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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: Language Attitudes of the First Postcolonial Generation in Hong Kong Secondary Schools
Mee-Ling Lai
Institution: Hong Kong Institute of Education
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Yue
Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: Following the return of sovereignty from Britain to China, Hong Kong has undergone significant sociopolitical and educational changes. This study is a quantitative investigation of the language attitudes of 1,048 secondary students from the first postcolonial generation brought up amid the significant changes after the political handover. The results show that the respondents feel the most integratively inclined to Cantonese (the vernacular variety), and they perceive English (the colonizers' language) as the language of the highest instrumental value and social status, while Putonghua (the language of the new ruler) is rated the lowest from both the integrative and the instrumental perspectives. Unlike what has been predicted by scholars, Putonghua has not yet taken the place of English as the language of power. Despite this, there are signs of a subtle transition toward an accommodating attitude to Putonghua, mainly induced by the growing instrumental value of the language for economic purposes.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 34, Issue 3.

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