Dr. Rizwan Ahmad
Department of English Literature & Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor

Ph. D. in linguistics 2007
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

M.A. in linguistics 2005
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

M. Phil. in linguistics 1997
University of Delhi, India

M.A. in linguistics 1995
University of Delhi, India

B.A. (Hons.) in Arabic and linguistics 1993
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India

Research & Publications

As a specialist in sociolinguistics, I am interested in a range of theoretical issues related to the sociopolitical aspects of language, e.g. multilingualism, language policy, language movements, discourse analysis, language and education, and orthography. My primary research interests, however, revolve around the linguistic construction of ethnic, religious, and national identities. In my recent papers, I examine the social and cultural dimensions of script.

Research Interests

Theoretical interests: sociolinguistics, language and ethnic, religious, and national identities, language ideology, multilingualism, language policy, language movements, sociolinguistics of 
orthography, diglossia, and discourse analysis.

Field specialization: South Asia with focus on North India with special reference to Urdu and  Hindi. I am also interested in the sociolinguistics of the Arab World.


In Press. The polyphony of Urdu in postcolonial North India. The Journal of Modern Asian Studies.

2012. Hindi is perfect, Urdu is messy: the discourse of delegitimation of Urdu in India. In Mark Sebba & Jannis Androutsopoulos. Orthography as Social Action: Scripts, Spelling, Identity and Power. pp 103-133. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
2011. Urdu in Devanagari: Changing orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi. Language in Society. 40.3. pp 259-284.
2011. Review of Sedlatschek,  Andreas. 2009. Contemporary Indian English: Variation and change. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. In Language in Society 40 (1). 123-124. 
2010 How do I know you are not a CBI agent?: Examining the identity of researcher in sociolinguistic fieldwork. In Imtiaz Hasnain & Shreesh Chaudhary. Problematizing language studies: Cultural, theoretical, and applied perspectives. pp. 426-435. Delhi: Aakar Books, 2010. 
2008. Scripting a new identity: the battle for Devanagari in nineteenth century India. Journal of Pragmatics. 40.7. pp 1163-1183.
2008. Unpacking indexicality: Urdu in India. In Amy Brown and Josh Iorio: Texas Linguistic Forum. Austin: University of Texas. 2008.pp 1-9. Web. 7 Feb 2011.  

2008. Review of Joseph, John E. 2004. Language and identity: National, ethnic, religious. New York, Palgrave Macmillan. In E-Language.

Popular Writing

2010.  Persian or Arabian Gulf?: Symbolic meanings of names. Al-Watan Daily/International Herald Tribune. Kuwait. March 12, 2010.

2008.  Trading words: Understanding contact between nations. The Kuwait Times. June 24. 

2006.    Old Delhi: A linguistic tapestry. The Milli Gazette. June 1-15, Delhi.  

1997.    Ghalib’s Delhi. The Pioneer. 14 March, 1997 Delhi.  

1996.    Politics of Poetics. The Hindustan Times. 25 August, New Delhi.  

1996.    Linguistic Authoritarianism. The Indian Express. 10 February, Delhi.