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Volume 7 Number 2, Summer 2010, Pages 1-359   


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Nativized Varieties of English and the Linguistic Identity: A Case of Indian English Speakers

    Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan


The use of the English language varies considerably all over the world: as a foreign language in some places, but as a nativized and a primary second language in others. This global variation in the use and standing of English in communities and regions can impact the linguistic identity of English speakers in those places. The present study investigated the intricate role of a nativized variety of English in the linguistic identity construction of multilingual and multiliterate persons. The study, a dual case study per se, aimed at the comprehensibility of South Asian nativized varieties of English in general, and the role of English in ethnically and linguistically diverse Indian society in particular. The two participants were speakers of Indian English. The results substantiated the fact that language and identity are two closely related social factors. The English language was an integral part of the participants' linguistic identities and manifested itself in a number of ways with regard to their social identity and patterns of socialization. Thus, identities are multiple and people are capable of constructing as well as reconstructing multiple identities within and across Discourses.

Keywords: Bilingualism, Nativized varieties, Linguistic identity, Indian English, Stable Bilingualism, English in South Asia