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AuthorAhmad, Rizwan
Available date2011-09-14T08:18:59Z
Publication Date2011-06
Publication NameLanguage in Society
CitationRizwan Ahmad (2011). Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi. Language in Society, 40, pp 259-284
ISSN0047-4045 (Print)
ISSN1469-8013 (Online)
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10576/10736
URIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404511000182
AbstractIn 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
Languageen
PublisherCambridge University Press
SubjectSociolinguistics
SubjectOrthography
SubjectHindi
SubjectUrdu
SubjectScript-change
TitleUrdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi
TypeArticle
Pagination259-284
Issue Number3
Volume Number40


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