Terms of Address in Hong Kong Variety of the English Language (Based on Analysis of “A Dictionary of Hong Kong English”)

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Abstract


Among the great number of functions that forms of address perform are the following: to attract attention of the person one wants to speak to, to express the addresser’s attitude to the addressee, to remind of the spiritual relations between the speakers, to empathize the speakers’ professional status, and many others. Within the boundaries of the World English theory, study of the forms of address used by speakers of East Asian Englishes is supposed to prove that these terms reflect the cultural identity which is expressed by means of the variety of the English language these speakers use. By means of observation, descriptive and quantitative analysis methods, the authors of the article analyze forms of address used in Hong Kong English. Our previous classification of the forms of address used in Hong Kong English was made on the basis of the questionnaire analysis conducted in Hong Kong [1] and it made it possible for us to single out 6 major groups of forms of address in Hong Kong English: 1) kinship terms of address; 2) forms of address used to strangers; 3) forms of address used by friends and acquaintances; 4) forms of address to people of certain professions; 5) forms of address to animals; 6. unique forms of address. This article is the result of analysis of direct and indirect forms of address presented in “A Dictionary of Hong Kong English”. Now, forms of address are classified into 7 major groups with the forms of address empathizing the addressee’s national identity, insulting forms of address, and Hong Kong traditional forms of address among them. Forms of address presented and analyzed in this article prove our hypothesis that greatly influenced by Cantonese, English spoken in Hong Kong is the reflection of the cultural identity of its speakers.


About the authors

Yuliya V Bekisheva

Far Eastern Federal University

Author for correspondence.
Email: julia.bekisheva@gmail.com
8, Sukhanova str., Vladivostok, 690091, Russian Federation

Assistant of the Academic Department of English at the Eastern Institute - School of Regional and International Studies

Svetlana S Il’ina

Far Eastern Federal University

Email: svilyina@mail.ru
8, Sukhanova str., Vladivostok, 690091, Russian Federation

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Academic Department of English at the Eastern Institute - School of Regional and International Studies

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