Linguistic Studies in Kashmiri

Omkar N. Koul
Indian Institute of Language Studies

1.Introduction Linguistic studies of Kashmiri, comprising of grammars, grammatical studies, lexicography, phonology etc., began in the middle of the 19th century. The grammatical literature includes a variety of materials written in the form of brief notes, articles, monographs, dissertations, and independent grammatical sketches and grammars. The lexicographical works include different types of vocabularies, glossaries and dictionaries. The linguistic studies available can be classified in the areas of genealogical classification and dialect surveys, grammars and grammatical studies, phonetics and phonology, lexicography, sociolinguistics and instructional materials. Here an attempt will be made to present a brief survey of certain significant materials prepared in and on this language. 2. Classification The genealogical classification of Kashmiri began with Grierson (1906), placing it in the Dardic group of Aryan languages. Morgenstierne (1961) classifies it among Indo-Aryan languages and is followed by all others in this regard. The classification is reviewed in Kachru (1969) and Koul and Schmidt (1984). In more recent work, Afaq Aziz (1994) presents a comparative study of various languages of the Dardic group, with special reference to Kashmiri, Shina, and Kohistani. Koul (1994, 2000) repeats previous stands on the subject. Masica (1991) refers to linguistic characteristics of Kashmiri as compared to other Indo-Aryan languages. 3. Phonetics and Phonology Kashmiri has peculiar phonetic and phonological characteristics, such as the high central and mid vowels, dental affricates, palatalisation, vowel harmony rules, etc., which it does not share with other Indo-Aryan languages. The description of Kashmiri phonetics and phonology, or of issues related to some of its special characteristics is available in Grierson (1904, 1911, 1919), Bailey (1937), Firth (1939), Morgenstierne (1941), Sidheswar Verma (1964), Kelkar and Trisal (1964), Sar (1970, 1977), Handoo (1973), Zakharyin (1974), Koul (1977, 1985, 1987), Bhat (1987), Wali and Koul (1997) and Koul and Wali (2006). These works present briefly the principal phonological characteristics of Kashmiri. 4. Grammar There has been very significant research in the area of Kashmiri grammar. Kashmiri is Verb 2 language. This is the feature, which it shares with German, Dutch and Icelandic. Grammatical works on Kashmiri began as early as mid-19th century, with Edgworth (1841) and Leech (1944) followed by a complete grammatical description of the language in Ishvar Koul’s monumental work Kashmirshabdamritam, written in Sanskrit in 1879,

edited by George A Grierson, and published by Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1889. Grierson calls it ‘‘an excellent grammar of Kashmiri’’ and based quite a few of his works on it. Grierson published his Standard Manual of Kashmiri Language in 1911, and also provided a sketch of Kashmiri grammar in his Linguistic Survey of India (1919: Vol. 8, part 2). He also published papers by Burkhard (1887–1889) in his Essays on Kashmiri Language (1899). Some other grammatical descriptions by European scholars continued till the middle of the 20th century. Though the tradition of presenting grammatical sketches and descriptions continued till midway through the 20th century, serious works on the subject commenced from the early sixties following the models of grammars prepared in other Indian languages. Trisal’s doctoral dissertation (1964) is the first descriptive grammar of Kashmiri written in Hindi. Kachru provides the first detailed grammatical description of Kashmiri in his A Reference Grammar of Kashmiri (1969). His other work, An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri (1973), prepared for teaching and learning of Kashmiri as a second/foreign language provides notes on Kashmiri grammar and culture. He has also dealt with certain grammatical aspects of the Kashmiri language in his other papers. Kachru’s work stimulated a great interest in the study of various aspects of Kashmiri grammar, including both morphology and syntax. Koul (1977) deals with various syntactic aspects following new theoretical developments. A few doctoral dissertations have dealt with morphology and syntax in detail. Bhat (1980) provides a detailed description of phonology and morphology; Sar (1981) describes verbal morphology; Andrabi (1984) discusses syntactic aspects of reference and co-reference in Kashmiri; Vijay Kaul (1988, published in 2006) deals with compound verbs in Kashmiri. Peter Hook and Koul jointly worked on various syntactic aspects like word order, pronominal suffixes, ergativity, transitivity, causatives, modal verbs, etc. Koul and Hook (1984) present certain important grammatical aspects of Kashmiri contributed by various scholars. The period after 1990 is very significant for the study of various grammatical aspects and for the preparation of grammars dealing in detail with morphology, syntax and semantics. Scholars in India and abroad and also in collaboration have prepared some significant research works, available in the form of dissertations, papers and books. Most of the dissertations deal with different syntactic aspects of Kashmiri. Asha Tickoo (1990) deals with word order in Kashmiri; Rakesh Bhatt (1994, published in 2000) deals with word order and case in Kashmiri; Achla Raina (1993) deals with certain syntactic aspects of Kashmiri using an S-Selectional approach to grammar; Estella Del Bon (2001) deals with clitics in Kashmiri. Wali and Koul (1997), in their Kashmiri: A Descriptive-Cognitive Grammar, provide a detailed description of Kashmiri grammar covering morphology and syntax. This book, widely referred to, has stimulated a number of linguists to take up further research in Kashmiri. Topics in Kashmiri Linguistics, edited by Koul and Wali (2002) is a collection of research papers devoted to syntax contributed by Peter Hook, Ashok Koul, Omkar N. Koul, Achla M. Raina, Estella del Bon and Kashi Wali. Koul (2005) in his Studies in Kashmiri Linguistics provides a description of various linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of Kashmiri. Kashmiri: A Study in Comparative Indo-Aryan by Hook and Koul (forthcoming) has 20 chapters devoted to various aspects of grammar. The Modern Kashmiri Grammar of Koul and Wali (2006) is pedagogically oriented for teaching/learning Kashmiri as a second language. Hook and Koul (2006) discuss valency sets in Kashmiri. There are very few grammars and grammatical studies written in Kashmiri. Naji Munawar and Shafi Shauq (1976), and Nishant Ansari (1976) provide a very brief

description of traditional grammatical terms in Kashmiri. Their main contribution has been in introducing Kashmiri terms for traditional grammatical terms used in Urdu. Adil Kak and Talashi (2002) present the first description of the grammatical aspects of Kashmiri, and Afaq Aziz’s (2005) grammar is the first pedagogically oriented grammar written in Kashmiri. Shauq (2008) provides a Grammatical description of Kashmiri in Kashmiri. 5. Sociolinguistic research Very limited sociolinguistic work has been conducted in Kashmiri thus far. To begin with, Grierson (1911) and Kachru (1969) have listed certain linguistic characteristics of the speech of Hindus and Muslims. Whereas Grierson uses Hindu and Muslim Kashmiri to distinguish these two varieties, Kachru prefers to use Sanskritised and Perisianised Kashmiri for these varieties, respectively. The so-called varieties are not exclusively Hindu and Muslim, but are important from the point of view of registers and diglossia. The first ever sociolinguistic survey, conducted by Koul and Schmidt (1983), studies the language use and language preferences of native speakers of Kashmiri. It reveals the use of Kashmiri in social domains and preferences for its use in education and administration at lower levels. M. K. Koul (1986) has studied sociolinguistic variables of Kashmiri spoken in the Anatnag district of the state and that of Srinagar. Dhar (1985) has pointed out sociolinguistic variations of Kashmiri spoken in Sopore. Kantroo (1985) has studied variations of Kashmiri by certain minority communities and occupational groups. Mahfooza Jan (1993) has studied dialects spoken by certain professional groups. Koul (1994, 1995) in his two papers has analysed personal names, surnames and nicknames in Kashmiri. Kak (1995), and Kak and Agnihotri (1997) have worked on Kashmiri–English code mixing. Apart from dealing with the acceptability at different levels, they also discuss the validity of of certain constraints in Kashmiri-English code mixing. Kak and Wani (2005) further study the notion and validity of base language in Kashmiri-English code mixing. Koul (1998) has studied language maintenance and language loss of Kashmiri migrant children in Jammu and Delhi. The study reveals loss of Kashmiri in formal domains and its maintenance in certain restricted social domains. There is comparatively more loss of the language in Delhi than in Jammu. His survey on language preferences in education in India (2001) shows preference for the use of Kashmiri as a subject and as medium of education at the elementary level in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiri is primarily used in restricted social domains and about 70% of parents prefer to talk to their children in Kashmiri at home. Adil Kak (2002) has also conducted a survey for the language maintenance and shift of Kashmiri in Srinagar. There is a wide scope for serious sociolinguistic research in Kashmiri and for its planning in education, administration and mass media. 6. Lexicography Lexicographical works in Kashmiri fall under different categories: vocabularies, glossaries and dictionaries. It is believed that Sonti Pandit (1859) prepared a KashmiriPersian dictionary in 1859, which is not available now. Ishar Kaul (d. 1883) made a first serious attempt to prepare a Kashmiri-Sanskrit dictionary but could not complete it before his death. Grierson (1916–1932) compiled A Dictionary of Kashmiri Language in four

volumes partly from materials left by Ishar Kaul. This is the first comprehensive Kashmiri-English dictionary available. The Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages has prepared a monolingual dictionary entitled Kashir Dictionary (1972–79) in eight volumes, and a bilingual Urdu-Kashmiri Farhang (1967–80) in nine volumes. Rattan Lal Shant et al. have prepared a Hindi-Kashmiri dictionary published by Central Hindi Directorate (CHD) in 1980. Several vocabularies have been prepared as a part of grammars and instructional materials. Handoo and Handoo (1975) have prepared a Hindi- Kashmiri common vocabulary. A Kashmiri-English Glossary prepared by Koul et al. in 1976 was published as Kashmiri-English Dictionary for Second Language Learners in its revised version in 2000 by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL). Koul and Talashi have prepared a Punjabi-Kashmiri Dictionary (1999). Jawahir Lal Tickoo (2006) has recently published a Kashmiri-English Dictionary. It has about 15,000 entries Perso-Arabic and Devanagari scripts. Knowles prepared A Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs and Sayings as early as in 1885. Koul (1992, 2006) has prepared A Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs, which provides Kashmiri proverbs with their literal translations, and idiomatic equivalents or explanations in English. 7. Instructional Materials Kachru (1973) prepared a course in spoken Kashmiri for the learning of Kashmiri as a second/foreign language. Koul (1987, 2006) has prepared Spoken Kashmiri: A Language Course as a self-instructional course. Teaching of Kashmiri as a second language to inservice teachers commenced at the Northern Regional Language Centre of the CIIL in 1971. The CIIL has published quite a few instructional materials, which include a Kashmiri Phonetic Reader by Jawahar Lal Handoo (1973), An Intensive Course in Kashmiri by Omkar N Koul (1985), Kashir Kitab: Level I by R K Bhat, Kashir Kitab: Level II, and Kashmiri Pictorial Glossary, by S. N. Raina, Intermediate Course Reader in Kashmiri by Koul (1995), Tests of Language Proficiency: Kashmiri by Koul, Raina, Bhat and M K Koul (2000), and A Handbook of Audio-Cassette Course in Kashmiri (with three audio-cassettes) by R K Bhat (2002). R K Bhat has also edited a Kashmiri Primer and a Kashmiri Reader using Devanagari script published by Sampreti (2003). Bhat (2007) has prepared A Course in Kashmiri Language in Devanagari script. Koul (2008) has prepared a Kashmiri Newspaper Reader with grammatical notes and translation to be used in a second/foreign language learning situation at the advanced level. The above survey brings out clearly that though linguistic research in Kashmiri began about hundred fifty years ago in different fields, there has been significant interest in the areas of grammars and grammatical studies, preparation of dictionaries and other pedagogical materials in Kashmiri in recent years. There are still a few important areas in which no adequate work has been done so far. This includes work in the area of computational linguistics and application of information technology.

References Aziz, Afaq 2005. vitastaa kaashur graamar (Vitasta Kashmiri Grammar). Srinagar: University of Kashmir. Bhat, Roop Krishen 1987. A Descriptive Study of Kashmiri. Delhi: Amar Prakashan.

Bhat, Roop Krishen 2007. A Course in Kashmiri Language. Delhi: Indian Institute of Language Studies. Bhatt, Rakesh M 1999. Verb Movement and the Syntax of Kashmiri. Dordrecht: Kluwar Academic Press. Grierson, G. A. 1911. A Standard Manual of the Kashmiri Language 2 Vols. Oxford: Reprinted Rohtak: Light and Life Publishers, 1973. --------- 1919. The Linguistic Survey of India Vol. VIII, Part II. Calcutta: Royal Asiatic Society.Reprint. Delhi: Motilal Banarasidas, 1968. --------- 1932 A Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language. New Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation. Reprint 1985. Hook, Peter Edwin, and Omkar N Koul 2006. Valency Sets in Kashmiri. In Voice and Grammatical Relations. In Honor of Masayoshi Shibatani, Tasaku Tsunda and Taro Kageyama (eds.), 43–84. Amsterdam: Benjamins. -------- 2008.Concordant Adjectives and Discordant Adverbs in Kashmiri. In Indian Linguistics vol 69. -------- Forthcoming. Kashmiri: A Study in Comparative Indo-Aryan Languages. Tokyo: Institute of Asian and African Languages and Cultures. Kachru, Braj B.1969a. A Reference Grammar of Kashmiri. Urbana: University of Illinois. -------- 1919. The Linguistic Survey of India Vol. VIII, Part II. Calcutta: Royal Asiatic Society.Reprint. Delhi: Motilal Banarasidas, 1968. ------- 1932 A Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language. New Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation. Reprint 1985. -------- 1969b Kashmiri and other Dardic languages. In Current Trends in Linguistics Vol. V, Thomas A. Sebeok (ed.), 284–306. The Hague: Mouton. -------- 1973. An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri. Urbana: University of Illinois. Kak, Aadil, and Ratan Talashi 2002. kaashir zabaan: akh graamrii vyetshnay (The Kashmiri Language: A Grammatical Analysis]. Srinagar: Nihaar Publications. Kak, Aadil A. 2002. Language Maintenance and Shift in Srinagar. Ph. D. dissertation, University of Delhi. Kak, Aadil A. and Sajad Wani 2005. Case for Base: A Study of Kashmiri-English Code Mixing. Paper presented in SALA-25. Kaul, Vijay Kumar 2006. Compound Verbs in Kashmiri. Delhi: Indian Institute of Language Studies. Koul, Ashok K. 2008. Lexical Borrowings in Kashmiri. Delhi: Indian Institute of Language Studies. Koul, Maharaj K.1986. A Sociolinguistic Study of Kashmiri. Patiala: Indian Institute of Language Studies. Koul, Omkar N.1977. Linguistic Studies in Kashmiri. New Delhi: Bahri Publications. --------- 1985. An Intensive Course in Kashmiri. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages. --------- 1987. Spoken Kashmiri: A Language Course. Patiala: Indian Institute of Language Studies. Second edition 2006. -------- 1992. A Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs. Patiala: Indian Institute of Language Studies. Second edition 2006. -------- 1995. An Intermediate course in Kashmiri. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages. -------- 2000. Kashmiri Language, Linguistics and Culture: An Annotated Bibliography. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages. -------- 2001. Language Preference in Education in India. In Language Education in Multilingual India edited by C J Daswani. New Delhi: UNESCO.

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