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Defining the Indefinable: Delimiting Hindi


Edited By Agnieszka Kucziewicz-Fras

The nine extensive essays of this volume are by specialists on South Asia whose research focus includes the extremely complicated problematics of the linguistic situation there. It is devoted to the broadly understood problem of defining Hindi as well as indicating the different ranges of its use. The authors of the included texts come from Europe, the USA and India, and grapple with questions such as what Hindi is, how it functions in the social, political and cultural dimensions of present-day India, and how it is being used by authorities and various influential actors at different levels of Indian reality. The volume should be important and useful for all those who are interested in Hindi, its official and non-official status, and in Indian linguistic policy and politics generally.
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List of Contributors


ANVITA ABBI is a professor of Linguistics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and the author of 16 books. Her work on tribal and other minority languages of South Asia is considered exemplary and has been several times awarded both nationally and internationally. The President of India conferred the Padma Shri award on her in 2013 for her pioneering work on the highly endangered languages of the Andaman Islands. She has been guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and visiting professor at universities in the USA, UK, Germany and Australia. Currently, she is the President of the Linguistic Society of India and an honorary member of the Linguistic Society of America.

RAHUL PETER DAS heads the Department of South Asian Studies of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, where he is currently also the Dean of Studies of his faculty. He studied Indology, Islamic Studies and Tamil Studies at Cologne and Hamburg, has published widely on a diverse range of topics relevant to South Asia both traditional and contemporary, and is the editor or co-editor of various scholarly series and journals.

SURENDRA K. GAMBHIR was a distinguished member of the University of Pennsylvania faculty 1973–2008. He was a visiting faculty at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin; founder director of the Penn-in-India Study-abroad Program, chair of the Language Committee of the American Institute of Indian Studies (1998–2007), and consultant to many university and...

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