18-DEC-2017: Department of Linguistics begins course on ?Languages Endangerment and Allied Topics?
Aligarh, December 18: In a one-week Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) course on ?Languages Endangerment and Allied Topics? organised by the Department of Linguistics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore; noted scholars from India and the world will present some of the main work in progress in bio-linguistics to the participants from across the country.
The inaugural function of the programme was held at the Conference Hall, Faculty of Social Sciences.
While delivering the key-note address, British scholar and author, Professor Nicholas Ostler, who is also the chairman of the Foundation for Endangered Languages pointed out, ?experts estimate that over half of the six to seven thousand spoken languages will become extinct by the year 2100, and the vast majority of languages have fewer than 10,000 native speakers left.?
He added that English is considered as the global lingua franca, but in the past many other languages had similar functions and enjoyed comparable prestige. ?The ancient and the medieval world had Arabic, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Pali, Persian, Sanskrit and Sogdian as languages used for communication in much of the known world.
Prof Panchanan Mohanty (University of Hyderabad) said that since language death is hardly a new phenomenon, it can be seen that throughout history, some languages have evolved while others have fallen out of use. ?At times, these losses can be attributed to processes of assimilation in an increasingly interconnected globe,? said Prof Mohanty.
He added that that the world needs to make sure that big languages do not threaten the existence of small languages as losing a language also can mean losing crucial knowledge about a linguistic group?s history, culture, or even knowledge about their local environment. ?Linguists and academics, who recognise the value of dying languages, have to work very hard to preserve dying languages with the use of modern technology,? said Prof Mohanty.
Prof Mohd Zahid (Dean, Faculty of Arts) said that in recent years, interest in protecting endangered languages has surged and scholars around the world are working and researching on why language loss occurs and which languages are on the risk of potential endangerment.
Prof S Imtiaz Hasnain said that each language irrespective of being spoken by a large number of people or a smaller group is special. He added that to prevent languages from dying, the world needs to find ways to allow big and small languages to co-exist within a broader modern culture.
Explaining the role of GIAN in higher education, Dr Mohammad Jahangeer Warsi said that it is a scheme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India to garner the best international experience into the Indian system of education. ?GIAN aims at enabling interaction of students and faculty with the best academic and industry experts from all over the world,? said Dr Warsi adding that the scheme connects India?s top institutions and central universities with global faculty.
Prof Massod Ali Beg welcomed the guest speaker, while Dr Nazrin B Laskar conducted the programme. Prof Ali R Fatihi (Chairperson, Department of Linguistics) proposed the vote of thanks. Teachers from various faculties attended the inaugural function.
Students and research scholars from universities across the country have enrolled for the one-week-course.
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