ENGL3316 Literary and Linguistic Codes in Hong Kong Society (3 units)
The course looks at the use of codes in Hong Kong speech and writing from literary and linguistic perspectives. The course aims to give students of different backgrounds a wider perspective on how codes can vary and be transformed in different contexts, beyond a simple alternation between two languages. The idea of code here is understood more broadly, not restricted to linguistic signs (i.e. words), but also including systems of language that we use in different contexts, different genres, different modes of communication, and for different purposes. From a literary perspective, alternation of codes (i.e. to use different colours, shapes, images, comics, and other multimodal representations) constitutes a literary style and practice creating different effects across different texts and media. From a linguistic perspective, the alternation of codes is not only perceived as a phenomenon involving a switch from one language/variety of language to another, but also as a social and cultural phenomenon that serves a range of purposes in different contexts. This course will explore how a range of codes may be realized across different communicative settings, as well as interrogate the motivations and functions of code alternations. The course will equip students with the analytical tools and background knowledge that is necessary to understanding the idea of codes from literary and linguistic perspectives while also developing the critical skills to independently analyse related phenomena in different texts/contexts of Hong Kong society.
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