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India a land of diverse languages

India is the home of a very large number of languages. In fact, so many languages and dialects are spoken in our country that it is often described as a ‘museum of languages’. The language diversity is by all means baffling. In popular parlance it is often described as ‘linguistic pluralism’. But this may not be a correct description. The prevailing situation in the country is not pluralistic but that of a continuum. One dialect merges into the other almost imperceptibly; one language replaces the other almost gradually. Moreover, along the line of contact between two languages, there is a zone of transition in which people are bilingual.

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