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Understanding the Utterances of NDA Cadets: Semantic and Pragmatic Analysis

Publication: Analele Universității „Ovidius” din Constanța. Seria Filologie, XXII (1), p. 147-160
Publisher:Ovidius University Press
Abstract:The official language of the Indian Armed Forces is English. Otherwise Hindi connects the officers and personnel from the different parts of India. As the cultural ethos of (wo) men-in- uniform is quite different from that of the civilian community, the dialect of their language repertoire also varies. The language of the Armed Forces, which is an abounding site for a sociolinguistic investigation, has received little attention from linguistic studies. In the present paper, I have tried to analyze the ‘utterances’ of the cadets of National Defence Academy [NDA], Khadakwasla, Pune (India). Based on the data collected during April 2004 to Oct 2007, the study explores the nature of cadets’ use of language on the campus. The cadets’ language, popularly known as the 'NDA lingo' at the Academy, exhibits a typical linguistic behavior of the Armed Forces. The register of the NDA lingo– marked by the economy of language, deviation from the general conversational practices, code-mixing, word blending and clipping, etc.,– reflects the cadets’ way of life: their regimental lives, the relationship between senior and junior cadets, their socio-psychological make-up, play with language, management of time, etc. Largely derived from English and partly from Hindi, the NDA lingo is slightly unintelligible to outsiders. The First Term cadets take almost four to five months to acquire a pragmatic competence of the lingo.
Key words:cadets, NDA lingo, Armed Forces register, semantics, code-mixing
Language: English

Citations to this publication: 0

References in this publication: 1

33William LabovSociolinguistic PatternsUniversity of Pennsylvania Press; Blackwell1972

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