I have read with great interest • Dr. R. S. Pathak's work on 'The Phonetics of Bagheli. It provides valuable information about the phonetic and phonological patterns of a dialect of Hindi and which not many reliable studies were available. The book is very well written and is the result or a careful phonetic anlysis." Prof. R. K. BANSAL Central Institute of English Et Foreign Languages, Hyderabad.
"I have read through Dr. Pathak's work great care and interest. I find it a very useful piece of research, tightly organized and excellently presented. It is very thorough in presenting a scientific picture of the Bagheli sound system and intonatian. I have great pleasure in recommending it." Prof. BH. KRISHNAMURTI Osmania University, Hyderabad.
"Your masterly erticle in IL Vol. 38 (on 'The Intonation of Bagheli')... has furthered my dreams of a pho-netic phonolegical atmosphere in this country, which, at presenr is definitely barren. Best wishes for progress in this field." Prof. SIDDHESHWAR VARMA
After a uniformly brilliant academic careef, Dr. R S Pathak obstained the degree of Ph.D. from the University of Saugar in 1971. He also holns a Postgraduate Diploma in the Teaching of English from the Central Institute or English Et Foreign Languages, Hyderabad and a Master's degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Wales. He was selected as a UGC Fellow and a National Pssociafe, and was awarded the British Council scholarship for higher studies in UK. His present interests, besides the British Literature, are: Linguistics, Stylistics and Comparative Aesthetics. Dr. Pathak has published one books, Oscar Wilde : A Critical Study, and nearly two dozen research papers in reputed journals. Currently he is teaching and guiding research at the University of Saugar.
Dr. R.S. Pathak's book The Phonetics of Bagheli makes a fascinating reading. It presents a detailed phonetic and phonological analysis of a dialect of Eastern Hindi. The marvel of this book lies in the extremely delicate shades of innumerable phonetic elements as correlates, revealing a mas-terly penetration, termed as siitymeloikti in classical Sanskrit and barikabini in Urdu, which is evinced in the Phonotactics of Bagheli (p. 63), for example. The brilliant insight has been particularly actualized by the Nasalization Table (pp. 49-50). Certain other interesting discussions in the books are those on the systematic variations in Bagheli and Awadhi, the use of the `y' and 'w' on-glides in Bagheli, and so on. The chapter on the intonation of Bagheli is by far the most exhaustive and objective.
There are, however, certain issues in this otherwise thorough study which require a fuller treatment. A very novel phenomenon has been listed, viz. the five allophones of /n/ (p. 45), which deserves a detailed investigation. The occurrence in Bagheli of both voiceless h- and h- voiced is interesting, but further investigation would be necessary to ascertain their conditioning factors. The notable phenomenon of the succeeding vowel affecting the pronunciation of stops also demands further research. Similarly, the Hindustani 'c' and 3 described as 'prepalatal affricates', necessitate a verification with statistical data.
I hope the scholars will find the present work a welcome contribution to linguistic research.
The present work is based on my dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Magister in Artibus (Alternative Regulations) of the University of Wales in 1975. It aims at providing a fact-based thorough description of Bagheli, one of the three dialects of Eastern Hindi. In the 1971 Census Language Handbook, Bagheli has been classified as one of the 'important mother tongues' of India. it is spoken today by no less than 7,01,000 people. However, no detailed linguistic study has yet been made on it. Even the few works that refer to it, do not make any significant comments on its phonological aspects and often consider it to be a subdialect of Awadhi, another dialect of Eastern Hindi. An attempt has been made in the present study to discuss the phonology and phonetics of Bagheli in an independent and detailed way.
A detailed introduction to Bagheli, with special reference to its names, area, speakers, linguistic boundary and status, is presented in Chapter I, and a brief account is given of its regional, social and stylistic variations. At the end of the chapter, the earlier work done on Bagheli is briefly reviewed, and the methodological procedure adopted for the present study is out-lined. Chapter II discusses the consonants of Bagheli along with the phonotactic possibilities of the dialect. In Chapter III, the pure vowels, diphthongs, nasalized vowels and the 'coloured' allophones of the vowels are analysed. The last chapter, i.e. Chapter IV, considers (for the first time) the intonation of Bagheli in a systematic way.
Bagheli, as said earlier, like many other Indian dialects, has received only scant attention so far. Speaking of Hindi and its dialects, Vladimir Miltner (cf. Sebeok, 1969 : 70) remarks : "On the whole, the linguistic research of the Hindi language cannot boast of any particular new theoretical approach . . . the grammatical treatises on Hindi lack any scientific coherence .. [and] the absolute majority of the students of Hindi pre-tend not to notice the development of modern linguistic methods; this is why their works cannot play a more important role in the sphere of general linguistics and remain confined to the narrow circle of Indologists." Although the state of affairs has considerably improved from what it was in 1969, when this comment was made, yet there is still a significant quantum of truth in this criticism. The present study, however, is a humble attempt to present the description of an important dialect of Hindi in as objective and scientific a way as possible. To verify and formulate observations about the sound system of Bagheli, experiments were carried out with a sound spectrograph, an electroky mograph and a pitch meter. Some of the areas investigated instrumentally are : the general characteristics of the stops, precise phonetic quality of the lateral sound in different environments, strength and duration of nasalization in various phonetic contexts, duration of the consonants, pure vowels and diphthongs, and the characteristic formant frequencies of the pure vowels of Bagheli.
The entire treatment of the intonation contours of Bagheli is based on extraction with a pitch meter. In the present study, the analysis has been buttressed by theoretical discussions where desirable. The general approach has been allophonic with a view to throwing light on certain hitherto unnoticed phonetic features of the dialect. During the course of the present work, I have been helped and encouraged by various persons, to whom I am deeply grateful. In particular, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. R.A.W. Bladon and Professor A.E. Sharp, both of the Department of Linguistics, University College of North Wales, Bangor (UK), for their guidance and encouragement. I am deeply indebted to Dr. R.K. Bansal, Professor and Head of the Department of Phonetics & Spoken English, Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, and Dr. Bh. Krishnamurti, Professor and Head of the Department of Linguistics, Osmania University, Hyderabad, for making certain valuable suggestions for improvement of the present work. For all its shortcomings, however, I alone am responsible.
My sincere thanks are due to Mrs. G. Shukla who worked, in Britain, as an informant for this study, and to all my friends who sent me from here useful materials and information on Bagheli. The staff of the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, also deserve my warmest thanks for their unfailing courtesy and help during my visits to the library.
I express my thanks to the British Council for awarding me a scholarship for studies in Britain, which enabled me to under-take this study. My interest in the study of Bagheli was originally enkindled by my selection as a UGC National Associate, and I take this opportunity to record my gratefulness to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi. I am also thankful to the UGC for: subsidizing the publication of this book and to the Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa, for making me the financial assistance available.
Lastly, I am thankful to Mr. K.L. Malik, Managing Director, National Publishing House, New Delhi, for bringing out this work with rare excellence.
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