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What is India speaking? Exploring the "Hinglish" invasion

Parshad, RD and Bhowmick, S and Chand, V and Kumari, N and Sinha, N (2016) 'What is India speaking? Exploring the "Hinglish" invasion.' Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 449. 375 - 389. ISSN 0378-4371

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Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Language competition models help understand language shift dynamics, and have effectively captured how English has outcompeted various local languages, such as Scottish Gaelic in Scotland, and Mandarin in Singapore. India, with a 125 million English speakers boasts the second largest number of English speakers in the world, after the United States. The 1961-2001 Indian censuses report a sharp increase in Hindi/English Bilinguals, suggesting that English is on the rise in India. To the contrary, we claim supported by field evidence, that these statistics are inaccurate, ignoring an emerging class who do not have full bilingual competence and switch between Hindi and English, communicating via a code popularly known as "Hinglish". Since current language competition models occlude hybrid practices and detailed local ecological factors, they are inappropriate to capture the current language dynamics in India. Expanding predator-prey and sociolinguistic theories, we draw on local Indian ecological factors to develop a novel three-species model of interaction between Monolingual Hindi speakers, Hindi/English Bilinguals and Hinglish speakers, and explore the long time dynamics it predicts. The model also exhibits Turing instability, which is the first pattern formation result in language dynamics. These results challenge traditional assumptions of English encroachment in India. More broadly, the three-species model introduced here is a first step towards modeling the dynamics of hybrid language scenarios in other settings across the world.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 15:26
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 18:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15866

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