Bangla Numerals and Problems of Computability

In this paper, the author tried to depict some non-deterministic and uncertain phenomena revealed in expression of Bangla numerals. The points of arguments are as follows: 1. Human quantification is partly or fully different from analyst’s rigorous quantification. 2. The following corpus from Bangla has a peculiar nature of non-componentiality or they are rather prototypical. This prototypical nature of fuzzy numerals cannot be handled in computational framework or even in the LF. 
The first set of data deals with idiomatic expressions like: 1. Sat-paMc Seven-five “pros and cons”; 2. nOy-chOy nine-six “topsy-turvy”; 3. unis-biS, nineteen-twenty “trifle difference” jaHa bahanno taHay tippanno. 5. Whatever is fifty-two, that is fifty-three (i.e. 52=53) “A trifle difference does not count.” 
The second problem may be termed as “one is not equal to one” problem. A rule of “one deletion” was proposed by Dasgupta (1987).5 dokanduTo shop-two-classifier. 6. dokanTa shop-singular-classifier. Obviously, “one” is deleted in 6. However, Dasgupta mentioned that ‘one deletion’ is not true in the cases like 7. jOlTa, Water-classifier or 8. telTa oil-classifier. In Bangla, one cannot say 9. *EkTa jOl ‘One-classifier Oil” However, there are some pragmatic cases where such expressions like 9 is possible. The Speaking subject’s perception may still be “one” in those cases– it is ‘one’ as a unit–this is not a deterministic physical ‘one’, but one as a whole. When any Bangla speaker says, 10. phrij theke jOlTa ano. fridge from water-classifier bring “Bring water from the fridge.”, his/her intention is to refer “one bottle of water”. Therefore, ‘one” is there in the D-structure, but it is a fuzzy one. The concept of this fuzzy “one” can be further illustrated in the following movement-transformations, where deterministic numeral expressions are changed to non-deterministic Determiner Phrases: 
11.a) paMcTa five-classifier (definite) 
11.b) goTa paMcek classifier( indef. ) five-one “more or less five ” 
12.a) paMcjon five-classifier (definite) 
12.b) jona paMcek classifier( indef. ) five-one “more or less five ” 
13.a) paMckhana five-classifier 
13.b) khan paMcek ,classifier( indef. ) five-one “more or less five ” 
14.a) paMc Hajar “five thousand” 
14. b) Hajar paMcek thousand five-one. “more or less five thousand” 
15.a) paMc lakh, five lacs 
15.b) lakh paMcek lacs five-one “more or less five lacs” 
Examples like 11-15 show those deterministic expressions in (a) and non-deterministic expressions in (b). Compared to (a), examples in (b) show the fronting of classifiers with subsequent morphophonemic change and an addition of /ek/ “one” to the specific numeral x. This one is not deterministic +-1, but this “one” has a range more or less than +- 1. 
These Bangla numeral expressions show the world-views of the community concerned with a special reference to their psychophysical way of looking at things (perception) and ways of making order of things (understanding). Therefore, it is a hermeneutic problem that involves the relative gap between human perception and understanding in relation to habitat. The range of +-1 is different in different persons belonging to different socio-economic classes or even it may be different in a single person in different psychosocial context.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Patiala. 8-10 January, 1999
Publication Info: 2nd. International Conference on South Asian Languages,

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
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