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Title: Diglossia in the South Asian Sociolinguistic Area
Authors: D'Souza, J. 
Issue Date: 1988
Citation: D'Souza, J. (1988). Diglossia in the South Asian Sociolinguistic Area. ITL, Review of Applied Linguistics 79-80 : 25-59. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The notion of diglossia as defined by Charles A. Ferguson ("Diglossia," Word, 1959, 15, 324-340) is applied to an examination of two major lang families of South Asia. It is shown to have sociolinguistic value because it allows identification of certain exceptional linguistic phenomena. In diglossia, according to Ferguson, there is specialization of function of high (H) & low (L) varieties; H is regarded as superior to L, & the two varieties share a common phonology. Other defining characteristics also exist. Diglossia is characteristic of the South Asian linguistic situation as illustrated by a discussion of Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, & Sinhalese, each of which exists in a different diglossic context. In addition to the factors of purism & nationalism, which contribute to diglossia in other regions, the South Asian situation is compounded due to the high prestige accorded to Sanskrit. The H variety of all these langs shows the influence of Sanskrit more than does the L variety. It is argued that diglossia should be considered a sociolinguistic feature of the South Asian area. B. Annesser Murray.
Source Title: ITL, Review of Applied Linguistics
ISSN: 00190810
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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