Karachi weds Lahore
The performance of ethnolinguistic identities in Pakistani TV comedy
This paper investigates the mixing of Urdu and Punjabi language elements in a comic television serial – Larka Karachi Ka Kuri Lahore Di – that aired during the month of Ramzan (Urdu for Ramadan) in 2012. The serial features exaggerated depictions of a Punjabi Lahori family and a muhajir (Urdu-speaking) Karachiite family. Of particular interest is the way marked phonological features and lexical items are deployed to highlight panjabiyat (‘Punjabi-ness’). This study explores relationships between the humorous performance of language mixing and language ideologies in Pakistan. Even in places where panjabiyat is strongly emphasized, the lexico-grammatical choices made by the characters still render the language maximally understandable to an Urdu-speaking (rather than Punjabi-speaking) audience. Using theories of ‘mixed language,’ this study seeks to address the importance and implications of these ways of performing ethnolinguistic identity.
Keywords: language ideologies, language contact, language mixing, language and media, Pakistani television, Urdu, Punjabi
This article is currently available as a sample article.
Published online: 25 April 2017
Hill, Jane H.
Lippi-Green, Rosina[ p. 37 ]
Popp, Richard K.