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Uma Pradhan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 79-108

Print Length

29 pages

3. Transforming Language to Script: Constructing Linguistic Authority through Language Contact in Schools in Nepal

This chapter examines the power dynamics – conceptualized as ‘linguistic authority’, using Bourdieu’s theoretical framework – of language contact in education in contemporary Nepal. Nepal’s new policy of Multi-Lingual Education (MLE) is generating new sites and types of language contact; the author describes the adoption of multilingual textbooks in a school in the southern Tarai region. Through the creation of standardized, written scripts of minority languages to use in the textbooks, the legitimate authority of the languages is asserted, leading to recognition from the state and shifts in power relations.