Virginia Yip

Virginia Yip, a linguist, is director of the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre. She is currently a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include bilingual language acquisition, second language acquisition, Cantonese, Chaozhou and comparative Sinitic grammar, psycholinguistics, and cognitive science.


Virginia Yip received her B.A. in linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She is the author of Interlanguage and Learnability: from Chinese to English (Benjamins) and co-author of a series of works on Cantonese grammar published by Routledge: Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar (which has been translated into Japanese), Basic Cantonese and Intermediate Cantonese. She and her team have created the Hong Kong Bilingual Child Language Corpus, the first longitudinal bilingual corpus in which Cantonese is represented along with English, and the largest multimedia bilingual corpus in the Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES) based at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Hong Kong Bilingual Child Language Corpus

University of Hong Kong — features 170 hours of audio and video files of four families raising their children bilingually in Cantonese and English. The project, which includes transcripts and searchable video and audio segments, took 10 years to compile.

This database has already been the data source for several undergraduate and graduate dissertations in Hong Kong, and it is the basis of a book, The Bilingual Child, written by Yip and Matthews and published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. The database focuses on children who are bilingual in English and Cantonese and who learned to speak two languages through the one-parent, one-language approach. Using that method, one parent speaks to the child in one language, and the other parent speaks to the child in another.

Honors and awards

  • CUHK Research Excellence Award 2006-2007

Books & Publications

  • Matthews, S. & V. Yip, 1994. Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar. London: Routledge. (on-line review by Marjorie Chan); Japanese edition by E. Chishima and S. Kataoka, Tokyo: Toho Shoten, 2000.
  • Yip, V. 1995. Interlanguage and Learnability: from Chinese to English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Yip, V. & S. Matthews, 2000. Basic Cantonese: a Grammar and Workbook. London: Routledge.
  • Yip, V. & S. Matthews, 2001. Intermediate Cantonese: a Grammar and Workbook. London: Routledge. (on-line review by Blaine Erickson)
  • Yip, V. & S. Matthews, 2007. The Bilingual Child: early development and language contact. Cambridge University Press.
  • Matthews, S. & V. Yip, 2011. Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

External links

  • Virginia Yip CUHK Homepage
  • Stephen Matthews HKU Homepage
  • Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre Homepage
  • Conference on Bilingual Acquisition in Early Childhood
  • The Chinese Pidgin English featuring: Stephen Matthews(HKU) as colonial Brit
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.