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|Title: ||The use and effect of Cantonese sentence particles in students' e-mails : the emergence of a 'cyber-creole'?|
|Authors: ||James, Gregory C. A.|
|Issue Date: ||2000 |
|Citation: ||Changing languages : language education in the era of transition. Edited by Y. O. Mak and Merry M. L. Keung. Hong Kong : Language Centre, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, c2000.|
|Abstract: ||In Cantonese, lexical items are distinguished by pitch ('tone') as well as segmental features. Much of what is conveyed in English by pitch, stress, intonation, lexical and structural choice is expressed by 'utterance particles' in Cantonese. Although these particles have modal and aspectual functions, rarely is this formally pointed out contrastively to Cantonese learners of English.
When Cantonese students correspond with each other in English via e-mail or ICQ, they tend to compensate for their inability to structure their sentences to express appropriate modal meaning in English, by substituting Cantonese utterance particles appended to English sentences. There has developed, therefore, a sort of 'cyber-creole', where the individual lexical choices are English, but the pan-sentence modal-aspectual expression is Cantonese.
The author of this paper analyses some examples of students' ICQ writing, and suggests how a knowledge of this Cantonese-English creole can help us to understand the difficulties Cantonese students have in expressing themselves in written English.
|Appears in Collections:||LANG Book Chapters|
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