In 1903, being 15 years old, he enrolled to a prominent Wuchang school (武昌文華書院, later transformed into the Central China Normal University), but soon was expelled for anti-Qing sentiments. Since Huang's father was in acquaintance with Zhang Zhidong, the Viceroy of Huguang, Qiaoxin was sponsored for studying in Japan.
Once there, he made the acquaintance of Zhang Binglin, who shared with him the same passion for revolution and philology. Huang became Zhang's comrade and student. Both joined the revolutionary United League (Tongmenghui).
Huang and Zhang were the last great masters in the Chinese philological tradition, and helped lay the foundation of modern Chinese linguistics. Huang was the first to propose a convincing initial systems of Old Chinese. He published very little during his lifetime, but his notebooks, published posthumously, are highly regarded for their philological value.
- He Jiuying 何九盈 (1995). Zhongguo xiandai yuyanxue shi (中囯现代语言学史 "A history of modern Chinese linguistics"). Guangzhou: Guangdong jiaoyu chubanshe.