A PROJECT to identify the characteristics of spoken and written English used by Hong Kong Chinese has been delayed by a year because of difficulties in data collection.
The study is part of a $14 million international project started in 1991 to obtain a cross-sectional perspective of the forms and uses of English in regional localities.
Hong Kong Polytechnic is participating in the International Corpus of English Projects with 13 other countries, including the United States, Britain, Australia, India, Zimbabwe, the West Indies, Singapore and the Philippines.
It is expected the data collection will show how English is spoken rather than as it is prescribed by textbooks and classroom tuition.
For Hong Kong, a report is scheduled to be ready soon with a database of about one million words written and spoken by Chinese people in Hong Kong educated to at least Form Five.
''The purpose of the project is not to give any judgment on the English standard of Hong Kong people, but to find out the characteristics of their spoken and written language as compared to other places,'' said the principal investigator of the project in Hong Kong, Philip Bolt.