Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An academic studyof IIT-M lingo

[The] research conducted by me -- a phirang or alien, nonmale, graduate student, who was a teacher for most of the students she knows in insti and who does not speak Indian English, let alone the lingo - is certainly limited. Junta will not speak in the lingo to me as neutral English is more prestigious outside the in-group. Furthermore, hardly anybody will disclose knowledge on taboo topics, such as pondy or ganja, to me. [...]

... There are borrowings from different Indian languages and American or British slang, derivations from, shortenings and semantic changes of English words, and grammatical peculiarities. Here are a few examples:

Borrowings: He chumma pains people.
Derivations: Food in 'mega mess' is cuppax.
Shortenings: [...] today there is this big hit movie in OAT
Semantic changes: The prof just raped us.
Grammatical peculiarities: I had to put fight.

The thesis in linguistics was done by Evelyn Richter for her masters. A short summary of the work, by the thesis author herself, is here. And, of course, the full thesis -- all of 102 pages and in English -- can be downloaded from here (pdf).

Thanks to IIT-M alumnus and my colleague in Computer Science, Jayant Haritsa , for the pointer.

* * *

Here's an interesting piece of trivia (in bold emphasis) from Richter's article: "Approximately 90% thereof are male students, 45% are undergraduates aged between 17 and 22, and circa 60% come from Andhra Pradesh".


  1. Anonymous said...

    Here's a not so academic, but just as informative, take on the IIT-M lingo:

    That blogger and me have first hand knowledge of the lingo, in spite of note being from the insti :)

  2. Abi said...

    Hi, Shrikant. Thanks for that great link!

  3. Anonymous said...

    shrik -- How come :-)?