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ERIC Number: EJ907453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Language or Dialect, Topolect or Regiolect? A Comparative Study of Language Attitudes towards the Status of Cantonese in Hong Kong
Groves, Julie May
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v31 n6 p531-551 Nov 2010
Past research has tended to ignore the emergence or existence of "middle zone" varieties such as topolects or regiolects. In addition, attitudinal dynamics have received little attention, including their contribution towards the re-evaluation of the status of language varieties. Regarding the status of Cantonese, linguistic, political and cultural considerations are contradictory; the speakers themselves are widely held to believe that it is a dialect, but no objective surveys have ever been undertaken. This study reports on a comparative study of attitudes towards the status of Hong Kong Cantonese held by three groups of Chinese: 53 Hong Kong Cantonese speakers; 18 Mainland Chinese Cantonese speakers; and 72 Mainland Chinese Putonghua speakers. Bell's Sociolinguistic Typology was used as the framework for an open-ended questionnaire, supplemented by a Magnitude Continuum (an unmarked language-dialect scale). The varied perspectives held by each group can be traced to their different political and linguistic situations, which touch issues of identity. Results confirm that Cantonese would more accurately be classified as an emerging mid-zone variety. This has implications for short-term language planning, especially in the education system, and the long-term autonomy and survival of Cantonese. (Contains 7 tables, 11 figures, and 12 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong