In support of the goal of benefiting academic and scholarly activities for the advancement of the study of Chinese linguistics, the LFK Society’s planned work includes the following programs and activities:
(1) Subsidies for Research
While various research projects may be funded from various sources, there is seldom sufficient support for long-term projects since granting agencies normally do not repeat funding more than two or three times. There are many important undertakings, such as modern dialect investigation and data processing, that require long-term funding. Although there are many data processing projects dealing with the computerized input of texts, there is as yet none devoted to processing data of Chinese dialects or minority languages in China that bear influence on the development of the Chinese language. It is the intention of the LFK Society to help initiate such a project with not only published data but also with unpublished first-hand investigation materials.
The LFK Society will encourage and subsidize such long-term projects involving international collaborative efforts of scholars in the field. As a first step toward achieving this goal we have now established the LFK Field Work Award.
(2) Training of Graduate Students and Young Scholars
The tradition of fine scholarship cannot be sustained unless it can continue from one generation to the next. A top priority of the LFK Society is to provide stable funding for scholarships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellowships for young scholars in Chinese linguistics in the scholarly tradition of the late Professor Li Fang-Kuei.
As a start, we have established an LFK Society Dissertation Award encouraging graduate students to devote themselves to research in historical phonology and Sino-Tibetan studies, two of the disciplines in which the late Professor Li Fang-Kuei made significant contributions. We have also set up LFK Book Awards in Linguistics to encourage excellence in scholarship.
(3) Interchange of Scholarly Ideas in a Global Context
Solid scholarship and fertile ideas cannot be cultivated merely through closed-door research and teaching. It is of vital importance for both scholars and students to be in constant interaction with the international academic community, not only in the field of Chinese linguistics but also in the related disciplines of general linguistics, archaeology, paleography, etc. The LFK Society will support or organize international seminars and workshops to promote such interchange. In addition, it will seek co-operation from various international institutes of research to enrich and enhance such global interchange.
As a first step, we have initiated an LFK Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant to support graduate students in presenting their research results at national and international conferences.
(4) Visiting Scholar Program
No single institution can embrace sufficient members of faculty to offer a well-rounded foundation of training in Chinese linguistics. To ensure that graduate students in Chinese linguistics obtain a broad and solid background in training, the LFK Society will recruit specialists in the discipline as visiting professors/scholars to enhance research and teaching opportunities at institutions supporting Chinese linguistics, or provide scholarships for graduate students to attend summer programs in general linguistics or Chinese linguistics.
(5) Dissemination of Research Results
Contribution to the field of Chinese linguistics cannot be achieved without the dissemination of ideas and research results. The LFK Society, together with the Centre for Chinese Linguistics of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, inaugurated in May 2006 a bi-annual journal open to scholars in the field in order to stimulate further ideas and results. This journal, the Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics, is now in its fourth year of circulation.