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Understanding Semantics of Language Development
O. Prologue It is observed that Linguistics has peculiarly borrowed terms from Economics and has used them in their discourse to clarify some phenomena related to 'language development' or 'language modernization', which is to be implemented via 'linguistic management', a sub-area of the broad spectrum of 'language planning'. Thus the distinction between 'rich' and 'poor' (though these notions are not overtly used in Modern Linguistics), 'standard' and 'non-standard' languages, 'developed' and' un/underdevelopedl backward' languages has emerged in the discursive formation of Linguistics. This paper tries to examine this issue of dividing practice from the so called theoretical perspective and it also questions the validity of these terrns in the context of Linguistics and Economics. It is evident from Chomskyan hypothesis that every human being has a potential to create infinite sets of sentences out of finite sets of words. It is a species character of every human being and it universally presents in the cognitive domain of every homo sapiens. Chomsky (1986) termed it as Internalized Language (IL) vis a vis Externalized Language (EL) which is an epiphenomenal and arbitrary social representation of language. All the terms mentioned earlier are employed to mean EL-aspects of language.
t. The States of Affairs
To understand the EI-aspects and their different socially valueloaded relationship, let us suppsoe there are EI-variations 'V's which
130 \ Understanding Semantics of Language Development are mutually intelligible. Sometime, one 'v' has become 'Y' due to some non-linguistic causes (like socio-economic 'upliftment' of certain geopolitical area derived from Eurocentric norms). This transformation v - V gives birth to a centre-periphery relation between 'v' and vs. 'V' as a centre enjoys the defeat of other vs, which are now called as dialect, folk language, tribal language in contrast to Standard language 'V'. 'V' is enjoying the status of 'developed' languages vis a vis 'backward' and 'undeveloped' 'v's Thus defeated (or 'underdeveloped' ?) 'v's may be suffering from inferiority complex and striving for aquiring 'V', a standard tool for the socio-functional purpose of communication. Thus 'v's are defeated languages or captive languages. In another case, this 'V' is not fully mutually intelligible with the other 'v's, but in the same way manoeuvres other 'v's. This 'V' enjoys the status of non-regional language (something which is beyond the region, e.g. Hindi is a non-regional language vis-a-vis non-Hindi regional languages. One may think that non-regional Hindi is above the space-time and thus an Incarnation of supreme being), National Language, Official Language, Majority language or international language, etc. In this way, 'v's do not look at each other, instead they look vertically to the supposed sun, the centre, the 'V'. Concentrating on sun V as a centre is called Sunflower Syndrome (vs are here sunflowers. cf Singh, ]987) or it may be called as Linguistic Imperialism. Empire V deprives colony vs either internally (e.g. Standard Language vs. Dialects) or externally (e.g. International language vs. native languages). One of the greatest problems arising out of this situation is regarding education. Speakers ofvs are bound to aquire V by means of a packaged commodity called 'Grammar' or they will be ridiculed. In case of internal colony, in the name of 'mother tongue education' one speaker of v learns V and in case of external colony speakers of v need to learn one Foreign V or FV as a means of adopting prestigious education. What is missing in all these cases, is linguistic human right as mentioned in Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and in the Draft Universal Declaration on Indigenous Rights (Document E/C~.4/Sub.2/19881
Understanding Semantics of Language Development \ 131 is also a v) that makes it so prestigious, but it is Vs geopolitics (or geopolitical intervention. It may be due to a 'historical accident' Lyons, 1968:35) that makes the difference. The geopolitics is obviously centralist in its character. I try to depict the situation without any jargons as jargons tike dialect, standard language, etc. are heavily loaded with ideology. Though these jargons are used in the critical discourse of Linguistics. (for detailed discussion see Phillipson, 1992 : pp. 38.46) Ray (1968) used the metaphor 'tool' in reference to the process of Standardization (henceforth ST). It is redundunt to say that the concept of 'tool' is related to the Industrial Society. The primary demand of Industrialization is a common market, and to add more, a common language, which can meet the demand of centralised education. revolutionised media, by means of which one can trasmit Mcluhanian 'message' of an Industrialised society. In this context, one can quote Ray (1968:754): "We expect of a standardized tool that it will be cheaper to acquire and maintain, individual specimens will be very much alike and of relatively uniform dependability." (underlined by me). Thus Standard Language is a 'cheaper tool' available in the 'market' and it can be developed through the newly-invented system of 'language-management' which is employed to 'develop' a language following rigourous 'planning' (i.e. it needs 'Guided' or 'planned' development" and can be advertised for sale ..If one can mind the jargons involved here (management, planning, status planning, language correction, language development etc.), one can easily discover the discourse of an all parvading market economy. In fact ST is a term which includes every thing related to the gigantic shape of Industrialization as Mumford remarked, "Standardization largely in pecuniary terms, of the cultural products themselves in art, literature, architecture and language ...bigness takes the place of form: voluminousness takes the significance ..." (quoted in Ghosh, B. ]984:67). Thus following Dasgupta (1989: 117), we may attest a 'captive language' situation which evolves within the Speech Community in relation to V-v situation. ST internally colonize 'other' interlinguistic • variations of the same language. And by this dividing practices. as Foucault caUed it, arises the divisions like 'rich' and 'poor', •standard' and 'non-standard' languages, 'developed' and 'un! underdevelopedlbackward' languages.
Thus the relation between vs and V is not as 'natural' as IL, but it is 'cultural'. There is nothing 'in itself within V (in fact, it
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Understanding Semantics of Language Development \ 133 world of commodities with the products of human hand." This Fetishism is also found in the case of arbitrary signs, human cultural product. In the mysterious world of religion, the hymns are thought to have magical power, which could change the human or nonhuman condition. Thus, in the world of religion, signs are endowed with power of magic. Chattopadhyay, D.P. observed in the Upanisada, " ...speech like melody, was conceived magically to be an aid to obtain food." (1981: 110) In the same way, one may argue that the lL, a natural endowment of human body, when under the symbolic order of the society, has become inversed. This inversion of IL and its subsequent creative organ may be termed as Crippled Creativity. This is a myth of the new industrial society, at a time 'true and unreal'. 2.2 "Developed Language
Sto res-Com moditized: Standardized
In relation to the problem of EL-ST and the role of market, I will now consider the famous fieldwork done by Labov (1972) in New York City. Here we will consider departmental stores as a paradigm, where the nature of market economy and commoditization is revealed through the process of buying and selling. Labov (1972:24) showed that in New York, ..... middle aged, lower-middle class speakers tend to adopt the formal speech patterns of the younger upper middle class speakers. This tendency provides a feedback mechanism which is potentially capable of accelerating the introduction of any prestige feature", as the members of the lower middle class "tend be socially and linguistically insecure and anxious to improve their social status." Labov observed this ClassEL correspondence by surveying some Departmental Stores in New York City. If one could adopt a sign, he or she can accelarate his or her social status as in the case of buying consumer goods. Thus, one can conclude from this survey that the arbitrary signs acquire the status of commodity and their appearence is now mysterious 'upside down' and the mystery can only be deciphered through Phenomenological Reduction. Following Strauss's dichotomy of nature and culture one can formulate the state of affairs:
Nature Wood Speech Sounds -+ -+ -+ Culture Table Commodity Table (Upside down) Signs (Upside down)
The above chart clearly shows the mysterious metamorphosis of cultural products as a result of cornrnoditization. This commodity takes the characteristics of myth, as Barthes pointed out that. It is at a time 'True and Unreal' and according to Marx, it is at a time 'perceptibles and imperceptible.' (Marx: ] 887:77) Then, we all are fetish consumers, rather than 'ideal' speakers or hearers of linguistic text. The reality of hierarchial social stratification also shows that the social relation among men is assumed to be the 'fantastic relation between things". (Ibid) In this discussion, Marx found an analogy in the mysterious world of religion specially in the anthropomorphic world-view; Marx wrote, "In that world the productions of human being as independent beings endowed with life and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the
The ST needs 'grammar' (obviously prescriptive!) to stabilize the V and to spread V with this tool. Let us hear the story of grammar from Ivan Illich, In describing 'West to Orient' project of Columbus, IIlich (in Pattanayak, 1981) mentioned an overlooked name, Elio Antoniode Nebrija (15th C., contemporary to Columbus) who offered Queen Isabella a 'tool' to colonize the language spoken by her own subjects. In fact, Nebrija wanted to replace the people's speech by implementing the grammar of Queen's lingua. What Dasgupta (1989) mentioned as internal colonization, began with this attempt to grammatize Queen's tongue in a Grammar book, "Grammatica de 1a Castellana" (1942), the first in any European tongue. And thus begun the the conquest by means of this engineered tool, 'a Grammar book', chemically synthetised weapon to suppress. 'untutored barbaric' speech in home and abroad. In this way the external colonization begun. Nebrija himself speaks about the marriage of Empire and language (i.e .. sword and grammar book). So, language (Standard language) now needs tutors. Nebrija argued for standardising a living language for the benefit of the newly invented Printing Press. Consequently the Official Ideology of 'literacy' came into light. Here is a switch over from people's vernacular to Grammarians' language (Queen's language), or from vernacular learning to mother tongue education. By this monopoly of the Grammarians' language compulsory education could be
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implemented in the public schools through a homogenous language of power. And in this way the 'Captive Speakers' (Dasgupta 1989) of 'other' 'dialects' have been born internally. In the case of external colonization, writing grammar books was an usual practice by standardising one of the colony's language and making a 'tool' (grammar book) for it. This switch over from 'vernacular' to an 'officially taught mothertongue', according to lllich, is, ''. ..switch from breast to bottle, from subsistence to welfare, from production for use to production for the market, from expectations divided between State and Church to a world where the Church is marginal, religion is privatized, and the state assumes the maternal functions hitherto claimed only by the Church." (Illich in Pattanayak: 1981, 15) It is also to be estimated currently that "there may have been about 80 million Native Americans in Latin America when Columbus 'discovered' the continent-as we say - and about 12 to 15 million more north of the Reo Grande" were "slaughtered, decimated, and dispersed" (Chomsky, in Peck, 1987: 121-22) in course of colonizing America. On the other hand, the new tool, discovered by Nebrija, helped to create lingustic genocide internally and externally as well.
The existing world order of industrial capitalism, far from Orwellian imagination, not only closes the word (vocabula~y) .by inversing it but also affects the word-order (syntax) by abridging and telescoping (Marcuse, 1986:91). By capturing this real~, they invade the realm of cognition and block its development. This may, following Marcuse, be called authoritarian ritualisation of language (Ibid). Both Marcuse and magico-rituallanguage in is, in this case, behaviourial on the behalf of authority f hi Orwell showed the emergence 0 t IS their own way. The main point however, manipulation of human bod~, that speaks and thus is alienated from his/her labour
2.3 New Word Order
The next EL-problem, mostly discussed by Frunkfurt Marxists and post-structuralists (like Marcuse and Barthes), may be referred to as condensation of language in the Technical Society. It is a more pervading problem where Orwellian douhlespeak is 'natural' way of communicating with each other ...there is no scope for 'ideal' speaker-hearer relation. In Orwell's 1984, the official language of Oceania is Newspeak, which had been devised to meet the needs of English Socialism or Ingsoc. 'The purpose of Newspeak', as Orwell mentioned in 1984's Appendix, "was not only to provide a medium of expression for tile world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible." (Orwell, 1949:241). What Orwell emphasised may be related to Marcusean concept of 'closing of the universe of discourse', the language of total administration and one dimensional thought, the. discourse is here without mediation of process of cognition - a language without thought (Marcuse, 196411986:84-120).
of speaking. In Newspeak, there are three types of vocabu lary. Vocabulary A "consisted of words needed for business or everyday polysen~y of those words; these monosemous words should not, be use~ I.n literature and philosophical discussion. The word thought IS prohibited, only 'think' exists as noun and verb." Vocabula~~ B "consisted of words which have been constructed for political purpose, The words are generally compound in nature, wh~re packaging of ideas is visible, But th~re are no such word~ like honour, justice, morality, internationahs~, democracy, cons~lence, religion etc. in the political or~er. of t~tn~s. All, thes~ ds are covered and withered away by cnmethmk and oldthmk: The C vocabulary was supplement only to A a.od. B and consisted of scientific and technical terms in very specialised sense as one one ~cientistJtechnician" could find all the words he (sic:?) needed in the list devoted to his (sic?) own speciality, but he (SIC?) seldom has more than a smattering of words occurring in the other lists, (Orwell, 1949:249). Thus she is hound to the realm of his/her own boundary of administrative division or ideology. . This closed universe of discourse is not, however, perceived as a 'closed' in the perspective of 'new world order', because the new order' inverses the world metamorphosing 'open' to 'closed' and displays it as open. Orwell referred it as. 'eup,himism', (Orwell, 1949:247) and exarnplified it with the words I~ke Joy~amp (forcedlabour camp), minipax (Ministry of Peace, i.e, Ministry of War),
Freedom (means slavery), etc. This Oceanian Newspeak makes us remember the ~ame of a deadly weapon, 'peacekeeper', constructed by Americans for •keeping peace in the world' and named by Ronald Reagan.
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Chomsky (1986:276) showed how the words like 'invasion' and 'defence' interchage their connotation according to the state politics. (,Soviet invasion in Afganistan' is interpreted as 'Soviet defence in Afganistan' by the advocates of state socialism.). Marcuse (19641 1986:89) also examplified the same process: "The political party which works for the defence and growth of capitalism is called 'social ist', and a despotic government 'democratic', and a rigged election 'free' ..." This Newspeak also makes us remember two altogether same worlds, imagined by Rabindranath and Godard in literature and cinema respectively. In taSer deS (The Kingdom of Cards), Rabindranath (1936) demonstrated this inversion of words as found in 1984. In the cardland, 'jail' is 'Father-in-law's house', 'riddle' means 'scripture', 'dumb' is 'saint', 'foolish' is 'pandit' or scholar, 'living' means 'dying' and 'heaven' means 'crime', In Godard's 'Alphaville', there is no interaction in between human beings. The Bible, Lexicon are inversed even some words are erased from the memory. There is no question of the word 'love'. Only when lovers could come out of the inversed world of •Alphavilie', they could pronounce' I love you' after much striving to create that very sentence. Without pronouncing that they might be mingled with the deads of A lphaville. Thus a resistance arouse from the speaker-hearer (in this case, lovers) by negating the Alphaville order of things. In case of fixed vocabulary A, the institutional control of words shows the extension of institution upto the basic relationship of human beings by mechanical institutionalization of family. On the other hand, Vocabulary B confirms the political abridgement of thought by condensing words into compounds. Tn compounds two or more morphemes or words are juxtaposed and some elements are deleted (grammatical linkage or some morphemes or words). These deleted elements are normally within the cognition of speaker and grammatically determined, i.e, recoverable by tbe intution of the native speaker. But, in Newspeak, compounds words are "not constructed in any etymological plan. (The implication of the word 'etymological' should be understood in a non-technical sense here-author). The words, of which they were made up, could be any parts of speech, and could be placed 'in any order and mutilated in any way which made them easy to pronounce while indicating derivation." (Orwell, 1949:245). It is derivation, or any
thing else. In compounds, there were no grammatical relations, no paradigms or parts of speech are in operation, but they were only controlled by the luxary of pronounciation. The deleted elements are not only deleted, but are eliminated from the cognitive domain. Category and Contents-both are deleted and there is no empty category left behind. As Kayne (cited in Radford 1986:276) proposed that though the contents of category (syntactic, semantic, phonetic features, etc.), may be deleted, the category remains there as an empty category. This empty category is also eliminated in the Newspeak compounds. The 'abhava' of this category in this case, cannot be perceived as an 'dravya' (substance), so it is 'Iopa' (deletion), a complete deletion which could not be recoverable. Thus the morphemes/words, when were linked to create compound, they no longei bear the grammatical link, as they are abridged for the sake of pronunciation. (e.g. Mini true) Minitruthful; minipax (minipeaceful etc.) In case of Vocabulary C, the scientific discourse is 'systematically distorted' to constitute a mechanical boundary of Totalitarian Administrative divisions. Phillipson (1992:38-45), in case of Modern Linguistics, showed an exciting and extensive list of Linguistic terms suffering from Newspeak-mania and give birth to Eurocentric order of things. He showed the colonial cultural mythology in terms like 'tribe, dialect, vernacular, modernization patoias', etc. These terms are still used in linguistics with a hidden intention of Linguistic imperialism. In the previous sections, the use of the phrase 'New World Word Order' may seem ambiguous. When I bracketed that phrase with inverted commas, it literally triggers the inverted world of legitimized manipulation. On the other hand, the same expression, when is used without 'inverted' commas, refers to no inversion, no uspisde down position. Our goal is to establish this New World Order without inverted commas, i.e., to abolish inversion to achieve the New World Order without behaviourial manipulation and without inverted commas. It is, from the perspective of superordinate class interpreted as distortion, a terrible fact, and a turning things upside down. But from the standpoint of oppressed subaltern, it is turning upside down things upside down or a case of logical double negation. The negated existence -p is doubly negated (~p) to get positive p. It may, following Buddhist Philosophy, be called apoha. It is due to
138 \ Understan.ding Semantics of Language Development the defensive subaltern's negative consciousness constituted by il series of negatives, which gives birth to, what we call 'revolution' In ~ase of the word, 'development' we have to deploy the same logic to understand the semantics of it as it has already a inverted word that suffers from acute technocentrisrn and capital accumulation. . .. How ca~ we resist this world of 'logical irrationality' and initiate revolution? Here is an attempt by the Public Research Interest Group (Delhi) who inverts the technical rational word order and turns them in 'upside down position' (see appendix-Z),
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2.4 The Problems of National Language
"If God had so wished, he could have made all Indians speak one language ...the unity of India has been and shall always be a unity in diversity."-Rabindranath Tagore . "One can. hardly speak of a national unity in the Indian past; nationhood, as In some other land, is a recent phenomenon with us. It may be claimed that it is still in the making; it may even be argued that India is a congeries of nationalities with separate histories of their own ..."-Susobhan Sarkar (1979: 149) . The perception of 'India' as a homogeneous entity ('Nation') is the result of confrontation with the British Raj and the subsequent emergence of National ism in the last century. But the plural society does not .lose its ~ssential character, though there are attempts to make a single entity by introducing monolingual option. Still the spo.n~aneous multilingualism and high rate of convergence is also notJ~leable. These fundamental differences and plurality in respect of history, culture and society give birth to different movements specially related to lingulistic sovreignty in a colonial era as well as to post-independent India. In India, some languages are selected as 'National Language' and are included in the eighth scehedule of our constitution. The outcastes from the list, from time to time, have protested against their exclusion. They are feeling deprived as they do not have the national identity. The question arises here that these groups ~ho are not part of the list, are they not 'nationality'? In.dla as a plural society with respect to language and culture needs different type of planning, (quite different from the Eurocentric s~andp~int) for its numerous languages without depriving the small hngu~tJ~ groups. Due to the discontent of not being in the consntunon, language movements are rampant in India.
In 1837, there was a decision by the then British Government on replacing Pharsi by the vernacular tongues of all provinces for administrative purpose. At the same time, the demand for a selfdetermined language poticy was heard from different parts of the country because the bread and butter of the speaker of any language depended on this policy of linguistic state; because s/he could participate in the decision making body of the government, if and only if the administrative job is done in hislher mother-tongue. This administrative excuse for shifting to monolingual maintenance of mothertongue from spontaneous multilingualism must be checked as we found spontaneous multilingualism in India as Pandit gave an encouraging example of a Gujarati Businessman (spice-merchant) who speaks in Kacchi; but uses a dialect of Marathi in course of shopping to converse with the veg-sellers who have migrated from the Kolaba region (Bombay); seldom reads newspaper in English; he goes to see Hindi films with his family; to converse with the Suburban Railway Anglo-Indian employees, he switches over to Bazar Hindosthani or in a typical mixed Hindi; last of all he uses Konkani, Gujarati and Marathi for his own business purpose. (Pandit, 1977, cited by Singh, 1990, 302). Singh (Ibid) also mentioned the speech habit of a Rajput in medieval India, who speaks Harauti in his domestic environment; educates himselfin Sanskrit for religious purposes; he switches over to Brajabhakha for writing poetry and went through Philosophy in Prakrt. In any Sanskrit drama, it is found that uninterrupted communication is also possible 'n spite of plurality of languages. The tendency of self-determined language policy gave birth to different Vernacular Movements in the British Period as a result of separationist politics of the British Raj. Pattanayak observed, "If one draws a straight line between Kashmir and Kanyakumari and marks, say, every five or ten miles then one will find that there is no break in communication in any two consecutive points of scale." (1981 :44). The communication disrupts, onlywhen the gaps are larger. But the problem is managed, as apart from the uninterrupted in-group communication, Indian multilingual context innovates unique Language for Wider Communication (L We) for out-group interaction. Some of these languages are Pidgins like Nagamese, Sadari, Halabi etc. and some are regionally marked out-group languages like Assamese, Tamil, Oriya, Kannada, Marathi etc. and some other are languages of diffusion belt (Gujrati, Malayalam, Bangia, Punjahi, Telugu etc.).
140 \ Understanding Semantics of Language Development Khubchandani (1997) along with Sudipro Kaviraj and Partha Chatterji (1993) pointed out, many indeterminacies and fuzziness in national state-boundaries due to the 'synergy' of mutuality of understanding. Ignoring this type of grassroot multilingualism, the Indian constitution incorporates eighteen languages which are included in the eighth schedule. The criteria to be a part of the eighth schedule largely depend on, what Bendict Anderson aptly called as 'Print Capitalism' (1983). He argued that the "nations are not the determinate products of given sociological conditions such as language, race, or religion; they had been, in Europe and everywhere else in the world, imagined into existence." (Chatterjee, 1993:4-5). Thus the existence of nationality is 'imagined' into 'being' by elite from certain 'modular' forms. Chatterjee justifiedly questioned the imperial connotation of this mimetic colonial derivative as he said, "If nationalisms inthe rest of the world have to choose their imagined community from certain modular forms already made available to them by Europe and the Americas, what do they have left to imagine?" In India, depending on the guided Eurocentric 'development and growth' of certain languages via print capitalism, some 'fortunate' and 'privileged' languages of some (imagined) communities are selected as 'national languages' ignoring the plurality of Indian grassroot multilingualism. Apart from these, there are some languages which are not acknowledged by the Indian Constitution, Sahitya Academy, National Literacy Mission or the media. It has been observed (Singh, 1990:305) that these linguistic areas are movement prone and the possibility of insurgency is high. These scheduled languages are said to be 'developed' as they have 'rich printed literary heritage' and 'large knowledge base' etc. These are the 'capital' of privileged languages who internally colonize 'other' non-privileged variations of the 'st'lte'. However, the anti-statist like Rabindrar ath Tagore, in his 'baNla bhaSa poricOY' (938) oppsed this very nor.on of National Language as he argued, "we should come forward in the aid of our nation, but the more important duty of ours is to make fertile and nourish the heart of the people living in it. The performance cannot be done without being aided by language of one's own. The main gate may be lighted by a single lamp fuelled by the governing authority's coffer but to light that single lamp one cannot put off the lamp of every room and cannot snatch away the oil."
Understanding Semantics of Language Development \ 141 This position against the lightening of single lamp by virtue of the darkness in the every room of the country negates the possibility of monistic option of establishing Hindi as our National language. As Tagore mentioned the snatching away of oil from domestic units to lit the lamp of the royal gate, this may be compared to the snatching away of surplus by the superordinates, which, in terms of Dadabhai Naoroji or Rameshchandra Dutta, is 'drain of wealth.' In case of drain of wealth, "Taxation raised by the king, ...is like the moisture sucked up by the sun, to be returned to the earth. as fertilising rain...". (Ramesh Chandra Dutta cited in Dutta, 1988:39) But taxation is utilized in another priveleged land for the sake of 'development'. Therefore, the moisture of one land fertilizes and 'blesses' other lands. So also the case of language-drain, where one selected variety is 'developed' (as National or standard language) at the expense of' other' languages. This notion of' Drain of language' , which is analogous to 'Drain of Wealth' supplements the notion of 'Sunflower Syndrome'. However in recent days, a consciousness arises, where one is concerned about the potentiality of one's own language and consciously opposes the dominant language. [n the Dalit writing, ] found one such striking example: "Caste language is structured by its own grammar. It is a flexible and alert grammar, designed for production-based communication. Though it has developed without the help of writing, it is no less sophisticated than 'standard' brahminical Telugu. Children's experience of language begins with fixing the names of things - birds, animals, trees, insects, everything that is around them ...Many of these things do not have words for them in 'standard' brahminical language. Brahminical language does not understand our ways of making-up new names." (llaiah, 1996:5-6) This perception regarding one's own language, makes us reconsider the costly expenditure of maintaining scheduled languages vis a vis the shadow economics of so called 'undevelopedlbackward' languages. Instead, we are now introducing 'new' and '~lien' technical terms in the vocabulary to 'enrich' our languages Without considering the mismatch between the pluralistic paradigm and EurolAme rica-centric pardigm. No one cares for the large literary heritage of so called backward people preserved in their oral tradition such as Santal's own scripture, 'HORkoren mare HapRamko reyaHK Katha (it was transcripted in Roman in 1871).
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Understanding Semantics of Language Development \ 143 cheaper tool' by hiring the service on the basis of their need Oust like hiring the service of omnibus in day to day life) instead of costly expenditure of owning a personal car or computers. This Automobile metaphor has also some technical problems related to energy-ecology problems developed by Ivan Illich. The degeneration of the earth should also be counted as a part of this metaphor in case of energy-consumption and em mission of poisonous gas by automobiles and silicon chips of computer. Before introducing technical tools for the benefit of Indian people, we should understand the nature of Indian multilingualism as depicted in the section 2-4. This type of grass root multilingualism does not need money to enhance it. Instead it maintains the shadow economy, which has no contribution to GNP and it is remain unpaid. One has to pay only the shadow price for its maintenance. But, developmental economics always envisages paid enterprise like energy-generator unit or language planning-unit without considering the indigenous method for solving problems. It is no wonder that automobile-metaphor is employed analogically to the mass use of computers. Both these solutions to communication needs money and collapse of environment. Developmental planning always encourages such cost-intensive programme by the cost of natural environment, which is, in this case, natural grassroot multilingualism. Secondly, in this state of affairs, centralized governmental policy opted for linguistic states and obstructed the growth of spontaneous Multilingualism and largescale convergence. Now we are talking about expensive Machine Translation programme in a poor country like India, where even a blackboard is seldom available under the roof of a classroom. Thirdly, technological intervention betrays the decentralized pluralistic language planning policy by choosing only a few scheduled languages in a standard and centralized manner. On the other hand Pluralistic language planning encourages the free development of each language and Linguistic Human Right for every speaker of each language without manovouring small-group languages by enhancing a dominated language. Fourthly, technological intervention in multilingual milieu. is too costly. Indian people can preserve their grassroot multilingualism without such intervention. Therefore, there is need for substituting such informal or shadow sector by a formal one, where words are costly enough to buy.
We are always considering, from the standpoint of 'print capitalism' a certain form of writing as the sign of development without paying any heed to, as Derrida pointed out the 'archewriting': "Actually, the peoples said to be 'without writing' lack only a certain type of writing. To refuse the name of writing to this or that technique of consignment is the 'ethnocentrism that best defines the prescientific vision of man' and at the same time results in the fact "in many human groups, the only word by which the members designate their ethnic group is the word 'man'," (Derrida, 19761 94:81-2). Bandyopadhyay (1995) showed such instances of deploying exonyms to colonized indegenous communities by wiping out their ethnonyrns, Bandyopadhyay (Ibid) argued that by the process of arbitrary social distantiation, the surrogated categories like 'tribe' or 'folk' are come into being in the same manner of distinguishing 'developed' and 'undeveloped'.
The main assertion and claim made by the new paradigm 'Computational linguists' is that the complexities of Indian mu!tiligualism can be solved by the man-speaking machine interface. In case of a plurilingual country like India, we are told that one drastically needs Machine Translation, which is just an aid to a human translator. Communication network is now largely depending on nationwide computer network. National Information Centre or NIC established NrCNET to create such cyberspace by using WAN or Wide Area Network. Now networking is the name of the game. rr may be a game to someone, but it is death for the starving illiterate people, who had never paid for this job, but now they are paying. This type of violent game of cybertechnology begun in India, when the US PC-companies collapsed. During 1987, 150 US PC-companies of 1980-82 were reduced to less than half a dozen. Then they adopted the policy of garbaging third world in the name ofglobalization and market economy. In fact, this is the norm of the day as in the post-industrialized information society (a fa Daniel Bell), they are not producing any material in the common sense of the term, but 'software', that totally depends on 'intellect' or algorithmic programming. . This cost-intensive programme is supposed to be implemented on a large-scale basis so that anyone can achieve this 'would be
144 \ Understanding
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Semantics of Language Development \ 145
Lastly, Searle (1980) introduced a metaphor of 'captive Indians' in his famous puzzle. These captive Indians are locked in all algorithmic room and manipulate linguistic data without 'knowing' the actual language. Though a metaphor, [ cannot imagine captive Indians as manipulators of only algorithms and not the participants as 'ideal speaker hearer' in a plural society. One may object that in the long run one can achieve such (\ goal of matching computers and human being .. Though the impossibility of this hypothesis has already been showed by Penrose, however we can make one statement clearly that why should we spend time in creating a 'talking machine'? Perhaps it proves Mumford's famous phrase that we are now 'tool-using animals'. In this context, one can remember the metamorphosis 01 human relation to merely a thing-relation as observed by Marx, That Marxian metaphor of inversion has become true, when the computer is going to become a human being and the human being is cornrnoditized. The industrial culture overshadows human nature. And the explosi.on ofComputational Linguistics organizes a syntactic theory according to the need of Natural Language Processing in the Computers. This natural language, then, is not natural language at all, it is the language of computer-culture. This 'cultured language' is an objectified and artificial language, organized by the dictates or the available software-technology. Through Ih is software management, some countries, not only appropriates our thinkingprocess, but also controls the economy. The intervention of Microprocessor in the realm of Capital and Management is II dangerous signal for authoritarian control. As the brain of today's economy is management, i.e., information and communication system, the controlling system largely depends on the dictates of the microprocessor. By selling microprocessor, some countries establish their power/knowledge. And this will fulfil, what Marcuse once predicted. the course of authoritarian ritualization of natural language. The power of critical dicourse is now enjoyed by the very few technical intelligentsia instead of the mass participation in the problem-solving discourse.
3. Epilogue: A Luddite View
In Satyajit Ray's 'Agantuk' (The Stranger), the protagonist character, Manomohan, propagated the basic distinction between urban civilization and so called •savage' 'non-civilization' and questioned the 'development' of urban civilization, which is, according to him, a 'fraud' and a scandal. He emphasized on the science and technology of so called 'non-technical' society. Opposing the space-colonialism of mega-science, he highlighted the hunting, fishing, agriculture, weaving, pottery, architecture, art and medical science of so called backward and primitive communities. He exemplified it by three instances from architecture, art and medical science. How do the Eskimos built their igloos by distinguishing opaque and transparent ices was the first instance of technical knowledge of so called backward communities. Manomohan mentioned one 'jungle doctor', who knew five hundred types of medicinal plants. He also lamented that he could not draw byson Iike the 'untrained' painter of A ltarnira cave. All these instances of 'development' in the context of 'undevelopment' make us tum towards the notions developed by post-modem thinkers like Gandhi, Illich and Mumford. However it is well known fact that Manomohan's discourse lies in the borderline of modernity and post-modernity as his discourse also followed the path of modern thinkers like Freud (cf. Civilization and its Discontent) and Levi-Strauss (cf. "A primitive people is not backward or retarded people; indeed it may posses, in one realm or another, a genius for invention or action that leaves the achievement of civilized people far behind." Levi-Strauss, 1963:102). It is evident that it is only the superordinate'S gaze that sets the norm of 'development' gives birth to such dividing practices totally depending on capital-accumulation. However, the epiphenomenal abstract and 'alien sign' of money is not questioned as Marx (1973:163, 790) once pointed out. By the sign of money the vicious circle of developmental economics is formed. On the other hand, shadow sector is left unnoticed and GOP is calculated by producing arms and ammunitions (Manomohan rightly pointed out the wardependency of modem civilization. Almost 71 % of the world budget spent in this sector) and taking revenue from selling liquor and irrelevant luxury goods (60% of the product-cost is spent in advertisement), Ecological impact as a varible of such development
146 \ Understanding Semantics of Language Development is remained unquestioned in quantifying the 'development'. And the developmental works colonize the indegenous culture in the name of drawing them in the 'mainstream'. The travel through the discursive formation of Economics and linguistics shows one crucial thing in the human politics which is that the extreme centralization of the economy leads to the standardization of one single variety and that is supported by grammaticalization to that variety. The prescriptions made by grammar ignores solidarity, autonomy and self-determination of'other varieties, the speakers of which are captivated and defeated by the very nature of centralized economy. On the other hand, the formation of prescriptive grammar bears non-discursive elements of the political and economic order of things. This monistic option for 'development' leads us to think of better alternatives for our own development. This 'development' refers to the concept and world view developed by the Euroeentric bias, which has nothing to do with our own planning either in the politico-economic sphere or in the linguistic sphere. The mismatch between the Eurocentrie model of 'development' and our own development plays havoc in a plural society like India, which is violently reordered according to the need of centralized economy. So some planners. language managers like P.B. Pandit, D.P. Pattanayak, R.N. Srivastava, L.M. Khubchandani, B.R.K. Reddy, U.N. Singh, (in their numerous writings published in last 25 years) consider planning language in a way which is not taught in usual sociolinguistic books published outside lndia, Pattanayak-Illich (1981) introduced a new policy by challenging the role of grammar in the sphere of education; Singh (1987) is talking about 'sunflower syndrome' in connection with pluralistic planning theory. All these show the legacy of decentralized politics propagated by Rabindranath and Gandhi (cf. Nandy, 1994). Rabindranath's idea of kingless society and decentralized autonomy as discussed in svadesi samaj, kalantar or in lectures on 'Nationalism' leads us to think about a world without the government or king-a totally decentralized solidarity of people. It is not an exaggeration to say that the anarchist politics and post-structuralism in general also subscribe to this view for decentralization. The change to this type of New World Order 'needs an analysis the analysis of past from the view of the ills of the present. The present is pervaded by the centralized market economy, and its
Semantics of Language Development \ 147
subsequent options for absolute monism or globalized mon~chy. In reaction to this homogenization of the hetero-ge~eous va:lety .the secessionalist politics arises as a backJash, and tl115secesslona~s~ does not always match with decentralization. So, for the seare .0 sustainable alternative, one needs to analyze the s~ate of affairs which mostly threatened our existence as human beings.
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Understanding Semantics of Language Development \ 149 Appendix New Words Order (IBRD)-IMF-GaU International Broker for Recolonization and Destruction-Intemational Menace to Food-Great Absurdity on Tarrifs and Trade. Privatisation Devaluation of Self-respect valueless. and Sovereignty
by making currency
Market Friendly Making friends by selling MacDonald
Redeployment Transfer of worker from activity to inactivity. Free-Trade
from dutyfree (TNCs).
of Capital, Colonisation
Caution Beware of the New 'words' that orders the New World of Exploitation. Poverty & Inequality.
Based on poster by Public Research Interest Group, Delhi.