About the Forum
Professor Yuen-Ren Chao (1892-1982), known as Father of Modern Chinese Linguistics, is an unusual scholar whose dual contributions to linguistics and to the study of Chinese language have been well recognized both in China and worldwide, and whose influence is still felt today. He made further important contributions to the modern study of Chinese language, such as phonology, dialectology and grammar, as reflected by his many seminal works including the progressive developments from Cantonese Primer (1947) to Mandarin Primer (1948) and then to A Grammar of Spoken Chinese (1968). He was also credited as the first inventor of the Gwoyeu Romatzyh and the five-point scale notation for transcribing pitch contours in Chinese dialects. Furthermore, Professor Chao was a pioneer in many other fields. His translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is still regarded as a classic; His composition entitled jiao wo ruhe bu xiang ta ‘How could I help but think of her’ remains a favorite for generations of Chinese.
Further information about Prof. Chao can be found in the following articles:
Li Rong Fangyan, 1982, issue 2, pp. 81-84 [link]
Li Jen-kuei Huawen shijie 1982, volume 27, pp.7-10 [link]
William Wang Language, 1983, volume 59, pp. 605-607 [link]
Mantaro Hashimoto Zhuanji wenxue, 1983, volume 225, pp. 105-107 [link]
Ting Pang-hsin Zhongguo yuwen tongxun, 1989, volume 1, pp.19-22 [link]
2012 is the 120th anniversary of Professor Chao’s birth and the return of IACL conference to Hong Kong after 18 years. To celebrate this occasion, a Forum on “Y. R. Chao and Linguistics” will be organized as a satellite event of the 20th Annual Conference of IACL.