By Rana D. Parshad, Vineeta Chand, Neha Sinha, Nitu Kumari
While language competition models of diachronic language shift are increasingly sophisticated, drawing on sociolinguistic components like variable language prestige, distance from language centers and intermediate bilingual transitionary populations, in one significant way they fall short. They fail to consider contact-based outcomes resulting in mixed language practices, e.g. outcome scenarios such as creoles or unmarked code switching as an emergent communicative norm. On these lines something very interesting is uncovered in India, where traditionally there have been monolingual Hindi speakers and Hindi/English bilinguals, but virtually no monolingual English speakers. While the Indian census data reports a sharp increase in the proportion of Hindi/English bilinguals, we argue that the number of Hindi/English bilinguals in India is inaccurate, given a new class of urban individuals speaking a mixed lect of Hindi and English, popularly known as "Hinglish". Based on predator-prey, sociolinguistic theories, salient local ecological factors and the rural-urban divide in India, we propose a new mathematical model of interacting monolingual Hindi speakers, Hindi/English bilinguals and Hinglish speakers. The model yields globally asymptotic stable states of coexistence, as well as bilingual extinction. To validate our model, sociolinguistic data from different Indian classes are contrasted with census reports: We see that purported urban Hindi/English bilinguals are unable to maintain fluent Hindi speech and instead produce Hinglish, whereas rural speakers evidence monolingual Hindi. Thus we present evidence for the first time where an unrecognized mixed lect involving English but not "English", has possibly taken over a sizeable faction of a large global population.
Via Jorge Louçã