Indian Languages in the Diaspora, Volume 47 - People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI)
G. N. Devy (Chief Editor), T. Vijay Kumar (Ed.)
180 x 240 mm
Year of Publishing
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The People’s Linguistic Survey of India provides an overview of the extant and dying languages of India, as perceived by their speakers. It is the culmination of a nation-wide survey of languages, documented by linguists, writers, social activists and, most importantly, members of different speech communities. The work chronicles the evolution of these languages until 2011, and incorporates their socio-political and cultural dimensions. Critically, it encapsulates the world view of the speakers of the languages.

Diasporic communities strive to find or forge a language that speaks of their specific cultural experience, which is a blend of loss and discovery. Diaspora language, therefore, is characterised by both resilience and compliance. Considering the heterogeneity of the Indian diaspora, it is not surprising that the status of Indian languages varies significantly in different diasporic locations.

The contributors to the present volume, who are located in different parts of the world, explore a range of language situations and histories. They provide a conceptual overview of native languages in non-native lands, and analyses of one language in multiple locations, multiple languages in one location, and other such complex contexts. The volume covers language situations in locations such as Trinidad, East Africa, USA, Canada, Singapore and the Arabian Gulf. This volume, the forty-seventh in the series People’s Linguistic Survey of India, seeks to capture the language experience in a diasporic location, and to offer a snapshot, a state-of-the-language report.

G. N. Devy is the chief editor of the PLSI series. He taught at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, till 1996 before leaving to set up the Bhasha Research Centre in Baroda and the Adivasi Akademi at Tejgadh. There, he worked towards conserving and promoting the languages and culture of indigenous and nomadic communities. Apart from being awarded the Padma Shri, he has received many awards for his work in literature and language conservation.

T. Vijay Kumar is a former Professor of English and Dean, Faculty of Arts, at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. His publications include critical studies: English and other international languages (PLSI Vol. 37) (edited; 2018), Globalisation: Australian-Asian perspectives (co-edited; 2014), Focus India: Postcolonial narratives of the nation (co-edited; 2007); and translations from Telugu: The liberation of Sita (co-translated; 2016, 2018) by Volga and Kanyasulkam (co-translated; 2002), an early twentieth-century classic by Gurajada Venkata Appa Rao. He is a TEDx speaker, Director of the annual Hyderabad Literary Festival, and one of the Founder Editors of Muse India: The literary ejournal.

The People’s Linguistic Survey of India
The National Editorial Collective
List of Volumes

A Nation Proud of Its Language Diversity: Chief Editor’s Introduction  

Introduction—Tongue in Check: Indian Languages Abroad

Contributors to the Volume

1. Native Languages in Non-native Lands
2. On Not Forgetting my Mother Tongue: The Tamil Language from a Transdiasporic Perspective
3. Bangla Round the World
4. Punjabi Language Outside India
5. The Indian Languages of the Indians in Singapore
6. Cutchi and Gujarati Languages in Eastern Africa
7. Gulf Malayalam Dialect and the Malayali Diaspora in the Arabian Gulf
8. Hindi in the Fiji Islands
9. The Story of Trinidad Bhojpuri
10. Mauritian Bhojpuri Language and Culture: Ideology and Representations
11. An Autoethnographic Reflection on Telugu Language, Culture and Diaspora in South Africa
12. The Dispersion of Honey: Telugu in the Diaspora
13. Use and Maintenance of Kannada in the United States
14. Language, Ethnicity, and Socialisation in the Gujarati Diaspora in the United States


Table 5.1: Indians in Malaya/Singapore by specific community, census of 1947
Table 5.2: Census data on Indians by ethnic group, 1957–2010
Table 5.3: Predominant household languages by ethnic groups, 1980–2010
Table 5.4: Number of sites for community language classes
Table 5.5: Student enrolment for Non-Tamil Indian languages: 2010–2018
Table 8.1: The pronoun system of Fiji Baat
Table 8.2: Derivation of the imperfective tense or present tense forms
Table 13.1: Kannada speakers in the United States in relation to speakers of other Indian languages

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