Ideological Evaluation of Practicing Hybrid Bangla

Author: A R M Mostafizar Rahman (Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore, Singapore and English Discipline, Khulna University, Bangladesh)
Speaker: A R M Mostafizar Rahman
Topic: Language Ideologies
CALA 2020 General Session


There are popular media claims that young adults hybridize Bangla with other languages such as English and Hindi, and this hybridization is said to pollute Bangla (Bosu, 2019; Islam, 2012; Saha, 2019). Such claims are, however, yet to be explored empirically and thus, this paper investigates: What are the speaker’s ideologies about hybridization of Bangla in Bangladesh? How do the linguistic ecology of the country, globalization, and superdiversity contribute in (re)shaping their ideologies about hybridization of Bangla?

The paper aims at exploring ideologies about hybridization of Bangla in Bangladesh. The investigation is based on the conceptual framework of globalization and superdiversity in which languages are seen in motion and thus, people are found to violate rules of linguistic monocentrism and bring about complexity and unpredictability in their linguistic practices since their linguistic repertoires turn into complex and dynamic in polycentricism (Blommaert, 2013; Blommaert & Backus, 2013; Vertovec, 2006; 2007). Analysing TV talk-show discourse, urban linguistic landscapes, and responses of the professionals obtained through semi-structured interviews, the paper finds that hybridization of Bangla has become a commonplace linguistic practice and habitus. Respondents are found to show no reservation about hybridization of Bangla asserting that such hybridization is not new and aberrant, rather it is part of the evolution of Bangla. The paper claims that such ideologies could be attributed to the linguistic ecology, globalization, and superdiversity.

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Keywords: Language hybridization, ideologies, globalization, superdiversity, language ecology