Professor Chang Song-hing, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, CUHK, is currently an ICS Honorary Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow of the T. T. Ng Chinese Language Research Centre. After receiving his BA and MA from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at CUHK, he started teaching at CUHK in the early 1970s and dedicated the years that followed to the teaching until his recent retirement. He has served as Teaching Assistant, Lecturer and Professor in the Department. He is also former Director of the T. T. Ng Chinese Language Research Centre, former Associate Head of United College, and former Dean of General Education of United College. He is interested in the studies of dialectology, Chinese etymology and phonology, and Chinese fiction. His major publications include A Report on a Survey of the Keijia and Gan Dialects; The Dialects of the New Territories, Hong Kong; Studies of the Lianzhou Dialects; Studies of the Lechang Dialects (as Chief Editor and one of the contributors), and many other articles published in various academic journals. During his tenure as the Chief Editor of Studies in Chinese Linguistics (SCL) from the early 1980s till his retirement, a total of 32 issues were published. Professor Chang also supervised the publication of Current Research in Chinese Linguistics (CrCL), a journal that has been reporting current teaching and research information in Chinese linguistics for more than twenty years. The Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR has awarded him a commendation for his contribution to the promotion of cultural activities in Hong Kong.
The study of Chinese character origins is a branch of traditional Chinese textology, which differs from the descriptive approach in modern dialectology. Li Rong, a Chinese linguist known for his work on Chinese dialectology, once commented that the study of character origins is not "major" among dialectology study and "it will be superfluous if a character's origin is incorrectly interpreted". There is a recent craze in tracing the origins of Chinese characters in Hong Kong; among the many interpretations, some wrong ones have even been used in the mass media. Professor Chang analysed this phenomenon and illustrated it with examples in this lecture.