Delhi Hindi(s)

Kalika Bali bali_k at USP.AC.FJ
Mon Jul 19 01:29:23 UTC 1999

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>At 03:26 PM 7/16/99 +1200, you wrote:
>>other suitable term. My informant group consisted of 22 people half of whom
>>came from families which did not speak Hindi as their 'native' tongue
>>previously. That is, they were either the first or the second generation to
>>use Hindi as their first language, and did not speak their
>>parents/grandparents mother/native tongue or first language. I would not
>>like to classify them as people who have "lost their mother tongue". The
>Hi Kalika,
>I wonder why you wouldn't want to treat them as people who've lost their
>mother tongue -- is it because they still have some knowledge of it? They
>do sound to me like cases of language shift and therefore at least partial
>language loss.
>Gail Coelho

Yes, it is a case of language loss, and in some cases total. I think my
labelling is because of their own attitude towards Hindi. They themselves
regard Hindi as their mother tongue and have native like competence in it.
It would be wrong to say " they have no mother tongue" because they do have
a language they identify with (Hindi). In a questionairre about language
attitude, all of them said " My parents( or grandparents) mother tongue is
Punjabi/Bengali/Malyalam... but mine is Hindi." or something similar. I
guess, its how we choose to define mother tongue. I am not saying that they
are not cases of language shift or loss. They most definitely are.

Kalika Bali

Kalika Bali
lecturer in linguistics
dept. of literature and language
school of humanities
the university of the south pacific
post box no. 1168
suva, fiji
phone : +679-212263                      fax : +679-305053
e-mail : bali_k at

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