The Decline of the General Hakka Accent in Hong Kong
A Comparison of "Old-Style" and "New-Style" as spoken by the indigenous inhabitants of Hong Kong
HongKong Polytechnic University
This thesis is a field work collection of the existing variety of Hakka dialect spoken by the indigenous population of Hong Kong and a comparison of the Old- and New-Style. The comparison enables us to see how the Cantonese dialect has affected its phonology, vocabulary and grammar. Hakka was widely spoken in the rural area of Hong Kong before the city developed into a metropolis after the seventies. In the last 50 years, Hong Kong emerged as a metropolis with Cantonese dominating the school, the media and later also the Government. Hakka is now restricted to remote settlements, old people and only in the family or village domain. Therefore, this is the last minute to catch a picture of the vanishing Hakka dialect in Hong Kong.
The author's analysis shows that Hakka as spoken in Hong Kong is strongly affected by Cantonese, and almost every Hakka speaker is subject to with different degree of Cantonese influence. This is an interesting picture of a vanishing dialect, so far unreported, not at least with such a breadth and depth. It serves as a record of how a weaker language confronting a stronger language dies out in a matter of two generations.
ISBN 9783895866777. LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 40. 272pp. 2000.