A CONFERECE of Educationists and Linguistics met in the Deccan College during May 1953 to consider how best the discipline of Linguistics could be developed in India, and what steps were needed to fulfil this objective. The Conference recommended the holding of summer and autumn schools for teaching Modern Linguistics with an international faculty which was provided through funds placed by the Rockefeller Foundation with the Deccan College for this purpose. They also recommended that in addition to making Linguistics a more central subject of study at Universities, a new Linguistics Survey of India should be undertaken at an early date. The University Grants Commission accepted the recommendations of this Conference and the Report of the Blue Print Committee set up by the Linguistic Society of India at the request of the Conference of Vice Chancellors held in Poona in 1958 and established a number of university departments in Linguistics and agreed to sponsor the summer and autumn schools with effect from 1960 when the Rockefeller Foundation assistance came to a stop. In the mean-time the Government of India had been approached regarding the setting up of a new Linguistic Survey of India. In their letter issued on 6th October 1964 the Ministry of Education agreed to the proposal of the Deccan College for conducting a preliminary Survey of south India and sanctioned a sum of Rs. 100,000 for one year in the first instance. However, it was not possible to set up the entire unit during that year, and it has continued during the subsequent two years with a limited staff. The objectives of the preliminary survey were strictly of a limited character: to extend the survey of the country to the southern areas which had been left out of the original Linguistic Survey of India, and collect additional material on a somewhat different plan.
The work has been in progress for three years and nearly a dozen monographs are ready; the survey has gained momentum now and it is possible to complete more monographs in shorter intervals. With present facilities this could be extended to other southern regions in close collaboration with university departments of linguistics in these areas. Enough experience has now been gained to provide for a more extensive and comprehensive Linguistic Survey by utilizing all modern resources. This seems to be very essential in the interest of the growth of our great regional languages and bridging the gulf between languages of culture and the actual vernaculars of the people. Only a modern scientific survey of our linguistic heritage can bring to the open the untold wealth hidden in our dialects and substandard forms of speech, which can then serve as feeders to the great national languages which have to become the true vernaculars of each region.
The delay in staring the publications of the series is partially due to the fact that all the sanctioned posts could not be filled initially, and two members of my staff who were supervising the survey work had to be out of India for some time during this period. But now enough progress has been made to make it possible to bring out at least six monographs each year, and it is hoped that with these circulated among the interested scholars and departments the time may not be long before India can plan to have a modern Linguistic Survey on the most comprehensive lines with the full participation of university departments of linguistics, special research institutes and university scholars, Indian as well as foreign, who have been carrying on their investigations in an uncoordinated or ad hoc manner.
I have great pleasure in inaugurating this new series under the imprimatur of the Deccan College in recognition of the conspicuous part it has played in developing linguistic studies in our country. I have to thank members of my linguistic faculty, and in particular Professor A. M. Ghatage, Dr. D. N. Shankara Bhat and Dr. H. S. Biligiri for supervising the work of this unit.
Halakki is a dialect of Kannada spoken by the Halakki Wokkalas. They number about 40,000 and reside mostly in the villages of Kumta, Karwar, Ankola and Honnawar taluks in the North Kanara District of Mysore State. Their main occupation is agriculture.
The present analysis is based on the data collected from Mr. Giriya Ganapu Gowda residing at Kumta.
The material consists of about 3,000 words, 400 sentences, a number of nominal and verbal paradigms and eight stories. All the material except the stories were dictated by the informant. The stories were tape-recorded in the field. They were transcribed from the tapes and later checked in the presence of the informant. All the sentences and some important words together with contrastive pairs were also tape-recorded.
The following characteristics of this dialect may be o special interest.
i. There are no aspirated consonants.
ii. The phoneme h normally occurs initially and is subject to optional dropping.
iii. The pairs of phonemes e ε, e: ε:, o ͻ, o: ͻ: and ǝ ɑ are normally in complementary distribution. They develop contrast in limited cases where the conditioning factor is lost (as in some morphophonemic situations).
iv. In the medial syllable the phonemes ǝ, i and u are extra short and the phonemes i and u are also centralized allophonically.
v. There is no contrast between retroflex and alveolar nasals and laterals.
vi. The voiceless sibilant [s] is not distinct phonemically from the voiceless affricate.
i. There is only a two-way gender distinction viz. masculine vs. Non-masculine in the third person singular forms of verbs and pronouns. There are, however, a set of forms corresponding to the feminine forms of Standard Kannada which may very rarely be used while referring to females belonging to communities other than that of the native speaker.
ii. There are no person or gender distinctions in the plural forms of verbs.
I wish to express my sincere thanks to Dr. S. M. Katre, Director, Deccan College for associating me with the project, to Dr. A. M. Ghatage who encouraged me to undertake the job, to Dr. D. N. Shankara Bhat and Dr. Mahadevan who have read this grammar and given me many useful suggestions, to the Principal, Canara College Kumta and Dr. L. G. Joshi for their help and co-operation during my stay at Kumta, to Mr. Griya Ganapu Gowda, the informant and to Dr. H. S. Biligiri for his valuable guidance throughout the field work and the preparation of this grammar.
However, I wish to state that these persons are not responsible for the mistakes that this grammar may contain.
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