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Indian English

Sailaja Pingali

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (PDF) i

This book is a descriptive account of English as it is used in India. Indian English is a second language to most of its speakers. In its 400-year history it has acquired its own character, yet still looks to native varieties of English for norms. The complex nature of Indian English, which is not really a monolithic entity, is discussed in this book. The book also makes a distinction between what are considered to be standard and non-standard varieties, and provides an overview of the salient features.

Indian English includes:

  • A discussion of the sociolinguistic and cultural factors
  • The history of the establishment of English in India, bringing it up to modern times
  • A description of the linguistic aspects: phonetics and phonology, lexical, discourse and morphosyntactic features
  • Samples of written English from a range of contexts
  • Samples of speech
  • An annotated bibliography divided according to topic.


1. Introduction
2. Phonetics and Phonology
3. Morphosyntax
4. Lexis and Discourse
5. History, and Changes in Progress
6. Survey of Previous Work and Annotated Bibliography
7. Sample Texts.

About the Author

Pingali Sailaja is Professor, Department of English, University of Hyderabad, India.


In sum this is a highly recommendable book for anybody looking for an easy-to-read introduction to Indian English or who is interested in post-colonial varieties of English in general... Apart from being recommended for individual students or interested laypersons, this book is also eminently useful for classroom use at the undergraduate level.
- Marco Schilk, Justus Liebig Universität Giessen, English Language and Linguistics
This slim volume represents a valuable overview of the features, history and status of Indian English.
- David Deterding, University of Brunei Darusallam, Journal of Sociolinguistics
This book presents a well-written description of English used in India. 'Indian English' is undoubtedly a must-have textbook for newcomers to this area of study. It is also accessible to people outside of linguistics due to its clear and basic approach to the topic and limited use of technical vocabulary.
- Somdev Kar, LINGUIST list

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