“Modern Linguistics: An Obituary”

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

Linguistics Today, Vol. III, No.1, pp. 57-81, 1999

Abstract: 
It is obvious enough as per title of the paper, it may be assumed that I am going to write a paper not to praise “modern” linguistics but to bury it. However, in my culture, to which I once belonged to, there is no concept of burial of a deceased body, instead it is being burnt after the death with a belief that though the corporal body has been destroyed, the trace of the soul remains and the “soul” is constructed by the internalization of others’ threat and violence. On the other hand, in case of burial, the concept of which I have colonially derived from other cultures, body and soul both remain, though the body is gradually decaying under the closed universe of the coffin. That is, though the body is put under erasure, the trace must be out there in the physical world. 

However, in our culture, the body is erased totally and the trace of the soul remains.

However, instigated by modern science, I do not venture into these types of cultural discourses as I have pledged my body so that it can be utilized for humankind after my death. So, I will leave my physical trace1 in this world, though there will be no trace of my soul, the concept of which is “unscientific”. With this new scientific culture, I am supposed to help “truth-seekers” (doctors, who will dissect my body) to investigate on my body for developing the future healing system for the humankind as well as to help handicapped human beings.

According to the “modern” scientific method, formal inquiry begins when the human subject is dead. Though in the modern system of pathological investigation, human subject in a laboratory is thoroughly and formally investigated to understand the distortion in the body, the modern lab-system has metamorphosed the human as a de-human by objectifying “it.” This technological control over the body under the purview of modern science creates a “Ulysses Syndrome”, in which the human subject like Ulysses, does not return to the position, after pathological test, from where s/he has started. In this connection, I cannot help but quote Lakatos (1976:3).

We the pupils of Vesalius, as modern scientists follow the same footsteps by analyzing formally as well as metamathematically the human corporeal by treating them as dead bodies. This paper is not an exception — it also FORMALizes the concept of context-free creative speaking subject by making “it” context-sensitive. Thus, one of the goals of “modern” reductionist science that reduces human to a de-human will be problematized in this paper.

This paper switches over to the third revolution in linguistics: Grammatology.

 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: speaking subject in a laboratory-state, crippled creativity

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