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Zero articles in Indian English. A Comparison of primary and secondary diaspora situations


Hundt, Marianne (2014). Zero articles in Indian English. A Comparison of primary and secondary diaspora situations. In: Hundt, Marianne; Sharma, Devyani. English in the Indian Diaspora. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 131-170.

Abstract

The omission of articles where British or American English require either a definite or indefinite article is a typical feature of Indian English (IndE). Sharma (2005b) found that substrate influence played a role for the use of indefinite one in IndE, whereas pragmatic functions (givenness and modification) played a role in the use of zero articles (see also Sedlatschek 2009, 227). Definite the and indefinte a are also omitted by Fiji Indians in Fiji (Mugler & Tent 2008) and those who have moved to a secondary diaspora in places like New Zealand or Australia. Sharma (2005a) investigated the use of articles by first-generation immigrants from India in the US. Her study shows that zero articles are a feature that is retained in the diaspora context, even by speakers who are otherwise close to using standard, native-like English. The data for this paper come from fieldwork in Fiji (spontaneous conversations) and sociolinguistic interviews conducted in the Fiji Indian Diaspora in Wellington, New Zealand. Recordings from the secondary diaspora include both first- and second-generation migrants, and the study thus investigates whether zero articles are retained in the speech even of people who acquired their English in a predominantly English-speaking environment. The study also aims to link the use of zero articles to informants’ construction of identity in the secondary diaspora.

Abstract

The omission of articles where British or American English require either a definite or indefinite article is a typical feature of Indian English (IndE). Sharma (2005b) found that substrate influence played a role for the use of indefinite one in IndE, whereas pragmatic functions (givenness and modification) played a role in the use of zero articles (see also Sedlatschek 2009, 227). Definite the and indefinte a are also omitted by Fiji Indians in Fiji (Mugler & Tent 2008) and those who have moved to a secondary diaspora in places like New Zealand or Australia. Sharma (2005a) investigated the use of articles by first-generation immigrants from India in the US. Her study shows that zero articles are a feature that is retained in the diaspora context, even by speakers who are otherwise close to using standard, native-like English. The data for this paper come from fieldwork in Fiji (spontaneous conversations) and sociolinguistic interviews conducted in the Fiji Indian Diaspora in Wellington, New Zealand. Recordings from the secondary diaspora include both first- and second-generation migrants, and the study thus investigates whether zero articles are retained in the speech even of people who acquired their English in a predominantly English-speaking environment. The study also aims to link the use of zero articles to informants’ construction of identity in the secondary diaspora.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
08 University Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:27 Jun 2014 06:41
Last Modified:14 Feb 2018 21:19
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN:978-9-0272-4910-4
OA Status:Closed
Official URL:https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/veaw.g50.07hun/details

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