Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi

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contributor.author Rizwan, Ahmad en_US
date.accessioned 2011-09-14T08:18:59Z en_US
date.available 2011-09-14T08:18:59Z en_US
date.issued 2011-06 en_US
identifier.citation Rizwan Ahmad (2011). Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi. Language in Society, 40, pp 259-284 en_US
identifier.issn 0047-4045 (Print) en_US
identifier.issn 1469-8013 (Online) en_US
identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10576/10736 en_US
identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404511000182 en_US
description.abstract In sociolinguistics, Urdu and Hindi are considered to be textbook examples of digraphia—a linguistic situation in which varieties of the same language are written in different scripts. Urdu has traditionally been written in the Arabic script, whereas Hindi is written in Devanagari. Analyzing the recent orthographic practice of writing Urdu in Devanagari, this article challenges the traditional ideology that the choice of script is crucial in differentiating Urdu and Hindi. Based on written data, interviews, and ethnographic observations, I show that Muslims no longer view the Arabic script as a necessary element of Urdu, nor do they see Devanagari as completely antithetical to their identity. I demonstrate that using the strategies of phonetic and orthographic transliteration, Muslims are making Urdu-in-Devanagari different from Hindi, although the difference is much more subtle. My data further shows that the very structure of a writing system is in part socially constituted en_US
language.iso en_US en_US
publisher Cambridge University Press en_US
subject Sociolinguistics en_US
subject Orthography en_US
subject Hindi en_US
subject Urdu en_US
subject Script-change en_US
title Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi en_US
type Article en_US


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