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Fiji Hindi in Fiji

Shameem, Nikhat (2018) Fiji Hindi in Fiji. In: Heritage Language Policies around the World. Routledge, NY, London. ISBN 9780367414719

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Fiji Hindi (FH), which developed as a result of plantation contact during the indenture period (1870–1920), is identified by about 37.5% of Fiji’s total popu- lation and by a considerable diasporic Indo-Fijian population as their mother tongue (Fiji Bureau of Statistics, 2007; Mangubhai & Mugler, 2006, p. 97). Although this speech community perceives FH as its heritage language, an iden- tifiable generic term has never been adopted to describe this or any other herit- age language in Fiji.1 FH is the language of girmitya descendants – indentured laborers brought to Fiji by the British to work on sugar and cotton plantations from 1870 to 1920.2 The absence of a label for heritage languages is not unique to Fiji. The defi- nition changes from place to place, differing with community power, language proficiency, and individual heritage (see Fishman, 2001). Hornberger and Wang (2008) define heritage language users as individuals with familial or ancestral ties to a language other than English who exercise their agency in classifying them- selves as users of a heritage language. They state that this determines how these individuals negotiate their identity with other dominant cultures and standard languages they come into contact with (Hornberger & Wang, 2008, p. 6). The critical aspect of this definition requires self-selective membership of the heritage language community.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE)
Depositing User: Nikhat Shameem
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 23:35
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 23:35

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