhD from University College London. He was Deputy Director of the Survey of English Usage at University College London coordinating the syntactic analysis of the International Corpus of English. He joined City University of Hong Kong in 2005 and lectures on corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics and stylistics.

Alex is an active researcher in the area of corpus-based studies of speech and writing, including grammar, discourse and cognition. His current focus is on grammatical differences across different cultural groups (such as British and Chinese), different disciplines (such as aeronautics and medicine) and different registers (such as formal and informal settings). A fundamental interest is to identify preferences in construal and encoding that define and communicate meaning. Most recently, his attention is focused on shell noun constructions. He is interested in interoperable annotation standards for multi-modal language resources and co-authored the ISO standard for dialogue act annotation. He designed and constructed a comparable corpus of media English and pioneered the automatic application of the ISO standards for dialogue act annotation to the Switchboard corpus of spoken English (ISO-SWBD). He is also interested in some of the broader issues related to language, culture and cognition such as the historical and cultural underpinnings of linguistic expressions and iconographic inscriptions found on ancient metallic objects.

Alex serves on several high-profile professional bodies. He is an expert member certified by and representing China on Technical Committee 37 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He is an appointed member of the China National Technical Committee on Language Resources for Standardization providing expert opinions and judgements on national standards for language-related resources and services such as term management and translation. He is on the editorial board of Elements in Corpus Linguistics since 2020, a book series published by Cambridge University Press. He is Adjunct Professor at Beihang University since 2011. In 2012, he received the Sir E.S.G. Robinson Fellowship for outstanding numismatic research from the British Museum.

Alex has published broadly in international journals and conferences such as the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, LREC, ISA and IEEE-ICSC. His representative book publications include:

  • The Language and Iconography of Chinese Charms: Deciphering a Past Belief System (Singapore: Springer Nature 2016)
  • Text Genres and Registers: The Computation of Linguistic Features (Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer 2015)
  • ISO 24617-2:2012 Language resource management – Semantic annotation framework – Part 2: Dialogue acts (Geneva: ISO 2012 & 2020)
  • Chinese Charms: Art, Religion and Folk Belief (Beijing: The Commercial Press 2008)
  • English Corpora and Automated Grammatical Analysis (Beijing: The Commercial Press 2007)

For more information about Alex’s publications and projects, please follow this link: https://scholars.cityu.edu.hk/en/person/acfang