The Otherness of English: India's Auntie Tongue Syndrome

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SAGE Publications, May 25, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 228 pages
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The Otherness of English offers a unique interpretation of the content and useage of the English language in India, specifically commenting on the mode of its presence. The author presents an interdisciplinary account of the role English plays in the general process of modernization. Starting with the sociolinguistic notion of diglossia and the geo-linguistic notion of a southern and eastern Asian linguistic area, the author clearly demonstrates how English occupies a functional slot in India's linguistic development. This impressive volume will be of special interest to scholars in the fields of sociolinguistics, education, sociology, political science, and English literature. "... a brilliant intellectual tour de force. It analyses the role, functioning, and nature of English in India, and is a provocative challenge to any scholar concerned with English in 'development', diglossia, 'World Englishes', and processes of indigenization, or at a more theoretical level with the role of language in traditional, modernizing, and post-modern societies.... Dasgupta's argument draws on a daunting range of theoretical approaches, and his language rivals Isaiah Berlin's in complexity and lexical richness. The book is coherent, well-signposted, and lucid." --Applied Linguistics "An eminently readable, engaging and engaged book that wittily reformulates current nationalistic cliches of a Leftist rather than a Hindutva bent....The sensitivity to style and language in the presentation of the argument, is so rich in digression and detail and an entirely pleasant, superior irony." --Contributions to Indian Sociology "Professor P. Dasgupta's The Otherness of English emphatically dispels doubts and dogmas that bedevil English language and literature studies in India, and effectively interprets the real function and role of English in the post-independent, post-modern, and pan-Indian context . . . The book will be of immense relevance for researchers in socio-linguistics, language development and planning." -The Journal of Indian Writing in English "Dasgupta's inter-disciplinary analysis of English in the context shaped by recent work in diverse domains is interesting and though-provoking." -South Asian Language Review "A bold book. . . . He explores a number of fascinating themes, on each of which he has something illuminating to say." --The Statesman "Dasgupta's book is a brilliant intellectural tour de force. It analyses the role, functioning, and nature of English in India, and is a provocative challenge to any scholar concerned with English in 'development', diglossia, 'World Englishes', and processes of indigenization, or at a more theoretical level with the role of language in traditional, modernizing, and post-modern societies. Dasgupta's argument draws on a daunting range of theoretical approaches, and his language rivals Isaiah Berlin's in complexity and lexical richness. The book is cerebally demanding, but coherent, well-signposted, and lucid. The final summare is eminently accessible, and might with profit be read initially." --Robert Phillipson in Applied Linguistics

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Contents

Acknowledgements
11
Introduction
45
Diglossia
65
Copyright

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