Prof. FANG Chengyu Alex (方稱宇)

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34428793

Author IDs


  • BA (Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages, China)
  • PhD (University College London, UK)


  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts, 2021
  • Grand Prize for Excellent Publication in Systemic Functional Lilnguistics, 2022
  • Sir E.S.G. Robinson Fellow, the British Museum, 2012

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • The International Organization for Standardization
  • The China National Technical Committee on Language Resources for Standardization
  • The Key Laboratory for Agricultural and Biomedical Information Processing of Hubei Province


Professor Alex Chengyu Fang obtained his PhD from University College London (UCL) and was Deputy Director of the Survey of English Usage at UCL coordinating the syntactic analyis of the International Corpus of English. He joined the Department of Linguistics and Translation, City University of Hong Kong in 2005 and lectures on corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics and stylistics. He is Director of The Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies.

Alex is an active researcher in the area of corpus-based language studies including grammar, discourse and pragmatics. In particular, he is interested in structural features specific to different genres and registers as well as discourse functions such as dialogue acts. He is the founding director of the Dialogue Systems Group, which is devoted to investigations in language use based on authentic utterances in different contextual settings. His focal emphasis is on applications of linguistic insights in speech and language technology as well as human communication. He designed and constructed a comparable corpus of media English (CCME) 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 broader issues related to language, culture and cognition such as the historical and cultural underpinnings of linguistic expressions and iconographies inscribed on ancient numismatic 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 Interntioanl 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 services such as translation and interpretation. He is on the editorial board of the Cambridge University Press Elements in Corpus Linguistics (since 2020) and is Adjunct Professor at Beihang University (since 2011). He received the prestigious Sir E.S.G. Robinson Fellowship for outstanding numismatic research from the British Museum in 2012. He currently serves on CityU Senate and coordinates LT's PhD programme.

Alex has published broadly in international journals and conferences such as International Journal of Corpus Linguistics (IJCL),  Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory (CLLT), LREC, ISA and IEEE-ICSC. His representative books 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),
  • Chinese Charms: Art, Religion and Folk Belief (Beijing: The Commercial Press 2008), and
  • English Corpora and Automated Grammatical Analysis (Beijing: The Commercial Press 2007).


  • LT2207 Introduction to Linguistic Research
  • LT2306 Appreciating Written Texts (Stylistics)
  • LT3234 Language and Cognition
  • LT5421 Corpus Linguistics
  • LT8808 Advanced Topics in Research Methodology for Language Studies

Research Interests/Areas

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Syntactic complexities and variations
  • Media discourse analysis
  • Dialogue act analysis
  • Genre and register studies
  • Language, culture and cognition


  • An Empirical Corpus-based Study of Syntactic Complexity Variations in Disparate Text Genres and Registers 句法複雜度和文本類型相關性語料庫實證研究, 1 August 2018 - 1 Sept 2022, The Social Science Foundation of Beijing 北京社會科學基金.
  • A Linguistically Oriented Model of Events to Enable Better Information Engineering, 1 Sept 2015 - 31 Aug 2017, APR.
  • A Large-Scale Investigation of Grammatical Metaphors Observed in English Academic Articles by Chinese Scientists: A Corpus-Based Perspective via Pattern Grammar 型式語法視角下中國科學家學術英語語法隱喻的大型雙語語料庫研究, 1 Sept 2014 - 31 August 2017, China National Social Science Foundation 中国国家社科基金.
  • An Integrated System for Intelligent Term Management, 1 Jan 2012 - 30 December 2015, GRF.
  • Computational Linguistic Research on the Sentiment Analysis of Chinese (and English) Media Texts, 1 Sept 2006 - 31 Aug 2008, GRF.