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Hong Kong English

Autonomy and Creativity

Kingsley Bolton

Publication Year: 2002

The dominant view of many linguists and educators has been that Hong Kong English is a variety of the language that is derived from, and dependent on, the metropolitan norm of British English.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

List of Contributors

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction. Hong Kong English: Autonomy and creativity

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pp. 1-27

Hong Kong is an extraordinary society that has experienced a series of dramatic changes over the last fifty years in almost all aspects of its economic, social and political life.1 Immediately after the Second World War, the population of Hong Kong exploded a s a result of continuous waves of immigration from Guangdong province and other parts of China, with its ...

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1. The sociolinguistics of Hong Kong and the space for Hong Kong English

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pp. 29-56

The starting point for this chapter is Kachru's call for a paradigm shift and pluricentric approach to World Englishes. Today it is something of a cliche that English is a global language, no longer the property of Britain or the United States , and that, in McCrum's words, '[t]here is not one English language anymore, but there are many English languages' (McCrum , cited ...

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2. The discourse and attitudes of English language teachers in Hong Kong

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pp. 57-78

In Hong Kong, approximately 96% of the population is Chinese.1 According to a sociolinguistic survey conducted in 1993, 81.6% of the population spoke Cantonese as their mother tongue and 91.9% could speak Cantonese. Only 1.3% were native speakers of English (see Bacon-Shone and Bolton, 1998: 73, 75). Since then, Cantonese has spread even wider. According to the 1996 By-...

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3. Cantonese-English code-switching research in Hong Kong: A survey of recent research

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pp. 79-100

Research on Cantonese-English code-switching in Hong Kong may be dated back to the late 1970s.1 Most of the earlier studies tended to focus on speech data (e.g. , Gibbons, 1979, 1983, 1987), but beginning with Bauer (1988) , attention was gradually shifted to include written data as well (e.g., Yau, 1993; Li, 1996, 1998, 1999a; Lee, 1999). With the exception of Yau's (1997) study ...

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4. The English-language media in Hong Kong

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pp. 101-116

The English-language news media in Hong Kong have always been minority media in circulation and audience. Normal market mechanisms do not explain why this minority of readers could wield such disproportionate influence until the mid-1980s, when Hong Kong began the transition to Chinese rule. This skewed influence is largely due to the fact that English was the only official ...

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5. Towards a phonology of Hong Kong English

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pp. 119-140

In the present chapter, I shall not concern myself with the question of whether there exists a 'variety' of English called Hong Kong English (HKE). Being a variety or dialect of English (or of any other language) involves not only phonological features but a set of lexical, syntactic and discoursal features, as well as a certain degree of indiginization, as exemplified by such well-studied ...

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6. Relative clauses in Hong Kong English

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pp. 141-160

Kachru (1985 ) in an editorial statement in World Englishes discusses a range of factors that are relevant to the identification of world Englishes, and to identifying them as a research domain.1 He identifies various functional and formal elements in the discussion of varieties of English. This chapter is primarily concerned with the formal properties of Hong Kong English, in ...

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7. Hong Kong words: Variation and context

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pp. 161-170

Much of the discussion on Hong Kong English over the last 20 years has revolved around the question of whether such a variety of English actually exists. The paradigm for this discussion was established by Luke and Richards (1982: 55): 'There is no such thing then as "Hong Kong English". There is neither the societal need nor opportunity for the development of a stable ...

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8. Hong Kong writing and writing Hong Kong

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pp. 173-182

'Writing, commitment of the word to space, enlarges the potentiality of language almost beyond measure, restructures thought ...', writes the scholar-critic, Walter Ong (1982: 7). Being committed to space, language has its particular dynamics of time. Writing results from a studied, calculated, planned and controlled exercise of language which is then unravelled in the continuum ...

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9. Defining Hong Kong poetry in English: An answer from linguistics

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pp. 183-198

In many former British colonies, English usually continues to prosper because of its instrumental functions in commerce and international communication. In Hong Kong, a former colony returned to China on 1 July 1997, English has also continued to play such a role. Given the international outlook of the city, that is to be expected. What is remarkable is that, apart from the use of ...

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10. Writing between Chinese and English

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pp. 199-218

Growing up in Hong Kong, I have always written in Chinese. But there were exceptions. In the last years of my high-school studies, while I had already published poems in the literary supplements of the local newspapers, my Chinese was considered by my Chinese teacher, an old scholar graduated from Peking University, to be less than elegant. Each of my compositions was marked ...

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11. From Yinglish to sado-mastication

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pp. 207-218

There are several elements in this conversation that could attract comment from linguists . Clearly, the receptionist has a poor grasp of English. But by the end of the conversation, she appears to have a poor grasp of logic too, telling the caller that he is not in. Or perhaps the most amusing thing about the transcript is the transparency of the receptionist's desire to get rid of the caller as soon as possible. ...

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12.Writing the literature of non-denial

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pp. 219-238

When Virginia Woolf penned A Room of One's Own in the 1920s, she gave voice to the issue of women's absence in the history of writing. In thinking about English language creative writing from Hong Kong today, it seems appropriate to recall her. A similar absence prevails in world Englishes, but I do not believe that seventy years from now, Hong Kong writers will fill this void with nearly ...

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13. Analysing Hong Kong English: Sample texts from the International Corpus of English

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pp. 241-264

The International Corpus of English (ICE) project is an international research programme which involves the parallel collection of similar data in some 20 countries worldwide. The principal motivation for this database is to permit a comparative analysis of the English language used in various locations worldwide. The countries involved include, first, those where English is a ...

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14. Cultural imagination and English in Hong Kong

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pp. 265-280

The domain of the imagination finds expression through all kinds of media: paint, stone and marble, music, movement, and so forth; and, with the invention of new technologies, through photography, film, digital art and more. We can agree that imagination and the arts it produces are not limited to language. Even should we restrict our analysis to imagination in the ...

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15. Researching Hong Kong English: Bibliographical sources

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pp. 281-292

In 1982, Luke and Richards noted the lack of detailed linguistic research in Hong Kong, commenting that: '[l]ittle detailed data ... is available on language usage, language shift, language networks or language learning within Hong Kong society' (Luke and Richards, 1982: 58). Since that time, a great deal of work has been carried out on the sociolinguistics of Chinese and English in ...

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16. Futures for Hong Kong English

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pp. 295-314

This book contains a range of voices and perspectives on the issue of Hong Kong English, from linguists, educationalists, and creative writers.1 Here, issues of 'autonomy' and 'creativity' overlap and at a number of levels. For linguists such as Benson, Gisborne, and Hung one major aspect of these issues is that of linguistic description, and the identification of distinctly local features of ...


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pp. 315-324

E-ISBN-13: 9789882201606
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622095533

Page Count: 332
Publication Year: 2002