34. Bilingualism and Multilingualism in South Asia

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch34

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Bhatia, T. K. and Ritchie, W. C. (2012) Bilingualism and Multilingualism in South Asia, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch34

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • Indian bilingualism;
  • language contact;
  • linguistic diversity;
  • South Asian multilingualism

Summary

This chapter presents a case study of the varied dimensions of multilingualism in South Asia (SA) with particular attention to India. It states that linguistic diversity is a hallmark of India. The chapter argues that multilingualism in SA is shaped primarily by natural forces of networking and communication rather than being the result of externally imposed models and government planning. South Asian multilingualism in general and Indian bilingualism in particular provide an excellent progressive, realistic, contemporary, and multicultural window on the phenomenon of bilingualism. The chapter reveals that the language use of a bilingual is not strictly a linguistic matter but is also interwoven with complex factors such as multiple identities, a range of affiliations, and emotive factors. It attempts to describe the sources which have initiated language contact in SA and thus set the stage for processes such as promotion, termination, and revitalization of multilingualism.