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Shaping Nativization? Indian English and Raja Rao’s Kanthapura

Keywords: Raja Rao , Kanthapura , Indian English , Nativization , Code-Mixing , Braj Kachru

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Taking Raja Rao at his word that Kanthapura (1938) was not merely a literary work, but a blueprint for linguistic change in India, this study compares the version of Indian English (IE) that Rao created for his book, first with the IE of his day, in order to understand his dispute with it, and second with the IE of this day, in order to determine the success or failure of Rao’s venture. It concludes that, rather than effecting an aesthetic marriage between Englishness and Indianness in the IE of modern speakers, Rao’s literary dialect has had no influence on present day IE. Instead, speakers of modern IE use a strategy of simple alternation or code-mixing.


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