Dr. Leung is Professor of Linguistics and former Head of School of English. She obtained her M Phil and PhD in English and Applied Linguistics from the University of Cambridge, an LLB from the University of London, and an LLM from Yale Law School. She had been a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Yenching Institute, Harvard University, as well as at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. She received the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the University of Hong Kong in 2017/2018 and the Outstanding Teaching Award (Team) (as leader of the BA&LLB curriculum team) in 2018/2019. Between 2020 and 2022, she serves as an Overseas Distinguished Scholar for Central China Normal University. In 2020/2021, she is a Luce East Asia Fellow at the National Humanities Center (USA). Between 2021 and 2022, she will be working on a book project under RGC’s Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme.
Broadly speaking, her research has revolved around the study of meaning. Her first line of research, developed from her doctoral work, focuses on the mapping between meaning and linguistic form in the acquisition and processing of language, using a psycholinguistic approach and a quantitative methodology. She is a founding member of the School’s Speech, Language and Cognition Laboratory.
Her second and most current line of research lies in the emergent interdisciplinary area of language and law. She has published a monograph and a series of papers on challenges, ideologies and paradoxes in multilingual legal practice. The book won the Faculty Research Output Prize in 2020. She has also written about language rights, legal interpretation, unrepresented litigation, courtroom discourse, legal translation, and representations of law in the media. Her latest government-funded project deals with the evolution of law in the modern communication environment.
Leung is an author/editor of 3 books and 30+ scholarly articles and chapters. She had served as Submissions Editor for the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, and as English Book Reviews Editor and International Advisory Board member for the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. In 2017, she was elected to the Executive Committee of the International Association of Forensic Linguists.
She coordinated the BA&BEd double degree programme between 2008 and 2013, directed the BA&LLB double degree in Law and Literary Studies between 2014 and 2020. She also served as Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts between 2018 and 2020.
Language and the law; legal bilingualism and multilingualism; language politics; legal and political communication; law, media and technology; cognitive approaches to meaning and conceptual organisation; implicit learning of language