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The Politics of English in Hong Kong: Attitudes, Identity, and Use

1st Edition

By Jette G. Hansen Edwards

The focus of this book is on the impact of politics on language and identity in Hong Kong. The book is the first study to track real time language attitude changes against a divisive political landscape. It is also the most comprehensive study of language attitudes in Hong Kong to date, taking place over four years with over 1600 participants. Through both survey and interview data, a multifaceted portrait of language change in progress is presented, providing a more nuanced and complex view of language and identity than has previously been presented.

The book examines the status of Hong Kong English in the light of attitudes towards Cantonese, English, and Putonghua, providing a deeper analysis of the linguistic complexity of Hong Kong; it can be argued that one cannot understand attitudes towards Hong Kong English without fully understanding the status and use of English in Hong Kong today. The book also presents a complex examination of language attitudes in Hong Kong by focusing not only on the what of language attitudes, but also the question of for whom, through an analysis of language attitudes by gender, age, identity, and speaking HKE.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction: A Political and Linguistic History of Hong Kong

2. Researching Attitudes: Theories and Methods

3. The Hong Kong Identity

4. The Native Speaker of English in Hong Kong

5. Attitudes towards Varieties of English in Hong Kong

6. Hong Kong English: Attitudes, Identity, and Use

7. Attitudes towards Features of Hong Kong English

8. Conclusions: The Politics of English in Hong Kong


ISBN 9780367583606

Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge

246 Pages



Jette G. Hansen Edwards is Professor and Head of the Department of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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