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Indian English

• Introduction – during Colonial period

• Lord Macaulay's Minute (Feb. 2, 1835). "a
class of persons, Indian in blood and color,
but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and
intellect." – the mission of the British Raj.
• More than one and a half centuries later
English has overcome its status as merely the
language of the colonial power and has
become an integral part of the Indian linguistic
English Language in India
 Became one of the official languages of the nation and
thus continues to enjoy the patronage of the Indian elite.
 Used extensively in education, law, government, media,
science, and technology
 Has undergone significant changes locally to carry much
of the communicative burden of Indian society
 Indian expression makes Indian English different from
either American or British English
 They are “innovations” enriching English in terms of
creating its global appeal.
Indian attitude towards Indian English
 Very positive
 They consider their English as the “correct” English best
suited to the Indian setting
 Indians prefer to use and learn Indian English.
 They consider their English as “good” and “proper.”
 empirical evidence shows that in North America, Indian
English is more readily understood than even the BBC or
British varieties.
Features of Indian English
1. Mother Tongue Influence

Certain sounds, pronunciation and syllable stress

patterns which are dominant in the vernacular
languages continue to exist when Indians speak in
English. E.g. harsh consonant sounds like pa, ba and
da, vowel sound generalizations like e and a
(message, communication, continue)
2. Regional Influence-

 Certain phrases, statements and pattern of

constructing sentences which are regionally accepted
are converted and translated into English.  For
example, taxi wala, auto wala, sirji. etc have become
part of the Indian English
3. Phraseology

 Indian English has come up with its own phrases and

popular sentences that are widely accepted and
understood in the Indian context. For example, BA
failed used in matrimonial ads to describe someone
who was admitted to the course but did not pass the
4. Phonetic and Phonological
Features of Indian English
 Lack of aspiration in the word-initial position: Words such as pin and
Kanpur (name of city) are pronounced as pin and kanpur; not as
phin and khanpur, respectively

 Retroflexion. Alveolar consonants: t, and d are replaced by their

corresponding Retroflex consonants (T, D). Therefore, alveolar t
and d in the name of the months such as October, September and
December are pronounced as OcT ober, SepT ember, and
D ecember;

 Lack of Interdentals: Words such as thanks and that are

pronounced with corresponding unvoiced and voiced alveolar stops,
5. Pronunciation

 Indian English pronunciation is a relatively close

approximation to the written form.

 Generalizations  in terms of schwa sound and

clipping of the vowel sounds and non distinction
between long and short vowel sounds are prominent
in Indian English

 Non articulation of vowel sounds is another feature of

Indian English
6. Stress and Intonation System of Indian
 Different from British or American English
 The rhythm of Indian English is based on long and short
syllables rather than on stressed syllables
 Indian English is a ‘Syllable-timed’ language with ‘sing-
song’ characteristics.
7. Grammatical Features of Indian English

 Reduplication: a small small favor

 Countability of Non-Counts: words such as furniture and
luggage become furnitures and luggages, respectively
 Addition of Prepositions/particles: observe the addition of
the particle off in: ‘Everyone is dismissing off my
Indian Way of Speaking English
 Directness in presenting the point
 Very little stylistic ornamentation
 Emphasis on the information content
 Code-mix with Indian languages (e.g. Hindi) very
 Indian accents vary greatly
 English is a stress-timed language, but Indians make it
What is my Target?
 India is undoubtedly an emerging economic giant in the
21st century. Therefore, it is not surprising that Indian
English is asserting itself in the area of global
 Hence comes the slogan “Survival of the Fittest” in the
present fast changing & fast progressing world.
 Develop excellent competency in English communication
to survive successfully.