Language Variation in South Asia

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South Asia presents the linguist with a bewildering variety of regional dialects, social dialects, formal and informal registers, literary standards, languages, writing systems, and language families. Written over a period of more than twenty years, these essays by a leading authority on South Asian language cover a broad range of topics in South Asian linguistics. The essays address social dialect, structural borrowing, areal linguistics, the relation between literary and colloquial standards, and the role of written language in South Asian culture from the times of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Offering a sociolinguistic approach, and encompassing both descriptive and historical studies, this collection of twelve of Bright's most important essays reflects his extensive research on the linguistics of South Asia.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Will be of interest not only to most scholars of South Asian language and linguistics for the specific information it contains, but also to sociolinguists and historical linguists in general because of the principles discussed and exemplified."—American Anthropologist

"For beginners in South Asian linguistics and sociolinguistics, this collection has great historical value, since it contains the origins of ideas now considered standard and descriptions used as reference points in both of these fields."—Language

"Will be of particular interest to Dravidianists, as well as to students of other South Asian language families whose research has an areal dimension or incorporates facets of socially conditioned variation."—Journal of the American Oriental Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195063653
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1990
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor-in-Chief, Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics
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Table of Contents

1. Linguistic Change in Some Indian Caste Dialects 3
2. Sociolinguistic Variation and Language Change with A. K. Ramanujan 11
3. Dravidian Metaphony 19
4. Language, Social Stratification, and Cognitive Orientation 37
5. Complex Verb Forms in Colloquial Tamil with J. Lindenfeld 44
6. Phonological Rules in Literary and Colloquial Kannada 65
7. Hindi Numerals 74
8. The Dravidian Enunciative Vowel 86
9. How Not to Decipher the Indus Valley Inscriptions 118
10. Archaeology, Linguistics, and Ancient Dravidian 124
11. Written and Spoken Language in South Asia 130
Bibliography 149
Index 163
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