In spite of the fact that Linguistics has been taught in Indian Universities over a period of fifty years and it occupied an important place in the research activities and academic exercises, we mostly follow the Western models and textbooks for teaching purposes. Books and articles written on Indian models, dealing with the concerned regional languages by the Indian authors (in English or in Indian languages) are seldom available and used. A book like this will help the teachers, students and researchers in this direction.
It is with immense pleasure and privilege, I present the book "Studies in Linguistics" consisting of eleven invited papers to felicitate Prof. T.B.Venugopala Panicker, a scholar, teacher, my Guru and colleague who is retiring from the Calicut University service on the 31st March, 2006.
In spite of the fact that linguistics has been taught in Indian Universities over a period of fifty years and it occupied an important place in the research activities and academic exercises, we mostly follow the western models and textbooks for teaching purposes. Books and articles written on Indian models, dealing with the concerned regional languages by the Indian authors (in English or in Indian languages) are seldom available and used. A book like this may help, I hope, at least in a little way to teachers, students and researchers.
S.V.Shanmugam's paper "Traditional Grammar and Historical Linguistics" deals with the different possibilities of using the traditional grammar as source material for writing the history of language with reference to Tamil. He argues that we have to reinterpret the traditional grammars on the basis of the three aspects, viz. theoretical changes, structural changes and sociolinguistic changes. In A.Kamatchi's paper on 'Tolkappiyam and Early Tamil-Brahmi' he tries to argue that the period of Tolka:ppiar, which has all along been assigned differently by different scholars, could only be later than 1st century AD. By corroborating the epigraphical evidences with the internal evidences available in Tolka:ppiyam, he proves that the period of Tolka:ppiyar cannot be before or the contemporary period of the early Tamil Brahmi inscription. R.Kothandaraman in his paper 'Imperatives in Malayalam' takes one of the salient features of Malayalam in which he concludes that the Malayalam 'vin' is not related to Tamil 'min'. He also advocates to take up the negative imperatives of Malayalam for further research.
In the paper Sanskrit in Contemporary India "Evolution and Status", C.Rajendran deals elaborately with the position of Sanskrit in India at different points of time in India. He claims that Sanskrit functioned as lingua franca in ancient India; it existed as the language of the intelligentsia; it was used as a vehicle of traditional knowledge. He concludes that the best minds in India should be given opportunity to learn Sanskrit as an integral part of their studies. Of subjects and other subjects by P. Madhavan questions the necessity of the finiteness of the verb in the definition of clause in English. By citing several examples, he argues that since predicate is a semantic notion, there is no necessity to bring the finiteness into clause which is a syntactic aspect.
G.Balasubramanian takes the auxiliary verb system of Tamil and Malayalam for contrastive study in his paper "A Contrastive Study of the Auxiliary Verbs of Tamil and Malayalam: vitu and kala". In this paper he finds out that there are shared semantic and syntactic features between vitu and kala, there are differences too. In the paper 'Linguistics and Developments in Language Teaching', V.Saratchandran Nair surveys the different schools of thought in language teaching and shows how the focus of attention was shifted over the period as the language teaching theories changed. N.Rajasekaran Nair in his paper 'Teaching Malayalam as a First Language in Tamilnadu Schools: Translational Problems in Textbooks' analyses the school textbooks of social sciences followed in Tamilnadu schools. He brings out many examples to show how the translations are inappropriate and misleading.
T.B.Venugopala Panicker in his article, 'Phonetics of Malayali's English' enumerates the areas of differences in the pronunciation of English by Malayalis. The rhythm of English is not strictly followed since the stress pattern in English may be difficult to observe. He concludes that there are inferences of the phonetic habits of Malayalam in Malayali's English. C. Shunmugom takes up one aspect of language technology in his paper 'Creation of Corpus- Based Machine Dictionaries'. He outlines the recent developments in the subject with much illustrations. The interface between linguistics and literature is attempted by T.B.Venugopala Panicker in his paper 'Language and Social Bias: On a Metaphor in Kumaran Asan's Poem'. He enlightens that even Kumaran Asan is not free from using certain expressions like paraya which is against his declared ideals.
I express my gratitude to C J. George, P. Somanadhan and V. Jayesh for their help in bringing out this volume. I also appreciate and thank the Publication Officer P. V. Valsarajan for his keen interest and Omprakash. V for his cooperation to see that this volume comes out in time.
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