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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Scripting a New Identity: The battle for Devanagari in India
Author: Rizwan Ahmad
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.rizahmad.com
Institution: Qatar University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Hindi
Urdu
Abstract: This study investigates the discursive construction of Hindu identity in the late nineteenth century in North India. Analyzing historical data from a language ideological debate, I show that the construction of the Hindi language and script as perfect and the Urdu language and script as defective were part of the construction of Hindu identity. The metalinguistic debate on Hindi and Urdu often transgressed from linguistic into sociocultural realms by establishing links between language, ethics, morality, and authenticity. The Urdu language and script were argued to be foreign, fraudulent, and prejudiced, in contrast to the Hindi language and script, which were projected as indigenous, honest, and impartial. Drawing on a language ideological theoretical framework (Irvine and Gal, 2000), I show the actual workings of the semiotic processes of iconization, fractal recursivity, and erasure in this language debate. I also demonstrate/L/that a major outcome of this debate was that Hindi and Urdu began to index Hindu and Muslim identity, respectively.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Journal of Pragmatics


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