Article published in:Language, Politics and Media: The Hong Kong Protests
Edited by Guofeng Wang and Ming Liu
[Journal of Language and Politics 21:1] 2022
► pp. 143–172
Metalinguistic tactics in the Hong Kong protest movement
This paper explores the metalinguistic tactics used by Hong Kong protesters in 2014 and 2019 and how they reflected and exploited a range of dominant ideologies about language in the city. These tactics are considered both in terms of their rhetorical utility in the “message war” between protesters and authorities, and their significance in the broader sociolinguistic context of Hong Kong. The analysis reveals how such tactics entailed both opportunities and risks, allowing protesters to create shareable discursive artifacts that spread quickly over social media and to promote in-group solidarity and distrust of their political opponents, but also limiting their ability to broaden the appeal of their messages to certain segments of the population and implicating them in upholding language ideologies that promote exclusion and marginalization.
- 2.Metalinguistic tactics and political resistance
- 3.Language mocking
- 4.Linguistic obfuscation
- 5.Folk forensics
Published online: 22 September 2021
Aslan, Erhan, and Camilla Vásquez
Bolton, Kingsley, and Helen Kwok
Chen, Yun-Chung, and Mirana M. Szeto
Cheng, Edmund W., and Wai-Yin Chan
Choy, Howard Y. F.
de Certeau, Michel
Dementyev, Vadim V.
Dorleijn, Margreet, and Jacomine Nortier
Evans, Stephen, and Christopher Green
2014 ‘Let’s Not Forget That Translanguaging Is a Political Act’. The Educational Linguist. https://educationallinguist.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/lets-not-forget-that-translanguaging-is-a-political-act/ (April 8, 2021).
Gal, Susan, and Kathryn A. Woolard
Gebauer, Fabian, Marius H. Raab, and Claus-Christian Carbon
Gies, Lieve, and Maria Bortoluzzi
Gu, Mingyue M.
Hansen-Edwards, Jette G.
2017 “Language, Identity, and Politics in Hong Kong.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, April 4, 2017. https://www.georgetownjournalofinternationalaffairs.org/online-edition/language-identity-and-politics-in-hong-kong
Irvine, Judith and Susan Gal
Jaworski, Adam, Nikolas Coupland, and Dariusz Galasinski
Jenks, Christopher, and Jerry Won Lee
Jones, Rodney H., and Neville Li
Lee, Carmen, and Dennis Chau
Lee, Paul S. N., Clement Y. K. So, and Louis Leung
2020 “Blank Protests and ‘Number Songs’: How Hong Kongers are Trying to Get Around the New Security Law.” The Telegraph, July 11, 2020. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/11/blank-protests-number-songs-hong-kongers-trying-get-around-new/
Li, Wei, Alfred Tsang, Nick Wong, and Pedro Lok
Li, Wei, and Hua Zhu
Little, Laura E.
Lou, Jackie, and Adam Jaworski
Martín Rojo, Luisa
Pennington, Martha C. and Francis Yue
Preston, Dennis R.
Rose, Margaret A.
Sapountzis, Antonis, and Susan Condor
2014 “Occupy Central Encounters a Class Problem.” The New Yorker, October 4, 2014. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/occupy-centrals-class-problem
Varis, Piia, and Jan Blommaert
Vladimirou, Dimitra, and Juliane House
Wang, T. Y.
Woolard, Kathryn A., and Bambi B. Schieffelin