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Hong Kong English

Jane Setter, Cathy S. P. Wong, Brian H. S. Chan

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This volume provides an overview of all aspects of Hong Kong English in a style designed for undergraduates and general readers. As a former British colony, Hong Kong used English as the language of government, law and education in the early days of colonial rule. Since the Handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997, it is no longer used as the primary language of government. However, the status of English has survived the decline of colonial rule, as English has become an international language which is indispensable for a service-oriented economy such as present-day Hong Kong. Its use is still widespread in legal contexts, and English is the medium of instruction in at least a quarter of secondary schools.

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1. Geography, demography, and cultural factors
2. Phonetics and phonology
3. Morphosyntax
4. Lexis and Discourse features
5. History, including changes in progress
6. Survey of previous work and annotated bibliography
7. Sample texts.

About the Author

Jane Setter, Senior Lecturer in Phonetics and Head of the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Reading, UK, is co-editor of Daniel Jones's English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th Edition, CUP 2006), and has published extensively on prosodic features in English pronunciation and phonology in Hong Kong English and other learner groups, as well as on intonation in speech pathologies such as Williams syndrome. Jane contributes regularly to the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics.

Cathy S.P. Wong received her PhD (Linguistics) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Both her BA (English) and MPh (TESL) degrees as well as her Postgraduate Diploma (Education) were awarded by The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is currently an Assistant Professor and the Associate Head of the Department of English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research interests lie in second language acquisition and English loanwords.

Brian Chan taught English and linguistics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and now he is Assistant Professor at The Department of English, The University of Macau. His research interest is code-switching, and his recent publications can be found in Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Lingua, World Englishes and The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-switching.


An excellent introduction to this particular variety of English... It is an excellent teaching tool and definitely a rich resource, giving useful indications for those who would like to find out more.

- Anne Schroder, The Year's Work in English Studies

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