A comparative study of relative clauses in Hong Kong and Singapore English : a corpus-based perspective

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A comparative study of relative clauses in Hong Kong and Singapore English : a corpus-based perspective


Author: Chen, Zhongping Jassica
Title: A comparative study of relative clauses in Hong Kong and Singapore English : a corpus-based perspective
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2013
Subject: Grammar, Comparative and general -- Relative clauses
English language -- China -- Hong Kong
English language -- Singapore
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: iii, 74 pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2687602
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7661
Abstract: The comparative study of different varieties of world Englishes is a relatively recent trend of academic research. Hong Kong English (HKE) has received a great deal of scholarly interest in terms of its grammatical properties and sociolinguistic variables. However, whether such a variety exists has been debated over last two decades. As another institutionalized variety of English in Outer Circle, Singapore English (SgE) has been also thoroughly examined in both traditional grammar and sociolinguistics. Previous studies on relative clauses are found in both varieties of English. However, few studies on the comparison of relative clauses in these two varieties have been conducted and quantitative analysis in the study of relative clauses seems also inadequate. With the help of the International Corpus of English (ICE), this dissertation sets out to explore the construction of relative clauses in these two Asian Englishes, and to examine whether the differences in the degrees of nativization in HKE and the endonormative stabilization in SgE can be observed. Features of relative clauses such as the overall distribution of relativizers has been chosen, in which, the use of relativizer whom is more noticeable in SgE. The results show that the features of constructing written relative clauses in HKE are basically similar to those in SgE, yet slightest variations are also listed. Possible interpretation of data mainly comes from the perspectives of sociolinguistics and language acquisition, which are provided at the end of the dissertation to account for the similar and different results.

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