The effects of PMI schooling and other socio/psycholinguistic factors on the production of Mandarin consonants by Hong Kong Cantonese speakers

  • Pui Ka Joan Lo

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The current study aims to explore how PMI instruction and other psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic factors that might affect the production of Mandarin consonants by Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong. A total of 63 participants were invited to participate in a Mandarin consonant production test in which they had to pronounce words starting with these three pairs of Mandarin consonants /ts/-/tʂ/, /tsh /-/tʂh / and /s/-/ʂ/. 6 participants were invited to a post-experiment interview. Results of the Mandarin production tests showed that secondary school students who had completed PMI instruction had the highest Mandarin production score. However, no significance could be found between the use of PMI instruction and the production of Mandarin consonants by Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong. Results of the interview showed that age, length of exposure to Mandarin, instrumental motivation were the factors that led to a higher accuracy in Mandarin production whilst a lack of motivation, low social acceptance towards Mandarin, high social distance towards mainland China and political factors are the factors that led to a lower accuracy in Mandarin production. To improve Cantonese speakers' Mandarin consonant production accuracy, the government should introduce Mandarin to the curriculum starting from kindergartens and improve the image of Mandarin among Hong Kong people.

Date of Award14 Jul 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJanice W S WONG (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Mandarin dialects
  • Study and teaching
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Language and education
  • Language policy

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