Cantonese as Written Language: The Growth of a Written Chinese Vernacular
Cantonese is the only dialect of Chinese which has developed a widely known and used written form. It has played a role in publishing in the Guangdong region since the late Ming dynasty when various types of verses using Cantonese were published as mu yu shu (‘wooden fish books’). In the early twentieth century these dialect texts were joined by Cantonese opera scripts, published as popular reading material. However, it was only after the end of the Second World War that written Cantonese came to be widely used in popular newspapers and magazines, advertising, and in the private communications. Cantonese as Written Language examines this development in the broader context of diglossia, and also of the patterns by which spoken vernaculars have developed written forms in other societies. Based on primary source research, including interviews with publishers and writers who played an important role in the growth of written Cantonese, the author argues that this move of Cantonese into the realm of written language is closely associated with Hong Kong's distinct local culture and identity. The growth of the written vernacular also reflects the territory's evolving cultural distinctiveness from mainland China, first as a British colony, and now as a Special Administrative Region of China.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Spoken and Written Cantonese
Written Cantonese in Premodern Guangdong
The Hong Kong Dialect Literature Movement
Written Cantonese in Modern Hong Kong
Why Has Use of Written Cantonese Increased?
Other editions - View all
advertisements Apple Daily argued audience Baihua Cantonese love songs Cantonese opera Cantonese speakers Cantonese terms Cantonese vocabulary Cantonese words Cantonese-speaking Chan Chen China Chinese characters Chinese dialects Classical Chinese colloquial Cantonese columns comic containing Cantonese development of written Dialect Literature Movement dialect writing dialogue Diary diglossia diglossic DLM writers dragon boat dragon boat songs early example fact genres growth of written Guangzhou Hong Kong newspapers HuaJia Huang increased interview issue Kong's Liang literary magazines Mandarin markedly Cantonese Ming Pao Daily mosquito press odd opinion Oriental Daily Pao Daily pen-name percent phonetic borrowing pocketbooks popular prestige promote published Putonghua readers relatively role saam kap scripts Song dynasty southern songs spoken Cantonese spoken language Standard Chinese Taiwan tended Tin Tin Daily traditional wooden fish books written Cantonese written Chinese written form written in Cantonese written language written Taiwanese written vernacular Wu dialect
Page 26 - Its members are and must be mobile, and ready to shift from one activity to another, and must possess that generic training which enables them to follow the manuals and instructions of a new activity or occupation. In the course of their work they must constantly communicate with a large number of other men, with whom they frequently have no previous association, and with whom communication must consequently be explicit, rather than relying on context. They must also be able to communicate by means...
Page 20 - the man who wants to talk at all times like a book or a newspaper is a decided oddity