Diachronic stability in Indian English lexis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the late 1930s two British commentators, A.F. Kindersley and R.C. Goffin, published articles on various linguistic features (semantic, grammatical, orthographical, and phonological) of the English language as used in India. These two glossaries offer a valuable insight into late-Raj Indian English. In order to assess the extent of change over the intervening 70-plus years, a comparison of the content of those glossaries to present-day Indian English has been made. The overall picture is one of surprising stability, especially given the strong resistance by educationalists and others who have long stigmatised local variations as 'errors'. This stability over time suggests a long-standing endonormativity that has hitherto not been recognised. Many of the features discussed have even longer stable histories, suggesting an even lengthier endonormativity. This type of diachronic investigation may have similar implications for many other varieties of English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-127
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Englishes
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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