Western perceptions of Hong Kong ten years on: A corpus-driven critical discourse study

Winnie Cheng, Phoenix W Y LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This article studies the Western perceptions of and relations with Hong Kong a decade after the reversion of the sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997. Previous studies have demonstrated that the West had a significantly negative view on the future of Hong Kong with respect to the handover. According to recent observations, however, the perceptions of the West have undergone a noticeable change. This article aims at investigating the West's understanding, opinions and positions regarding Hong Kong today compared with those in 1997. The possible reasons for any changes are also investigated. Through the integration of the theories and methods of corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis and the use of two corpus linguistic software, ConcGram and Wmatrix, the present article examines a range of Western public discourse of Hong Kong concerning the handover. The purpose of the article is to yield insights into the New Hong Kong in the eyes of the West, which in turn contributes to a re-examination of the relations and power balance between the West and China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-190
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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