Nietzche’s Dinner


(S)talker was searching the truths of Bangla verbs with surface syntactic rules of valency. Toys were  made and mechanical predictability of compound verbs was fine. How did (S)talker find such a particular lbour-time to do such work? Others were supplying surplus labour and(S)talker, as a member of leisure class or academic tribe is fragmenting the baikhari (speaking with arbitrary signs at the time of waking) . What a wastage (though it is better intellectual activity than that of a corpus linguist, a sale-brated clerk! Truths of Bangla verbs were not revealed; instead transitivity is swinging like a pendulum.


One thing is certain that meaning is uncertain. What a paradox! Aporia! Invented numerals are fuzzy—indeterminacy prevails. An ostentatious toy was made. (S)talker tried to depict some non-deterministic and uncertain phenomena revealed in the expressions of numerals by Bangla speakers. 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 Logical Form.The first set of data deals with idiomatic expressions like:

  1. Sat-paMc Seven-five “prosand cons”;
  2. nOy-chOy nine-six “topsy-turvy”;
  3. unis-biS, nineteen-twenty “trifle difference”
  4. jaHabaHanno, taHai tippanno “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 “onedeletion” was proposed by Probal 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

  1. telTa oil-classifier. In Bangla, one cannot say
  2. *EkTajOl ‘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 mass body. Of course, this is not a deterministic physical ‘one’, but one as a whole.When any Bangla speaker says,

  1. phrij theke jOlTa ano. fridge from water classifier bring “Bring water from the fridge.”,

his/her intention is to refer “one bottle ofwater”. 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 DeterminerPhrases:

11.a) paMcTa five-classifier (definite)

11.b) goTapaMcek classifier( indef. ) five-one “more or less five ”

12.a) paMcjon five-classifier (definite)

12.b) jonapaMcek 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) paMcHajar “five thousand”

14.b) HajarpaMcek thousand five-one. “more or less five thousand”

15.a) paMc lakh, five lacs

15.b) lakh paMceklacs five-one “more or less five lacs”

Examples like 11-15 show those deterministic expressions in (a) and non-deterministicexpressions in (b). Compared to (a), examples in (b) show the fronting of classifiers withsubsequent morphophonemic change and an addition of /ek/ “one” to the specificnumeral 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) andways of making order of things (understanding). Therefore, it is a hermeneutic problem that involves the relative gap between human perception and understanding in relationto their 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. A game had been developed by his engineering students and several papers on this topic had been read in conferences and published in journals.


(S)talker was mourning as Empty Category Principle is dead after the advent of Minimalist program, but one of his senior colleagues informed him that the death report was a rumor though others are writing ECP’s obituary. Confused (S)talker, though tried his best to recover the semantic content of empty elements within the GB framework by deploying nyaya-vasesika category, ‘abhava’, left this project for good. If government is non-existent in techno-based analysis, how could one place emptiness?

Primarily, (s)talker had faced a problem with so-called bound morheme –Ta(classifier) in the Bangla sentences like

  1. korchiSTa ki?

do-pr.cont-(-Hon)-classifier what?

  1. korchoTa ki?

do-pr.cont-(+-Hon) classifier what?

  1. korchenTa ki?

do-pr.cont-(+Hon) classifier what?

  1. HoccheTa Ki ?

happen-pr.cont- classifier what?

In all these cases, bound morpheme /-Ta/ is lonely as it is not a part of thepreceding verbs which have already got inflections and thus are closed though ortho-formally /-Ta/ is written with those verb. In all these cases wh-object is missing as the speaker of these sentences does not have the cognition of that wh-object or otherwise s/he is cognizing the absence. The second possibility isthat s/he may have the pragmatic competence of cognizing that wh-object buts/he is pretending to be an ignorant, i.e. s/he has cognition of absence ofabsence which is otherwise a presence. At that time, the author structurallyinterpreted this phenomenon from the perspective of dead Empty Category Principle. Concept of relational absence or abhava might be introduced to strengthen the semantics of the ECP and deletion. Any moved element thatleaves behind a trace in the locus may be considered as a case of posteriorabsence. The open question is whether a moved element actually leaves behinda trace or not. It can be solved by an independent reason of posterior absence or uttara-abhava, which, by assigning the absential qualifier to the empty locus, points out the once-upon-a-time cognition of existence of the counter-positive. AnNP-trace is an instance of posterior-absence. The trace of moved element canbe cognized in the locus from where the counter-positive is moved. Thus the“trace of X” can be interpreted in the chain of (qualifier, qualificand or counterpositive, locand, locus) X, t or binder-bindee relation. This is called as L-relation or sub-super stratum/locus-counterpositive or bindee-binder relation or the antecedent-trace association. Assigning absential qualifier emphasized the fact emphasized that any case of chain like (John, t) is not to be interpreted asonly a simple case of “copy and delete” but a case of a definite locus-counterpositive relation or L-relation. If the locus’s (where trace occurs) being the absence of counterpositive amounts to the locus’s being the object referred bythe word ‘absence’ that is occasioned by a prior cognition of the counterpositive. In the case of posterior absence, the counter-positive is destroyed and thecounter-positive is responsible for this type of abhava. PRO is a locus of the counterpositive or antecedent. It may be called posterior absence where lexicalelement is destroyed and thus contraction is possible, e.g. in case of wannacontraction.PRO is always controlled by its counterpositive. Posterior absence isalso found in the case of pro in Null subject languages or pro-drop languages likeItalian, where pronominal is dropped or destroyed though the locus of that counterpostive is there. The property of counterpositive is reflected in the Agr or phi-features in those pro-drop languages. The absence cognized in the t is under the mode of limitorship of the moved element. Thus, there must be a locus for anabsence, though the content of the counterpositive is moved. In a givensentence, whenever a phonological matrix is lacking, the category as a locus forthat moved or destroyed counterpositive exists for absential cognition in a given sentence. If locus is there the delimiting properties of counterpositiveness is also there. Thus, in case of deletion, both the category and content is not hammeredand erased, it is only the content that is absent from the category-ness of locushood. Thus, though deletion is a posterior absence, it has the delimiting property of being counterpositive-ness, e.g., in case of wh-deletion, the locus of wh lacks the wh (where there is no overt wh) as well as wh-ness or is marked by the posterior absence of wh and wh-ness in its locus. The underlying wh-phrase undergoes wh-movement to COMP leaving an absence or trace behind and then Wh-deletion or posterior absence of wh occurs. The category persists by means of inherence-relation. The application of universal recoverability condition is subject to the awareness of cognition of absence in the locus of the category. Thus the absential quantifier solves a crucial problem of whether a deletionerases category and content or only the contents of a category by positing the category as a locus of the counterpositive. However, there must be a distinction between a moved element and a deleted element. In case of moved element, theresident of t or R-expression is an instance of posterior absence.

Neologism: Uttara-abhaba (posterior absence)


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Cartoon: Aditya Jain



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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