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Code-Switching in Hong Kong English Classroom Term Paper

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Updated: Aug 18th, 2021


Code-switching is a definition in linguistics denoting using more than one language or dialect in dialogue. Bilinguals, who can speak at least two languages as native, have the capability to use components of both languages when having a conversation with another bilingual. What is mentioned is syntactically and phonologically suitable; that denotes that even if utterances from another tongue are involved in the sentence, they will be acclimatized to the grammatical regulations of the primary language. Code-switching can take place between sentences (inter sentential) or inside the only sentence (intra sentential). Code-switching is now regarded to be a regular and normal product of contact between the bilingual (or multilingual) narrator’s languages.

Code-switching can be differentiated from other language contact paradoxes such as advance conversion (calques), borrowing, pidgins and creoles, and transport or meddling.

Key matters

There are various standpoints on code-switching. A key advance in sociolinguistics concentrates on the societal incentives for switching, a line of inquest focusing both on instantaneous conversation components such as lexical necessity and the theme and setting of the conversation, and on more remote components such as narrator or grouping individuality, and relations-grounding (commonality). Code-switching may also be thoughtful of the regularity with which a personality applies exacting appearances from any language in his everyday contacts; thus, an appearance from one language may more willingly approach to mind than the corresponding expression in the other one.

Another viewpoint principally relates to syntactic restraints on switching. This is a line of examination that has states grammatical regulations and precise syntactic frames within which a switch may take place.

While code-switching had beforehand been studied as a substance of unimportant significance within the narrower institution of investigation on bilingualism, it has now shifted into a more universal concentration of awareness for sociolinguists, psycholinguists and usual linguists.

Code-switching can be connected with and analytic of group association in scrupulous categories of bilingual language societies, such that the timekeeping of the irregular application of two or more languages within one dialogue may diverge to a substantial amount between language societies and that intra-sentential code-switching, wherever it takes place, maybe limited by syntactic and morph syntactic components which may or may not be widespread in character.

Hong Kong English

For a characteristic diversity of English to survive and be recognized in Hong Kong, localization is not sufficient. Indigenization by the means of all-over reception is also significant, but will not effortlessly be approaching, in spite of of the maintains and declarations of linguists in Hong Kong or somewhere else taking into account the existence of a typical ‘Hong Kong English’. Moreover, Hong Kong tutors of English will not recognize or assume typical local usages in their classrooms, without taking into account the daily use of such applications. A leading ideology of linguistic purity forces public to search exterior ordinaries with regard to both English and Putonghua, and to refute that there is a practical local diversity of English, in spite of the span of time that the language has been applied in Hong Kong.

Code-switching is rather evident in the verbal Cantonese of Hong Kong. Having been under British dominion for over 150 years, Hong Kong speaks Cantonese (and from time to time written Chinese) is still hardly impacted by English, chiefly the dictionary, which includes plenty of English expressions.

Code-switching in Hong Kong is typically intra-sentential – changing within a sentence or section. The grammar of the sentence pursues Chinese grammatical rules and relates to the English expressions or words that have been introduced into the sentence. For instance, being a diagnostic language, Chinese uses subdivisions as an alternative for verb intonation. There are few probable motivations for Hong Kong citizens to code-switch in their daily lives. First, it is communicatively significant. When code-switching is regarded as the custom in a language society like Hong Kong, it can reinforce contacts, particularly when both parties of the conversation understand English that is being used. Generally it is viewed as a shortcut to communication.

Code-switching can be accepted as an instrument to evade awkwardness. It is a tactic to evade sheering words or thoughts which people might be painful to use in Cantonese. For instance, it is easier to say “I love you” in English than its Cantonese equivalent. Other instances in this grouping comprise susceptible words like underwear, lavatory, gay or emotions such as pride or appreciation.

As code-switching is more famous in Hong Kong than in other Cantonese regions of China, code-switching is perhaps accepted as linguistic habits of Hong Kong. The matter is that Hongkongers use code-switching, go on using conventional Chinese features, and agree high outstanding value to English, and is to differentiate themselves from the rest of continental China.


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IvyPanda. "Code-Switching in Hong Kong English Classroom." August 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/code-switching-in-hong-kong-english-classroom/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Code-Switching in Hong Kong English Classroom." August 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/code-switching-in-hong-kong-english-classroom/.


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