Archaeology of Bangla Grammar (Ph.D. Synopsis)
Indian Statistical Institute
April 17, 1998
1998. ‘Archaeology of Bangla Grammar (Ph.D.Synopsis)’ Udayan-I (pp.1-2) Centre for Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies.Central University of Hyderabad. Bangla Version: 1996. baNla bEkarOner protnotOtto. Mityra Roy, Arpita ed. Pratiphalan.. No. 3. March’96. Kolkata (pp.1-6)
This dissertation is on the ‘origin’ and ‘development’ or constitution of an object called ‘Bangla Grammar’, though all the epistemes within the single quote were questioned in this narrative, i.e., two signifies (they are ultimately signifiers) involved in this project (‘Bangla’ and ‘Grammar’) were also scrutinized. The problematic questions, which were
A. What is this metaphysical totality called ‘Bangla’? What were its changing (diachronic) geo-political boundaries? Who, based on certain allegedly defined homogenous modular form, are imagined within ‘our’ nation, and who are the ‘outsider’? This question triggers the inclusion-exclusion factor of the imagined nation.
B. Are the ‘insiders’ of this nation homogenous complex? The mediators (in this case, Language Managers, Language Judges and Language Police of colonized civil society) of the civil society were trying to homogenize them by standardizing, appropriating, codifying, grammaticalizing one selected variety (religious or linguistic) for the sake of one metaphysical umbrella called ‘Bangla’. Here comes the question of standardization and grammaticalization of chosen module. Inside ‘others’ (the constructs like ‘dialects’, ‘folk-language’) were to be considered under such standard grammatical module.
C. Is such standard grammatical/sastrika module a classic language? Searching (constructed) classical heritage entails enumerated and fantastic deterministic history and a retrospective tribute to the predecessors, by whom the private property of the selected module was to be transmitted to the inheritors, the present inhabitants of the nation.
The whole project of projecting A, B, C needs institutional managerial system within the civil society – where a group of, language – judges (grammarians),language – managers (language policy makers) and language polices (teachers of Ideological State Apparatuses) were operating to control and appropriate a chosen “good” language. They were engaged in building an ‘Autonomous History’ or an ‘Autonomous Grammar’ simultaneously as there was a growing need for national identity (the imagination of which was a colonial derivative) among the elite in the context of 19 C Industrial Capitalism. The whole hi(story) of such institutionalization of language-selection and grammaticalization of the selected variety was narrated in the dissertation in the context of colonial period of Bangla.
This thesis argues that the discursive formation of Bangla grammars, the categoremes of grammar, order of things – all of them reflect the colonial statist constitution as well as domestic order of things in a form of hierarchical taxonomy. In the hybrid space of a colony, the categories of grammar were epistemologically amalgamated – some categoremes were borrowed from donor Sahibs’ domain and some were from Classical Sanskrit Grammar, which was also donating in the formation of Linguistics. Thus, epistemological amalgamation was a certain kind of reciprocal role-reversal of donor-receptor. Lastly, a question was raised on the utility of grammar in the pedagogical purpose. If we can create infinite set of sentences out of finite sets of words, why should we endorse something, which is nothing but meta-symbolic order (grammar) over the symbolic order of language? The concept of Anti-grammar (=GrammEr) was proposed with a goal to achieve ideology of deschooling. Anti-grammar is a biologically constituted
algorithm/scheme for language. However, this biological competence was also questioned
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Keywords: epistemological amalgamation, triglossia, pracalit, anti-grammar/grammEr, crippled creativity, allocurriculame