Edited By Agnieszka Kucziewicz-Fras
Hindi as a Contact Language of Northeast India Anvita Abbi and Maansi Sharma
Hindi as a Contact Language of Northeast India1
Anvita Abbi and Maansi Sharma
Hindi in its various avatāra-s is used all over India as a link language; out of all the Indian languages this is the only one which is an acceptable lingua franca across the whole country. Other than the Indian states and union territories where Hindi is recognised as one of the official languages, or the official language,2 besides English, it functions as the link to connect various disparate non-Hindi mother tongue speakers. The most significant attribute of Hindi is that its usefulness for national integration is rated uniformly high across the whole of India including the South (ABBI/GUPTA/GARGESH 1998–2000).
In some states of the heterogeneous Northeast, Hindi is not merely a lingua franca, but fulfils all the requirements of a major language of the community. It enjoys prestige and power, as many consider Hindi a ladder to promotion and development in the society, besides English and in different circumstances. As one of the two official languages of the whole Indian union, it is a language of priorities and is symbolised as being ‘modern.’ In the following pages, we would like to discuss the emergence of this ‘highly acceptable’ language of ‘wider communication,’ Hindi, in a particular setting.
Our results are based on the fieldwork conducted in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya (MODI 2005, SHARMA 2011–2012), two states of Northeast India known for its linguistic diversity...
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