“Towards a Praxis of Anti-Grammar.”

Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

 

 

Philosophy and Social Action, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 33-42, 1997
International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, Vol. XXV, No. 1, pp. 126-132, 1997

Abstract: 
‘Instead of criticizing a school-textbook of grammar, better you write one yourself. Why don’t you?’ In my attempt (Bandyopadhyay, 1996) to analyze Bangla grammar written under the British Raj in connection with its different types of discursive formation in relation to non-discursive power practices and its pedagogical aspects, this question is often being raised. On the contrary, apart from my technical-cognitive interest in epistemology and methodology of linguistics, I have no practical interest in writing grammar for school-going children or adolescents either. I have tried to locate the problem of Grammar in the sphere of Bangla school-grammar written under the colonial era. I tried to show the appropriation of mother tongues through the tool ‘grammar’ by means of which the imposition of dominant standard language is possible. Grammar is a ‘tool’ used to manipulate ‘other’ languages for the sake of the Standard Language. In this paper, an attempt was made to show the art of resistance made by some of the Third World Countries on the basis of decolonization of education through deschooling by which the dominant institutionalized control over language could be combated. If there is no behavioral manipulation in the ideological state apparatuses, the question of deschooling never arises for the “betterment of interaction.” It was also attempted here to propose the activist method of overcoming the crippling of linguistic creativity, mainly in the realm of ‘education,’ specifically in the language education in a multilingual country like India following the ‘Des-chooling’ of Ivan lllich (1972) and the concept of (fourth) theatre as proposed by Paulo Freire. The Ekalavya-experiment on mother-tongue education, as it is practiced in Hosengabad, India was also cited here.

As it is an activist method of overthrowing institutionalized oppres¬sion, it is a praxis, not a theory towards the construction of Anti-Grammar, which is a by-product of sub-altern non-collaborative attitude towards hegemonic role of standard language and its grammar by breaking their, as Frire mentioned, ‘culture of silence.’ All these alternatives developed by the people by maintaining their own language trigger the birth of Anti-grammar or GrammEr.’ This new grammEr of tolerant rationality (opposed to violent technical rationality) is in opposition with the model of prescriptive grammar and hence it is an Anti-grammar, which is within the body of speaking subjects. As Cricket-bowlers like Kapil Dev or Walsh do not need to know the rules of Aerodynamics to swing the ball, so also language-learners do not need to know the fragmented rules of grammar to distort the Gestalt effect of language as a whole. Anti-grammar is equivalent to grammEr. The purpose of choosing these misspellings is to attest the perception of students and to represent their consciousness, which is antithetical to the existing form of grammar-education. This ‘anti-grammar=grammEr’ comes out from the deschooling, third/fourth theatre etc.

 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Third & Fourth Theatre, De-unschooling Society, Anti-Grammar=GrammEr

Accepted Paper Series

About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
Link | This entry was posted in Academic Papers & Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s