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Language in South Asia


  • 13 b/w illus. 9 maps 65 tables
  • Page extent: 632 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521786539)

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 (Stock level updated: 09:50 GMT, 13 October 2015)


South Asia is a rich and fascinating linguistic area, its many hundreds of languages from four major language families representing the distinctions of caste, class, profession, religion, and region. This comprehensive new volume presents an overview of the language situation in this vast subcontinent in a linguistic, historical and sociolinguistic context. An invaluable resource, it comprises authoritative contributions from leading international scholars within the fields of South Asian language and linguistics, historical linguistics, cultural studies and area studies. Topics covered include the ongoing linguistic processes, controversies, and implications of language modernization; the functions of South Asian languages within the legal system, media, cinema, and religion; language conflicts and politics, and Sanskrit and its long traditions of study and teaching. Language in South Asia is an accessible interdisciplinary book for students and scholars in sociolinguistics, multilingualism, language planning and South Asian studies.

• Includes authoritative contributions from international scholars within the field of South Asian language and linguistics • Presents an overview of the language situation in South Asia in a linguistic, historical and sociolinguistic context • Includes end of chapter review questions to allow the reader to monitor their understanding of the material


Introduction: Languages, contexts and constructs Braj B. Kachru; Part I. Language History, Families and Typology: 1. Language in historical context Ronald E. Asher; 2. Typological characteristics of South Asian languages Karumuri V. Subbarao; Part II. Languages and their Functions: 3. Hindi, Urdu, Hindustani Yamuna Kachru; 4. Persian in South Asia S. A. H. Abidi and Ravinder Gargesh; 5. Major regional languages Tej K. Bhatia; 6. Minority languages and their status Rakesh M. Bhatt and Ahmar Mahboob; 7. Tribal languages Anvita Abbi; Part III. Sanskrit and Traditions of Language Study: 8. Sanskrit in the South Asian sociolinguistics Madhav Deshpande; 9. Traditions of language study Ashok Aklujkar; Part IV. Multilingualism, Contact and Convergence: 10. Contexts of multilingualism E. Annamalai; 11. Language contact and convergence S.N. Sridhar; 12. Pidgins, creoles and bazaar Hindi Ian Smith; Part V. Orality, Literacy, and Writing Systems: 13. Orality and literacy Rama Kant Agnihotri; 14. Writing systems Peter Daniels; Part VI. Language, State and Education: 15. Language politics and conflicts Robert L. King; Part VII. Language Standardization and Modernization: 16. Language modernization S. N. Sridhar; Part VIII. Language and Discourse: 17. Language in social and ethnic interaction Yamuna Kachru; 18. Language and the legal system Vijay Bhatia and Rajesh Sharma; 19. Language in media and advertising Tej K. Bhatia and Robert Baumgardner; 20. Language in cinema Wimal Dissanayake; 21. Language of religion Rajeshwari Pandharipande; Part IX. Language and Identity: 22. Language and gender Tamara Valentine; 23. Dalit literature, language, and identity Eleanor Zelliot; 24. Language and youth culture Rukmini Bhaya Nair; Part X. Languages in Diaspora: 25. Languages in diaspora Rajend Meshtrie; 26. South Asian diaspora in Europe and the US Kamal K. Sridhar.


' … substantial collection of essays, and certainly should not keep curious readers … from delving into these fascinating studies … Herman Tull, The Journal of Asian Studies


Ronald E. Asher, Karumuri V. Subbarao, Yamuna Kachru, S. A. H. Abidi, Ravinder Gargesh, Tej K. Bhatia, Rakesh M. Bhatt, Ahmar Mahboob, Anvita Abbi, Madhav Deshpande, Ashok Aklujkar, E. Annamalai, S. N. Sridhar, Ian Smith, Rama Kant Agnihotri, Peter Daniels, Robert L. King, Vijay Bhatia, Rajesh Sharma, Robert Baumgardner, Wimal Dissanayake, Rajeshwari Pandharipande, Tamara Valentine, Eleanor Zelliot, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Rajend Meshtrie, Kamal K. Sridhar

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