Language Contact and Change: Influence of English on Oriya

By Seemita Mohanty.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Oriya is an Indian language belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is mainly spoken in the Indian state of Orissa. The language is one among the many official languages of India. This paper examines the extent to which English language has influenced Oriya language with special focus on the regular code-switching in conversation practiced among the Oriya speakers.
The language contact situation in India where English coexists with numerous indigenous languages provides the background to my study. The most important aspects to be considered in such situations are the duration of language contact and the nature of relationship which the languages shared between themselves. The language of a people that is looked upon as a centre of power is naturally far more likely to exert a significant influence on other languages spoken in its vicinity than to be influenced by them. The economic and political domination of the British in India has left behind a legacy where English today is looked upon as a language of prestige and opportunity.
The lexical and syntactic characteristics of the utterances of Oriyas speaking in a language that they consider their own would be examined in detail. These expressions include English words, phrases and sentences which have been incorporated into their speech in Oriya resulting in peculiar morphological and syntactic structures in the utterances. It also provides deferring shades of meaning to the utterances which has made conversation easy and smooth.

Keywords: Language Contact, Bilingualism, Oriya Language, Code-switching, Code-mixing

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.131-142. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 774.021KB).

Dr. Seemita Mohanty

Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences., National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Orissa, India

I am an Assistant Professor in English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India, and have almost twelve years of teaching and research experience. My research interests include Indian English literature, English Language Teaching and linguistics. I also translate from Oriya into English.

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