• Shakil Rabbi deposited The global translinguistics of Bengali Muslims in the group Group logo of TC Postcolonial StudiesTC Postcolonial Studies on MLA Commons 1 week, 3 days ago

    This chapter presents a discussion of a literary genre called puthis, a premodern tradition of religious stories and plays in what is now Bangladesh, as an example of vernacular cosmopolitanism in an Asian context. The language of this genre, called Dubasha, is a “mixed language mode” (Seely 2008) characterized by the replacement of Sanskrit vocabulary – tatsamas – with Persian and Arabic. Such replacement creates heteroglossic utterances indexing its Islamic character and popularizing purpose. Sanskrit lexicon and the tatsama register are eschewed in the genre, I argue, because of rhetorical and religious reasons even though they represent the sadhu bhasa – the literate register – associated with local literary tradition. The heteroglossic feature of this genre functions to constitute the umma – the Islamic community of believers – and to communicate an Islamic cosmology to the converted Muslim population. The chapter ends with an argument of what can be learned about language as a social and rhetorical resource from this premodern tradition of global translinguistics practiced in Asia.