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Keynote delivered at Same/Difference: Multilingual Typography Symposium 2011
Bilingual typography in Hong Kong has a long history. While much has been written about bilingualism in Hong Kong from a linguistic point of view, little has been done from a typographic standpoint. Through a systemic approach, this presentation will examine some case studies of Chinese–English bilingual typography in Hong Kong and attempt to establish links between the semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects of bilingual typographic communication. Two types of bilingual typography will be explored: 1. where two languages appear to be parallel to each other in terms of their literal meaning; and 2. where one language is embedded into another, termed as ‘code-mixing’ in linguistics. A descriptive and theoretical framework will be presented. These theoretical investigations will afford a glimpse of the socio-political and socio-linguistic evolutions of bilingualism in Hong Kong as well as shed light on the factors which influence the effectiveness of various approaches to bilingual typography.