My research focuses on the ways in which ideologies materialize in and through language. Using ethnographic, sociolinguistic, and experimental methods, I have examined the role of ideology in semantic variation and change, the relationship between genre and social change, and the creative use of unconventional spelling in brand names. My current project explores how the ongoing conflict between Hong Kong and mainland China is being played out on the terrain of language.
I am also interested in the applications of linguistic anthropology in marketing and advertising (particularly, brand name development). In 2007-2008, I worked at Lexicon Branding, Inc., where I oversaw its global linguistic and cultural evaluation program. Lexicon is a branding company that has created such brand names as Febreze, Scion, and Swiffer. I continue to serve as a Cantonese consultant for Lexicon.
Sociolinguistics and Linguistic Anthropology: Language Variation and Change, Language and Ideology, Language and the Media, Language and Sexuality
Applied Anthropology: Business Anthropology (Marketing and Advertising)
In Press Authenticity, belonging, and charter myths of Cantonese. Language & Communication.
2016 On the iconization of simplified Chinese. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 26 (2): 183-202.
2015 A quest for linguistic authenticity: Cantonese and Putonghua in postcolonial Hong Kong. In Kenny Baclawski, Anna Jurgensen, Spencer Lamoureux, and Hannah Sande, eds. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society. 563-576. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistic Society.
2015 How does oppression work? Insights from Hong Kong lesbians' labeling practices. In Erez Levon and Ronald Mendes, eds. Language, Sexuality, and Stance: Studies in Distributional Sociolinguistics. 19-38. New York: Oxford University Press.
2014 The meanings of unconventional spelling. In Rebekah Baglini, Timothy Grinsell, Jonathan Keane, Adam Roth Singerman, and Julia Thomas, eds. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. 331-340. Chicago, IL: Chicago Linguistic Society.
2014 Branding and linguistic anthropology: Brand names, indexical fields, and sound symbolism. Practicing Anthropology 36 (1): 38-41.
2013 Brand names and unconventional spelling: A two-pronged analysis of the orthographic construction of brand identity. Written Language & Literacy 16 (2): 115-145.
2013 Media, politics, and semantic change. In Christine Mallinson, Becky Childs, and Gerard van Herk, eds. Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and Applications. 314-317. New York: Routledge.
2012 English words in international brand names: Proceed with caution. In Reina Boerrigter and Harm Nijboer, eds. Proceedings of the Names in the Economy Symposium III. 104-110. Amsterdam: Meersten Instituut. (Will Leben and Andrew Wong)
2012 Teaching consumer-oriented ethnographic research. Marketing Education Review 22 (1): 15-19. (Andrew Wong and Lan Wu)
2010 My foray into the other side: Preparing students for corporate careers. Practicing Anthropology 32 (2): 31-35.
2009 Coming-out stories and the "gay imaginary." Sociolinguistic Studies 3 (1): 1-34.
2008 The trouble with tongzhi: The politics of labeling among gay and lesbian Hongkongers. Pragmatics 18 (2): 277-301.
2008 On the actuation of semantic change: The case of tongzhi. Language Sciences 30 (4): 423-449.
2007 Fostering the growth of budding community initiatives: The role of linguists in Tokelauan maintenance in Hawaii. Language Documentation and Conservation 1 (2): 240-256. (Yuko Otsuka and Andrew Wong)
2005 The reappropriation of tongzhi. Language in Society 34 (5): 763-793.
2005 New directions in the study of language and sexuality. Journal of Sociolinguistics 9 (2): 254-266.
2002 Pragmatic directions about language use: Words and word meanings. Language in Society 31 (2): 181-212. (Eve Clark and Andrew Wong)
2000 The linguistic construction of the tongzhi community. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 10 (2): 248-278. (Andrew Wong and Qing Zhang)