Hong Kong Cantopop Analysis

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Cantopop, being a pivotal part of Hong Kong’s entertainment business, is highly influential to Hong Kong’s identity and culture. The songs display features of linguistic hybridity in a number of ways. First and foremost is combination of two forms of Chinese. While the songs are primarily written in Standard Chinese, they are sung in Cantonese and Cantonese has never been included in the school curriculum under Hong Kong’s education system. Second, code-mixing is common technique employed since the birth of Cantopop. Given the important status of English as an international language and also one of the two official languages in Hong Kong, English is the most frequent language with which the songs are code-mixed. Third, Hong Kong’s distinctive…show more content…
Age effect was only found in the palatalization and d- to t- sound change where age groups of 35-54 were more sensitive to this variant. Gender effect could only be observed in loss of labialization with male participants being more accurate in the identification of the sound change. Prior training in Cantonese phonology, although enhanced the awareness of sound change for n- to l- and loss of labialization, did brought an adverse effect for the awareness of palatalization. Since Cantonese language and Cantonese phonology have never been taught in schools in Hong Kong, it is suspected that the particpants who claimed they have received prior training in Cantonese phonology received the trainings only in the their higher education, and therefore the impact of such trainings so not obvious compared when one study in the early stage of…show more content…
The practice of using foreign, especially Japanese, melodies to record cover versions has been employed since the birth of Cantopop (Yau, 2012). As cover versions of Japanese hits were hugely accepted and popular among Hong Kong local audiences, it is of no surprise that the essential elemnts of the original’s lyrics would be adopted in the cover versions. From the same corpus of songs, it can be shown that most of the code-mixing examples in the 80s were the direct replica of the original versions. Most of the code-mixed incidences were simple and punchy, and primarily consisted of single words or short sentences. The length of the code-mixing examples extended to short phrases or simple complete sentences in the 90s. Lyrcists started to fuse Mandarin into the songs as a means for the Cantopop singers to enter the vast Mandopop market. Code-mixing rhyme, Cantonese plus English or Mandarin, was also getting popular no matter for cover versions or original versions. Consistent with the previous studies (Brian, 2011), code-mixing in the new millennium occrued in longer length of full, complete sentences or even the entire stanza. More creative usage of code-mxing was also seen including denoting or implying a specific person or event with a single English letter, mocking the indigenized Hong Kong English by ignoring consonant cluster, employing hybridization of a Cantonese verb and English

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