Languages in Contact in Hong Kong

Course Code Offering Department(s) Units & Hours
GDSS1017 EDUC (3,2,1)
Download the course syllabus

What is the course about?

Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city with people coming from different parts of the world. Although the dominant language used in Hong Kong is Cantonese, the phenomenon of Cantonese having contact with other languages is observed. The popular expressions of local young people, such as “sing le” (升呢), “O-dzeoi” (O咀) are a combination of “some English” with Cantonese. The borrowing of expressions from Mainland China and Japan are also frequently heard in communication. This course aims to enhance the awareness of students on the contact-induced language innovations found in local Cantonese. The subtle changes in Hong Kong Cantonese (e.g. new words, expressions and sentence structure etc.) will be addressed. The issue of language innovation and variations will be discussed within the framework of languages-in-contact, underpinned by sociolinguistic theory by describing language use as a social phenomenon. Students are required to conduct project study to demonstrate signs of innovations in Hong Kong Cantonese as a result of language contact in such a lively society. The course will be conducted in Cantonese, Putonghua and English.


Notes for all GE courses

  • You can take a maximum of 6 additional units of GE courses from any categories as electives.