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Hybrid language and hybrid identity? The case of cantonese-english code-switching in Hong Kong

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Chapter Summary

‘Hybridity’ is always the buzzword in descriptions of Hong Kong and its culture. Not only is it the image actively promoted by the government and the Tourist Association, it has been the topic of much discussion among many writers, critics and social scientists. In the 21st Century, Cantonese-English code-switching remains vibrant and a common feature in informal speech within families and peer groups, and everyday encounters. There are signs that this form of speech has even permeated into more ‘formal’ settings such as the workplace and business meetings. In the code-switching literature, a major research question has been why code-switching is used instead of a single language. The author uses ‘code-switching’ according to the common practice in the bilingualism/code-switching literature.

Keywords: Cantonese-English code-switching; Hong Kong; hybridity



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