May Wong is an adjunct associate professor in the School of English at the University of Hong Kong. She earned her PhD from Lancaster University (UK) and obtained both her bachelor’s (first class hons.) and M Phil’s degrees at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Prior to joining the School in 2012, she worked in the School of Humanities (Linguistics) and School of Professional and Continuing Education at HKU, and the Department of Linguistics and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests are in corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics and semiotics. She has published work on corpus-based analyses of Hong Kong English and English-Chinese translations in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Linguistics, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics and Languages in Contrast as well as a research monograph, Hong Kong English: exploring lexicogrammar and discourse from a corpus-linguistic perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). More recently, she has started to carry out some work on the integration of corpus linguistics and cognitive linguistics as well as social-semiotic approaches to visual communication with a focus on multimodality, culture and heritage. She is author of the book Multimodal communication: a social semiotic approach to text and image in print and digital media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).


Courses to be taught in 2019-20:

ENGL1027      Analyzing discourse
ENGL1031      English grammar(s)

LCOM2007      Visual communication


Courses previously taught

ENGL2050      English Corpus Linguistics
ENGL2146       Cognitive semantics
LCOM2001    Theories of Language and Communication


Research interests

corpus linguistics; cognitive linguistics; semiotics; World Englishes (with particular reference to Hong Kong English); translation studies.



Selected Publications


Wong, May. 2019. Multimodal communication: a social semiotic approach to text and image in print and digital media. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wong, May. 2017. Hong Kong English: exploring lexicogrammar and discourse from a corpus-linguistic perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wong, May L-Y. 2013. Adverbial clauses in Mandarin Chinese: a corpus-based study. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.


Chapters in edited volumes

Luke, Kang Kwong, & Wong, May L-Y. 2015. The Hong Kong Cantonese Corpus: design and uses. Linguistic corpus and corpus linguistics in the Chinese context (Journal of Chinese Linguistics Monograph Series, 25), ed. Benjamin Tsou and Oi Yee Kwong, 312-333. Berkeley, CA: The University of California.

Wong, May L-Y. 2012. Hong Kong English. The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English, ed. Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer, 548-561. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Wong, May L-Y. 2011. Hong Kong English. The electronic world atlas of varieties of English [eWAVE], ed. Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Available online at


Journal articles

Wong, May L-Y. Forthcoming. Recontextualising cultural heritage and identity through three-dimensional spaces: the case of Hong Kong Maritime Museum. The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum.

Wong, May L-Y. 2018. Analysing visual imagery: connecting semiotic and cognitive perspectives. Cognitive Semantics 4 (1): 39-75.

Wong, May L-Y. 2017. Analysing discursive representations of aggression of social actors in political protests: combining corpus and cognitive approaches to discourse analysis. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research 9 (3): 178-194.

Wong, May L-Y. 2014. Verb-preposition constructions in Hong Kong English: a cognitive semantic account. Linguistics 52 (3): 603-635.

Wong, May L-Y. 2012. Corpus linguistics and cognitive linguistics: a convergence of basic assumptions. International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics 3 (1): 43-68.

Wong, May L-Y. 2010. Hong Kong’s New Senior Secondary (NSS) English language curriculum: perspectives from corpus linguistics. Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics 12 (2): 1-24.

Wong, May L-Y. 2010. “There are many ways to translate it”: Existential constructions in English-Chinese translation. Languages in Contrast 10 (1): 29-53.

Wong, May L-Y. 2010. Expressions of gratitude by Hong Kong speakers of English: Research from the International Corpus of English in Hong Kong (ICE-HK). Journal of Pragmatics 42 (5): 1243-1257.

Wong, May L-Y. 2009. Committee, staff, council, etc.: A corpus analysis of collective nouns in Hong Kong English. Asian Englishes 12 (1): 4-19.

Wong, May L-Y. 2009. Gei constructions in Mandarin Chinese and bei constructions in Cantonese: A corpus-driven contrastive study. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 14 (1): 60-80.

Wong, May L-Y. 2007. Tag questions in Hong Kong English: A corpus-based study. Asian Englishes 10 (1): 44-61.

Wong, May L-Y. 2006. Corpora and intuition: A study of Mandarin Chinese adverbial clauses and subjecthood. Corpora: Corpus-based Language Learning, Language Processing and Linguistics 1 (2): 187-216.


Book reviews

Wong, May L-Y. 2010. Review of Richard Xiao and Tony McEnery, Corpus-based contrastive studies of English and Chinese. Chinese Language and Discourse 1 (2): 329-334.

Wong, May L-Y. 2009. Review of Stig Johansson, Seeing through multilingual corpora: on the use of corpora in contrastive studies. Target: International Journal on Translation Studies 21 (1): 160-163.

Wong, May L-Y. 2006. Review of Tony McEnery, Richard Xiao and Yukio Tono, Corpus-based language studies: an advanced resource book. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 11 (4): 506-509.




Conference presentations

2017. Advertising luxury residences in Hong Kong: a multimodal critical discourse analysis. Paper presented at the 6th New Zealand Discourse Conference 2017 (NZDC 2017), 6-9 December 2017. Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

2016. Semantic domains and conceptualisation in press reports of political protest: the case of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central. Paper presented at the 6th UK Cognitive Linguistics conference, 18-22 July 2016. Bangor University, United Kingdom.

2016. Lexis in blog writing: the case of Hong Kong English. Paper presented at the 10th International Conference of the Asian Association for Lexicography (AsiaLex2016), 1-3 June 2016. Century Park Hotel, Manila, The Philippines.

2015. Conflicting news discourse of political protests: a corpus-based cognitive approach to CDA. Poster presented at Corpus Linguistics 2015, 21-24 July 2015. Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

2014. Exploring metaphor, metonymy and subjectification in Cantonese slang. Paper presented at the 5th UK Cognitive Linguistics conference, 29-31 July 2014. Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

2014. Cantonese slang expressions and their mechanisms of semantic change. Paper presented at the Bloomsbury round table: the third international symposium on Chinese Language and Discourse, 11-13 June 2014. University of London, United Kingdom.

2013. Code-mixing: exploring indigenous words in ICE-HK. Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics 2013, 23-26 July 2013. Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

2012. A cognitive-linguistic approach to the study of slang lexicography in Hong Kong Cantonese. Paper presented at the second international Chinese Language and Discourse symposium, 9-11 June 2012. Nanyang Technological University. Singapore.

2009. Expressing gratitude by Hong Kong speakers of English. Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics 2009, 20-23 July 2009. University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.

2009. Expressions of gratitude in ICE-HK. Paper presented at the third international conference on the linguistics of contemporary English (ICLCE3), 14-17 July 2009. University of London, United Kingdom.

2008. Code-mixing: a corpus study of indigenous Cantonese words in Hong Kong English. Paper presented at the 14th conference of the International Association for World Englishes (IAWE), 3-5 December 2008. City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

2008. Exploiting the Babel English-Chinese Parallel Corpus for existential constructions. Paper presented at the international symposium on Using Corpora in Contrastive and Translation Studies (UCCTS), 25-27 September 2008. Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

2007. When linguistic theory meets corpus linguistics: how are multiple adverbs ordered in Mandarin Chinese? Poster presented at Corpus Linguistics 2007, 27-30 July 2007. University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

2006. Hedging in Chinese writing: A corpus-driven study of epistemic lexical verbs. Paper presented at the seventh Teaching and Language Corpora conference (TALC 2006), 2-4 July 2006. Bibliothèque Nationale Francois Mitterrand, Paris, France.

2006. Skeleton parsing in Chinese: Annotation scheme and guidelines. Poster presented at the fifth international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006), 24-26 May 2006. Magazzini del Cotone Conference Centre, Genoa, Italy.

2005. A corpus-based study of adverbial clauses in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese. Poster presented at Corpus Linguistics 2005, 16 July 2005. University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

2004. The compilation of a sample PFR Chinese Corpus of skeleton-parsed sentences. Paper presented at 2004 BIDE (Bilbao-Deusto) Student Conference in Linguistics, 8 July 2004. University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.

2002. On the syntactic functions of adverbs: A contrastive analysis of Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Paper presented at Bouillon De Langues Sens et structures: approche contrastive, 20 April 2002. Université de Lille III, Lille, France.

2001. The positioning of adverbs: A qualitative analysis. Paper presented at the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong Annual Research Forum 2001, 8 December 2001. Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.

2001. Sequential orders in Cantonese adverbial strings. Paper presented at the Postgraduate Research Forum on Language and Linguistics 2001, 13 May 2001. City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Invited talks

2004. Non-overt subjects in Chinese adverbial clauses: a government and binding approach. UCREL Corpus Research Seminar, 25 February 2004. Lancaster University, UK.



Last updated: 17 July 2019