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Raciolinguistics

Edited by H. Samy Alim, John R. Rickford, and Arnetha F. Ball

Raciolinguistics "Brings together a critical mass of scholars to form a new field dedicated to theorizing and analyzing language and race together."


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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery

By Sari Pietikäinen, FinlandAlexandra Jaffe, Long BeachHelen Kelly-Holmes, and Nikolas Coupland

Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users."


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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