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Macau English: status, functions and forms

  • Andrew Moody


The sociolinguistics of a small community of English users. A journalist for a local Macau English-language newspaper recently wrote to me and several other friends and asked us to describe Macau with one word. Many words came to mind: historic, multicultural, casinos, growth, etc.; but the word I chose to suggest does not necessarily come to mind until one has lived here, small. Indeed, Macau is a very small community. At the end of September 2007, the resident population was 531,400 and the territory occupied 28.6 sq km, although the largest concentration of population lives within the 9.3 sq km area of “Peninsular Macau” (DSEC, Macao, 2008). In terms of both population and land mass, then, Macau is a very small community, and this fact has influenced the status, functions and forms of English within the territory.


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English Today
  • ISSN: 0266-0784
  • EISSN: 1474-0567
  • URL: /core/journals/english-today
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