Two Phonological Changes in Indo-Aryan

Two phonological processes (?) that are widely used in Indo-Atyan philology, viz, Compensatory Lengthening (CL) and deaspiration (D) are problematic concepts at least in the context of describing the ‘development’ of Bangla language. In the case of CL, the change of [a] >[A] has nothing to do with compensation, rather, it is a substitution of one sound by another. On the other hand, the change of [dh] > [d] is a case of D, but mh> hm > mm/m is not a case of D. It is, of course, a case of h-deletion. Author pointed out that the earlier interpretations of such changes are due to the overemphasis on the writing system and are guided by the memory of cultural system of writing. 

These fallacies were initiated by S.K. Chatterjee and widely followed and taught in linguistics departments in India where Indo-Aryan philology is practiced following the age-old neo-grammarians’ tradition. Consider the following examples of change, generally known as CD: janma >jamma >jAm “birth”; agni > aggi >Ag “fire”, madhya> majjha> mAjh “middle”. 

All these changes are a case substitution of [a] by [A]. The interpretation of [A] as a lengthened form of [a] is the result of a cultural convention of writing. When Bengali children are taught the Bangla script, they learn that /a/(low back vowel ) -e akare A ( low central vowel ), i.e. , as per visual presentation in writing, if you put secondary graphemic symbol of A beside the grapheme a, you will get the grapheme A. However, in the case of this type of substitutional sound change, there is no phonetic or phonological evidence of lengthening per se. 

Let us consider the following examples for the case of so-called D: Chatterjee (1926:441, 1950:160-78) and Sen (1987:183) described the middle Bangla changes like krsna > kanha > kAnay, brahma > bramha > bramma as cases of D like dh > d. However, phonetically speaking, these are not at all a case of deaspiration. These cases show clearly that the h is deleted and there is no question of loss of aspiration. This description of D is guided by an MIA sound change in which one gets dh> h-like changes. Here, dh is substituted by h. I think the memory of Roman script with diagraph leads to such non-phonetic description of sounds of Bangla.

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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