IJLLL 2019 Vol.5(2): 62-70 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2019.5.2.205

Char Siu is Better Than Guanxi? Identity in Hong Kong English

Chenzi Xu
Abstract—Indigenized English varieties in Asia such as Singlish and Hong Kong English have attracted considerable attention amongst both scholars and the local public. Unlike Singlish which is widely accepted by Singaporeans, the local attitude towards Hong Kong English is more complicated. This paper explores the ideologies of Hong Kong English through a discussion of empirical surveys, and a case study about the word guanxi engaging analysis of media reports, complaint letters, and corpus data. Recent negative responses to the inclusion of guanxi as a Hong Kong English word in the Oxford English Dictionary suggest that the distinctiveness from the mainland is highlighted in Hong Kong identity, which Hongkongers want to be reflected in Hong Kong English. This paper shows that the perception of Hong Kong English reflects and is influenced by the construction of local identity, oriented to instrumental, cultural, and social aspects, which is fluid and dynamic given the changing social and political environment.

Index Terms—Hong Kong English, Guanxi, identity.

Chenzi Xu is with the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, University of Oxford, Walton Street, Oxford, OX1 2HG, UK (e-mail: chenzi.xu@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk).

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Cite:Chenzi Xu, "Char Siu is Better Than Guanxi? Identity in Hong Kong English," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 62-70, 2019.

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