Indian English

Indian English

Indian English

Indian English

Synopsis

This book is a descriptive account of English as it is used in India. Indian English is a second language to most of its speakers. In its 400-year history it has acquired its own character, yet still looks to native varieties of English for norms. The complex nature of Indian English, which is not really a monolithic entity, is discussed in this book. The book also makes a distinction between what are considered to be standard and non-standard varieties, and provides an overview of the salient features. Indian English includes: • A discussion of the sociolinguistic and cultural factors• The history of the establishment of English in India, bringing it up to modern times• A description of the linguistic aspects: phonetics and phonology, lexical, discourse and morphosyntactic features• Samples of written English from a range of contexts• Samples of speech• An annotated bibliography divided according to topic.

Excerpt

This volume is a description of English as it is spoken and used in India. The volume focuses mostly on those features that are pan-Indian. Regional differences are touched upon, to some extent, where relevant. Since India is a country of continental proportions, as the cliché goes, it is not possible to cover every linguistic detail or the variation across all the regions. The book focuses on the more important or common features in evidence across the country. Indian English is classified in this book as standard, non-standard and informal and features of these form the core of the book. At the same time, the attempt has been to cover standard Indian English as much as possible. One chapter deals with history and presents the events that led to the institutionalisation of English in India. The first chapter provides the context and current position of this language especially in relation to the cultural factors of the country.

This work is meant for students who are just beginning to be familiar with linguistic terminology. It is also a book meant for people who may be generally interested in language and (Indian) English. Since both these groups of readers are likely to be unfamiliar with terminology, it has been kept to a minimum. Every attempt has been made to keep the description simple and accessible. Where terminology and phonetic symbols have been unavoidable, they have been explained. At the same time, the book is likely to be of interest to specialists who are interested in Indian English. Those who would like to go beyond this work can make use of the chapter that gives details about some of the more important works in specific areas.

Much of the work already done on Indian English has touched on specific regional aspects. Some linguistic features have not been researched at all or not enough work has been done on them. This volume tries to provide a wide enough overview. It is hoped that the book will generate interest in researchers to take up more in-depth work on the different topics.

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