The Vernacular: Three Essays on an Ambivalent Concept and its Uses in South Asia

Harder, Hans ; Zaidi, Nishat ; Tschacher, Torsten

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In South Asia, and particularly in India, the "vernacular" is a key notion in descriptions of the linguistic set-up of the subcontinent. Much criticised and yet frequently used, in today's parlance "vernacular" usually denotes a collective of South Asian languages as opposed to English. Some ambivalence inheres in the term due to its etymology and legacy; but despite certain negative associations, the term has recently undergone a positive re-evalution in various academic fields related to South Asia and beyond. Various scholars have engaged with the notion of the "vernacular", but so far, no concerted effort has been made to investigate the "vernacular" and its South Asia-related uses critically across various temporal and regional contexts. The essays at hand venture out as a first step in this direction by outlining the etymology, uses and problematics of the concept, its history and politics in colonial and postcolonial South Asia, as well as its role in formulating a particular sort of aesthetics.

Document type: Book
Publisher: FID4SA-Repository
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date: 2022
Version: Primary publication
Edition: 1. edition
Date Deposited: 13 May 2022 07:21
Number of Pages: 85
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Other languages
Controlled Keywords: Südasien, Volkssprache, Sprachpolitik
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vernakularität, Südasiatische Sprachen, Kolonialismus, Indisches Englisch, Sprachideologien, Sprachpolitik, Vernakulare Ästhetik / Vernacularity, South Asian languages, colonialism, Indian English, language ideologies, language politics, vernacular aesthetics
Subject (classification): Literature
Countries/Regions: India
Series: Themen > Working Papers in Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures
Volume: 5