From dialect to grapholect : written Cantonese from a folkloristic viewpoint

Wan Kan CHIN, Hong Kong Policy Research Institute Ltd.

Abstract

Written Cantonese prevails in Cantonese opera scripts, pop lyrics, comic books and other forms of folk literature in the Cantonese dialect areas of southern China. With the economic boom of the 1980S and the export of culture to mainland China, Hong Kongers tend to take pride in their cultural identity and Cantonese is enjoying a resurgence. This paper discusses the spread of written Cantonese in the new media from the point of view of language rights as the right to diversity in post-industrial Hong Kong.