A Dictionary of Hong Kong English: Words from the Fragrant Harbor

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Hong Kong University Press, Jun 1, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 300 pages
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This book is the first dictionary of Hong Kong English and one of the few non-native variety dictionaries of English. It includes only words and word senses that are particular to this variety or have a specific reference to Hong Kong; the dictionary thus contributes to legitimizing Hong Kong English as a variety in its own right. Although the main focus is on contemporary language use – from all domains of Hong Kong life –, historical terms and references are covered as well. Entries are designed according the state of the art in lexicography and show pronunciation, source language, frequency, authentic usage and cultural conceptualizations. As additional features, the dictionary provides a brief history of Hong Kong English, a list of acronyms and abbreviations, historical place names and their current equivalents, words of Hong Kong origin now in international use, as well as further reference material. There is an online reference section with further supporting material. Potential readership includes linguists interested in varieties of English (World Englishes), all Hongkongers using Hong Kong English (e.g., writers/journalists, government officials, teachers and students), tourists and business people.

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This book is a key reference work for Hong Kong people who are learning English. It is also useful for visitors to Hong Kong who need to understand local variations in the language. The dictionary includes a phonetic key, source languages and quotations. Outside the main part of the book there is also a list of common HK acronyms and abbreviations, regional and local place name changes, Hong Kong words used internationally, quotation sources and local maps. It is clear that the editors have a great deal of local experience. I often refer to it. 


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About the author (2011)

Patrick J. Cummings has been teaching both English and science in Hong Kong for more than a decade. His current research interest is assessment vocabulary for second language learners of English.

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