ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Preliminary issues for a characterization of contemporary Hindi colloquial and/orregional varieties of the Hindi belt


Drocco Andrea - Ca' Foscari, Department of Asian and North African Studies, Venice, Italy


19 – Beyond “linguistic areas” – Recent advances in the study of language contact in South Asia


 Despite the growing interest in New Indo-Aryan languages (= NIA) regional languages, the literature on NIA comparative linguistics and NIA dialectology as well as on NIA diachronic linguistics is still in its infancy. In this regard, it is certainly a desideratum to investigate the interference between regional/minority languages and Hindi according a sociolinguistic perspective (cf. Nespital 1990; Oranskaia & Abbi 2022). The aim of the paper is to illustrate some of the features that are the result of the impact of regional languages on Hindi. As we will see these features are giving birth of different regional and simplified varieties of Hindi as an outcome of its imperfect learning. This process is also characterized by substratum interferences (Thomason and Kaufman 1988) and/or by a process of koineization and accommodation of different source languages (cf. Abbi 2014). The few studies on this topic have mostly focused on specific linguistic features of single regional varieties (cf. Bashir 1999). As a consequence, research on the emergence of regional varieties of Hindi – as well as the Hindi-ization of regional languages as a result of the influence of the prestige of Hindi as a superstrate language – is thus a neglected topic in the study of contemporary NIA in general and of contemporary Hindi in particular.