“Archaeology of Bangla Grammar (Ph.D.Synopsis)”

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Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

April 17, 1998

1998. ‘Archaeology of Bangla Grammar (Ph.D.Synopsis)’ Udayan-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

involved here: 

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

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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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