Volume 2 Number 11 November 2016

The Consequences of Language Contact on the Sociolinguistic Situation of Kurukh in Jharkhand: A Case Study of Mandar Region

Authors: Ibrahim Al Huri ; Mayank Ranjan
Pages: 121-130
India, as well-known to all, is the home of diversity; linguistic, cultural, religious, and social diversity. All these aspects are interwoven together making India a vibrant nation promoting the impeccable idea of "unity in diversity". As a multilingual nation, the study of language contact, where hundreds of different languages are in a constant negotiation, provides an appropriate zone for investigating the language interaction and the sociolinguistic consequences resulting from such process. This paper casts the light on the Kurukh’s contact with Hindi and Sadri, being the languages spoken in the area under scrutiny, tracing the sociolinguistic consequences of this interaction through studying a sample of these tribes residing in Mandar area. It also seeks to find out the sociolinguistic status quo of Kurukh and its status among its speakers through considering the contexts and situations in which both Hindi and Kurukh are used. It has been reported that Hindi, Sadri, and Kurukh are used exchangeably in a complementary distribution. Kurukh is spoken in some certain domains; at home, talking with friends of the same speech community, and in-group occasions when they come together to celebrate their religious festivals or any other social occasions whereas Hindi and Sadri are used for conversing with people of other speech communities or when they are in the presence of out-group people. On the other hand, the children receive their education in Hindi-medium schools and some of them in that of English-medium. In the school context, the students of Kurukh background avoid using their mother tongue even when they talk to each other lest to be mocked at or stigmatized by their friends and classmates who do not understand their language. This linguistic behavior of the young generation puts the Kurukh language at stake and jeopardizes the linguistic identity of its speakers as the time goes by.