Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/43865
Title: Facilitation of transference : the case of monosyllabic salience in Hong Kong Cantonese
Authors: Li, DCS
Wong, CSP 
Leung, WM 
Wong, STS
Keywords: Codeswitching
Language contact
Lexical borrowing
Monosyllabic
Transference
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Mouton De Gruyter
Source: Linguistics, 2016, v. 54, no. 1, p. 1-58 How to cite?
Journal: Linguistics 
Abstract: Drawing on Clyne's (2003) explanatory framework of facilitation, this study presents evidence of monosyllabic salience in Hong Kong Cantonese. Grounded in the perceptual salience of bilingual speakers of two or more languages (Clyne 1997: 95), facilitation extends Clyne's earlier work on triggering (1967, 1980), which seeks to explain why linguistic (phonological, lexical, syntactic, semantic, etc.) features of one's earlier-acquired language(s) may be transferred to languages learned or used later. In a corpus of texts appearing in informal discourse of Hong Kong Chinese newspaper columns in the mid-1990s (Li et al. 2014), a large number of monosyllabic English words, occurring as unintegrated insertions (Muysken 2000), were found. Building on Luke and Lau's (2008) empirically supported insight that Cantonese verbs and adjectives are more characteristically monosyllabic compared with nouns, we present additional evidence in support of the Monosyllabic Salience Hypothesis (MSH): (i) shorter average word length in Cantonese vis-à-vis Mandarin, as evidenced in miscellaneous wordlists, including the Leipzig-Jakarta list (Tadmor et al. 2010: 239-241) and the World Loanword Database (WOLD) online (Haspelmath and Tadmor 2009); (ii) the truncation of the first syllable of polysyllabic words embedded in the A-not-A structure; (iii) bilingual punning; and (iv) monosyllabic Romanized Cantonese words (e.g., chok, chur, hea).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/43865
ISSN: 0024-3949
DOI: 10.1515/ling-2015-0037
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