Recent research on the future of English has aimed at integrating the investigation of universals in native English languages with variation in postcolonial varieties of English (Chambers 2004). This paper assumes that any search for universals in bilingual contexts, such as India, must include an assessment of the many “voices” of linguistic communities and their communicative needs. Through a diachronic study of Indian English, (Nihalani, Tongue, Hosali, Crowther 2005, Sailaja 2009) I will examine the sociolinguistic change and the process of regeneration in Indian English speakers’ attitude. This does not mean that Indians have become less patriotic; it only shows that they have become more pragmatic. Indians have realized that English has become a goldmine which is a legacy of colonial rule. They have also realized that English is no longer a symbol of colonialism and it has become a tool for international communication and a key to employment in the global market, a re-shaped discourse providing communicative responses to the speakers’ community, a different tongue, different from its ‘colonial cousin’ (Krishnaswamy: 2006). The old concept “one culture-one language” has now been replaced by a new concept : “one culture and more than one language”. Now, Indian English speakers realize that modernization and learning English to communicate do not mean Westernization, and one need not lose one’s identity by learning English (Mesthrie, Bhatt 2008). A large number of words from English (Sanyal 2009), even where there are words in the local languages, are mixed and used as part of the Indian languages, thus code-mixing and code switching have created a fashionable landscape. This conceptual shift affords a “pluricentric” view of the future of English (Bhatt 2001) which represents diverse sociolinguistic histories, multicultural identities, multiple norms of use and acquisition, and distinct contexts of function. (David Crystal 2004) Standard English itself is now "pluricentric", with overlapping but recognisably different standards applying in different parts of the world. Diversity is now seen for what it is and has always been - the heart and soul of the language.

VISIONS OF THE FUTURE OF INDIAN ENGLISH: UNLOCKING BRAVE NEW WORDS AND SWITCHING LANDSCAPES

LEOTTA, PAOLA CLARA
2012

Abstract

Recent research on the future of English has aimed at integrating the investigation of universals in native English languages with variation in postcolonial varieties of English (Chambers 2004). This paper assumes that any search for universals in bilingual contexts, such as India, must include an assessment of the many “voices” of linguistic communities and their communicative needs. Through a diachronic study of Indian English, (Nihalani, Tongue, Hosali, Crowther 2005, Sailaja 2009) I will examine the sociolinguistic change and the process of regeneration in Indian English speakers’ attitude. This does not mean that Indians have become less patriotic; it only shows that they have become more pragmatic. Indians have realized that English has become a goldmine which is a legacy of colonial rule. They have also realized that English is no longer a symbol of colonialism and it has become a tool for international communication and a key to employment in the global market, a re-shaped discourse providing communicative responses to the speakers’ community, a different tongue, different from its ‘colonial cousin’ (Krishnaswamy: 2006). The old concept “one culture-one language” has now been replaced by a new concept : “one culture and more than one language”. Now, Indian English speakers realize that modernization and learning English to communicate do not mean Westernization, and one need not lose one’s identity by learning English (Mesthrie, Bhatt 2008). A large number of words from English (Sanyal 2009), even where there are words in the local languages, are mixed and used as part of the Indian languages, thus code-mixing and code switching have created a fashionable landscape. This conceptual shift affords a “pluricentric” view of the future of English (Bhatt 2001) which represents diverse sociolinguistic histories, multicultural identities, multiple norms of use and acquisition, and distinct contexts of function. (David Crystal 2004) Standard English itself is now "pluricentric", with overlapping but recognisably different standards applying in different parts of the world. Diversity is now seen for what it is and has always been - the heart and soul of the language.
978-88-207-5726-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/109327
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