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New Language Resources for Cantonese Linguistics Research: A Linguistic Corpus of Mid-20 th Century Hong Kong Cantonese Andy C. Chin The Hong Kong Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "New Language Resources for Cantonese Linguistics Research: A Linguistic Corpus of Mid-20 th Century Hong Kong Cantonese Andy C. Chin The Hong Kong Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Language Resources for Cantonese Linguistics Research: A Linguistic Corpus of Mid-20 th Century Hong Kong Cantonese Andy C. Chin The Hong Kong Institute of Education PNC2013 Kyoto University December

2 Outline Why “Cantonese”? Research on early Cantonese (19 th - mid- 20 th C) – Diachronic development The corpus –Source of data –Demonstration of search engine 2

3 Cantonese in Hong Kong 3

4 Cantonese One of the dialects of the Chinese language family In spite of being a dialect, Cantonese serves as a lingua franca in Hong Kong, Macau and most part of Guangdong Province of China 4

5 Use of Cantonese 5

6 “Cantonese” in early Hong Kong A fishing village Population: 1851: ~33,000 –Four major ethnic groups: Guangfu 廣府 ( 本地 ) Danjia 蛋家 (seafaring people) Hakka 客家 Min 閩語 ( 鶴佬 / 潮州 ) Their languages are mutually unintelligible 6

7 Given the long history of Cantonese in HK We are interested in understanding its development in the past 200 years Are there any differences between early Cantonese and modern Cantonese? How can we capture these differences? 7

8 Diachronic studies of Cantonese Two approaches –Apparent time approach –Real time approach 8

9 Apparent time approach age-stratified variation in a linguistic form is often indicative of a change in progress –75 vs. 50 vs. 25 y/o  changes over 50 years – language of 200 years ago? –language change: Can we assume a speaker still speak the language of his time? if two speakers show no difference with respect to a linguistic feature, does it mean that there has been no change? 9

10 Real time approach samples the population over an extended period of time – longitudinal study To collect data produced in the period concerned 10

11 Limitations on Research in Cantonese Cantonese is a vernacular language Spoken data is needed Any records of Cantonese of early 19 th -C? - spoken data vs. written records 11

12 With these early materials, We are able to reconstruct the early stage of the Cantonese language (about 200 years ago) Some of the linguistic features are very different from those in modern Cantonese 12

13 Previous research on Cantonese Neutral Qs Directional complements Aspect markers demonstratives phonology Verb complement … Comparative construction Lexicon (sociolinguistics) Dative verb GIVE Sentence final particles Grammar of the late Qing period … 13

14 Furthermore, Some linguistic changes took place/completed around the mid-20 th century –Dative marker: 過  畀 ( 送本書過 / 畀佢 ) –Neutral Q :你去睇戲唔呀  你去唔去睇戲呀 –… New and old features might co-exist in mid- 20 th C 14

15 15 Morrison (1828) 2013 Chao (1947) 120 years ~66 years

16 Existing Cantonese corpora 1.The Hong Kong Cantonese Child Language Corpus 2.The Hong Kong Bilingual Child Language Corpus 3.Hong Kong Cantonese Corpus 4.The Hong Kong Cantonese Adult Language Corpus 5.19 th Century Cantonese Corpus 16

17 Source of corpus data –Real time vs. Apparent time –Naturally occurring data –HK Cantonese movies ( 粵語長片) 17

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19 HK Movie Industry in mid-20 th C. Year No. of Cantonese moviesNo. of PTH movies Total Source of data : Chung (2004:177) 19

20 About the corpus 21 movies have been transcribed with Chinese characters: ~200k characters Word segmentation search engine (14 movies, since Apr 2012) –http://corpus.ied.edu.hk/hkcc/http://corpus.ied.edu.hk/hkcc/ –350+ registered users 20

21 Search criteria Characters or words (segmented units) Cantonese pronunciation Movie names Names of speakers Gender of speakers … 21

22 契爺艷史 (1952) Yes-No question VP-Neg: 你位千金有讀書冇呀? V-Neg-VO: 呢道係咪有位黃小姐? Dative marker 重要畀錢過人? 咪可以快啲還清啲債畀人? 22

23 Some challenges Quality of speech Overlap of speech Representations of colloquial vocabulary Parts-of-speech: How many types? Discourse features … 23

24 Acknowledgments ECS research grants, RGC: –Linguistic Analysis of Mid-20th Century Hong Kong Cantonese by Constructing an Annotated Spoken Corpus (2013/2015) HKIEd Internal Research Grants: –RG41/ : Spoken Corpus Construction and Linguistic Analysis of Mid-20 th Century Cantonese –RG62/12-13R: A Preliminary Linguistic Analysis of Mid-20th Century Cantonese from a Corpus-based Approach 24

25 Demonstration 25


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