Hong Kong English

Autonomy and Creativity


Edited by Kingsley Bolton

ISBN : 978-962-209-553-3

Language, Linguistics, Reference Asian Englishes Today

September 2002

332 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$225.00

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. It has been argued that English in Hong Kong was never ‘nativized’ as in other Asian societies, and that it has not deserved the recognition accorded to other varieties of Asian English.

The contributions to this book challenge that view in a number of ways. In addressing sociolinguistic, structural, and literary issues, they provide an up-to-date survey of current use of Hong Kong English, and redress the question of its autonomy in terms of both distinctive linguistic features and the growing literary creativity of the variety. An original and highly informed discussion on the futures for Hong Kong English, and chapters providing additional resources for the study of the variety, are also included.

Kingsley Bolton is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English at Stockholm University and Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong.

“An impeccably edited volume that will set the tone for an insightful debate on issues related to world Englishes in Asia and beyond.” —Braj Kachru, Jubilee Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“At last we have a definitive, imaginative, and even inspiring survey of a long-overlooked subject: the reality of Hong Kong English within the general framework of English as an Asian language.” —Tom McArthur, editor, English Today and The Oxford Companion to the English Language

“Authoritative and original. World Englishes as an emergent field of inquiry is well served by this timely and useful collection.” —Anne Pakir, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore

Hong Kong English should be required reading for anyone working in Hong Kong’s media, government or education sectors, or for that matter anyone wanting to join the debate about Hong Kong’s English standards.” —Stephanie Han, South China Morning Post