Patterns of variation in the consonantal phonology of Hong Kong English

Andrew John SEWELL, Jason CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines inter-speaker phonological variation within a mini-corpus of spoken Hong Kong English. The study focuses on consonantal features, and indicates that variation in the use of these features follows patterns that are implicational or hierarchical in nature. The findings are presented in the form of an implicational scale, in which the use of a particular feature by a speaker implies the use of other features by that speaker. The implicational patterns are discussed with reference to the intelligibility characteristics of the features and possible developmental pathways among L2 users. The possible relevance of the findings for areas of study such as the description of new varieties of English is also considered, with particular regard to pedagogical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-161
Number of pages24
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Hong Kong English
  • Implicational scaling
  • Intelligibility
  • New varieties of English
  • Phonological features


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