English in Hong Kong


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  • A recent collection of articles on linguistic situation in hong kong was called “”. I think it’s a good starting point for our discussion. As you can see, HK is a sliver of land and a clutch of nearby islands on the Western rim of Pacific Ocean, just south of the tropic of cancer. 1996 population 6.3 mln - slightly less than Greater London, more than Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, area 1092 sq km - much smaller than Majorca or Rhode Island. The 8th greatest trading economy of the world. Per capita domestic product is higher than that of UK or Australia.
  • but the term ‘Chinese pidgin English’ did not appear till 1859.
  • okay? so what we see here is that in Hong Kong, in china, the primacy of English language is stated explicitly. This was the basis for the strong position of English in HK as it is now.
  • - in StE, subject relatives cannot be zero. Only object relatives, oblique and genitive relatives (I know the house which she liked, I know the house which she lived in, I know the house which she liked the style of) - reduced relative construction which has a redundant subject relative pronoun added -typically, “where” is a locative prepositional phrase, but here it replaces directional pr phrase. “in which” “from which” - inStE, preposition either stranded at the end of teh clause or moved with which to the beginning of the clause
  • resumptive pronoun is a p in a relative clause that refers to the antecedent of the relative clause - th everb does not have third person feature marking. Perfect form is absent - instead of using perfect participle as the complement of have, this speaker is using the base form of the verb. - intransitive verb in passive construction -simple infinitive instead of passive be or passive get and a passive participle - passive construction follows perfect have - base form of the verb -uses perfect in a context where a native-speaker variety would use a present participle
  • 8 diphth like in English RP only one alveolar fricative, s one palato-alveolar fricative, sh interdental fricative, but voiced interdental fricative does not exist, instead d no voiced labio-dental fricative v, only bilabial semi-vowel w and voiceless labio-dental fricative f alveolar liquid l and alveolar nasal n
  • post-alveolar liquid r - cluster [kw], involving a velar stop followed by a labio-velar glide
  • English in Hong Kong

    1. 1. Hong Kong English <ul><li>Daria Dayter </li></ul><ul><li>HS English in Asia </li></ul>
    2. 2. One country, two systems, three languages - Territory - 1092 sq.km - Population - 7,08 million - 8th greatest trading economy in the world
    3. 3. History of English in Hong Kong <ul><li>1637 - British trading ships reached Macau and Canton </li></ul><ul><li>1755 - All foreign trade is restricted to Canton (Guangzhou) </li></ul><ul><li>1740s - first attestations of Chinese speakers of English </li></ul><ul><li>After the first Opium War (1839-1842), HK became a colony of the British Empire </li></ul>
    4. 4. Treaty of Nanking 1842 <ul><li>Article 50: </li></ul><ul><li>All official communications, addressed by the Diplomat and Consular Agents of Her Majesty the Queen to the Chinese Authorities, shall, henceforth, be written in English. They will for the present be accompanied by a Chinese version, but it is understood that in the event of there being any difference of meaning between the English and Chinese text the English Government will hold the sense as expressed in the English text to be the correct sense. This provision is to apply to the Treaty now negotiated, the Chinese text of which has been carefully corrected by the English original. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Teaching English in HK <ul><li>1850s-1930s - English is taught in missionary schools </li></ul><ul><li>Educational reforms following riots of 1967: free, compulsory primary and secondary education </li></ul><ul><li>Primary education in Cantonese; secondary schools: ‘Anglo-Chinese’ & ‘Chinese Middle schools’ </li></ul><ul><li>30 June 1997 - Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony </li></ul><ul><li>Only 114 English-medium schools </li></ul>
    6. 6. Linguistic situation (from Joseph 1997) data from a language survey project Language Understand Speak Speak - 1983 cantonese 91.5% 91.9% 98.5% English 68.6% 65.8% 43.3% Putonghua (Mandarin) 61.9% 55.6% 31.6% Chinese 7.3% 6.6% not in survey hakka 7.4% 6.0% 7.5% Chiu Chau 7.0% 5.2% 9.3% Fukien 4.2% 4.1% 4.2% Sze Yap 3.2% 3.3% 6.3% Shanghainese 3.7% 2.7% 4.1% Cantonese dialects 3.5% 2.5% 4.7% Other Chinese dialects 1.5% 1.5% not in survey Other European languages 1.9% 1.8% not in survey Others 0.4% 0.3% 3.6%
    7. 7. Spread of English (from Bolton 2005)
    8. 8. Autonomy of Hong Kong English <ul><li>Popular discourse: decline of English </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>vs. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Linguistic discourse: emergence of a new variety of Hong Kong English </li></ul>
    9. 9. How do we know that it is an autonomous variety, not a learner’s language? <ul><li>a standard and recognizable pattern of pronunciation handed down from one generation to another - ACCENT; </li></ul><ul><li>particular words and phrases which spring up usually to express key features of the physical and social environment and which are regarded as peculiar to the variety - VOCABULARY; </li></ul><ul><li>a history - a sense that this variety of English is the way it is because of the history of the language community - HISTORY; </li></ul><ul><li>a literature written without apology in that variety of English - LITERARY CREATIVITY; </li></ul><ul><li>reference works - dictionaries and style guides - which show that people in that language community look to themselves, not some outside authority, to decide what is right and wrong in terms of how they speak and write their English - REFERENCE WORKS. </li></ul>Butler 1997:106
    10. 10. Reference works <ul><li>The Grolier dictionary: World English in an Asian Context </li></ul>
    11. 11. Vocabulary <ul><li>Local context </li></ul>- Typhoon signals: “The number eight signal will be hoisted soon.” - Film censorship categories: Category III movie, Category III movie star - Sandwich class; sandwich class loan, sandwich class flat - unlicensed massage parlours - fishball stalls - villas - one-woman brothels - private brothels - outcall services <ul><li>Semantic opposition </li></ul>- mainland china as excluding Hong Kong - local (= Hong Kong) vs. mainland “ Those local students who were apprehended in Beijing delivering Hong Kong’s donations had to undergo harrowing interrogation before being deported.” <ul><li>Taxonomies within specific sociocultural </li></ul>domains
    12. 12. Grammar <ul><li>Internal grammatical variation, stratified by style and by class </li></ul><ul><li>Zero-subject relatives </li></ul>- This is the student ø did it. - Hong Kong is a small island ø has a large population. - There was a fire ø broke out. <ul><li>Reduced relatives with a relative marker </li></ul><ul><li>- This is the student who admitted last year. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>StE: This is the student admitted last year. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Where with abstract head nouns </li></ul>- This is a basis where we can go on. - This is a theory where transformations are used. <ul><li>Copula/auxiliary be dropping </li></ul>- He walking in the park.
    13. 13. <ul><li>Irregular use of articles </li></ul>Grammar “ Do not feed the living creature” (a sign in a park) “ Be careful of the pickpocket” (a sign at a train station) <ul><li>Reduction in morphosyntactic distinctions </li></ul>- I am very boring in lectures. - Have you try? - She like to go there. <ul><li>Irregularity in passivization </li></ul>- The bus was appeared around the corner. - Then she had to promote to Accountant One. - I’ ve been tried hard to do that. - You didn’t expect the timetable would be that pack . - If you want to go there backpacked ...
    14. 14. Phonology <ul><li>Monophthongs </li></ul>- lack of tense/non-tense and long/short distinction Inventory of HKE vowels Words HKE vowel RP vowel heat - hit /i/ /i:/ - /ɪ/ head - had /ɛ/ /e/ - /æ/ hoot - hood /u/ /u:/ - /ʊ/ caught - cot /ɔ/ /ɔ:/ - /ɒ/ Vowel Examples [i] heat, hit [ɛ] bet, bat [u] hoot, hood [ɔ] cot, caught [ɑ] heart [ʌ] hut [ɜ] hurt
    15. 15. <ul><li>Diphthongs </li></ul>Phonology - contrast [aɪ] - [ʌɪ] tries [tʃwaɪs] twice [tʃwʌɪs] <ul><li>Consonants </li></ul>- voiced stops and affricates are not truly voiced, but distinguished from the voiceless by the aspiration and greater delay in voice onset time of the voiceless ones. pea /p/ - bee /b/ - all fricatives are voiceless - only 4 fricatives (instead of 8 in RP) seal [sil] - zeal [sil], race [ɹeɪs] - raze [ɹeɪs] pressure [pɹɛʃə] - pleasure [plɛʃə] thin [θin] - clothe [kloʊθ] this [dis], brother [bɹʌdə] - no / v /, only / w / and / f / vine [waɪn], leave [lif] - / n / and / l / appear to be interchangeable at the syllable onset need [ni:d], [li:d]
    16. 16. Phonology <ul><li>Consonants </li></ul>- / r / is realized as alveolar approximant / ɹ / <ul><li>- for a minority of speakers, / r / is realized as / w / in all contexts. </li></ul><ul><li>For a majority, this distinction is neutralized only if / r / is preceded by another consonant: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tries [tʃwaɪs] twice [tʃwʌɪs] </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>- The cluster / kw / does not occur before rounded vowels: quote [ koʊt ] quit [ kwit ] <ul><li>Distribution </li></ul>- A constraint against syllable rimes consisting of sequence diphthong + stop (oral or nasal): awoke [ə wʊk ] line [ laɪ ] rain [ ɹɪŋ ]
    17. 17. Hong Kong English audio audio audio
    18. 18. <ul><li>Bolton, Kingsley, ed. 2005. Hong Kong English: Autonomy and creativity. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Bolton, Kingsley and Helen Kwok. 1990. “The dynamics of hong Kong accent: Social identity and sociolinguistic description.” Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 1(1): 147-172. </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph, J.E. 1997. “The Tao of identity in heteroglossic Hong Kong.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 143: 15-31. </li></ul><ul><li>Luke, Kang-kwong and Jack C. richards. 1983. “English in Hong Kong: functions and status.” English Worldwide 3(1): 47-64. </li></ul><ul><li>Wright, Sue and Helen Kelly-Holmes, eds. 1997. One country, two systems, three languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. </li></ul>