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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."


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Academic Paper


Title: Birthright Englishes
Author: Christopher Jenks
Author: Jerry Lee
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Chinese, Yue
Abstract: Hong Kong Englishes attract the interest of scholars in a number of disciplines, including creative writing, education, political science, and anthropology. The efforts made by sociolinguists, in particular, contribute much to an understanding of what the Englishes of Hong Kong look like, how it is used, and the ways in which speakers position their linguistic identities in relation to English. Such work builds on the foundation of historical and cultural descriptions of the region offered in Bolton's earlier seminal research (e.g., Bolton, 2000), which continues today to provide a lens through which to describe how Englishes are used in Hong Kong (e.g., Evans, 2017) and the extent to which the language shapes the ideologies of its community members (e.g., Jenks & Lee, 2016). Yet despite past and ongoing efforts to better understand the social and ideological complexities of using English in the region, there continues to be a generalizing perception within and beyond scholarship that Hongkongers wish to mimic the speech patterns of monolingual speakers of English from the United States, United Kingdom, and other ‘Inner Circle’ regions. While this characterization may capture some, or perhaps even a large portion of (cf. Qin, 2018), speakers in the region, recent scholarship suggests that the language ideologies of Hongkongers are not monolithic, and that care should be taken in describing the different speech communities that use English (cf. Jenks & Lee, 2016). In a recent study on ‘Kongish’, for example, Sewell and Chan (2016) argue that notions of English are connected to the multiple, and sometimes contradictory, linguistic identities expressed by speakers in Hong Kong.

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

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