Issues in Bilingualism and Biculturalism

A Hong Kong Case Study

by David Chor Li (Author)
©1996 Others XVIII, 208 Pages


Issues in Bilingualism and Biculturalism describes the nature and extent of code-mixing in Hong Kong in the 1990s. It is mainly based on written data obtained from the local Chinese press collected systematically over a period of two years since late 1992. While previous studies on code-mixing between Cantonese and English in Hong Kong tend to emphasize sociolinguistic motivations, this book presents evidence that much of the code-mixing behaviour, be it in print or in speech, may be traced back to linguistic motivations at work resulting from sustained contact between Cantonese, modern standard Chinese and increasingly, English. This study further argues that, largely as a correlate of biculturalism, code-mixing - which is indicative of linguistic convergence in the mind of the average Hong Kong bilingual - is simply unstoppable, given that the norms prescribed for the written standard varieties of Chinese and English deviate considerably from those of the vernacular Cantonese.


XVIII, 208
ISBN (Hardcover)
motivations behaviour print speech
New York, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Paris, Wien, 1996. XVIII, 208 pp.

Biographical notes

David Chor Li (Author)

The Author: David C.S. Li studied English for his B.A. (Hons.) degree. Under the auspices of a French government scholarship and, later, a stipend by the German foundation DAAD, he obtained his M.A. in linguistics in Besançon and his Ph.D. in linguistics in Cologne, respectively. His study on the aspect system of Mandarin Chinese was published by Peter Lang in 1991. He is currently an assistant professor at the English Department of the City University of Hong Kong, where he teaches courses on contrastive linguistics, applied sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition.


Title: Issues in Bilingualism and Biculturalism