Effect of Culture and Society on Language
Sociology of Language in India
Vinay Kumar Jain (Govt. MLC Girls College, Khandwa, India) [BIO]
The Indians accepted the language of British in their typical way, they "accultured" it i.e. they used the language in a native culture. Consequently cultural features were reflected in it. This phenomenon is unique not to one colony alone but typical of all situations of language contact. The language gradually came in to contact with various culture with the result number of local varieties of English were produced which were used as second or foreign languages. In their almost 200 years stay, the British used their language with the Indians. In this period English in India slowly went through a process of change that we label Indianization and evolved into a variety, which we term "Indian English". There is no one "Indian English". The Variety of English differs from another depending upon the speakers. An Austrian Linguist, Hugo Schuchardt (1891) divided it into five types:
(a) Butler English of Madras,
(b) Pidgin English of Bombay,
(c) Boxwallah English of Upper India (spoken by itinerant peddlers),
(d) Cheechee English, spoken everywhere by Eurasians,
(e) Baboo English, spoken in Bengal and elsewhere.
A few observations on each of them will be made. These five varieties of English are spoken in India, Shreelanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In Madhya Pradesh, Hindi and English are most extensively used, their use being motivated by social, political, cultural, and economic factors. For the purpose of survey the native speakers of Hindi are chosen. The study area is Khandwa i.e. Eastern Nimar where people speak Nimari apart from standard Hindi. For the convenience of analysis and discussion the sociolinguistic constructs, the concepts of 'recurrent domains' (Pride1971) and 'situations' (Firth1957) are employed. Almost 60% population of India is socially and culturally deprived and due to industrialization, urbanization and acculturation a new problem of alienation is being faced by these slum dwellers.
The survey carried out by Schuchardt is valuable for the study of effect of culture and society in Madhya Pradesh but it does not fully capture the entire complexity of languages spoken in the Hindi speaking area of Madhya Pradesh. We have done and we are still doing an indepth study on the impact of culture and society on language with special reference to English spoken in Madhya Pradesh.