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The 1st FAH Macao Humanities Roundtable will be held on 4 May 2022. As one of the major events in FAH, the Roundtable aims to foster collegiality in the faculty and serves as an excellent platform for FAH colleagues and Ph.D. students to share and showcase their research with UM members. There will be parallel sessions in E21A-3118 and E21A-G049 (SI LAB). The 22 excellent presentations are grouped into 6 sessions, including 1A-Literature & Translation, 1B-History & Language, 2A-Literature & Education, 2B-Linguistics, 3A-Philosophy, and 3B-Translation & Linguistics. All members of the UM community are cordially invited to this splendid event.

Details of the event are as follows:

Event name: The 1st FAH Macao Humanities Roundtable

Date: 4 May (Wed)

Venue: E21A-3118 & E21A-G049 (SI LAB)

Time: 9:30 – 18:15

  • Session 1 A (Literature & Translation) at E21A-3118: 9:30-12:50 (1 Smart Point & 35CS)
  • Session 1 B (History & Language) at E21A-G049: 9:40-12:50 (1 Smart Point & 35CS)
  • Session 2 A (Literature & Education) at E21A-3118: 14:00-15:45 (1 Smart Point & 25CS)
  • Session 2 B (Linguistics) at E21A-G049 : 14:00 -16:20 (1 Smart Point & 25CS)
  • Session 3 A (Philosophy) at E21A-3118: 16:30-17:40 (1 Smart Point & 20CS)
  • Session 3 B (Translation & Linguistics) at E21A-G049: 16:30-18:15 (1 Smart Point & 20CS)

Programme: Roundtable Programme

Registration: Register for the Roundtable by 3 May 2022 (Tue) via https://forms.gle/JfTZBccPLvnXhwQH7

For further inquiries, please feel free to contact Ms. Lisa Lam via lisalam@um.edu.mo


Presentation abstract:

Literature & Translation 文學 & 翻譯


朱壽桐 Zhu Shoutong

中國語言文學系Department of Chinese Language and Literature




鄧駿捷Tang Chon Chit

中國語言文學系Department of Chinese Language and Literature



Due to the unique historical development process of Macao, Macao poetry has become a unique sample of Chinese regional literature during Ming and Qing dynasties. Macao poetry originated in Ming Wanli period, and it began to appear the local scholars until Qing Qianlong period. From now on, an objective literary scene was formed by foreigners and local scholars. On the other hand, since the content of Macao’s poems was complex, there was full of Western imagery, recitation of Chinese traditional things with diverse styles and forming a specific “literary landscape”. The Macao poetry was formed by the feelings and thoughts of people living in Macao, and also the tortuous and true reflection of Macao’s history.



姚京明Yao Jing Ming

Department of Portuguese




張月Zhang Yue

中國語言文學系Department of Chinese Language and Literature



Who Speaks for Nature? Genre, Gender and the Eco-translation of Chinese Wild Animals

You Chengcheng

Department of English

Wild animal stories, as a literary genre, often oscillate between authentic representations of animal behaviours and various degrees of anthropomorphic projection. The study identifies how the voices of wild animals are articulated in two contrasting Chinese wild animal stories, Shixi Shen’s Jackal and Wolf (2012) and Gerelchimeg Blackcrane’s Black Flame (2013), and how culture-specific understandings of genre, gender and environmental education are negotiated in the published translations. Informed by Michael Cronin’s model of “eco-translation” and David Herman’s “narratology beyond the human,” it argues that the eco-translation of the source texts is mainly manifested in the reduction of gender stereotypes and sentimental anthropomorphism, problematisation of genetic descriptions and reappropriation of non-fictional texts. These strategic interventions enhance eco-translation’s potential as an anti-anthropocentric narratology, a co-authored life writing that recognises the generic ambivalence within animal storytelling practice and further speaks for nature with more conscious allocation of agency across the species lines.


History & Language 歷史 & 語言

The Zhang on Chinese Southern Frontiers: Disease Constructions 中国历史上的瘴

Yang Bin

Department of History

Adopting a historicalist-conceptualist approach, this article scrutinizes from a longue durée perspective the Chinese disease-concept zhang, which refers to a group of tropical and subtropical diseases on Chinese southern frontiers. It firstly reviews how the Chinese literati created and employed the term to set the southern, non-Han peoples culturally apart, followed by an analysis of the zhang diseases and their treatment in Chinese traditional medicine. Then the article turns to the question of how the zhang diseases constituted as an ecological barrier that hindered Chinese southern expansions, illustrated by the Sino-Burmese War (1765–70). Finally, the case of Yunnan during the Ming-Qing period (1368–1912) will be examined to reveal how Chinese colonization reduced the instances of the zhang, at least reflected in imperial texts. In sum, the Chinese notion of the zhang diseases as a distinct group interplayed with Chinese frontier process and empire-building, and may shed light on both the Chinese march toward the tropics in a broad context and the transformation of Chinese civilization over the lounge duree.


Literary Plunder: The Making and Unmaking of Tipu Sultan’s Library

Joshua  Ehrlich

Department of History

The library of Tipu Sultan, Sultan of Mysore (r. 1782–99) was once among the richest in South Asia, if not in the world. It contained as many as four thousand books and manuscripts, on a wide range of subjects and in numerous languages, Asian and European. Many of these works were beautifully illustrated and had belonged to a series of distinguished owners previously. Amassed largely through plunder, the library was plundered in turn by the British East India Company in 1799. In this talk, Joshua Ehrlich, Assistant Professor of History, will explore how Tipu Sultan used the library to legitimize his rule, as well as how rival factions within the Company sought to do the same. Finally, he will discuss what the fortunes of Tipu’s library reveal about the enduring symbolic power of plunder and the complex meanings of libraries.


Framing the epidemic by WAR metaphors in the Macao Daily News – Lexis, themes, and frames for persuasion

Vincent  Wang

Department of English

The study investigates the use of metaphors in a leading conventional media of Macao for covering epidemic related matters. We discovered that WAR metaphors have been primarily used in the reports of the Macao Daily News, and have identified the three sets of lexical expressions for realising the metaphors. The main themes delivered by the WAR metaphors include describing the gravity of the situation, communicating anti-epidemic measures, and calling for joint efforts. In addition, the persuasion of the call for actions is examined in terms of the gain/loss frames and the collectivism appeal. The results are discussed in relation to effective health communication and the interplay between the collective gain versus the individual loss in the context of war.



王銘宇Wang Mingyu

中國語言文學系Department of Chinese Language and Literature



基於背襯優先的聯繫項左側優勢:漢語述謂結構配置的動因及後果 Motivation and Consequence of Chinese Left-side-relator Priority: Ground-preference Cognitive Pattern Underlying Predication Accommodation

陳忠Chen Zhong

中國語言文學系Department of Chinese Language and Literature






It’s widely known that Chinese language is characterized by a notable ordering of preposed preposition together with some objects in a sentence. Consequently, the following question arises naturally:  what motivated Chinese to prepose its prepositional structure? In order to answer such question, we aim to explore Chinese word order motivation in light of cognitive pattern which underlies the multivariable word order competition.

This discussion mainly focuses on:

1)the key factors that affect the ordering of predication accommodation;

2)the reason of Left-side-relator Priority, and the way of how Left-side-relator Priority affects the preposition and some patient-objects in terms of their position-relied collocational ability syntactic position;

3)  aftermath of Left-side-relator Priority, which determines the prepositional structures with their patient-object being put prior to the predication verb in disposal constructions.

In summary, this research explores the variable that restrict Chinese predication accommodation, which provide an in-depth comprehension of the interaction between syntactic organization and cognitive pattern, deepening our comprehensive understanding into Chinese idiosyncrasy from a multivariable perspective which was previously neglected by most researchers.


Literature & Education
文學 & 教育


Slaying Vampires in Eighteenth-Century Sweden

Damian  Shaw & Matthew Gibson

Department of English

Damian Shaw will present a summary and translation from the Latin of an important early medical lecture on vampires by Nils Retzius. The lecture was delivered in Sweden, at Lund University, in 1737, and was published almost immediately thereafter. This important text has been overlooked by modern scholars of vampires. This article will bring the lecture back into circulation in its first English translation. Matthew Gibson then offers an analysis of the intellectual background to this rational debunking of vampires. He demonstrates how Retzius’s attempt at a comprehensive rational explanation for vampires, typical of much Enlightenment thinking, nevertheless employs a fusion of Galenic medical thinking with more modern medical and psychosomatic notions of medicine, as well as certain Lutheran notions concerning the devil and the spirit world. His argument scotches the belief in the idea of sympathetic magic affecting the dreams of the living, while emphasizing the psychosomatic effects of the imagination on the physical body.



A Cartography of the regard: exile, images and intertextualities in Portuguese Literature

Dora  Nunes Gago

Department of Portuguese

This study focuses on the representation of migratory journeys and the exilic experience in Portuguese literature, although starting from a comparatist view intersecting imagology (Pageaux, Leerssen, Beller…) and other theories suitable for analysing the phenomena of exile (Said, Nouss, Gutty and others) . Such journeys and experience are increasingly important in today’s society which has become more and more marked by displacement and rootlessness. On this theme, works are analysed by Rodrigues Miguéis, Ferreira de Castro, Jorge de Sena, Maria Ondina Braga, Agustina Bessa-Luís, Rodrigo Leal de Carvalho and Fernanda Dias

In sum, these are authors who despite their undeniable relevance are somewhat forgotten voices within the panorama of Portuguese literature who it is important to rescue from silence and whose lessons about humanity are important to discover and recognise. Along with them are, for example, the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Ling, Ling the Macanese writer of Chinese origin, who are evoked through the relations and dialogues woven by intertextuality and the relationship between different cultures.


Repairing Repair: Affective Temporalities and the Practice of Reparative Reading

Jeremy De Chavez

Department of English

This paper examines the consequences of paranoia being infrastructural to postcolonial studies as it speculates on what it might mean for postcolonial critique to strategically conscript reparativity to inform its reception of texts from the postcolony. Against the critical position that argues that reparativity is fundamentally incompatible with postcolonial critique for it is “deeply implicated in colonial, settler colonial, and imperialist histories” (Stuelke 11), I suggest that advocating for reparativity need not be an abdication of the ethico-political commitments of postcolonial critique—on the contrary, it potentially enables an alternative way to realize them. This paper will argue that reparative approaches, which are attentive to textures, tones, and affective impulses, cultivates attentiveness to the temporal mechanisms of worlding of a literary text—or the power of the literary text to open up other worlds through the force of time—in the historical present. I suggest that it is this mode of reading that is most compatible with Pheng Cheah’s concept of world literature as a temporal, instead of as a spatio-geographical, category; that is to say, reparativity is an interpretative practice that renders discernible the heterotemporalities in literary texts that Cheah consider so crucial to the processes of worlding that literary works enact.


Understanding the role of information literacy in writing in the higher education context

YU Chengyuan  (PHD student)

Department of English

In the age of information abundance, writing is inevitably associated with information literacy, especially in the context of higher education (HE) where the purpose of writing is to communicate with creators of prior knowledge and construct new knowledge. However, little research has empirically investigated the role of information literacy in writing in HE. To fill this gap, the present study adopted an exploratory mixed methods design to interview graduate students, faculty members, information specialists, and writing experts, develop and validate a multidimensional self-assessment scale based on the interviews, and use this scale to examine the role of information literacy in writing. The findings reveal that information literacy and academic writing are highly correlated in HE and these two competencies are cognitive, social, metacognitive, and emotional. A four-dimensional (cognitive, social, metacognitive, and emotional) information-based academic model is thus proposed to capture the nature of writing in HE.


Linguistics 語言學

Special Language Domain

Jie Xu

Department of Chinese Language and Literature

“Special Language Domain” (SLD) refers to domains or areas of language use in which linguistic rules may be violated legitimately. SLD is very similar to well-known “free trade zone”, “special administrative region”, and “special economic zone” in which tariff, executive, and economic regulations may be violated respectively legitimately to a certain extent. Innovative use in SLD is another major resource for language evolution and language change alongside with language contact and language acquisition since some of the temporary and innovative forms of usage in SLD may go beyond SLD at a later stage, developing to be part of the core system of linguistic rules. Focusing on relevant grammatical phenomena observed in the Chinese language, this article makes a generalization that poetry in various forms, title and slogan, and internet language are the three major types of SLD, and their violation of linguistic rules are motivated differently. Furthermore, although core linguistic rules may be violated in SLD, but the violations are yet subject to certain limit and restriction. What could be violated legitimately in SLD are only those language-particular rules, whereas the principles of Universal Grammar applicable generally for all human languages have to be observed whatsoever even in SLD. The study of Special Language Domain provides an ideal and fascinating window for linguists to understand language mechanism, to explain historical change of language, and plausibly to predict the future direction of language evolution.


Caused-motion Constructions: a Cognitive Constructional Perspective

Ronald Fong



Authenticity in Pop Culture Englishes: Listening to the Beatles Perform Rhoticity

Andrew Moody

Department of English

Peter Trudgill’s (1983) landmark analysis of the influence of American English upon British pop song pronunciation argues that British pop/rock acts in the 1960s — especially The Beatles and The Rolling Stones — had progressively changed their pronunciation styles from ‘American English’ to ‘British English’ over the decade. This presentation will report on attempts to replicate Trudgill’s original phonetic data for non-prevocalic /r/ and critically examine and challenge Trudgill’s conclusion that the shift in pronunciation style represented a development of British identity within popular music. Shifting goals of authenticity (balanced against the authority of a media standard) within the performance of dialect in song account for development of British pronunciation across The Beatles’s album catalogue. Consequently, accent performance is related to a much more complex range of factors, such as musical genre, performer’s identity or fans’ perception.


WE in ME: The Pragmatic Functions of English Lyrics in Macao Original Cantopop Songs in 2016-2021

Alan Chan

English Language Centre

Macao English (ME) is an important medium of communication permeating the communities, among which popular music in Cantonese (Cantopop) is one where Englishization via Cantonese-English code-switching is seen as a norm. Under the prevalence of World Englishes (WE), frameworks for analysing code-switching in pop culture were launched for better theoretical explanation to the phenomenon (e.g., Chan, 2009; Li, 2002; Lin, 2009). Despite the established effort of previous studies about Englishization in languages under various contexts, Cantopop is still in its infancy, and rarely are data gathered in Macao context. In view of this, a mixed-methods approach was adopted with analysis of 15 award-winning songs of a local music awards in the recent five years, together with interpretation obtained from surveys, semi-structured interviews and a focus-group interview with members of the music circle and the general public. The result indicated that English in Macao Cantopop is most often perceived to carry the function of aesthetic effects, expedience, conveying thematic meanings, avoiding embarrassment, and emphasis of emotions. Moreover, different positions and formats of code-switching between lyrics can bring about different pragmatic effects. This research offers a more comprehensive picture of Cantonese-English code-switching in Macao Cantopop with different aspects observed and details given.


Philosophy 哲學


From Coastal to River Valley: On the Changing Cultural Manifestations of Macao in terms of Hegel’s and Watsuji’s studies of Fudo

Tam Ka Pok

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

In Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of World-History, Hegel suggests three geographical categories where the cultural self-consciousness (known as ‘cultural spirit’ or ‘cultural self-consciousness’) is manifested: highlands, river valleys, and the coastal region. Hegel’s observation is acknowledged by Watsuji Tetsuro, who argues that cultures manifest their self-consciousness in Fudo (風土) and divide Fudo into three categories in terms of climate: desert, meadow and monsoon.

By employing Hegel’s and Watsuji’s theories, this paper argues that Macao has experienced a shift from manifesting cultural self-consciousness in the sea into manifesting in Pearl river waterway in the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century (from 1842 the Opium War to 1937 the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War) when Macao was replaced by Hong Kong as an international entrepôt, as Macao had lost its role as a maritime in-betweener between China and the West and became more integrated to the West River transportation networks.


The Self-Contradictions of Authenticity

Hans-Georg  Moeller

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

The claim to authenticity has been at the centre of a defining the notion of human identity since the Enlightenment period, especially in Western societies. In opposition to orientation to social roles (e.g. traditional gender or professional roles), authenticity seeks individual uniqueness and originality and values creative “self-expression.” Philosophically, and politically, it is closely tied to notions of independence and autonomy. However, authenticity is contradictory: We become “authentic” by conforming to the social demand to be “special.” This presentation will show how in contemporary society authenticity is “simulated” in the curation of personal or collective identity in the form of profiles. The inner contradictions, and the impossibility of being authentic become increasingly obvious in the staging of authenticity in media, politics, and business.


Translation & Linguistics
翻譯 & 語言學


Executive Functions in Cross-lingual Processing: A Neurocognitive Investigation

Li Defeng (FAH) , Ruey-Song Huang (FST), Victoria Lei(FAH), Nevia Dolcini(FAH), Ana Nunes (FAH)

Macau is a multilingual and multicultural society. At the core of the multilingualism is how different languages are processed within the same language or between different languages, across different modes (e.g. listening, speaking, reading), in the form of monolingual processing, language switching and interlingual transfer as in simultaneous interpreting. In all these language activities, executive functions is known to play a pivotal role in verbal reception and comprehension, verbal production and language switching and transfer. In fact, enhanced EF is often seen as the cognitive benefit of bilinguals and translators/interpreters. However, whether there is indeed a so-called bilingual advantage has been a topic of controversies for decades. Several top journals, such as the Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Applied Psycholinguistics, Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, AIMS Neuroscience, and Cortex, have devoted special issues addressing this contention. Nature also carried an article in 2019 arguing against the existence of a bilingual advantage. Nevertheless, no definitive conclusions have been drawn yet, partly because the variations in the research designs of previous studies made sensible comparison of the findings almost impossible and partly because some designs were seriously flawed. We therefore would like to join this debate by introducing the newest technology of fMRI, improved methodology (use of surface-based brain atlases) and more stringent control of research variables.

The study will consist of three phrases, mapping, interacting and changing. The major research instruments will be fMRI and eye-trackers in isolation and fusion respectively. A total of 600 scans will be made on approximately 300 subjects of varying linguistic backgrounds and combinations when they are engaged in different modes of language processing, e.g. reading, listening and speaking in Chinese (including Cantonese), English and Portuguese as well as simultaneous interpreting between either two of the three languages.

It is hoped that an online multilingual, multimodal, multi-group brain atlas database [surface-based, functional] will be constructed with the brain images as the world’s very first surfaced-based brain atlas database and made available to brain scientists all over the world, similar to the volume-based Allen Brain Atlas, BrainMaps and BigBrain. It is also expected that with the access to the MRI and therefore the neuroimaging techniques , and the unique resources (demographic characteristics, a diverse education system), we will be in a stronger and privileged position to provide solid evidence to resolve the centennial debate of bilingual advantage as seen in Executive Functions.


Mapping the interface between language and music: An fMRI  study

Victoria L. C. Lei (FAH), Ruey-Song Huang (FST), Defeng Li (FAH), Nevia Dolcini (FAH)

The study seeks to map the interface between language and music in the human brain using state-of-the-art fMRI technology. The relationship between language and music, the two abilities that distinguish humans and animals, has been the topic of debate among thinkers since antiquity. Leonard Bernastein’s lectures at Harvard in the 1970s inspired comparisons between musical and linguistic structures. However, the exploration of the music-language relation from the perspective of modern cognitive science only started this century. For instance, Patel (2010) challenges the traditional belief that language and music are processed independently – the music functions mainly localized in the right hemisphere of the brain and language functions in the left hemisphere. Recent studies using neuroimaging technologies like ERP, PET and fMRI have found commonalities as well as differences in neural representations of language processing and musical processing. However, there is still no firm answer to the neural location of the shared resource networks for language and music. fMRI, with its high spatial resolution, is an excellent tool for locating brain activities. However, the use of fMRI in neurocognitive investigation of language and music is limited due to various constrains of the technology, namely the noise generated by the scanner and its intolerance of head motion. The interdisciplinary team at UM has found feasible solution to the problems, making it possible to conduct experiments involving listening, speaking, singing and playing musical instrument in the scanner. Furthermore, with the more advanced surface-based analysis, we are in a good position of accurately locating the overlapping regions associated with music and language processing. Findings of the study may shed light on the origins and evolution of language, as well as having implications on practical questions such as whether training in music have impact on language development, including bilingual/multilingual development, and vice versa; and whether the neuroprotective benefits of music are associated with language processing that require extreme cognitive control.


Borrowing or code-switching? the case of single-word English prepositions in Hong Kong Cantonese

Brian Chan

Department of English

With reference to two competing views about the distinction between single-word code-switches and lexical borrowing, namely, Poplack (2018) vs. Myers-Scotton (1992, 1993), this paper examines the status of single-word English prepositions in Hong Kong Cantonese. A survey of a small dataset suggests that these English prepositions may bring along syntactic structures distinct of English into Cantonese, but they may also be morphosyntactically integrated to Cantonese and behave as verbs or coverbs. Accordingly, it is virtually impossible to pin down these prepositions as borrowing or code-switching based on morphosynactic integration (Poplack, 2018). Neither are they directly inserted into a sentence morphosyntactically framed in Cantonese (Myers-Scotton, 1992, 1993), which has postpositions rather than prepositions. Taking the view that “languages” are not discrete systems and words of different “languages” are connected in a vast mental network, it is suggested that the boundary between lexical borrowing and single-word code-switching has to be fuzzy (Matras, 2009). Freed from such distinction, degrees of morphosyntactic integration in single-word transfer or replication (i.e. borrowing/ code-switching) can be seen as a function of the word class of the transferred/replicated word due to different strengths in which a word is associated with morphosyntactic patterns of its respective language and its equivalent in the native/recipient language.