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I Bi-Annual Jan-Jun, 1999
Special Issue on Post Structural Linguistics
Editor A.R. Fatihi
Amitav Chowdhry Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
In the context of India, bringing out a volume on a theme called "Pest-Structural Linguistics· (henceforth PSL) is too ambitious and premature too, as a minor portion of the Linguist community in India are interested in such an endeavour to understand the problems of disciplines born out of an enlightenmentproject along with the problems of plurality and labstate analytical procedures. Above all, unfortunately, not all the PSL-enthusiasts are available to make their contribution in this tiny volume. However, the present volume has collated the contributions made by frontline linguists in the minority community of PSL. The papers are in response to the following announcement seeking contributions from different parts of this planet: A NOTE ON POST STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS An Initial Apology When post structuralism is attacking the dividing practices of modem science it is merely self-defeating to propose something called PSL. Keeping in mind this constratnt of not being trapped by the "administrative dtvistcns" of modern enlightened science, we may begin a dialogue on the paradigm crisis that begins in the field of "modem" linguistics with many other sciences. We are said to be living in a post-modern era, where a paradigm crisis in different modern sciences is rampant. The alleged objectification of subjects in modem scientific meta-narratlves'Is replaced by the postmodern pluraUty of subjects. Keeping in mind such a paradigm crisis in modern sciences, we propose here
a new arena where the (dis)position of the speaking subject is more important than analyzing his Of her language by objectifying him/her in a laboratory state. In modern linguistics the spea'king subject is phenomenologically reduced from his or her habitat or social habitat. In this way modern linguistics is creating a meta-narrative of universal grammar by considering only the Ira nscendenta I·eg 0 and without considering the genotext within the phenotext, (cf. J.Kristeva, 1973). If we are allowed to. consider the relationship between "empty linguistic organism and social malleability we can switch over to Orwell's problem (cf.Chomsky 1986) where we can question the validity of the decentered speaking subject. On the other hand science which is now replaced by technology and technical rationality is immuned against philosophy. Modern linguistics too, is not out of track, as there is something called computational linguistics which is supposed to substitute the human being by a talking machine in the cyberspace of computational network. As a result we are supposed to carryon our mechanical algorithmic communication. Many questions may be raised in this cannection regarding the planning of our future communication and on the constitutive nonalgorithmic, non-computable nature of human cognitive domain. We expect some of these questions to be answered. . This modern condition will lead us to the critical theory of Habermas (1970), (though Habermas is not a branded post structuralist), according to which this social malleability can be removed if every member of SOCiety has an equal chance to participate in a dialogue free from manipulation and domination. Though Linguistics Today Vol.III No. 1
Weimer (1986) accused Haberrnas of being transcendental, ~eeping aside such a track of transcendentalism we can reorganize pluralistiC planning policies (cf. South Asia) that not only plans Externalized language (El) but also Internalized Language (IL) as well as IL is also effected by outside sociality. This pluralistic language planning is also related to the decentralized economic planhing that deters linguistic imperialism in any of its forms, viz. Designating some languages with names Uke,"dialect", "Iclklanquaqe", "tribal language" etc. The colonial culture of centre-periphery, dominator-dominated relation must be reconsidered in the context of Africa, Latin America and Asia. Post-modern linguists have radically chaHenged the formal analyzing system. In the Indian tradition, Bharttrihari in his ~Anti-Apoddhara"- theory opposed formal analytical procedures and also Prabhakard'in his "syntactic" -theory (anvitabhidhanavada) proposed non-~nalytical syntax. to attest human cognitive process. From this perspective it is far more important to understand cognitive interpretationof language rather than to understand language from the algorithmic and computational point of view. It is noticeable that the discourse of modern linguistics is pervaded by the algocentric discourse. (A discourse that is motivated by meta mathematical formalism or computational algorithmic simulation ignoring the non algoritnmic constitutive rules.) To summarize the issues discussed here the following themes are proposed: . 1. The problem of linguistic creativity in relation to outside sociality , Linguistics Today
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(roots and suffixes are intimately attached). The nonmainstream wes.tern linguistics is again benefited from the non-Paninian eastern.thought after the deep impact of Pan in; in the early days of structuralism. This shows a strong emergence of, contemporary Indian school of Linguistics that endorses in the Bhartriharian anti-apoddhara rhetoric. It is also evident in Oasgupta's paper that nonalgorithmic non-formality is the essence of this school of thought. The paper also points out the parad~gm crisis in the generativist approach towards the rigorous formal analysis of language-object created by a writing(rather than "speakfnq" in the crude sense of the term)-subject. Dasgupta, reiterating SinghOasgupta's 1998 position says, compounds "are in fact words with only apparently word-uke segments, ~here the two apparent partners in the apparent construction . enjoy grossly unequal commutation privileges. The beauty of this approach is that, though the morphology of compounds is under erasure, the traces or footmarks of the "apparent " words are still "there". When we buy a pair of shoes, how many shoes we buy? One, two or three (two shoes and a pair of shoes)? The immediate question that arises in our mind is that how many "thingsR(signifieds) are there in a so-called compound? Suppose there are n number of things in a given compound. One can select 211 number of things from that given compound. That is, one can, in fact, select 211 > n. This extensionallst approach, Of course, is not applicable for the .basic reason that human cognition does not allow such pred icament. The inherent intentionalism of the Ford-Singh, Dasgupta and Agnihotri's approaches makes us to shift towards the .s'e mantico-preqmatic level where formal truthfunctionalism (as it is revealed in the "real- -world
2. The theory of polylogue, without manipulation and domination 3. Decentralized language planning from below 4. The reconsideration of technical vocabulary that reflects the colonialist cultural conventions. Colonialism and the birth of linguistics as a . discipline. 5. Development of non-/post formal system of analyses (cf. Lakatosian  non-formal mathematics and Goedel's (1931) theorem and the logic of xduction. Ancient Indian theory of • "mimamsa" school and "Bharttrhan")
6. Critique of modern linguistics
modem linguistics 7. Plural interpretation of text
or in defense
The results of such endeavor are presented in this volume. A serious reader may notice the similarities among Ford, Singh, Agnihotri and Dasgupta's papers that are dissatisfied with the traditional structural morphological analysis of language-object and propose the non-formal SUbstantive analysis and seamless morphology mainly on the basis of speaking subject's cognition of constitutive rules rather than that of parametric set of "scientiflc" rules. Ford-Singh's position, as far as I understand, is more akin to Mimamsaka-position of considering second lexicon as redundant. Like Kumarila,he could also say that "prakrtihpratyayau sahartham oruta"
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Preface semantics of "Logical Form") does not work at all.
Patnaik starts, though unknowingingly, taking a cue from Singh's note-1. Keeping aside the metanarrative of Universal Grammar, Patnaik deals with the "periphery' component of a particular language, a marginalized area that was ignored by the grand-narrative-makers. Patnaik's consideration for ignored and marginalized specific constructions opens up an arena where we could not be allowed (quite contrary to the Chomsky's pronouncement in "On Binding"[1980:2]) to keep our jobs pending for good if we face apparent counterexamples in the languagedomain. Apart from such a paradigm shift as revealed in the first three papers, there is also a paper that depicts the management of cyberspace by a dispersed community in the contemporary post-modern situation. Khubchandani's paper mainly focuses on the postindustrial multinational endeavour that negates the Taylorian standardized Production and Fordian Division of Labour by liquidating capital. It is entailed from his approach that post-industrial dominators overtly preserve the plurality in the simulated cyberspacehyper-reality and at a time also preserves extreme covert centralization. This phenomenon may be summarized as "localization in globalization." On the other hand. the frequent reference to the statecontrolled census makes us to shift in the another domain: sovereign and Autonomous Indian state. administration's endeavour to build up a homogenized Nation State's process by either following Nehuruvian India-Project or Hindu Project of constructing Bharat. that is at par with the national capitalist-endeavour to homogenize India for the sake of common market. Linguistics Today
However, apart from such penetrating domains and sub-domains, one may seek, with a risk of being trapped in the fallacies of essentialism, another domain. the "inner domain" (Partha Chatterjee, 1993) of Indian-ness - that is decentralized from the below with its' horizontal mutual aid and grass-root multilingualism as well as relay-network. The concept of solidified state boundary is fuzzy and indeterminable here. This "below"-story, though elaborated by Khu bchandani (1997) elsewhere, is not dealt here. . Bandyopadhyay's Linguistics's death report is seemed to be an over-exaggeration and may be read as an over-enthusiast's text on non-formalism. However the last sentence of his paper hopes the longevity of Ling uistics. In fact, he wants the end of the stru ctu ra I gran d-na rrat ive effo rt th at makes th e creative speaking subject as a mere object. Cheng's paper is a critical report on Proposition 227, and the overwhelming support of the people of California, United States, to vote in favour of this Proposition, to do away with bilingual education, through this bill. The main grievance of the proponents of this proposition was that bilingual education was only successful in creating a language underclass. Cheng highlights the sense of alarm amongst linguists, researchers and educationists on the changing scenario. Cheng presents a historical perspective of the issue of Proposition 227 via Proposition 187, especially on the importance given to bilingual education on one hand and the defiant support for 'English-only' on the other, amongst certain sections of society in the United States. Cheng concludes by quoting a letter sent to the editor of the Los Angles Times by Reuben and Louis Rambant, which expresses Linguistics Today
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the sentiment of some researcnars/scholers on the issue. We have included this paper in our special issue with the hope that there will be a healthy feedback from linguists 'Onthis critical sociolinguistic issue - and this is exactly what Cheng wants too! Therefore reflecting back on what we said earlier about venturing into an enterprise in defense of PSL in the areha of modern enlightened science; we hope that we have made a beginning by opening a dialogue on paradigm crisis in linguistics and we are optimistic that this will encourage linguists to look at PSL in a new light. We are grateful to the contributors to this Volume for their cooperation and patience in helping us in this pioneering endeavour which is the first of its kind in the Indian context. We also thank our colleagues, Ms. Shubhasree Ganguly and Ms. Anuradha De for their constant help. We are also thankful to Mr. C. Bhattacharya for his help. And finally we feel privileged that Dr. A.R. Fatihi and Dr. J. Warsi entrusted us with the responsibility of editing th is Volume.
Vol. III No. 1
vol. III, No. 1 Bi-Annual
Alan Ford & Rajendra Singh WHY WE DON'T NEED A SECOND LEXICON Lachman M. Khubchandani LINGUISTIC DIASPORAS : PLURILINGUAL SOCIETIES IN THE CONTEXT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY R.K. Agnihotri IS ghuRsavaar A COMPOUND?: HINDI COMPOUNDS REVISITED 01
57 AN OBITUARY
Probal Oasgupta RELATIV1ZING THE FORMAL TO THE SUBSTANTIVE IN LINGUISTICS Li·Rong Lilly Cheng DISCUSSION PROPOSITION 227 : WHAT DOES IT MEAN? ..
A VIEW OF GENERATIVE LINGUISTICS
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