Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Existing second language acquisition research converges on a picture where learners of English exhibit marked divergence from native speakers in their use of information-packaging constructions, even at advanced stages of acquisition. This study extends the investigation of these constructions to an emerging institutionalised second language variety, Hong Kong English. Based on the Hong Kong and British components of the International Corpus of English, the study examines the formal and functional properties of -clefts and -clefts, revealing regional variation in a number of areas, particularly in the use of constructions. Importantly, the grammar of the contact variety is found to be shaped by the transfer of gradient grammatical rules from the substrate language, and by stratification along stylistic parameters.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): British English; Hong Kong English; it-cleft; wh-cleft; register; variation
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