CEERES Event: “Sociolinguistic Implications of Writing One Language with Two Scripts,” Daniel Bunčić, April 12

April 12, 2010 (Monday).  Daniel Bunčić (University of Tübingen), “Sociolinguistic Implications of Writing One Language with Two Scripts.”  Franke Institute (in the Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th Street); 4:30pm

Paper Abstract: So far linguists have only sporadically reported about a phenomenon variously called digraphia, bigraphism, multiscriptality, multialphabetism etc., where one language is written with two (or more) scripts (or orthographies). Among the most frequently mentioned examples of this are Serbian (which is written in both Cyrillic and Latin letters), Hindi-Urdu (Devanagari and Arabic), Chinese (Hanzi and Pinyin), Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana and sometimes Latin letters), older German (blackletter and roman type) and Old Norse (runes and Latin alphabet), but dozens more can be found in the literature. However, at a second glance all these sociolinguistic situations are so different that they can hardly be subsumed under a single cover term. Therefore I will try to offer instruments for a more detailed classification, drawing analogies to such well-known concepts as diglossia, bilingualism and pluricentric languages. The resulting typology will be exemplified, apart from the cases mentioned above, primarily with Slavic material (coming not only from former Yugoslavia but also from Belarus, 18th/19th-century Russia, early modern Poland and Bohemia as well as medieval Novgorod and Bulgaria).

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, the Department of Lingusitics, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

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