Meaning of Northbound words from Hong Kong
after Reunification with the Mainland
Contact between Hong Kong and the mainland has become more frequent and intense over the past 15 years since the return of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to Mainland China. This is especially evident from the lexical exchanges between the two communities, as thousands of new words from Hong Kong have been found in the Mainland media and vice versa every year.
The Research Centre on Linguistics and Language Information Sciences (RCLIS) at The Hong Kong Institute of Education has identified among them the 10 most representative “northbound” words appearing in Mainland China during the period:
6. 追捧(Follow and boost)
7. 爆冷(Unexpected results)
10. 智庫(Think tank)
The following table shows the differences in the extent to which “northbound” and “southbound” words were used in the local and mainland media between July 1997 and December 2011.
While 2003 - 2004 witnessed the peak of “southbound” words, the peak of “northbound” words was already observed in 1999 - 2000, soon after 1997. The RCLIS announced its findings on “southbound” words on 27 June (please see http://www.ied.edu.hk/media/news.php?id=20120627). These findings are based on research into language and cultural developments in the context of Greater China through monitoring media texts and have involved the processing and analysis of more than 450 million characters and 1.5 million words of Chinese news media texts in the past 17 years.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Benjamin Tsou
Director, Research Centre on Linguistics and Language Information Sciences
Tel: 2948 7750 / 5417 4277
Dr Andy Chin
Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies
Tel: 2948 7780 / 5417 4276