Power redistribution of languages in Hong Kong under a new national flag

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Abstract

Four years after the sovereignty of Hong Kong was returned from Britain to China, a Matched-guised Test (MGT) was conducted to examine the subjective reactions of students to speakers of the three major spoken languages used in the city (i.e. Cantonese, English and Putonghua). Respondents were the first cohort of students under the mandatory mother tongue education policy, which was implemented one year after the political handover. Eight years after, when further socio-economic changes had taken place in Hong Kong, the MGT was administered again to find out the attitudes of the younger generation towards the three languages. Although English and Cantonese distinctly excelled in different domains in the first test, the second MGT shows signs of power redistribution among the languages. This paper is to report a comparison between the two tests and thereby uncover the directions of language shift in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2015 John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-164
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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economic change
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Redistribution
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Citation

Lai, M. L. (2015). Power redistribution of languages in Hong Kong under a new national flag. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 25(1), 141-164.

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Matched-guise test
  • Language attitudes
  • Language competition