Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Academic Paper

Title: Vague language in Hong Kong English, ‘Something like that’
Author: Patrice Quammie–Wallen
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The computational analysis of corpora, a body of ‘naturally occurring language texts chosen to characterize a state of variety of a language’ (Sinclair, 1991: 171) provided the opportunity to reveal otherwise unobservable features and patterns across varieties, registers and languages. One such language feature is a ‘lexical bundle’ otherwise known as an n-gram. Vague terms in any language variety can often present themselves in the form of not just individual words (e.g. things, plenty, scores, stuff) but as a group of words that tend to co-occur: a lexical bundle (e.g. loads of, stuff like that, and so on, or what have you). In this paper, the function in Hong Kong English (HKE) of the vague n-gram ‘something like that’ will be explored via corpus methodology to account for its observed hyper-usage in Hong Kong society.


This article appears IN English Today Vol. 37, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

Return to TOC.

View the full article for free in the current issue of
Cambridge Extra Magazine!
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page