Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Hong Kong: Language Situation
(2,652 words)

As in all other places, the languages spoken in prehistorical Hong Kong remain a mystery in the absence of written records. A vast area of Southern China, where Hong Kong is located, was first known to be occupied by the peoples that the Chinese referred to as Bǎi Yuè 百越 ‘one hundred Yuè’ tribes. There is still no consensus as to which languages these people spoke. Previous studies suggest that they were speakers of Austroasiatic-, Kam-Tai-, Hmong-Mien-, or possibly Austronesian-related languages (Norman and Mei 1976; Blust 1984/1985; Lǐ 1990…

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Sze-Wing TANG and Siu-Pong CHENG, “Hong Kong: Language Situation”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000181>
First published online: 2015

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