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Elite positionings towards Hindi: Language policies, political stances and language competence in India

Chand, V (2011) 'Elite positionings towards Hindi: Language policies, political stances and language competence in India.' Journal of Sociolinguistics, 15 (1). 6 - 35. ISSN 1360-6441

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Abstract

In India, Hindi is imagined and institutionalized as the national language which weds together India's pluralistic population under the banner of a shared Indian identity. Approaching language competence as embedded in and performed through language practices and ideologies, I explore how a New Delhi elite community positions themselves towards Hindi vis-à-vis national language policies and political movements. Contrasting with traditional unified elite portrayals, e.g. 'elite closure' (Myers-Scotton 1990), India has multiple sociolinguistically discordant elite groups, and these liberal elites ideologically construct their Hindi (in)competency in an alternative framework attending to the history (and failure) of Hindi-based nationalism, their disalignment with modern right-wing movements, and their continued affiliation with English. This perspective of some elites as negotiating and disagreeing with contemporary political movements and language policy legislature illuminates language competencies as socially constructed and locally grounded, and challenges past interpretations of postcolonial elites as unified actors controlling the dominant linguistic marketplace. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2011.

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: 03 Aug 2011 10:10
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 13:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/435

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