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Hong Kong People’s Attitudes towards Varieties of English

By Qi Zhang


This research examines the attitudes of Hong Kong inhabitants to eight varieties of English: RP, Tyneside English, General American English, Australian English, Philippine English, Mandarin-accented English, and two local Hong Kong varieties of English, one with a broad accent and the other with an educated one. According to previous studies (Giles 1970, Ryan et al. 1984, Giles et al. 1995, Garrett et al. 2003, Hiroga 2005), informants tend to have more positive attitudes towards types of English which have a prestigious status. Nevertheless, varieties of English used in their immediate environs are often rated higher in terms of solidarity. Several studies have been conducted to explore this attitudinal pattern as it relates to East Asian varieties of English (Cargile 1997, Lindemann 2003, Chiba et al. 1995, McKenzie 2008). As a new variety of English, the variants used in Hong Kong have rarely been investigated to the same extent in the field of language attitude studies. As a result, the study described here is novel in its application of the verbal-guise technique to uncover language attitudes in the Hong Kong region; it systematically examines for the first time how different Englishes (local and global) are rated by a sub-section of the population of Hong Kong

Year: 2015
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