Becoming Hong Kong-Like: The Role of Hong Kong English in the Acquisition of English Phonology by Hong Kong Students

  • Chuan Qin


To explore whether Hong Kong English (HKE) is considered by Hongkongers as an acceptable model of English pronunciation, this paper investigates the attitudes of the university students in Hong Kong toward the phonological patterns in HKE. The results show that, though the standard English forms are still generally their first option, the students do attitudinally accept certain features in HKE. Such acceptability of a local L2 variety requires one to reconceptualize the paradigm in second-language research. That is, besides a learner’s native language and the “standard” target variety, researchers should also take into account the local L2 variety which prevails in a learner’s learning environment, as it provides input and is often linked with the learner’s identity. This may sound trivial, yet it is important.


Hong Kong English Language attitudes Second-language acquisition Phonology Identity 



This chapter grew out of the research for my doctoral dissertation. I would like to thank Lian-Hee Wee, Stephen Matthews, Lisa Lim, Kenneth Kong, Hiroko Itakura, Eva Man, and the anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments. The speech production data in this chapter are from the research project supported by the grant GRFHKBU250712 (P.I., Lian-Hee Wee).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuan Qin
    • 1
  1. 1.Guangxi UniversityNanningChina

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