NORTH EAST WINTER SCHOOL OF LINGUISTICS
Organizer: CIIL, Mysore
In collaboration with: NEHU, Shillong & Departments of Linguistics in the NE region
Workshop Series: 21st January-14th February
Venue: North Eastern Hill University, Permanent Campus, Shillong-793 022
The N.E Winter school of linguistics opened on the 21st January 2008, with a big bang from none other else than Pu. T. Aloysius Nehkhojang Evergreen Secretary of Zou Literature Society Manipur who is called Zogam Sakol’ in social circles. He led the assembly with the top of his voice; highest pitch of his vocal cords,he exclaimed aloud the familiar exclamatory words of ‘ KALAISAI’ 3 times and he requested the gathering of more than 200 N.E participants to intone the same with the best sounds of their vocal cords,who followed his exclamations of KALAISAI in childlike manner.
North East India is linguistically a most diverse area which houses over half of the languages listed by the Census of India. The sociolinguistic profile of the eight states in the region offers a wide variety of speech forms and intriguing typology of pluralistic situations.
While a vast majority of the tribal communities are speakers of various sub-groups of Tibeto-Burman languages, there are a substantial number of Indo-Aryan speakers as well and the region is also the home of Khasi language which provides linkages with Mon Khmer and Austro-Asiatic group. In addition, there are ‘unclassified’ languages and lingua franca used in inter-lingual contact situations which are not even documented.
The language use patterns reveal dynamic multilingual repertoires and varieties of speech forms with domain differentiation at times. The differences in status and function of languages have also led to differentiation in development of languages with paucity of authentic written materials although several languages have stable literacy practices and some policy support.
Northeast may also have useful lessons to offer for planners at the national level because some tribal communities here are better empowered and more conscious of their rights.
Presently, The Departments of linguistics and related disciplines in the region have been involved in creating a pool of human resources, but the field situations pose fresh problems that are not always addressed in their theory driven academic courses. There is an absence of dialogue with communities and many a well intentioned move by the communities to resolve the problems posed bears no fruit in the absence of expert advice or inadequate resources. Ad hoc solutions are perpetuated which instead of resolving the problems at times exacerbate the situation. There is a dearth of shared resources and information leading either to duplication of efforts or isolation of ideas.
The resource crunch has led many an able student to drift away from the discipline and seek opportunities elsewhere. Language policies are often ambivalent and linguists have no role in shaping them. The vital role of language development in the development of the people has not been understood nor do linguists know how to lend or shape their products for use by the communities.
The Main Objectives of this Winter School of Linguistics were to address the issues raised above and to involve the people of the region in description, documentation and development of their own languages in responsible and informed ways with the support of national agencies and thereby prepare them to understand and resolve language problems.
The main timetables are given below:-
Lectures & tutorials
22nd Jan-31st Jan
Socio-cultural Aspects of Language:
Shobha Satyanath, Ramakant Agnihotri, R. Sachdeva, K.S. Rajyashree, Pramodini, Ramamoorthy, T.B. Subba, Betholia
22nd Jan-31st Jan
Diachronic Linguistics & Geolinguistics
Kashyap Mankodi, R. Sachdeva, Uma Maheshwar Rao
22nd Jan-6th Feb
Peri Bhaskarrao, Rekha Sharma, Tamuli, Barika
22nd Jan-6th Feb
GDP Sastry, Barika, Pramod Pandey, A.K.Mishra
22nd Jan-14 Feb.
P.P. Giridhar, J. War, Ayesha Kidwai, Dhiren Singha, A.K. Mishra, Surmangol Sharma
6th -14th Feb
Amritavalli, Yashwant Singh, Vijay Dhanwar, Gracious, L. Chhangte, Giridhar, Ayesha Kidwai, Tanmoy Battacharya, Shyamal Das
22nd Jan-6th Feb
Typology & Areal Linguistics:
K.V. Subbarao, Grace, Dhiren Singh, GDP Sastry, J. War
Activities: Workshops/Focus Groups
Field Linguistics: Anvita Abbi, L. Chhangte, Kashyap Mankodi, Bhamati Devi
Tibeto-Burman Linguistics: L. Chhangte, Yashwant Singh, K. Kapfo, Subbarao, Dhiren Singh, Pauthang Haokip, D. Kuolie, Madhumita Barbora, Suhnu Ram Sharma, Yankee Modi, Surmangol Sharma, A.K.Mishra, Shyamal Das
Khasi Language Analysis: J. War, B.War, Saralyn, Grace, Rekha Sharma
Dictionary making/Lexicography: K. Kapfo, Imoba Singh, T.K. Goswami, Krishna Bhattacharya, Lalita Handoo, Surmangol Sharma, Philip Thanglienmang
Language technology: Mallikarjun, Mahesh Kulkarni, Pushpak Bhattacharya
Cultural Documentation: Jennifer Bayer, Winston Cruz, Gail Coelho, Tolkappiyar
Audio recording: Gautam Sukumar, Siddharth, GDP Sastry
Demographic Profiles: B.D. Jayaram, Anjali, Madhubala, S.S. Bhattachrya, Yankee Modi
Participants are drawn from the following categories:
Category A - Research Scholars who have exposure to linguistics
Category B - Officials who are engaged with language development work but have little exposure to linguistics
Category C - Language Consultants/Educated native speakers who have no exposure to linguistics
Category D - Faculty members-CIIL, NORTHEAST, INVITEES, EXPERTS