”Mahalanobis as a Language-planner”

Download.pdf Download (.pdf)

Sukesh Debnath

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

1996

Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics, Vol. XXII, No. 1, pp. 49-57, 1996

Abstract: 
In this paper, the microanalysis of language was related to the macro problem of language planning as well as economic planning. As language has a statistical structure, planning depends a lot on the linguistic quantification. There is a vast area of research in this field of quantitative linguistics, which is directly linked to Economic Planning and Information theory. THE ARCHIVE When we found a large corpus comprising lexical items with their frequency of occurrences collected from different Bangla texts, written by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and Rabindranath Tagore, in the Linguistic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata (India), it was amazing for us to find out the fact behind this work manually done by booking-posting method. This project was initiated by Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanabis, a well-known Physicist, Statistician and an Economic Planner, in the 1940s. Nikhilesh Bhattacharya, a noted Statistician, in his Ph.D. dissertation (1965) “Some Statistical Studies on Languages”, depicted the objectives of such work: (a) working towards a basic Bangla Primer based on statistical analysis of frequently used lexical items; (b) preparing graded textbooks for children in three different age groups; (c) Statistico-stylistic analysis of representative Bengali authors. It is also to be mentioned that Iswarchandra Vidyasagar, who collected Bangla words with their frequency of occurrences in as early as late 19 C with a view to write a primer, was the first person in India to conceive the idea of Statistical Linguistics and language planning (cf. Musa, 1989 and Vamgiya Sahitya Parisat Patrika, VIII: 2). ECONOMIC PLANNING AND LANGUAGE PLANNING This paper argued that there were also other objectives of this corpus planning, which is ultimately related to Mahalanabis’s economic planning. The second five-year plan (1956-1961) of the Indian Government was envisaged and framed by Mahalanabis. For the purpose of, Mahalanabis emphasized, in his four-sector model, on the theoretical science, education, research and development for the growth of a self-reliant economy. This statistico-stylistic work would ultimately contribute to the morale of Mahalanabis’s closed-door economics as this analysis of linguistic corpus led to the development of indigenous printing technology, communication engineering; and even in the realm of cryptography, this quantified corpus could be utilized. Furthermore, this linguistic corpus would also be helpful for preparing graded primers with a view to eradicate illiteracy. Thus, though at this moment of globalization, Mahalanabis Model is in oblivion, the corpus planning envisaged by him in connection with his economic planning has a deep impact in the realm of self-reliant epistemological thinking and praxis.

Keywords: Economic Planning, Language Planning

Advertisements

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