CIIL launching the journal of endangered languages soon
G. Hemantha Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mysore (UoM), on Monday said indigenous languages of Karnataka must be preserved so that a significant part of the State heritage is protected. There are 50 tribal languages in the State and it is important to document and describe them before they vanish, he said.
Speaking as the guest of honour at the valedictory of 53rd Foundation Day celebrations of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) held here virtually, Prof. Kumar said the CIIL through its ‘Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL)’ has undertaken projects on Siddi, HakkiPikki and Soliga in the State that have less than 10,000 speakers with a goal of preparing dictionaries, grammars and ethnolinguistic sketches.
“I have learnt that the dictionaries are about to be published. The institute should consider orthography development for some of the lesser-known languages of Karnataka,” he suggested.
The VC said India is a linguistic paradise and a treasure trove of languages. It is a nation widely acknowledged for its linguistic and cultural diversity. The contribution of CIIL in sustaining the diversity and promoting the languages of India has been commendable. It was one of the first institutions to document tribal and border languages, and bring out dictionaries of many languages that were not known to the rest of the world.
He said the institute has played an active role towards the development of Indian languages besides regularly advising and assisting the Union ad State governments in all language matter. It continues its work on different aspects of language development such as language documentation, language description, corpus development, grammar studies, lexicographic studies, translation, testing and evaluation, Prof. Kumar added.
“I am happy that the Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada is currently housed in our campus. We have allotted four acres for the centre,” Prof. Kumar said.
N. Gopalaswami, Chancellor, National Sanskrit University, Tirupati, who was the chief guest, said Indian languages are equally important as English. Language learning apps should be developed in regional languages/mother tongues, he suggested.
Rajesh Sachdeva, former Director, CIIL, who was another guest of honour, said all Indian languages should work in harmony and we could not have monolingual schools (for example only English medium) in a multilingual country. A child should be allowed to write his or her answers in Kannada or any regional language to the questions asked in English in examinations, he suggested.
C.G. Venkatesha Murthy, Director, CIIL, said they plan to launch the journal of endangered languages for academicians and the indigenous communities. CIIL is committed to the preservation and promotion of all Indian languages.
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