LINGUIST List 30.3050

Wed Aug 07 2019

Support: Chinese; English; Sociolinguistics: Open Rank, University of Hong Kong

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 07-Aug-2019
From: Brian King <>
Subject: Chinese; English; Sociolinguistics: Open Rank, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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Department: School of English
Web Address:

Level: Open

Institution/Organization: University of Hong Kong

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Sociolinguistics

Required Language(s): English (eng), Chinese


One PhD/MPhil Studentship in Sociolinguistics/Language and Health Communication at University of Hong Kong

Available: Starting date 1st September 2020
Application first deadline 31st October 2019

The School of English ( at the University of Hong Kong is offering a PhD/MPhil Studentship in Sociolinguistics/Language and Health Communication. The School’s vibrant research culture and the rapidly expanding cohort of full-time research students from many countries provides a stimulating intellectual environment.

The successful candidate will be expected to start in September 2020, to coincide with Dr. Brian King’s larger research project, “Language use and the intersex body: Communicating sex variations in multilingual Hong Kong”.

Candidates must have a suitable degree in a relevant subject area, and proficiency in Chinese reading, preferably those who can speak Cantonese. A condition of the award is that the candidate must work on Dr. King’s project, completing work for the principal investigator in addition to their own PhD/MPhil project work on a related topic (see below).

The following research questions will be addressed in the broader interview-based project:
- What discourse and rhetorical framings do people with intersex traits, laypeople, and health care professionals in Hong Kong deploy to report their use of the language available to them in English and Cantonese for referring to intersex/ disorders of sex development (DSD)?
- How do they ‘speak back to’ or ‘trouble’ language via metapragmatic evaluations of the use and interpretation of terminology in the contexts most relevant to them?
- What ideologies are revealed and/or espoused during such metapragmatic talk about intersex/DSD among all participants in the study?

Secondary data will also be collected, including a range of activist and medical-organization documents (such as information brochures, standardized letters sent to parents of children with intersex traits, and counseling protocols for parents of children with intersex traits). In addition, mediatized data (print and broadcast media, online, etc) will form an important aspect of the database and could constitute an ancillary thesis research topic for the RPg student on “Mediatization of intersex in Hong Kong”. These data will also be analyzed according to the research questions guiding this study, with a focus on the language used in the documents.

If you have a first degree from a university where the language of teaching and examination is not English, you must have obtained a score of 550 or above in the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) and a score of 4 or above in the TWE (Test of Written English). We also accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) but you must have at least a score of 7 with no subtest lower than 5.5. You will be expected to have a good academic reference.

To apply, please email:
- Your CV,
- A 2-3000-word research proposal, and
- Your proof of English score (if applicable)
to Brian W. King ( by 31st October 2019.

To speed up the process, please ask your referee to send one reference letter by email directly and confidentially to Dr. King by the same deadline. The successful candidate will be invited to apply by 1st December 2019 for a 3-year full-time PhD programme (who should already hold a research master’s degree (e.g., MPhil) for admission to a 3-year PhD programme), or a 2-year full-time MPhil programme, offered by the University of Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong will provide financial support to the successful candidate. For details, please refer to the University webpage at

Contact Information:
        Dr Brian W. King

Page Updated: 08-Aug-2019