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  • Cantonese


Since the 19th Century

Hung-nin Samuel Cheung

English , 2023/06 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Linguistics, Hong Kong Studies

152 x 229 mm , 384pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-237-253-5

  • US$55.00

In Stock

ONE OF THE MOST SPOKEN DIALECTS in China, Southeast Asia, and globally, Cantonese was nevertheless deemed a local dialect enjoying little prestige among the intellectuals. Not much was recorded in official documents or gazetteers about the early history of Hong Kong. The Cantonese language and its origin remained much of a mystery until the mid-20th century when scholars started to accord it with increasing attention.

Thanks to dedicated efforts of early missionaries, pedagogues, and linguists, we can now trace back the evolution of modern Cantonese since the 19th century— how differences in sounds, words, and grammar distinguish the old from contemporary speech today.

In this book, Hung-nin Samuel Cheung, an acclaimed scholar on the study of Cantonese, offers profound insights to various firsthand century-old materials including language manuals, Bible translations, and maps of Hong Kong, with findings that will be useful for ongoing efforts to study the development of the Cantonese language that has gone through many rounds of incredible and, at times, dramatic changes during the last two hundred years.

HUNG-NIN SAMUEL CHEUNG is professor emeritus of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of California, Berkeley, and of Chinese language and literature at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His previous book titles include A Grammar of Cantonese as Spoken in Hong Kong (in Chinese, first published in 1972, and expanded in 2007) and A Practical Chinese Grammar (1994), a widely used language textbook over the past three decades.

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