Rebirth of Indian English: Defeating the Moral Policing ( Study on the History of the Indian English : Academic and Social Engagement )


English is just like any other language that struggled for existence for many centuries. But today it has become a world language. A study on the History of the Indian English is indeed a worthwhile academic and social engagement that will not only expose us to the stages of the development of the language but also the factors that led its growth in India. Read More Indian English Despite of the moral policing, we should be able to say whether English will continue in its present growth and role as a world language or whether we shall expect Hindi or other modern Indian language to rise in the next 10 to 15 years.


India was a part of a British colony from the early 19th century until 1947 when it gained its independence. India became a separate state and has experienced some economic and social growth during the 20th century. English was an important language of government business and education. Read More Indian English It was in the 1950s that a bilingual educational system was introduced and English was used as a neutral, unifying language alongside local languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Tamil and Telegu etc. Since 1980s the use of English in India has increased steadily among the general population. However key government bodies, including the politicians and overjoyed nationalists of the independent state of India, had expressed concern over the loss of Indian cultures and values and had begun to promote the use of local languages, especially Hindi, a popular local language. The majority of the Indian population is Hindi with the Bollywood popularity while Dravidians are their good neoughbours. Read More Indian English This different cultural settings no doubt affected the history of English in the region. Due to the widespread interest in the English language, it may not be surprising that a local variety, which may be called Indian English, has emerged.

According to Baugh and Cable (2002), some specific features of English in India resemble some English-based Creole or vernacular in other parts of the world. For example the omission of be as an operator e.g. ‘the man-healthy,’ omitting is or as an auxiliary (the work - going on fine; instead of ‘the work is going on fine’). No doubt lexical items that do not have direct English equivalents would have found their way into the Indian English; there may also have been some direct borrowings from the local languages. We say tomay-to you say Tomah-toh; we say potay-to you say potah-toh; tomayto, tomahto; potayto, potahto etc.

According to Prof. Randolph Quirk, Indian English is very much a valid variety of English. He gave two examples: 1) Indian newspapers use or write the same form of English as the British dailies, and 2) In All Indian Radio (AIR), the English spoken is very close to the British R.P. variety. Thus Indian English is very much a dialect of the Standard English. The relation between Indian English (I.E.) and Standard English (S.E.) has been, ironically, very colonial.

High S.E. Diaglossia -> 2 languages-->  Low I.E.

According to R.K. Bansal, in a linguistic situation, one can switch between two languages, called code switching. Thus transfer from language to another is inevitable. So mainly from English, a lot of words go into various Indian languages. Read More Indian English On the other side, Anglicization of English has taken place in words like avatar, catamaran, dingy, etc. These words have become part of the English language and prove that in a bilingual set up, two way transfer of words is bound to happen.
Differences:
1. Phonology: According to Bansal, i) we Indians do not give stress upon a word; ii) wrongly locate the stress; iii) change of consonant we stress one consonant in place of another.



2. Presence of Consonant clusters: ‘school’ becomes ‘ischool’. This is called Prothesis — an extra vowel is added to the front of a word which has a consonant cluster in it. The Kashmiris have a different problem - they add the vowel in the middle. So ‘school’ becomes ‘secool’. This bringing in of vowel in the middle of a word is called Epenthesis.
3. Double Consonant: in Tamil there is a hangover — if there is a strong double consonant, they are pronounced twice. E.g. summer.
4. Rhotic: in R.P. the r sound is not pronounced at all but Indian speakers pronounce it.
5. Grammar: in grammar there are no basic differences. Only, if an action is spread over some time, Indian speakers would add —ing. Thus if ‘travel’ for some length of time, would then make it traveling. Read More Indian English Also, in English, in a sentence which asks a question, the verb has to come to the front. But in Indian English, the same thing is not done as in one’s mother tongue, no change is required.

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