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South Asian languages have made little progress: expert

Special Correspondent
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Linguists urged to continue to study their intricate and rich resources

Platform for discussion: Founder-Director of CIIL D.P. Pattanayak inaugurating the South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable in Mysore on Thursday. — PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
Platform for discussion: Founder-Director of CIIL D.P. Pattanayak inaugurating the South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable in Mysore on Thursday. — PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

South Asian languages have made little progress compared to well-studied languages of West Asia, East Asia and possibly Africa, linguist Alice Davison of The University of Iowa, U.S., said here on Thursday.

Delivering the keynote address at the South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable 29 organised by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), she noted that over the last 50 years an enormous increase had taken place in the understanding of languages, particularly those of West Asia, East Asia and possibly Africa.

Prof. Davison urged the linguists participating in the international event to continue to study the intricate and rich resources of South Asian languages.

“The evolution and refinement of linguistic theories depend on this kind of work,” she said.

The three-day conference is focusing on topics such as syntax, semantics, morphology, historical linguistics, phonetics, computational linguistics, sociolinguistics and literature, besides rich resources of South Asian languages.

Over 150 linguists and students of linguistics from countries including the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia are taking part in the event.

Speaking on the occasion, in-charge Director of the CIIL Rajesh Sachdeva noted that the CIIL had sponsored research, publication and training in a variety of languages, including those spoken by tribal people.

He expressed hope that the work under progress at the CIIL would continue to receive financial and institutional support.

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