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Unformatted text preview: Bilingual Creativity in Canto-pop Music By Shawn Ngoh Abstract : Code-switching for the purpose of displaying bilingual creativity has become an increasingly popular topic among linguists. There has have been numerous works on other discourse functions and this study specifically aims to confirm bilingual creativity in Canto-pop music and to discover the many ways to express such creativity. Investigating a corpus of Cantonese popular songs recommended by Hong Kong natives, this paper finds that bilingual creativity is demonstrated in many unique ways including emphasis of theme and imagery, use of stylistic devices, and division of separate ideas throughout the song. This study thus reinforces the presence of creativity through code-switching in the Canto-pop genre and explores the numerous methods of displaying it. Introduction Bilingual creativity has always been a fascinating topic in the study of code-switching whether it is in dialogue, prose or lyric. Bilingual creativity refers to the unique ability to create stylistic forms of expression through combining various elements such as diction and syntax from two or more different languages. However, there is disproportionality in the density of information provided about spoken and written discourse. There have been many studies focusing on spoken data, primarily in dialogue. (Auer 1998, Gumperz 1982) While there are some studies in written code-switching, they are fewer in number and even smaller in regards to music. Nevertheless, code-switching specifically for the purpose of creativity has been displayed in many forms, notably in advertisements, literature, and music. More pertinent to this study is the work of Brian Chan in Hong Kong code-switching. His works have helped to refute the previous notion that code-switching in Hong Kong was solely used to better describe certain western ideas and concepts. Instead he has empirically displayed the functions of code-switching such as bilingual creativity in modern Canto-pop. This study seeks to delve further in demonstrating the function of code-switching in regards of bilingual creativity. Specifically it will examine and reinforce the application of Chan’s work to code-switching in Canto-pop music. Background Code-switching in conversation has been thoroughly studied and researched from the efforts of numerous reputable linguists such as Peter Auer and John Gumperz. Auer specifically expanded on the verbal action of code-switching and its implications to provide social and communicative meaning (Auer, 1998). In addition Gumperz meticulously categorizes the various discourse functions of code-switching in face to face conversation (Gumperz, 1982). Such functions include but are not limited to: repeating direct utterances or reported speech, specifying an addressee, marking interjections, and emphasizing certain concepts and ideas....
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2012 for the course UGS 302 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '08