Papers in this volume refer to the Seminar on convergence, pidginization and simplification with special reference to the Indian situation.  This seminar was conducted in the month of 1981.  The delay in taking the decision to publish this volume and delay in submitting the revised papers by some of the contributors has added further delay in the publication of this volume. The papers in this volume refer to the Indian situation hence an appropriate title viz.  "papers in Indian Socio-Linguistics" has been given to it.

            This volume on Papers in Indian Socio-Linguistics" consists of 15 papers.  Out of this, 6 papers are related to convergence and 8 papers are related to Pidgins, Pidginization, and simplification and one paper is related to the code mixing.

            Emeneaus's paper on South Asia as a Linguistic area deals about the issues of convergence between languages.  P.B. Pandit's book on " India as a Socio-linguistic Area" also deals cases of convergence.  In addition to this, other scholars have also dealt on convergence.  As reported on I.J.D.L.  Vol.3, No.4, Jan. 1974, Names of the Scholars, who have worked in the area of convergence are as follows:  

1.        Bendix and Pandit report on specific cases of convergence involving Languages of different families.

2.        Masica describes area wise syntactic features which set the South Asia area apart from neighbouring languages.

3.        Ante describes what appears to be an ongoing process akin to pidgnization, by which "Bombay Hindi-Urdu" has come to resemble Marathi in many features.

4.        Desilva and Ullrich report on different aspect of convergence between varieties of the same language in a diglossia relationship.

5.        Emeneau's paper can be regarded as the latest in the series of detailed examination of features shared by Dravidian and Indo-Aryan and their historical implications.

6.        Kuiper and South also deal with the history of Dravidian influence on Indo-Aryan.

It is said in the same Journal on convergence that "what do we mean by `convergence' in South Asian context? Primarily, we are referring to the distinctive characteristic of a "Linguistic Area" which Emeneau has defined "as an area which includes languages belonging to more than one family but showing traits in common which are found not to belong to the other members of (at least) one of the families" (1956: 16, note 28).  In other words, we refer to resemblances between languages which are the result of contact rather than common origin, such as Numeral classifies in Indo-Aryan Languages (Emeneau 1956) which clearly originated in the Eastern end of the sub-continent and typically associated with the languages of the Sino-Tibetan groups".

Gumperz and Wilson (1971) have reported in their study of Marathi speaking area where three languages spoken in the village Kupwar viz Kannada (Dravidian), Marathi (Indi-Aryan) and Urdu (Indo-Aryan) are substantially identical in phonology, syntax and semantics and differ only in Morpho-Phonemics.

Gumperz and Wilson make the following comment on the social function of the situations like that of Kupwar.

            "This Linguistic situation seems uniquely suited to the social situation ……….  While language distinctions maintained, actual messages show word for word or morph – for morph translatability, and speakers can therefore switch from one code to another with a minimum additional learning (1971: 164-5).

            In the same way pandit's study of Saurastri in Tamil Nadu also reveals that a segment of the grammar, the system of number names is identical in both Saurashtri and Tamil, whereas the lexical forms of saurashtri numerals are mainly Indo-Aryan.

            In the present volume, there are three parts.  Part I contains papers related to convergence, part II contains paper related to pidgins, pidginization, creolization and simplification, part III contains one paper on code mixing.  Brief summaries of the papers presented in this volume are given below in the order of part I, II, III.

            In the present volume, in the part I following papers deal with convergence.

1. Thomas, Susheela

    Social aspects and the Dynamics of convergence.

2. Arokianathan, S.

    Writing and Diglossic convergence: A case study of Tamil Radio Plays.

3. Karunakaran, K

    Linguistic convergence in Diglossic situations.

4. Thampuran, R.R.

    Process of convergence and language shift:

    A case study of the Kudumb is of Kerala.

5. K.P. Acharya and G.V. Natarajan

    Some aspects of Lexical and Grammatical convergence in Gondi.

6. Mustafa, Khateeb, S.

    Some aspects of Phonological and Grammatical convergence of Dakkhini      

    and Telugu.

            Susheela Thomas in her paper on "Social aspects and the Dynamics of convergence" discusses and compares the issues of convergence in Kasargod of Kerala and Kupwar of Karnataka bordering Maharashtra .

            In the case of Kupwar as pointed out by Gumerz, J.J. a type of convergence has taken place where a single underlying grammar could be drawn for the languages in contact viz. Kannada, Marathi and Urdu.  All these three languages belonging to the different families share remarkably in phonology, syntax and semantics but differ only in Morpho-Phonemics.

            The Kasargod situation is different from that of Kupwar.  The variety of Kannada used for intergroup communication in Kasargod is least influenced by Malayalam.  On the other hand, the variety of Malayalam used for intergroup communication in Kasargod has converged more towards Kannada and Tulu, thereby making convergence unidirectional and it has direct co-relation between social aspects and the dynamics of convergence.  Author concludes her paper with the remarks that the direction of convergence in Kasargod has a direct co-relation between the social aspects and the dynamics of convergence.

            Arokianathan in his paper on "writing and Diglossic convergence: A case study of Tamil Radio plays" discusses the role of writing in the ongoing dynamic situation existing between the two varieties of Tamil i.e. spoken and written.  Author says that there is a gap between the script and the reading pronunciation in Tamil.  Script indirectly held to stabilize the cleavage between the two varieties viz. High and low.  Generally, script represents the sounds of that particular language.  But in a Diglossic language like Tamil, the existing script system seems to be inadequate to some extent to represent the sounds of the variety of that language.  Clusters are not allowed in the writing system without the enunciative vowel in between the cluster.  He discusses the issues about the print medium and Radio medium.  Author comes to the conclusion that High and Low variety of Tamil have a tendency to come closer each other by assimilating the High variety forms.

            Karunakaran in his paper on "Linguistic convergence in Diglossic situation" discusses many issues relating to convergence and Diglossic situation with reference to Tamil.

            Author states that Linguistic convergence takes place due to the processes of pidginization, creolization, realignment or a combination of all these.  The Diglossic situation is concerned with the use of non-native usages, the practice of nativisation of Linguistic features, realignment of Linguistic features in standard norms and the efficiency of the usages in communication.

            The existence of the spoken (low) variety and the Literary (High) variety makes the Tamil language situation Diglossic.  In this Diglossic situation a convergece is also found in Tamil.

            Author further states that two distinct varieties of Tamil are noticed viz. Literary variety (H) and the spoken variety (L) and if we go into the language use we could easily identify the use of a third variety.  This variety is represented as modern Literary variety or standard spoken variety.  Thus, it can be said that Tamil is the clear case of triglossia.  The intermediate variety referred above viz. standard spoken variety has functional significance like the other two.  Author further states that such an intermediate variety if used in teaching and other literary materials, it would motivate the learning process of the Adults.

            Author concludes his paper with the remarks that the productive linguistic convergence is the process of pidginisation taking place which later on leads to creolization.  As systematic frame work is not available at present to describe Linguistic convergence and diglossic situation, it is time that one should try to frame it.

            Thampuran in his paper "process of convergence and language shift: A case study of Kudumbis of Kerala" discusses some aspects of Linguistic convergence and Language shift among the Kudumbis, a Konkani speaking Linguistic minority settled in Kerala. Kudumbis and other Konkanis speaking groups like Gowda Saraswat Brahmins, Vaisyas and Sonars have migrated from Goa during the later half of the 16th century due to the religious persecution of the Portugese in Goa .  The Kudumbis have 400 years of history in the land of Kerala .  The Author discusses mainly three issues viz.  

1.       What are the major converging features in the Linguistic structures of Kudumbi Konkani?

2.       What are the causes of Language shift among this Linguistic minority?

3.       Whether or not socio-political and Economic factors are responsible for the shift and why there is a decrease in the degree of transmission of Kudumbi Konkani to the future generation.  

K.P. Acharya and G.V. Natarajan in their paper "Some aspects of lexical and Grammatical convergence in Gondi" have attempted to demonstrate that how Gondi a Central Dravidian Language is influenced by Hindi and other Aryan Languages of various levels of grammatical description particularly on the grammatical and lexical levels.  Some of the areas in which grammatical convergence is noticed are (1) Adjectival concordance (2) Abundant use of copula constructions (3) compound verbs etc. Lexical convergence is of two types: one type is the adoption of the borrowed words into the native system in toto.  In another type, the core of the lexical item s of the Aryan origin and the endings are of Gondi origin.

Khateeb S. Mustafa in his paper " Some aspects of Phonological and Grammatical convergence of dakkini and Telugu"explains some aspects of convergence of Dakkini and Telugu at phonological and Grammatical levels.  His analysis is based on the data of Dakkhini spoken in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

In the introduction, he traces the history of Dakkhini since 1300 A.D. He discusses convergence keeping both internal and external factors.  He equates internal factors to structural factors and external as non-structural factors such as Bilingualism, Sociocultural context etc.

His observations of convergence at phonological level are:

1.       Presence of phonemes /n/ and /l/ in Dakkhini

2.       /c/ changing into /s/

3.       Diphthongization

His observations of convergence at grammatical level are:  

1.       Absence of –ne construction in Dakkhini

2.       Echo-word formation.

3.       Onomatopoeia

4.       Gender distinction in plural

5.       Habitual present cum future

6.       Cardinal numerals

7.       Use of Telugu particle –le in Dakkhini

8.       Relative participle construction

9.       Reduplication of negative past participle

10.   Reported speech

11.   Sentences without copula.  

He concludes his paper with the remarks that Telugu is the main source Language of convergence in Dakkhini Urdu both at Phonological and Morphological levels.


There are 8 papers in the part two of this volume related to pidgins, pidnization, creolization and simplification.

David Crystal in his work "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics" writes about pidgins as follows:

A term used in Socio-Linguistics to refer to a Language with a markedly reduced Grammatical Structure Lexicon and Stylistic range compared with other languages, and which is the native language of no one.  Structures which have been reduced in this way are said to be "pidginised".  Pidgins are formed by two speech communities attempting to communicate each successively approximately to the more obvious features of the other's language.  Such developments need considerable motivation on the part of the speakers and it is therefore not surprising that pidgin languages flourish in areas of economic development as in the pidgins based on English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, the East and West Indies , Africa and Americas .  Pidgins become creolised when they become the mother tongue of a community.

Pidgins arise out of the necessity of communication between speakers belonging to different languages/language families.  As pointed out by Dr.M.V.Sreedhar (1974) "Adequate attention has not been given by Indian Linguists to the pidgin and Creole languages.  The Linguistic significance of pidgins creoles was recognized at the beginning of this century, notably by Schucherdt (1909), Jesperson (1932) and Herikevit (1936).  However, they did not make any distinction between pidgins and Creoles.  These languages were first distinguished by Bloomfield (1933:472-4), Reinecke (1935: xii, xvi) also distinguished them but called them "that they were marginal also in the attitude towards them on the part of those who speak one of the languages from which they derive and in terms of our knowledge about them, but these languages are of central importance to our understanding of language and Central to the lives of some millions of people".

There are different theories regarding the origin of the pidgins.  Some of them are as follows:

1. The Baby – talk theory :

            Charles Leland in 1876 writing about China coast pidgin English gives certain features of the pidgin and concludes by saying "what remains can present no difficulty  to anyone who can understand the Baby talk.  They noticed that pidgin speakers and children after approximated to the standard pronunciation, that they both used a high proposition of content words and relatively few function words, that in the speech of both, morphological change was rare if not altogether absent, that word classes were much less rigidly established and that pronominal contrasts were frequently reduced".

2. The Independent parallel development theory :

            Robert A Hall, Jr. was among the first scholars to recognize the Independent parallel development of pidgins.

3. Monogenetic / Relexification theory :

            According to this theory, all European Language based pidgins and Creoles derive from a 15th Century Portuguese pidgin.  Relexification means replacement of the lexicon of one stock by the lexicon of another.

            In the present volume, the following papers deal on pidgins, pidginization creolization and simplification.  

1. Srivastava, R.N.

    A functional perceptive to the study of pidgins.

2. Mohan, Peggy

    Pidgins and Pidgin myths in polyglot India .

3. Sreedhar M.V.

    Pidgninization and simplification

4. Subba Rao, K.V.

    Child language, pidginization, creolization and Decreolization.

5. Singh, V.D.

    Portrait of a pidgin: Bazar Hindi

6. Roy, C.J.

    Malayalam – A south Indian Creole

7. Hosali, Priya

    Butler English

8. Ekka, Francis

    Halbi Dissected: A study of Language mixture  

            R.N. Srivastava* in his paper "A functional perspective to the study of pidgins" has made an attempt to explain and demonstrate how pidgin as a language form shows a direct relation to the type of functional load it carries on itself.  He also demonstrates that pidgins have "basics" of language and their formal characteristic features are the reflex of the reduced functional load assigned to them.  Paper also explains the nature and functions of the pidgin language – arising as a medium of communication between speakers of different languages characterized by hybridized lexicon and reduced grammatical structure.

* Editor deeply regrets the demise of Prof. R.N. Srivastava for his untimely death.

            Author also gives characteristics of pidgin such as (1) Deficient in structure (2) Defective in code (3) Parasitic in form and function (4) Unnatural in Linguistic status (5) Less evolved.

            Peggy Mohan in her paper "Pidgins and Pidgin myths in polyglot India " explains the nature and functions of the pidgin languages.  The study of the languages in Caribbean region has established that pidgin/creole languages were the most important hybrid languages.  When the study of pidgin/creole entered Africa beyond its European related pidgins and Creoles, it encountered a Socio-linguistic situation for more complex than it was thought.

            Author also discusses the situation in India which presents a range of language situations complex enough for the development of a comprehensive theory.  Author compares the features of Non-standard languages/Dialects with the features of the pidgin/creole languages and says that Non-standard languages need not be pidgins/Creoles.  She has also dealt about language death which she defines as a process of reduction affecting three aspects of a language, viz.

a) The size of the speaker community

b) The number of functions discharged by the language

c) Actual structure.

Author also raises the issue of Indian Bazaar vernaculars which are often another area of suspected pidginization.  Author remarks that some of these languages are not pidgins at all.  She also discusses the features of hybrid languages and Koine referring to the Urdu language which has a hybrid character.

Author also remarks that Indian English inspite of its simplification in structure is not a pidgin/creole.  Author concludes her paper with the remarks that "so our theory is not currently confronted with more complex situations in India and Africa , but with situations which promise to become even more complex and less pidgin in the future.  We have to be sensitive to these environmental demands on our theory or run the risk of becoming irrelevant in the future".

Sreedhar, M.V. in his paper "pidginization and simplication" states that pidgin languages are the corrupt products or simplified forms of the "Upper language".  This upper language presents cultural superiority as the Donar language.  Such notions refer the `Baby talk' hypothesis (Bloom-field 1933) as the cause of the origin of the pidgins.  Hall (1966) also claims that phonological system of pidgin and creole languages are much simpler than the phonological system of various natural languages which may have contributed to some extent in their formation.

Author says that the simplification theory can hold its ground only if the pidgins and Creoles are analysed from the upper language perspective without looking to the significant role of the native languages of the pidgin and creole speakers.  Author discusses such issues with the illustrative examples from Nagapidgin (Nagamese), Sadari and Halbi.

K.V. Subba Rao in his paper on "child language pidginization and creolization" has made an attempt to study the acqusition of language of a child in a situation where the child was exposed to three different languages belonging to three different language families.  Author has presented his data which shows that the child could not keep the three codes distinct in the initial stages, though it appeared that the basic syntactic structure was that of Hindi:

Author also argues that novel features emerge in pidgins and Creoles like Fiji-Bhojpuri creole, the Mauritius-Bhojpuri creole, the Bombay Hindi pidgin and the Naga pidgin.  Author observes that the simplification process in the child language would be similar to the processes of simplification that take place in pidginization and Creolization.  Author also feels that instances of code mixing in child language is similar to the one found in pidgins and Creoles in multilingual situations.  Author also remarks that child's language during acquisition and pidgins can be viewed as an inter language.

V.D. Singh in his paper "portrait of a pidgin: Bazaar Hindi" discusses about the variety of Hindi (which he calls a Bazaar Hindi) spoken in Shillong the capital of Meghalaya.  The people of Shillong speak varieties of Languages such as Khasi, Hindi, many regional dialects of Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, Manipuri, Mizo, Garo, Punjabi, Malayalam, Marwari, Mikir and Kachari.  Among these different linguistic/ethnic groups, Bazaar Hindi a Hindi or Hindustani based pidgin performs the function of a link language between rich and educated and poor and Uneducated people of Shillong.  Sizable number of poor and uneducated people Shillong come from Bihar for their lively hood and speak Bazaar Hindi.  This Bazaar Hindi is influenced by Khasi, Bengali and Assamese and it is extremely simplified and restricted in its grammar and lexicon and it is a language in its own right.

C.J. Roy in his paper "Malayalam – a South Indian Creole" has made Historic and Historic and Socio-Linguistic enquiries about the origin of Malayalam language.

Author remarks that history of Malayalam is shrouded in mystery – objective attempts were not made by the literary Historians and Grammarians on this issue.  Traditional scholars traced it from Sanskrit, some thought of independent origin.  Scholars who preferred to be more objective noticed its close affinity with Tamil.  The possibility of Malayalam emerging out of a mixing of Tamil and Sanskrit have also been suggested.

Author approaches the issue from the creole point of view.  He states that Malayalam grew out from the contacts between the Tamil natives and Aryan settlers in Kerala.  Different stages in this process of creolization are to be traced in the early literatures of Malayalam.

Leelatilakam the 14th century treatise of Manipravala and the grammatical works during 16th and 17th centuries provide further evidence on this issue. Structural and Lexical features of present day Malayalam also support the creole theory.  He concludes with the remarks that the extensive shifts in meaning manifested by the vocabulary of Malayalam, the problems connected with the establishment of standard variety of Malayalam taking into consideration he features of Regional and Social dialects and the difficulties encountered in settling up an ideal orthography for Malayalam are supporting evidences for calling Malayalam a creole.  Author says that whether this hypothesis could be extended to other South Indian languages or not is a point for consideration.

            Priya Hosali in her paper on `Butler English' discusses the pidgin – creole issue in Indian situation and calls it (as coined by Kachru 1969) Cline of Bilingualism comprising of three measuring points (1) The zero point (2) the Central point (3) The ambilingual point.  The variety of English spoken by uneducated speakers i.e. The Domestic staff of Hotel catering to tourists and upper class Indians, the domestic staff of prestigious and other recreation centers.  Butlers , The uneducated domestic staff employed in racially mixed household or westernized Indian Households as zero point.  The variety of English spoken by the highly educated speakers of different establishment like University, College, Officer of All India nature, Business executives called as Standard Indian English as the Ambilingual point.  In between variety is a Central point.

            Dr. Priya Hosali has restricted her analysis to the zero point only.

            Data are drawn from two samples of Butler English from News papers of 100 years old and also from her personal collection of the data.  Statements are made on the basis of the analysis of the data under study and reproducing the data in support of her statements.  Statements that are made by Author on Butler English are as follows:

1. Data indicate retention of content words and the deletion of function words like articles and prepositions.  Inspite of this, communication takes place effectively.

2. At phonological level, points observed are:

a)         Simplification of clusters

b)         Hyper correction

c)         Deletion of `h'

d)         Wrong pronunciation  

3.  At Morphological level, points observed are:

a)      Deletion of plural marker, possessive marker, concord, subject-object-verb.

b)      Gendermarked is natural

Ex: Daughter as girl baby (Butler English)

Son as boy baby (- Do - )

c)      In pronouns, Gender distinctions are reduced/eliminated.

d)      In verbs, use of the present participle (or gerund) for the present, Distinctions relating to time and continuity of action are either understood from the context or indicated by adverbials.

e)      Copula deletion, occurrence of serial verb structure, preterite indicative formed by `Done'.

4.   At syntactic level, points observed are:

a)      Sentence negative : Negator in Butler English follows the subject and precedes the verb phrases.

b)      Question formation: (1) Interrogation is usually signaled by intonation alone (2) Butler English has reduced the complex question tags of standard English into one simple rule i.e., suffixation of `no'.

c)      Use of anaphoric or cataphoric pronoun.

d)      Minimum use of vocabulary.

5. Neologistic creations : New words in Butler English are coined by   compounding, it is of three types.

1. Word compounding  (a) Both lexical items are from English (b) Both lexical items are from Indian Languages (c) one from English and the other from Indian languages.  This type of compounds are of three types, viz.

1.     English compounds

2.     Indian compounds

3.     Hybrid compounds

6.  Other observations are as follows:

a)      Reduplication is done to intensify the meaning

b)      Use of loan words

c)      Code mixing i.e., Indian words are used in English sentence

d)      Code switching i.e., switching from one language to another.

Author observes that the structure of Butler English is simplified and reduced and betrays the confluence of different linguistic traditions.  This does not mean that it is a simple language and when studied as a language in its own right it is a neat work of complexities.  Thus, Butler English with its own limitations reveal about the nature of human interaction through language and man's innate communicative competence.  

Francis Ekka* in his paper "Halbi dissected: A study of language mixture" discusses the Halbi structures in relation to other languages like Marathi, Chhattisgarhi, Bhatri etc. Author is primarily concerned with the examination of direction and extent of language mixture particularly at the morphological and syntactic levels of Halbi.  By language mixture, Author means the incorporation of features from more than one speech.

Author explains that Halbi converges with Marathi, Chhattingarhi and Bhatri either with one language or with combination of two or more languages.  Author also mentions that three directions of convergence are noticed, they are;

1.   Undirectional which exhibit convergence with one language at a time.

2.   Bidirectional which exhibit simultaneous convergence with two languages.

3.   Multidirectional which exhibit simultaneous convergence with more than two languages.

Author concludes his paper with the remarks that the direction of convergence is not confined to one particular language.  Halbi perhaps presents a Koine-Like situation which incorporates features from several varieties of one language family.  It will be useful to compare phonological and lexical components of these languages to substantiate the findings presented in the paper.


* The Editor deeply regrets the sudden demise of Dr. Francis Ekka, Professor cum Deputy Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore in a tragic Bus accident.  

                                            PART III

There is one paper on code mixing by Dr. E. Annamalai.  

India being a multilingual and multi ethnic country has many languages.  According to 1971 census, there are 1652 mother tongues.  According to Vijayanunni "Out of the 400-odd  languages spoken in India, the Census of India publishes the details of 114 (comprising 216 individual languages or mother tongues) which have at the All India level 10,000 or more speakers, which is the minimum strength laid down by the Govt. of India for the publication of data since the 1971census.  The languages with a speaker strength less than 10,000 are shown under `others'.  Of the 114 languages, 18 are included in the Eighth schedule of the constitution and 96 are non-scheduled.  Speakers covered by the scheduled languages constitute 96.29 per cent of the total population and the remaining 3.71 per cent is accounted for by the non-scheduled languages.

            The rate of national average Bilingualism in 1991 is significantly high at 19.44 percent compared to the National average recorded in the previous three census, viz. 1961 (9.7%), 1971 (13.04%) and 1981 (13.34%).

            The National average for Trilingualism which was presented for the first time in the 1991 census is 7.26 per cent.  Out of the 838 million people of India as per the 1991 census (excluding Jammu and Kashmir where the census could not be conducted due to disturbed conditions), 163 million were bilingual (19.44 per cent).  Out of these, 61 million (7.26per cent) were also trilingual i.e. knowing a third language" (For details of the statistics, Readers may refer the full paper of Sri M. Vijayanunni, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, published in Hindu dated 16.7.1999 which is also enclosed as appendix `B'.

            The purpose of my quoting the above statistics is that Education plays an important role in code mixing, similarly, Bilingualism and Trilingualism play an important role in code-mixing.  One can notice that educated men and women freely mix English along with their mother tongue in the conversation with other educated people.

            E. Annamalai in his paper "the language factor in code mixing" discusses the issue of code mixing during conversation.

            Author explains that code mixing is rule governed and that there are three variables must be taken into account in the issue of code mixing: They are:

1. The typology of the language involved in mixing.

2. The psychological relationship of the speaker with the languages involved.

3.The differences in the situations in which the languages are mixed.  

            Hence, the author emphasizes that Linguistic, Psycholiguistic and Socio linguistic variables play an important role in determining the constraints on mixing.

            Author further explains that codes are mixed not only in case of stable or balanced Bilingualism but also in the case of developing Bilingualism as in the language learning situation both formal and informal.  One cannot rule out the role of competence in determining the types of mixing.  Author says that code mixing is done among the Bilingual children also.

            Author concludes his paper with the remarks that "the Data base of studies of code mixing should be extended to cover languages of different types and different situations of Language contact".