Read Hong Kong English: Autonomy And Creativity (Asian Englishes Today) by Kingsley Bolton Online


The dominant view of many linguists and educators has been that Hong Kong English is a variety of the language that is derived from, and dependent on, the metropolitan norm of British English....

Title : Hong Kong English: Autonomy And Creativity (Asian Englishes Today)
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ISBN : 9789622095533
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 300 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Hong Kong English: Autonomy And Creativity (Asian Englishes Today) Reviews

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    2019-02-18 10:06

    SOCIOLINGUISTICS OF HONG KONG - BOLTONKachru argues for an acceptance and utilization of 'English on Asian terms', noting that, in Asia, English has a potential as a liberating language, and that '[o]nce a language establishes its autonomy, it is actually liberated, and its "liberated" uses and functions have to be separated from its non-liberated uses." Again, Kachru notes the importance of literary creativity in this context, and argues for the acculturation of English to the needs and visions of Asian societies, in such societies as India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore:The architects of each tradition, each strand have molded, reshaped, acculturated, redesigned, and -- by doing so -- enriched what was a Western medium. The result is a liberated English which contains vitality, innovation, linguistic mix, and cultural identity. And, it is not the creativity of the monolingual and the monocultural -- this creativity has rejuvenated the medium from 'exhaustion' and has 'liberated' it in many ways. (Kachru, 1997: 23)(31)On this last point, it should be noted that in Hong Kong the use of 'written Cantonese' is popular in advertising, (36) newspapers, and comic books, and a number of local linguists have expressed concern about the future 'autonomy' of Cantonese (Bauer and Benedit: 1997: xxxii; Chin, 1997: 88).(37)==TOWARDS A PHONOLOGY OF HONG KONG ENGLISH - TONY T.N. HUNGIn Syntax, learners who produce sentences like 'He very tall' are often said to 'confuse' adjectives with verbs. Now if they really did that, they would be inflecting the adjective tall with verb morphology (119) and producing forms like *talling and *talled and so on, which they never do. But if we take the learners' grammatical system on its own terms, we will probably come to the very different conclusion that their sentence structure is based not on the notion 'subject-predicate' but on 'topic-comment'. To return to the [l]~[n] example, taking the learner's phonological system on its own terms, we may (among other possibilities) conclude that [l] and [n] are in free variation in the syllable onset in HKE, but are contrastive in other environments (see analysis below). (120)==HONG KONG WRITING AND WRITING HONG KONG - LOUISE HO. . . Hong Kong society has nurtured sensibilities for stocks and shares and property prices rather than sensibilities in abstractions and aesthetics. But that development can be a source of strength: writers would then obesrve a highly unself-conscious, non-self-aware community, where people on the whole have no time to observe their own (173) observations. Such unself-consciousness can be a productive kind of rawness. The demise of the 'great' Victorian novel came about, perhaps, partly because English sensibilities became over-rarefied and over-articulated. We haev no fear of that happening for Hong Kong in a very long time yet! (174)I see the poet primarily as a technician; in this, I share the sensibilities of the French nineteenth-century poet, Theophile Gautier, whose words on the poet's battle with language appear as an epigraph in my book, Local Habitation (1994): 'Lutte avec le carrare, / Avec le paros dur ...' An active poet is also competing with the living and dead; this aspect makes poetry allusive on the whole. I steal from and rewrite Shakespeare, Dryden, Eliot and others .Having attained a toehold on mainstream literature, I divert the course into local contexts, at times using Cantonese words or sounds within the poems. Unlike African and Carribean poets, we have no applicable patois orr creole with which to work. One of my goals is to bring into existence a space where the English literary language expresses as well as is incorporated into the local ethos, thus becoming almost a tertium quid, but which remains at the same tiem definitely English. (176)==CULTURAL IMAGINATION AND ENGLISH IN HONG KONG - SHIRLEY GEOK-LIN LIMAre individual imaginations intrinsically, organically, and originally constituted through one kind of language (the mother tongue) and inevitably weakened, falsified, or deadened, if reconstituted through another (foreign) language? (265)When Singaporeans speak English, they have recourse to recognizable, communally shared registers. This implies that English has become indigenized in Singapore but remains foreign in Hong Kong, where English usage continues to depend on external benchmarks in Britain and the United States for validation. (267)==FUTURES FOR HONG KONG ENGLISH - BOLTON/LIMWhat is or should be the difference between the categories of 'creative writing' and 'literature'? 'Creative writing' implies the active labour of imagination within specific forms and genres of written communication; a set of provisional dynamics, in which cultural, social, historical, and individual fores are evolving subjects in process, subjects still open to revision and re-formation. 'Literature', as befitting its nominal status, suggests, on the contrary, an already shaped text or body of texts; a contributory reproduction in the horizon of literary traditions and expectations that help frame the larger discursive universe of a social culture. (303)In brief, because Hong Kong subjectivity is constructed 'in the very process of negotiating the mutations and permutations of colonialism, nationalism, and capitalism', Hong Kong culture is 'coaxed into being by the disappearance of old cultural bearings and orientations ... it is a subjectivity that develops precisely out of a space of disappearance' (p. 11). If we accept Abbas's thesis, then Hong Kong 'literature' must remain a figment of substance. A canon, a stable body of privileged cultural texts embedded in a matrix of traditional significations and signatures, cannot be established when stability of meanings and namings is impossible, in a culture of extreme provisionality, speed, contingency, transformation, and loss. (304)Putonghua, the official state Chines of the Mainland, is perceived as neither mother tongue for the majority Cantonese-speakers in Hong Kong nor necessary for participation in a global market. Indeed, as a hong Kong academic observes, Putonghua, the national language for post-colonial Hong Kong, 'confers no status' in Hong Kong (Tacey, 2000: 9). (306)For Vittachi, the challenge for the creative writer is 'to capture something of the patterns of the community about which [he] is writing'. In this way, his work is complexly Hong Kong writing, for it is not merely about but constitutively, in grammatical and lexical expressiveness, uniquely out of Hong Kong. Such writing cannot be characterized as marginal, for in the HKSAR, Hong Kong English is central. Nor can it be said to be merely local, for its ironic play with multiple code-switching situates it in the range of the cosmopolitan, a category that encompasses diversity, difference and multiplicity of social worlds. (307)