metimallikarjun Meti Mallikarjun meti/Meti


Thursday, February 24, 2011



Dr Meti Mallikarjun
Assistant Professor
Dept of Linguistics
Sahyadri Arts College, Vidyanagar
Shimoga -577203


                      Noam Chomsky Hailed as one of the most brilliant and influential intellectuals of the twentieth century, he has attracted international renown for his groundbreaking research into the nature of human language and communication. A prolific scholar and professor of linguistics who influences across the world and whose work is most cited that proves his intellectual credibility. His work produced what is referred to as the “Chomskyan Revolution,” a wide-reaching intellectual realignment and debate with implications that transcend formal linguistics to include psychology, philosophy, and even genetics. Keeping the above-cited insights, this paper develops epistemological framework in order to bring out how far Chomsky has influenced on Indian minds as far as linguistic studies are concerned.
                 This paper does not attempt to review the whole influence of the Chomskyan thoughts on Indian minds. Instead, this will concentrate on just those aspects of its relevance is taken into consideration in understanding the ‘knowledge of Language’ in contemporary language studies at one hand. In addition, why did not Chomskyan Linguistic thoughts influence Indians at the other hand?

Chomskyan Linguistics: A Paradigm Shift

                      To understand Chomskyan Linguistic paradigm, we must begin with his methodology and the assumptions interlaced with his volatile claims, which needs an epistemological explanations to understand methodological framework. Here is an attempt to mention a few of those assumptions; in general, ‘paradigm’ means an accepted model/pattern. It permits the replication of the model, any one of which could serve the pattern. In science, however, a paradigm is not just a replication. It is “an object of further articulation and specification under new and more stringent conditions” [Kuhn, 1970:23 quoted from; A. k. Sinha: 2000:1]. This paradigm gave a radical break up with behaviorism hence Chomsky demolished ‘Behavioristic approach’ and criticized its epistemological framework. He regards language as a ‘mental organ/phenomena’ not as a ‘social/behavioral phenomena’ for him language study as a set of mutually dependent entities in human mind i.e. brain pertaining to language which can be described through models of representations in the mind. He contributed substantially to a major methodological shift in the human sciences, turning away from the prevailing empiricism of the middle of the twentieth century: behaviorism in psychology, structuralism in linguistics and positivism in philosophy.

                       Noam Chomsky has brought a seminal work entitled Syntactic Structures in the year 1957 (Mouton & Co). The paradigm shift took place in the study of Linguistics across the world. Chomsky’s thoughts were the major influencing factor for shifting away from the empiricism perspective to an investigation into language as a uniquely human mental faculty with its own biologically determined structure and principles. Hence, Chomsky deems it “it is crucial for the development of adequacy theory to perceive much higher goals than descriptive adequacy, even utopian ones [AT 24f]. He envisions explanatory adequacy when a linguistic theory succeeds in selecting a descriptively adequate grammar based on primary linguistic data in relating an explanation of the intuition of the native speaker to an empirical hypothesis about the innate predisposition of the child [AT 25ff]. Instead of ‘gross coverage of a large mass of data’, which is not an achievement of any theoretical interest of importance. ‘Linguistics should discover a complex of data that differentiates between conflicting conceptions of linguistic structure by showing ones ‘can explain the data via some empirical assumption about the form of language’[AT26]. Even for descriptive adequacy, an explanatory theory of the form of grammar provides a main tool because the choice is always underdetermined by data and because relevant data from successful grammars for other languages can be collated [AT 41]. Though both ‘unrealized goals’, descriptive and explanatory adequacy are crucial at every stage of understanding linguistic structure [AT 36, 46]. For Chomsky, a theory of language can in fact, ‘be regarded as a hypothesis about the language-forming capacity of humans and language learning [AT 37]. We can formulate the Chomskyan paradigm by keeping the following legacies in mind:

     I.            Linguistic theory is concerned primarily with an ideal speaker-hearer in a completely homogeneous speech community
   II.            The second major legacy of the half a century of generative linguistics has been the ‘Reinstitution of the hypothetic-deductive method’
 III.            Mutually contradicting revisions within the Chomskyan paradigm
IV.            Contradicting models of descriptive and explanatory adequacy have become the leading ideas of minimalist program  

                         Some events change the history, some just change the way a person sees that history, and it is not always easy to tell the difference. But Noam Chomsky has changed our perspectives of linguistics, serves as a standpoint to speculate that faculty of language is unique to the human species. This implies that there are human-specific biological changes that lie at the basis of human language. However, it is not clear what the nature of such changes is, and how they could be shaped by evolution.

 Empiricist versus rationalist approach:

1. Empiricism: an empiricist approach to language is dominated by the observation of naturally occurring data, typically through the medium of the corpus. For example, we may decide to determine whether sentence x is a valid sentence of language y by looking in a corpus of the language in question and gathering evidence for the grammatically, or otherwise of the sentence. Empirical Problems of Language Acquisition are; Imitation, Reinforcement, Analogy and Motherese etc… The American structural linguistics was [i.e. Bloomfieldian Linguistics] entirely developed based on empirical procedures. Interestingly, this particular theory of Linguistics has predominately dominated the linguistic intellectual world for half a century especially the Indian Linguistics.   

2. Rationalism: rationalist theories are based on the development of a theory of mind and have as a fundamental goal of cognitive plausibility.  In the case of linguistics, the aim is to develop a theory of human language processing, but actively seeks to make the claim that it represents how the processing is actually undertaken. Chomsky has provided extensively generated and substantial amount of arguments in order to understand how far he was influenced by cognitive psychology in the development of a Theory of Transformational Generative Grammar. This theory was emerged as an alternative to Bloomfieldian Linguistics, subsequently, to the Behavioristic theory as well. It is very apparent to note that, Chomsky has disproved the philosophical and methodological realities of the American Structuralism.
                        in this opposition between the methodology of confining research to observable facts and that of using the observable facts as clues to hidden and underlying laws, Chomsky’s revolution is doubly interesting: first, within the field of linguistics, it has precipitated a conflict which is an example of the wider conflict; and secondly, Chomsky has used his results about language to try to develop general anti-behaviorist and anti-empiricist conclusions about the nature of the human mind that go beyond the scope of linguistics.

                            His naturalistic approach to the study of language contributed to a shift of thought in the area of philosophy of language and mind. He was first to see the connection and dependency between the structure of language and the structure of human mind. This is what Chomsky has tried to establish the theory of Transformational Generative Grammar. This grammar has built up mainly by focusing the following hypothesis;

1. What constitutes knowledge of language?
2. How is knowledge of language acquired?
3. How is knowledge of language put to use

                     It is very evident to quote Searle here “Chomsky’s work is one of the most remarkable intellectual achievements of the present era, comparable in scope and coherence to the work of Keynes or Freud. It has done more than simply produce a revolution in linguistics; it has created a new discipline of generative grammar and is having a revolutionary effect on two other subjects, philosophy and psychology. Not the least of its merits is that it provides an extremely powerful tool even for those who disagree with many features of Chomsky’s approach to language. In the long run, I believe his greatest contribution will be that he has taken a major step toward restoring the traditional conception of the dignity and uniqueness of man” [by John R. Searle: June 29, 1972]. This quote makes every one of us to realize the importance of Chomskyan Linguistics in the Indian context also especially in the field of language studies. Since India happens to be a multilingual country in which linguistic conflict persists for ever between dominated versus dominating languages. According to Chomsky, the very fact of linguistics is to account for the speaker’s understanding of the internal structure of languages [i.e. Universal Grammar] that justifies every language is equally potential. At the same, it would able to discover the parametric fixation of every given language i.e. re-evaluating the linguistic prehistory of India.


 Why did not Indian Linguists follow Chomsky?

                              In the 19th and 20th centuries, Western scholars began to study languages that were hitherto unfamiliar to Europeans and most North Americans. Description, not prescription, became the goal of those who were seeking to write grammars for those previously unrecorded languages. Because of this development, linguists revolutionized the study of Language. By the 1930s, a strong tradition of descriptive linguists stood in opposition to the traditional prescriptive approach.

                         In case of Indian languages, the Christian missionaries started analyzing Descriptive Grammars for Regional/tribal/indigenous languages during colonial and post-colonial periods. This linguistics school of thoughts influenced very effectively on the budding linguists who took linguistics as their profession in India. Apart from this, the aims of Indian linguists were to understand very fundamental issues relating to genetic affiliation of language families, typological similarities and dissimilarities among Indian languages. They wanted to demonstrate and establish that the linguistic autonomous of the Indian languages. Indian linguistic tradition firmly decided that Sanskrit is the mother of all the Indian languages genetically.  The grammatical model for Indian languages was once again Sanskrit. This never paved the way to create an alternative grammatical model for Indian languages except Tamil Grammar i.e. Tholkappiyam. These arguments can be elaborated in specific conditions by keeping the following views:

1.           Genetic classification:

            Linguistic typological studies became very necessary to study of all the Indian Languages linguistically. It was felt very strongly that the classification of these languages according to their structural features and genetic affiliation was needed. This particular linguistic approach was aiming to describe and explain the common properties and the structural diversities of the Indian Languages in particular and the world's languages in general.  These Linguistic typological studies were basically dealt with the issue of comparing within-languages and across Languages. These observations became as tools of Linguistic evaluation. With these results Indian linguists were able to identify the various language families based on the distribution of structural patterns among the languages. These were the contributing developments in deciding the genitival factors of Indian linguistics in specific and world linguistics in general. In order to decide that how two languages are genealogically (genetically) related in terms of their structures. And what are the linguistic possibilities were available to establish genealogical relations among languages to reconstruct their common ancestor. Say, for instance, Proto-Dravidian, Proto-Indo-European etc. such considerations lead further to interdisciplinary cooperation with archaeology (the physical record), anthropology (the cultural environment), and population genetics (biological inheritance).

2.   Summer School Influence on Indian Linguists:

                     Soon after the political independence of our country, it was inevitable to prepare an intellectual community. During this period, some short term courses were conducted for teaching linguistics, a series of summer school were conducted by Deccan College, Pune and other premier Linguistics Institutes of India. These programs were sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation and American Linguistic society; this was the beginning of Indian Scholars’ career as Linguists.  The Scholars like M B Emeneau who were participated in these training courses were received their training with Anthropologist Edward Sapir, who is specialized in American Structuralism. Subsequently Indian linguists also got their training in American Structuralism i.e. Bloomfieldian Linguistics.

                      Christ missionaries who were belong to British Raj and European continent had already started analyzing Indian Languages in Comparative and Historical Linguistic Perspectives. Colonization brought Europeans into contact with a wide variety of Asian Languages. These Scholars compiled word lists in many languages and used them in language comparisons. Robert Caldwell’s pioneering and path-breaking work on Comparative Grammar of South Indian Languages was the inspiration for this work. That certain Languages were related to one another became gradually appreciated, over the decades, this came to be established on increasingly firmer footing as techniques were developed and honed. Ultimately this led to the establishment of the Comparative Method. And all these colonial Scholars were trained under the Neo-Grammarian School. The challenges before these Scholars were to understand and analyze the languages of India in specific and languages of South Asia in general.

                       At other hand, simultaneously, scholars like Dr.S K Chatterji, Ramaswamy Aiyar, Dr. S M Katre, Dr. T P Meenakshisundaram Pillai, Dr. G S Gai, in Karnataka, Dr. T N Sreekantaiya, Dr. Narasimhia, the first generation of scholars were emerged. By now, considerable research had been undertaken to bring to light the history of the development of the Dravidian and Indo-Aryan Languages. Interrelated characters of these languages and other important linguistic aspects were developed in the due course that motivated to realize the typological aspects among Indian languages.

                   With the result of this scholarship, their orientation and summer schools, the theoretical orientation of Indian linguistics was established to understand the empirically based explanations that anchor the facts of linguistic similarities and dissimilarities among the languages. Indian linguists were committed to exploring the integration of linguistic structure and language use, recognizing both as essential to any explanation of how languages come to be as they are. And further, this was concentrated on Structural analyses that involved typologically, genetically, and areally diverse languages. And this was focusing on phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse of the languages as well as the interactions among these levels. At this time Noam Chomsky was emerged as a linguist, and gave a unique dimension to language study that revolutionized linguistics. Since for Indian linguists, this has been the period of intensive descriptive and comparative activities for Indian linguists. There fore, they could not accept any new modals for understanding languages.

3.  Anti- behavioristic/ Bloomfieldian Linguistic Approach:

            He rebelled against the habitual formulistic equations, which reduced human language to a particular behavioristic pattern. Chomsky changed the direction of linguistics away from empiricism and towards rationalism in a remarkably short space of time. Consequently, this has revolutionized linguistics in term of analysis and perception of a language. In doing so, he apparently invalidated the corpus as a source of evidence in linguistic enquiry. He suggested that the corpus could never be a useful tool for the linguist, as the linguist must seek to model language for competence rather than performance. Competence [implicit] is best described as our tacit, internalized knowledge of a language. Performance [explicit] is external evidence of language competence, and is usage on particular occasions when, crucially, factors other than our linguistic competence may affect its form. This led into the epistemological debate on the orientations of linguistics. Chomsky has substantiated this view with his review of B.F. Skinner’s “Verbal Behavior”, in which he questioned the behaviorists’ approach to the study of language and behavior. In Chomsky’s view, (1959) language is not solely a set of habits developed in the process of conditioning but an innate predisposition of mind/human. This intellectual debate may allow us to generate different versions of empiricist and rationalist approaches. Philosophers argue that it is only epistemic status/philosophical stance regarding [language] sense of experience of any given thing. In Chomsky’s mature theory, as expounded in Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965), the aims become more ambitious: to explain all of the linguistic relationships between the sound system and the meaning system of the language. To achieve this, the complete “grammar” of a language, in Chomsky’s technical sense of the word, must have three parts, a syntactical component that generates and describes the internal structure of the infinite number of sentences of the language, a phonological component that describes the sound structure of the sentences generated by the syntactical component, and a semantic component that describes the meaning structure of the sentences. The heart of the grammar is the syntax; the phonology and the semantics are purely “interpretative,” in the sense that they describe the sound and the meaning of the sentences produced by the syntax but do not generate any sentences themselves.

Part – IV

Conclusion: Individuals interest in Chomskyan Linguistics

                          This is very much true that Chomskyan impact has not been there on Indian minds. At the same time, it cant’ be denied, there was an effort initiated by many of the budding linguists, who were influenced by Chomsky at the individual level in the mid of 20th century. Linguists like Prof. Agesthialingom, Annamalai University, Prof R.N Srivatsava, University of Delhi, and Prof A K Ramanujan [who did PhD in Generative Grammar on Kannada] of course, who have not been able to institutionalize in full fledge the Chomskyan modal of linguistics in India.

                   These scholars’ efforts were confined to PhD dissertations and close-door seminars.  However, we may regard this effort is a very important one as far as Chomskyan Linguistics is concerned in the Indian context. This initiation has made a very big impact on up-coming linguists in India at the end of twentieth and at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Notice that this whole process of development of linguistics school of thoughts in India took place with various influences. Universities like JNU, University of Delhi, CIEFL, IIT’s, Bhartiyiar University, and other few instaurations have taken Chomskyan Linguistics into consideration to some extend for language studies. This linguistics program gradually led to design the methodology for the description and analysis of Indian Languages in computational Linguistics. The very sad thing is, none of universities of Karnataka were never tried to have Chomskyan Linguistics, neither part of their curriculum nor at the individual level even of this day. Interestingly, various researches have been done on Kannada by adopting Chomskyan modal, outside the Karnataka and India as well.

                             This could be realized based on the above discussions,   Chomskyan modal has not been influenced on Indian minds, because, the kind of training, the first generation linguists received, consequently, the initiation took by the responsible professors of Linguistics of the various universities of India during the development of Indian Linguistics School of Thought. It must be noted that Chomsky is one of the greatest linguists of the twentieth century. His contribution to linguistics matters in the history of world Linguistics. 


     1.            Agesthialingom, S. 1967. A Generative Grammar of Tamil: A Fragment of Tamil Syntax. Annamalai University, Annamalainagara
     2.            Bloomfield, L. 1963. Language. [Reprint] Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi
     3.            Burrow, T.  1968. Collected Papers on Dravidian Linguistics. Annamalai University, Annamalainagara
     4.            Burrow, T. and Emeneau. M.B 1984. A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. [second edition] Clarendon Press, Oxford
     5.            Caldwell, R. 1976. A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian family of Languages. [Reprint] University of Madras, Madras
     6.            Chomsky, Noam. 1957. Syntactic Structures. Mouton & Co. The Hague
     7.            Chomsky, Noam. 1959. Review of B F Skinner, Verbal Behavior, in Language 35: 26-58
     8.            Chomsky, Noam. 1965. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Massachusetts, Cambridge
     9.            Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding Theory, Foris Publications, Dordrecht
10.            Emeneau. M.B 1954. Linguistic Prehistory of India, Proceedings of American Philosophical Society 98:282 -89
11.            Emeneau. M.B 1956.  India as a Linguistic Area, Language. 32:3 -16
12.            Katre, S. M. 1957. The Language Project at Deccan College, Indian Linguistics 18:197 – 224
13.            Lyons, John. 1973. Chomsky. [sixth impression], Fontana/Collins
  1. Neil Smith, 2000. Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals, Cambridge

Language Endangerment: The Fate of Indigenous Languages [A Theoretical Approach] Dr. Meti Mallikarjun

Language Endangerment: The Fate of Indigenous Languages
[A Theoretical Approach]
Dr. Meti Mallikarjun

Part - I

1.  Introduction:
                         Language loss has been a reality throughout the history. But irony is, the loss of language is of no great moment either for science or for human intellectual life. It is very evident that these ideas are very wrong and that language loss is a serious matter or it is a socio-cultural shock. However, it is often heard that many of the native languages which are seriously imperiled across the world.
                  Language shift which is defined as the process by which members of a community in which, more than one language is spoken abandon their original language in favor of another (Tsunoda 2004). Here is an attempt to understand something of the death of indigenous languages and culture as a historical process and sociolinguistic perceptions of language endangerment in India. Language shift and death have long been a topic of discussion among sociolinguists, linguists, language planners, educators, and others. The result has been an extensive literature about the causes, processes, symptoms, and results of language loss and death (Denison 1977; Dorian 1977, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1989; Gal 1978; Skutnabb-Kangas 2000).
                         Primarily language shift is defined as the switch of L1 and L2. After that primary language shift a dominant second language is used in most domains of life, instead of mother tongue. The switch from one’s mother tongue to another language in most domains is, according to Sasse [1992:10 - 13], always triggered by some change in the external setting, in the environment of a linguistic community. Part of that change in the external setting is a new or changed contact between the linguistic community that shifts from its traditional mother tongue to the language of another linguistic and cultural community. As a result of new sociolinguistic contact, there will be a change in the attitudes towards their mother tongue. Their mother tongues are restricted to very few domains i.e. home domain.
                        The dominant language is predominantly used in all the other functional domains in which the mother tongue was supposed to be used earlier. In this is process, where languages are at extinction. It can be said that linguistic groups that have become minorities because of their Politico-economic and cultural subordination. This condition is a final stage of language death. But it is very interesting, linguistic group that has sprung up in response to the challenges posed by the erosion of the world’s linguistic diversity. 

                 This paper goes on to analyze some of the issues and dilemmas confronted by minorities, the crisis in the context of Indian situation, paying special attention to the challenges are confronting by indigenous languages. These challenges may lead more ethical and more relevant research. Each case raises a different question therefore, Indian case has to situate separately, that can’t be generalized based on modals that are available outside India.  India is extraordinary for its linguistic and cultural diversity. According to official estimates, the country is home to at least 400 distinct tongues, but many experts believe the actual number is probably around 700. But, in a scenario replicated around the globe, many of India's languages are at risk of dying out. The effects could be culturally devastating. Each language is like a key that can unlock local knowledge about medicinal secrets, ecological wisdom, weather and climate patterns, spiritual attitudes, and artistic and mythological histories. Efforts to save minority Languages from extinction and foster a deep sense of community may compel to develop a stringent language policy for minorities. It is felt that unless drastic measures are taken to preserve and promote them, all minor languages might be abandoned in favour of dominant languages in the next century. It is already discussed that throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct. This occurs through official language policies or through the allure that the high prestige of speaking dominant language can bring.

                              These trends explain, for instance, why more language diversity exists in India than on the entire world, which has a long history of large states and imperial powers. It is necessary to discuss to relevant theoretical issues regarding language death in terms of the following aspects;
1.      What it means to be an endangered (or extinct) language, how a language becomes endangered and how it can be saved. It is also addressed, what the loss of a language can mean, both for a culture and for the field of linguistics.
2.      Can it be said that linguistic groups that have become minorities because of their       Politico- economic subordination lack a historical context?
3.      Is language shifting a language loss?
4.      Is language endangerment a politicized discourse?

Part - II

2.              Language Endangerment: How? Where? Why?

“A language is endangered when its speakers are using it in fewer and fewer communicative domains and/or are ceasing to pass it on from one generation to the next. Language endangerment may be the result of external developments and policies (whether military, economic, religious, cultural, or educational), or it may be caused by internal factors, such as a community’s negative attitude towards its own language.” (UNESCO P.9). On the other hand, Michael Cahill, has said, “A language is endangered when it is in fairly imminent danger of dying out”. He gives two ways to quickly recognize when a language is on its way to death: when the children in the community are not speaking the language of their parents and when there are only a small number of people left in the ethno-linguistic community. David Crystal has written on language death and gives the following common reasons why we should care for language (p. 27-66):
  1. Linguicide – when a ruling group forbids the subjugated group to use their own language
  2. Genocide– when a dominant ethnic group deliberately tries to annihilate another ethnic group
  3. Natural disaster – tidal wave, severe earthquake, disastrous famine, or a measles epidemic could wipe out a group of people
  4. Displacement – breaking up of the language community
  5. Socioeconomic – simply by being overwhelmed with the encroaching industrialized world. The main reasons for language death today seem to be as much economic as anything.

                            Language vitality has been evaluated from different angles. Language vitality could be defined as a measure of the lifespan of using a language or it could also be defined as the ability a language to meet the societal needs of language use. When language vitality is less, it could lead to language shift or language death. Home and community domains are considered as the strong holds of the traditional language. Fasold [1984: 240] points out that one of the earliest signs of language shifts is the advance of one language into domains that used to be retained to the old. Language vitality refers to the overall strength of a language and the possibility of continuing it through the coming generations.
              Why does a particular language pose a threat to the maintenance of another language?  It is a very important question in order to evaluate the Indian linguistic situation. But the cases of language endangerment and loss are probably as old as the contact among human communities. This occurs because of unequal socioeconomic, political, and technological status. However, the real issues are the confrontation between majority and minority languages. The role of language in education and other functional domains is decided by the privileged class/ community. The dogmatic rigidity in claiming privileges and parity of their [different] language selection is also responsible factor for language shift/death [Khubchandani 1984a: 42-68]. In fact, language shift among these societies occurs more often due to social and political compulsions [Burdhan 1973]. It is often argued language shift is a sociocultural integration/diversity. On the other hand, Doshi [1972] described it in a different way, “It rejects the claim that language shift indicates the process of integration; rather than it shows the process of assimilation of people into majority cultural group”. Many linguists have developed the different hypothesis in order to understand the various levels of language endangerment process. E.g. Krauss categorizes in the following ways;
  1. Moribund - This refers to languages that are not being taught to children as their L1. Unless something changes, moribund languages will cease to be spoken within a generation.
  2. Endangered- languages are those that are currently still being learned by children, but that will no longer be taught to children within the century.
  3. Safe - languages are those that are neither moribund nor endangered – they are currently being learned by children and are safe from extinction, for the time being at least.
Many a times, the term ‘endangerment’ is perceived in both terms of endangered and moribund. Contrary to Krauss, Leonard uses the concept “extinct” it is commonly referred to understand that language is no longer used by its’ speakers. His intention is to understand this linguistic situation in terms of organism, because, an extinct species will never have a chance to resurrect themselves. Whereas, languages can be revitalized, if not all, few can be done.  However, further, Leonard explains it schematically:

   Less Endangered                                                                                  More  Endangered→
     ↖↑↗                                          ↖↑↗                                        ↖↑↗                          ↖↑↗
Widely spoken                             Languages                          Languages that are not       Sleeping
languages                                     associated                           intergenerationally            language
Associated                                    with marginal                     challenged                        
Powerful Groups                         Group      

Part -III

3. The death of Sanskrit: A continuation of sociolinguistic     hegemony:

                      From a global perspective, the trend is the same, many smaller languages are dying out due to the spread of a few world languages such as English, French, Chinese, etc. [Romaine 1989: 39] There are many pitfalls in trying to generalize on a global scale about what causes for language attrition.  As it is discussed above, there are many reasons for language shift and language death. Most studies of language shift have looked at a community’s transition to the new language. But, in the case of Indian context, dealing with language endangerment is a problematic one. It is very subtle and complex phenomenon. It can’t be analyzed based on western modals alone. However, it can be argued differently. The language of Cosmopolis i.e. Sanskrit [Sheldon Pollock] plays a very important role in India in the process of language shift/loss. We have always been aware of the ambience of many languages in our environment. Many languages are alive in our environment and we have always perhaps switched from one language into another unconsciously [Ananthamurthy.U.R 2009]. The 'ecologist' perspective – is a useful focus for linguists who call for measures to reverse this trend of language shift. If we value biological diversity and strive to protect it, surely it is equally important to take moral responsibility for the conservation and development of linguistic diversity.

                 “The status of Sanskrit is an instance of this – for close to a thousand years, this prestigious language was the chief vehicle of the (exclusionary and undemocratic) transmission of knowledge; however, today it is this language, rather than the less prestigious Prakrits, that is dead. As Sanskrit-speaking ruling classes could only capture the public domain, the centuries of its dominance had no permanently crippling effect on the less prestigious Indo-Aryan, Austro-Asiatic and Dravidian languages that flourished alongside it” [Ayesha Kidwai 2008]. This Sanskrit is still alive implicitly spreading across India into the languages and cultures. So Sanskrit did not die. It grew, it developed and it gradually split into Hindi, Marathi, Guajarati, and the other Indo-Aryan languages, to some extent, Dravidian languages too, and it is still with us under those guises. There's something a bit odd about lamenting the death of Sanskrit language when it has in fact taken off like this. Given the existence of modern Indo-Aryan, why be upset that Indians don't speak Sanskrit? Speaking Indo-Aryan pays homage to their Hindu-Vedic heritage, without requiring them to have frozen their culture as it was in one place and time. Thus, language shift involves bilingualism [often with Diglossia] as a stage on the way to monolingualism in a new language. E.g. Hindi has got several dialects, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Awadhi so on so forth. The fact is, these varieties of Hindi have never been used in the domains like education, administration, mass-media, literature [there may be some exceptions] and other public domains. The Sanskritized Hindi i.e. Khariboli took over their place. This new avatar of Sanskrit is the revitalization of old Sanskrit. It also rejects the claim that Sanskrit is the dead language. Standardization is nothing but Sanskritization of the Indian languages, it is not a new practice, and it has been there throughout the history i.e. sanskritizing the nation. In my opinion, when Mahatma Gandhiji suggested, making Hindustani as an official link language, instead of Hindi, there was a lot of resistance to it. Hindustani is a combination of Hindi and Urdu, in which Sanskrit had no place. It would have been a definite move to dehegemonizing the Sanskrit.
                               Sanskrit established a clear-cut dichotomy among Indian languages like ‘Marga’ [The world of Sanskrit] and ‘Deshi’ [Indigenous Languages]. This can be dealt with reference to Kannada.  Unfortunately these dichotomies are used as the qualifying characteristics of standardized variety of language, which results in creation of vernaculars [i.e. Native Languages] and Cosmopolis [i.e. Sanskrit]. Ananthamurthy.U.R [2009] describes it in an optimistic way, Vernacular has always had its advantage and use despite the power of the language of Cosmopolis – Sanskrit in the past and English in our times. It is very evident that, it is a kind of prevailing sociolinguistic hegemony on Kannada language and culture. It can’t be considered as an advantage.
                          There has been a strong resistance throughout the history of Kannada language and culture in order to dehegemonizing Sanskrit. As a result, the sociolinguistic hybridity has been developed by our various poets through their work.  E.g. a great Kannada poets like Pampa, Andayya, Nayashena, Kumaravyasa and Vachanakaras [mystic poets], by combining, marga and deshi, is also a kind of resistance to the Sanskritized Kannada. The concept of ‘hybridity’ is important in understanding the multiplicity of language practice. “This concept is inspired by the work of Bakhtin [1981] on the hybridity of the dialogue of languages, by Anzaldu’a [1987] on the hybridity of being the ‘borderlands’ and by Bhabha [1994] on the hybridity of the postcoloniality” [Ofelia Garci’a 2009:33]. As in views of Mohanty, “it is precisely this hybridity of language practices that is responsible for the maintenance of the many languages of the Indian subcontinent” [2009]. This fluidity in multilingual interaction demonstrates that different cultures have different ideas about the integrity of their own group in relation to outsiders. If speakers of minority language manage to find ecological niche in the majority community which is conducive to language maintenance, they may have a better chance of survival.
                              In many [minority] languages there are competing pressures towards (re)vernacularization and (re)standardization, which have their origin in the competition between the school and home varieties.  There has always been tension between standard dialect and other regional/caste dialects. The standardization and modernization, these two tendencies which are greatly affect indigenous languages in terms of their structural and functional loss. Bernadett Biro and Katalin Sipocz, are identifying language shift in two types of linguistic processes such as; functional loss and structural loss. Language shift can involve loss of function as well as structural loss; the former means a decrease in the domains of language use, later refers to changes in the structure of the language occurring in the process of language shift. Due to the linguistic hegemony and cultural dominance of Sanskrit on Indian languages, all our indigenous languages are suffering from both functional loss and structural loss. The attitudes of Sanskrit towards the other Indian majority/minority languages can also play a decisive role in language shift. As far as functional language shift is concerned, a necessary condition for the survival of the indigenous languages would be the decrease of their functions. As far as the structural side of language shift is concerned, we can only sketch tendencies based on data provided by some case studies [e.g. B P Pandit, Sourashtrasi in Tamilanadu, D N S Bhat’s  on Kannada].
                             As if, the provincial languages are conspiring against the India unity [U N Shing 1992], Suniti Kumar Chatterji [1943] made a statement such as, “we feel that we ought to have a common language for the whole of India as symbol of common Indian Nationality”. It is also of the opinion, very clearly felt by the language planning commission in a 1957,   it was discussed by Sumathi Ramaswamy [2007] in her paper, “It is clear, however, from the report submitted by the Commission a year later in November 1957, that it saw its task as being more than just pedagogical, for at stake was the very survival of the emergent nation. The Commission was fiercely anxious about 'the growing fissiparous tendencies and linguistic parochialism which are jeopardising the political unity of the country and are rocking the very foundations of our freedom'.' A decade of linguistic jealousy and bitterness had marred the joys of independence; there had been much squabbling within the nation over state boundaries and territories; and Hindi, the proposed official language of India, had been found unacceptable by large numbers of its people. Everywhere, 'regionalism' and 'linguism' were on the rise. The Commission's solution to these problems was clear-cut: to put Indians on a good and steady diet of Sanskrit by making its study compulsory in schools, and by instituting it as the official language of the nation. Sanskrit was ideally suited for this role, for it was the 'Supreme Unifier' (p. 201) and the 'Great Unifying Force' (p. 81). 'The Indian people and the Indian civilization were born ... in the lap of Sanskrit' (p. 85). It is 'in our blood' (p. 81). It is 'the breath of our nostrils and the light of our eyes' (p. 87). Mixing its metaphors, the Commission also variously described Sanskrit as 'the bed-rock' of Indian existence, the 'main thread which runs through the entire fabric of the cultural life of an Indian' (p. 102), and the anchor that keeps the youth of India from losing their 'cultural moorings' (p. 51). 'If the binding force of Sanskrit [is] taken away, the people of India would cease to feel that they were parts of a single culture and a single nation' (p. 70). So, by restoring Sanskrit back to its citizens, the nation, too, would be restored, and its troubled waters calmed. For Sanskrit, it was declared, brings a 'symphony to our life' (p. 84).”  These views signify the linguistic chauvinism and fanatic attitudes towards Sanskrit and its religion. In my opinion, they are merely slogans and emotional bursts. It is quite true; they are also conspiring to establish the hegemony of Sanskrit with the sanction of India constitution. Even otherwise, the continuity of Sanskrit is spread over across the other Indian languages and cultures in terms linguistic structure, functional usages and imbibed in cultural practices. This is to be considered a greater damage to all the indigenous languages of Indian subcontinent.

Part -IV
4. Language Policy: The fate of indigenous languages
                           Language policy plays a very vital role in the building of a nation. Nation is not a single entity. Plurilingualism and pluriculturalism are the qualifying characters of the nation like India. Languages are equal, yet language hierarchies prevail. The fact is, not all languages have equal access of having their languages/ varieties in education [Ofelia Garcia, Skutnabb-Kangas 2009]. However, it is often felt, managing multilingualism in India has become a big task. Though, there are constitutional privileges are extended for sustaining linguistic multiplicities, many a time they are only in principle. But in reality, these safeguards are not implemented properly in order to achieve their goals. There is also accumulating evidence that language policy and language education can serve as vehicles for promoting the vitality, versatility, and stability of these languages (Phillipson 1992). Thus, this paper considers the role of language policy and language rights in education and revitalization efforts, taking up cases of indigenous languages and their vitality into consideration. However, the Indian Constitution provides many guarantees and safeguards for linguistic and religious minorities, besides overall promoting a multilingual India:
                                            I.            Articles 29 enshrines a commitment to the maintenance of India’s linguistic diversity: “Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same”.
                                          II.            Article 30 guarantees minorities the right to develop and propagate these languages (and their speakers) through education: “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”
                                        III.            Article 350A provides for instruction in their own mother tongues at the primary stage of education to children belonging to the linguistic minorities: “It shall be the endeavor of every State, and of every local authority within the State, to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such directions to any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of such facilities.”
                                        IV.            Article 345 and 120 seek to promote governance that is multilingual. Article 345, leaves a State free, through its legislature; adopt Hindi or any language used in its territory as its official language(s). Article 120 concerned permits member(s) to use his/her mother tongue w in the Indian Parliament. 
                              These constitutional guarantees are relevant to foster India’s linguistic diversity. At the same time, they also ensure that preserving sociolinguistic pluralities of heterogeneous speech communities of India is an assurance of the protection of human rights. These provisions also uphold the socio-cultural values and ethno-linguistic vitalities. Even though, this has very serious consequences in education, “as the smaller a language, the more likely it is to be dismissed as “primitive” and incapable of further development so that it may come to bear the weight of modern human knowledge and intellectual discourse. Responding to this implicit classification, speakers therefore ‘choose’ not to access education in their mother tongue(s), because that choice will disadvantage them in the not-so-long run” this argument proves that, people who belong to tribal/minority communities will never have a chance to choose their choice. Language rights may be necessary condition to spread primary education in India is to improve quality of life to build human capital and ensure rapid economic growth. While supporting the minority languages, it is necessary to consider the way in which and the purposes for which they are used are crucial for maintenance of minority languages. The laws may ignore or subverted by the state on some administrative, financial or political reasoning, which is made possible by the way laws are formulated so as to permit administrative laxity and contingencies [Skutnabb-Kangas 1998]. This can be made it very clear by looking at three language formula; and its paradoxical stands also. As it is discussed, “Education holds the key to development and progress. Therefore, in multilingual India, language is the defining criteria for the evolution of societal growth. The three-language formula was a strategy to cover all linguistic groups in the country". The main problems in the implementation of Three Language Formula are found to be the following:
        I.            The formula does not provide a place for such mother tongues that are different from  the   Regional Languages
      II.            There is dissonance between the Constitutional directive to use mother tongue in primary education (Article 350 A) and the languages prescribed in TLF (NPE: 1968, 1986), particularly as the first language in schools.
    III.            It does not allow flexibility in the choice of language and gives primacy to the interests of the State ignoring the interests of individuals.
    IV.            It does not address to the problem of offering classical languages for choice.
      V.            The motivation assumed in TLF for learning MIL by students in the Hindi States is inadequate [quoted from Jennifer Marie Bayer 2005].
  5. Is Multilingualism stable in India?

                          How do we implement the Constitutional Provisions of protecting language rights of the minority and minor language speakers? In what way we match between home language and school language? The home languages are important, as primary education up to the age of 14 is free and compulsory. How the language planning and language policy are to be designed? What are the ways and means we have to find out in order to protect the sociolinguistic plurality of India? In multilingual India, language is the defining criteria for the evolution of societal growth.
                         In raising these questions; I have in my mind that multilingualism is a fundamental value in today’s world. Preserving and maintaining the core values, cultural entities, ethnic identities and linguistic diversities of Indian multilingualism is a very big challenge. The several reasons are responsible for this crisis. Due to the socio-political developments, Indian multilingualism has changed in its nature. The traditional Indian multilingualism was a combination of mother tongue, [i.e. tribal/ethnic language] regional language [i.e. Kannada in Karnataka, Tamil in Tamil Nadu etc] and link language or whatsoever. But what sort of multilingualism, we have in Indian Today? Thus, is multilingualism stable in India? This question remains without an answer. Apart from constitutional provisions, language rights, education and economic benefits, we are still in dilemma, what is a stable bi/multilingualism?  Therefore, we have to give up the slogan that “bi/multilingualism is a norm but monolingualism is an exception in India”.  Of course, I do agree, almost every Indian is a bi/multilingual in India. My contention is bi/multilingualism is not stable India; it is constantly changing in its nature.

                          As in the table, it is shown, the 1991 Census concludes that the “Languages” spoken in India number 114, even though the raw data of language names collected by its enumerators totaled 10,400,. The 2001 Census, on the other hand, from the much smaller set of 6661 raw language names returned, arrives at a figure of 122.

              Table: From Raw Language Returns to Languages
Languages after
Mother tongues

after classification


               [Sources from Ayesha Kidwai, The Marxist: Volume XXIV, No. 2: April-June 2008]

                           As a consequence of the decision to include only those languages that have more than 10,000 claimants, many tribal languages simply vanish, given that Adivasi and North-East tribal communities are small (together they constitute a mere 2.1% of India’s population). Moreover, disparate languages end up as grouped under one Language. For example, more than 50 languages, including Chhattisgarhi, Bhojpuri, and Garhwali, are grouped under the Language Hindi, even though 33,099,497 Bhojpuri speakers, 13,260,186 Chhattisgarhi speakers, and 2,267,314 Garhwali speakers told the Census enumerators that they speak they do not speak Hindi. Maithili speakers, however, strike it rich: the 2001 Census lists it as a Language for the first time in three decades – but this is only because their language was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in 2003 [Ayesha Kidwai, The Marxist: Volume XXIV, No. 2: April-June 2008].

6. Standardization, Modernization and Diglossia: the status of linguistic     diversity
                                    Tribal languages and other minority languages are not institutionally supported for their communicative functions. And also, they have no written literary tradition and no accessibility to technology and science. In any of these domains, equal potential and access is not extended to them. Language revitalization and maintenance are and have always been political action. Because, Language policies are always discriminatory, favoring to some privileged class/communities. It is quite true that constitutional support and rights are extended to them in order to maintain their languages. Practically, they are not in favor of minority languages. The possibility of recasting the communities’ interests and perspectives are never taken into consideration in order to achieve their aspirations.
                        “The processes at work in standardization and hierarchies of styles and genres also give rise to what Bourdieu calls legitimization and authorization. Both these turn on how language is socially evaluated. Legitimacy is accorded to selected ways of speaking or writing in that they are recognized by other producers, by the dominant classes and by mass audiences” [Bourdieu 1993, 331; Garnham 1993]. Differences in social and economic position tend to be reproduced in unequal knowledge of legitimate language, which in turn reinforces constraints an access to power. However, Censorship, authorization, and the reinforcement of the dominant languages are all traceable to the pervasive effects of power [Gal & Irvine 1997, Lind storm 1992].
                            Standardization and modernization are a politicized discourse. “Standardization of languages can be regarded as a legitimizing activity expanding its institutional order through a ‘programmed course’ in socialization” [Berger and Luckmann, 1966, quoted by U N Singh 1992].
According to Fishman [1974], “the social context of language modernization is most commonly discussed in terms of (a) the growing identification with the standard version of the national language on the part of the general public, (b) the increased accessibility of all varieties within the speech community, (c) the more rapid diffusion of linguistic innovations and status markers, resulting in repertoire continuity rather than discontinuity across classes”. This linguistic inequality leads to the mismatch between home and school languages. This tendency reinforces to neglect the mother tongues of the tribal and minorities as well. As a consequence, linguistic assimilation takes place, in turn; this forces the tribal/ minorities’ children into subtractive language learning in a form of submersion education in the dominant language. Institutions like education must promote mother tongue education in the multilingual situation.

                Fishman [1971] divides all the multilingual developing nations into three clusters: nations with several Great Traditions, nations with one Great Tradition and nations with none [Quoted by Dua. H.R: Hegemony of English]. Sanskrit took-over every tradition into its account, considering that there is only one great tradition in India [i.e. Sanskrit]. As a result, Sanskrit is considered the only language of knowledge, philosophy, literature, great tradition and resource of vocabulary. Due to its monistic attitude, it imposed its monistic realities on all other indigenous languages. As a consequence, linguistic homogeneity was developed instead of sociolinguistic heterogeneity. It is another way of leveling the diversities and nullifying them in the domains of socio-cultural milieus. The knowledge systems and intellectual diversity was also integrated into Sanskrit tradition.
                         Characterizing linguistic codes in terms of ‘High’ and ‘Low’ is another way of differentiating sociolinguistic and cultural hierarchy. This dichotomy is linguistically called as Diglossia. It is not just a linguistic reality, it is a sociolinguistic attitude. Primary speech varieties with localized or restricting domains as ‘Low’ [i.e. colloquial Kannada] and superposed varieties enjoying access wider or enlarging domains as ‘High’ [i.e. Standard Kannada]has led many investigators to attribute ad hoc values to diverse codes available in a community. Such studies focusing on language attitudes generally rate primary speech as conceptually 'deficient* and sociologically as 'deprived'. This raises certain issues of fundamental nature, such as how does language structure reality. How far do the differences in speech behavior reflect differences in adequacy as opposed to acceptable variation! In what manner do the 'high brow' values of speech - uniformity, precision, elegance, purity of form, allegiance to literary tradition, elaboration of language through coinage of new terms - actually meet with the demands of adequacy and effect in everyday life communication in a society? (Khubchandani 1981).

                         The relationship between Kannada-Sanskrit and Kannada-English is also a Diglossic situation. The former is dealing with standardization whereas later one is dealing with modernization. The hegemony of both Sanskrit and English is imposed on Kannada. As a consequence, Kannada has to struggle with both Sanskrit and English in order to retain its structural and functional usages. In the formalized communication, and in the domains like literature, criticism and other discursive writings Standard Kannada [i.e. Sanskritized Kannada] is preferred. On the other hand, English is preferred in the domains like Science, Technology and Law. The similar situation can find in Hindi, which interface with Sanskrit alone, “those bilingual speakers belonging to the North-Central region (characterized as the Fluid Zone, cf. Khubchandani 1 972a 1978) who retain their regional or caste dialects either of Western Hindi or of altogether different languages of the region (such as Pahari, Lahnda, Panjabi, Rajasthani, Awadhi, Chhatisgarhi, Bihari) for informal communication within their speech group, but prefer to use Khariboli (standard Hindi) for formalized communication. In this diglossia situation, these speakers think of Khariboli as having a more prestigious role than their native speech, which has a casual use. They regard their native speech habits as mere substandard variations of the all-powerful standard Hindi [Khubchandani 1981].
                       The distinctions between Standardized Kannada [i.e. Pure, high, powerful, elegant and standard variety] and   Dialects [i.e. impure, low, powerless, non-standard, corrupted variety, substandard] is big split. As a result, caste/regional dialects are at the tip of extinction. It leads not merely ironing-out the dialects alone; it also leads to the cultural loss.

7. Conclusion: Why language maintenance is needed?                   

                            It is always debated across the world; will languages survive in increasing globalization?  Do dialects of those languages survive among native speakers? Are the indigenous speech communities of India still surviving today?  In what capacities are they surviving? Do these tongues have a future? These are the common apprehensions are always taking place among Indians. 
                                  Economic and social pressures are a capital factors in the process that leads a language to fall into disuse. For the economic, political, social, and educational benefits, speakers of minority languages assimilate to the local dominant language.  However, a number of Indian communities are striving to revive their indigenous languages, or to foster its widest possible use, and to preserve it against the perspective of extinction. E.g. Kannada dialects have so far resisted the pressure of Sanskritized Kannada, and succeeded in preserving a wide use. The future of these tongues depends on the will of their speakers to maintain their use. Judging by the strength of their identity feeling, which commands this will, it seems that some, at least, of the languages that coexist with widespread languages might survive for some time.                                        Languages and dialects spoken in Karnataka are not threatened by globalization. But they are threatened by standardized Kannada itself. Due to the Kannada hegemony, linguistic minorities and minor languages in Karnataka are also suffering and increasingly become disuse. It is quite true that in an era of globalization and increasing cross-cultural contact, it is necessary to explore the existential and communicative status of minority and indigenous languages. The fact is, Socio-cultural and politico-economic factors also supporting for language shift.
                                           On the other hand, it is realized that, as far as Indian linguistic situation is concerned, it is not directly affected by globalization; increasing globalization concerns international commercial relationships rather than private communication. Of course, language has a greater role in the process of globalization. It is unlikely that dialects, which are constantly used in oral exchange, will be ousted by literary languages [e.g. Standard Kannada, Khariboli-Hindi, this is the case with all the major Indian languages], which is not spoken as a common conversation language in any part of the given speech community.
                                Languages represent vast storehouses of human knowledge. Most languages are not written down, but live only in the memories and cultural practices of human communities/groups of people who over millennia have devised unique systems of survival in difficult circumstances. Human languages are catalogs of plants, animals, insects, people’s stories, weather patterns, diseases, social paradigms, songs, jokes, aphorisms, strategies for war and peace, practices of trade and negotiation [Benjamin B. Sargent 2008]. A small culture also carries within itself the potential of contributing to the larger ethos. Every culture, irrespective of being big or small, serves as a bridge between others and as an instrument of interaction which is humanly universal [Pogcnik 1986 quoted by L. M Khubchandani 1997].
                              Thus, it is argued, India has several Great Traditions, but Sanskrit is only considered as the Great Tradition. Other indigenous languages and their socio-cultural values, beliefs, ethos, and ideals constituting the world-view are not considered relevant to the characterization of tradition. It is another way of devaluing the local and small traditions. Non-linearity formation of Indian history is a strong witness to the process of leveling of sociolinguistic diversities and differences of India. Though, it is often felt, India is a country of long survivals [Kosambi]. The importance of small languages/cultures is also being discussed by various linguists. E.g. Fishman (1982) elaborates on treating ethno-linguistic diversity as a worldwide societal asset. Profiles of small cultures can provide a lot of insights into the probing of such questions as how to channel the concerns of ethnic identity in a positive and sublime manner to enrich the nation’s heritage, instead of provoking linguistic and religious conflicts between majority and minority cultures and languages, or accepting the assimilation of small cultures into the dominant cultures. [L. M Khubchandani 1997: 108].
                                        The importance of language diversity can also be remarked from a historical point of view. Today’s languages consist in huge parts of remnants of old, dead languages, such as Latin [Sanskrit in case of India]. Those dead languages survive in modern languages in form of borrowings, or leave us some structural or morphological features. This fact not only contributes to a lexical variety, but also allows us to investigate the exact processes a language has undergone from its beginnings until today. The history of a language is closely linked to the history of its speakers. The knowledge of when a certain feature first appeared in a language and from which foreign language it was taken makes it possible to reestablish the genealogy of a nation [Andre Horak]. This is another reason why the maintenance of language diversity is important. When speaking of languages, we should not only focus on so-called official (standard) languages. Moreover, dialects can also have the function of identification and are therefore to be treated the same way as languages. ‘The boundary between dialect and language is arbitrary, dependent on sociopolitical considerations […]. Dialect death is language death […]’ (Crystal 2000: 38). Although the argument that language helps to keep one’s identity is evident, the consequence of dialect death is remarkable and can be noticed in the fact that people have always tried to collect and compile old words and regional tales (often in dialect) containing rural expressions [Andre Horak].
                     Varying between boundaries of languages, dialects, cultures, or speech varieties in Indian subcontinent can only be explained in pluralistic point of view.  The success of linguistic minorities in retaining their language therefore frequently defends on their ability to mobilize super-national, or informal, sources of support [Thomas Hylland Eriksen 1992:1]. Efforts to save minority Languages from extinction and foster a deep sense of community may compel to develop a stringent language policy for minorities. It is felt that unless drastic measures are taken to preserve and promote them, all minor languages might be abandoned in favour of dominant languages in the next century. 
                            The reasons for language shift are complex, and Fishman (1964: 49) has stated that “it is currently impossible to specify in advance an invariant list of psychological, social, and cultural processes or variables that might be of universal importance for an understanding of language maintenance or language shift.” According to Crawford (1996), there seems to be no established and comprehensive theory of language shift, especially in terms of causes and varying conditions that might prevent them.  As big languages spread, children whose parents speak a small language often grow up learning the dominant language. Depending on attitudes toward the ancestral language, those children or their children may never learn the smaller language, or they may forget it as it falls out of use. This has occurred throughout human history, but the rate of language disappearance has accelerated dramatically in recent years.

1.      Ananthamurthy.U.R 2009 Globalization, English and ‘Other’ Languages in Social
            Scientist, Vol - 37
  1. Andre Horak, Language Death: A Theoretical Approach, Internet.

3.      Ayesha Kidwai, The Marxist: Volume XXIV, No. 2: April-June 2008
4.      Bayer, Jennifer Marie, 2005 Indian Languages in Education: Globalization and Cultural Territories in     South Asian language review, Vol. Xv. No. 1.
5.      Benjamin B. Sargent 2008  - Internet
6.      Bernadett Biro and Katalin Sipocz, 2009. Language Shift among the Mansi, in Variation in Indigenous Minority languages (ed) by J.N. Stanford and D.R.Preston, Amsterdam,John Benjamins.
7.      Bourdieu, P 1991 Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

8.      Crawford 1996 - Internet
9.      CRYSTAL, D. 2000. Language Death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10.  Denison, Norman. 1977. Language death or language suicide. Linguistics, 191:13-22.
11.  Dorian, Nancy C. 1977. The problem of the semi-speakers in language death. Linguistics, 191:23-32.
12.  Dorian, Nancy C. 1980. Linguistic lag as an ethnic marker. Language in Society, Vol.9, No.1:33-41.
13.  Dorian, Nancy C. 1981. Language death: The life cycle of a Scottish Gaelic dialect. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
14.  Dorian, Nancy C. 1987. The value of language-maintenance efforts which are unlikely to succeed. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 68:57-67.
15.  Dorian, Nancy C. 1989a. Introduction. In Nancy C. Dorian (ed.), Investigating obsolescence [:] studies in language contraction and death, 1-10. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
16.  Dua, H.R. 1994 Hegemony of English. Mysore: Yashoda Publications.
  1. Fasold, Ralph, 1984. The sociolinguistics of society. London and New York: Blackwell.
18.  Fishman, Joshua. 1964. Language maintenance and language shift as a field of inquiry. Linguistics, 9:32-70.
19.  Fishman, Joshua A. 1965. Who speaks what language to whom and when? La Linguistique, 2:67-88.
20.  Fishman, Joshua A. 1972. The sociology of language. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House.
21.  Fishman, Joshua A. 1982. Whorfianism of the third kind: Ethnolinguistic diversity as a worldwide soecital asset (The Whorfianism Hypothesis: Varieties of calidation, confirmation, and disconfirmation II). Language in Society, Vol.11, No.1: 1-14.
22.  Fishman. Joshua A. 1991. Reversing language shift. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
23.  Fishman, J. A. 2001. Reversing language shift: The best of times, the worst of times. In Joshua A. Fishman, Can threatened languages be saved? Reversing language shift, revisited: A 21st century perspective, xii-xvi. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
24.  Fishman, J. A. 2001. Why is it so hard to save a threatened language? (A perspective on the cases that follow). In Joshua A. Fishman, Can threatened languages be saved? Reversing language shift, revisited: A 21st century perspective, 1-22. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
25.  Fishman, Joshua A. (ed.) 2001. Can threatened languages be saved? Reversing language shift, revisited: A 21st century perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
26.  Gal S, Irvine JT. 1997. The boundaries of languages and disciplines: how ideologies                construct difference. Soc. Res. 62:967–1001
27.                        Gal, Susan. 1979. Language Shift: Social determinants of linguistic change in bilingual Austria. New York: Academic Press.
28.  Garnham N. 1993. The cultural arbitrary and television. See Calhoun et al. 1993, pp.
29.  Khubchandani, L.M. 1 972a ‘Contact Languages of Tribals’ ICSSR, New Delhi
30.  Khubchandani, L.M. 1978 Distribution of contact of languages in India. In J. A. Fishman  
            (ed) Advances in the Study of Societal Multilingualism. The Hague: Mouton 
31.  Khubchandani, L.M. 1981 Language, Education, Social Justice. Centre for Communication Studies, Pune.
32.  Khubchandani, L.M. 1997 Revisualizing Boundaries – A Plurilingual Ethos, New Delhi, Sage
33.  Krauss, Michael. 1992. The world’s languages in crisis. Language: Journal of the  
           Linguistic Society of America 68:4-10.
34.  Leonard, Wesley Y. 2008. When Is an “Extinct Language” Not Extinct? Miami, a Formerly Sleeping Language. Sustaining Linguistic Diversity, ed. by King, et al. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Leman,
35.  Lindstrom L. 1992. Context contests: debatable truth statement on Tanna (Vanauatu). In                                        
           Rethinking Context: Language as an Interactive Phenomenon, (ed). A Duranti, Goodwin, pp. 
            101–24. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press     
36.  Mohanty 2009 Multilingualism of the Unequals and Predicaments of Education in India:
            Mother Tongue or Other Tongue? In Ofelia Garcia, Skutnabb-Kangas and MariaTorres      
            Guzman (ed) imaging multilingual schools. Blackswan, Orient
37.  Muehlhaesler, Peter. 1992. Preserving languages or language ecologies ? A top-down approach to language survival. Oceanic Linguistics Vol.31, No.2:163-80.
38.  Muehlhaesler, Peter. 1993.Language and diversity Communication News Vol.6, No.4:1-3
39.     Ofelia Garcia, Skutnabb-Kangas and Maria Torres Guzman 2009 (ed) imaging        
        multilingual schools. Blackswan, Orient. 
40.  Mufwene, Salikoko S. 1998a. Language endangerment: What have pride and prestige go to   with it?  Internet
  1. Narayana K V. 2005. Nammodane Namma Nudi, Lohia Prakashana
42.  Phillipson R 1992 Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
43.  Romaine, Suzanne. 1989. Pidgins, creoles, immigrant and dying languages. In Nancy C. Dorian (ed.), Investigating obsolescence [:] studies in language contraction and death, 369-384. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
44.  Sasse, Hans-Juergen. 1992a. Theory of language death. In Matthias Brenzinger (ed.), Language death [:] factual and theoretical explorations with special reference to East Africa, 7-30. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
45.  Sheldon Pollock, 1996. “The Sanskrit Cosmopolis, A.D. 300–1300: Transculturation, Vernacularization, and the Question of Ideology.” In J. E. M. Houben, ed. The Ideology and Status of Sanskrit in South and Southeast Asia. Leiden: Brill, 197–247.
46.  Sheldon Pollock. 1998a. “India in the Vernacular Millennium: Literary Culture and Polity 1000– 1500.”  Daedalus 127.3:1–34.
47.  Sheldon Pollock. 1998b. “The Cosmopolitan Vernacular.” Journal of Asian Studies 57.1:6–37.
48.  Sheldon Pollock, 2001 The Death of Sanskrit in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 43, No. 2 , pp. 392-426 
49.  Shing, U .N. 1992 On Language Development and Planning – A Pluralistic Paradigm, IIAS, Shimla
  1. Skutnabb-Kangas 1998 Language Policies and Education: The Role of Education in Destroying or Supporting the World's Linguistic Diversity. Internet

51.  Skutnabb-Kangas 2000 Linguistic Genocide in Education or Worldwide Diversity and            Human Rights? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  1. Sumathi Ramaswamy, 2007 Sanskrit for the Nation, in Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2 (May, 1999), pp. 339-381

53.  Thomas Hylland Eriksen 1992 & 2001. Small places, large issues: An introduction to social and cultural anthropology. (Second edition) London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press
54.  Tsunoda, Tasaku. 2005. Language endangerment and language revitalization. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. UNESCO 2001 Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing. Paris:
55.   UNESCO 2000. Human Rights. Paris: UNESCO, Division of Human Rights, Democracy and Peace