Born on January 7, 1941 at Bugam, Kashmir, Omkar Nath Koul was educated at the
Universities of Jammu and Kashmir, Agra and Illinois (USA). His areas of interest are
General Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Language Education, Communication,
Computational Linguistics, South Asian Languages and Comparative Literature.
Dr. Koul has held academic and administrative positions in different Institutions.
He has worked as a Faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigne, (1969-
1971), Principal Northern Regional Language Center of the Central Institute of Indian
Languages (1971-1987), Professor of Hindi and Regional Languages at the Lal Bahadur
Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie (1987-1994), Professor-cum-
Deputy Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages (1994-1999), Director In-
Charge, CIIL (1999-2000).
A number of prestigious national and international fellowships have been
conferred on him for his publications and for his contributions to Indian languages and
linguistics. To cite a few, he was awarded a fellowship to Study Administration of
Inservice Teacher Education in Australia and an award for his research publication in
‘Hindi by the International Society for Art and Culture. Bavath Cultural Society honored :
him by bringing out a special issue of the Journal Bavath (1998) for his contribution to
Kashmiri language, linguistics and literature.
He has been a member of various learned societies and boards. He is the chairman
of Indian Institute of Language studies and editor of the Journal of South Asian
Language Review. He was also elected as the President of Linguistic Society of India
About 45 books and 150 research papers related to Linguistics and Literature have
been authored/edited by him. These include both national and international publications.
To mention a few: ‘Kashmiri: A Cognitive - Descriptive Grammar’, ‘A Study in
Comparative Indo-Aryan’, ‘An Intensive Course in Kashmiri’.
In addition to research, Omkar Nath Koul has been engaged in creative literature
in Kashmiri and Hindi. He has also translated literary works from Kashmiri into Hindi
and Punjabi, and from Oriya into Punjabi.
When a scholar goes on super annuation, it is important for all colleagues to show their
respect and admiration for someone, who, with them, toiled hard to see that the flag of
their institution flies high. There is something in the energetics of some that can enthuse
others to discover newer and newer horizons. Omkar Nath Koul is one such person,
who, despite his many handicaps, has been able to generate so much good will and
bonhomie among his colleagues that they have looked upon him as an icon of freedom
and inspiration. Omkar has worked in a number of fields, on a large number of topics
and collaborated with numerous scholars. He has been at ease in both hard-core
theoretical linguistics as well as in frontier areas in applied linguistics and literary
studies. But, in that, he has been a master of all.
Most importantly, there are some who can project themselves very prominently
but there are others who like to promote the cause they stand for, and Omkar belongs to
the latter type. To the younger colleagues, he leaves behind a model of an academic
whose zeal of work they can emulate. To the senior colleagues, who have had the
pleasure of spending many years with him, he leaves behind many happy moments. To
those in the administration of this institution, he leaves behind the image of a sober
person who could not be harsh to anyone. Soft-spoken and gentle, Omkar can hardly
Some of us thought that a volume of research papers and ideas, howsoever
tentative they may be, will be the best way to honour a scholar when he goes out of an
institution. This, we thought, could be a new trend that we at the Central Institute of
Indian Languages could set - a trend that binds scholars together, rather than allowing
them to stray in different directions. This is something for which Omkar has worked
hard. By presenting this volume in felicitation of an eventful career, we are telling him
that we grow stronger together, and will rernember him for having cemented the base of
this new and strong relationship.
This volume of papers in applied linguistics is a Festschrift for Professor O.N. Koul.
The varied area of interests that characterizes the person is featured in this volume. The
papers are drawn from different areas such as literature and translation, language and
empowerment, language, society and education, language teaching, language and
information and language analysis. The sub-categorizations of the contributions are
accordingly divided into these themes as is evident from the contents.
The Papers on literature and translation look at literary and cultural texts. Singh
takes a position that in terms of methodology, creative writing and translation are quite
comparable in that all writings are like translation, twice removed from the logical text
that lies in the author’s mind. For unpacking of a literary text, reading has to be brought
to the centre-stage. He differentiates between the text and the work, and discusses the
issue of successful translation. The discussion elaborates the losses and the gains in
translation and takes a view that a translator is constantly under tension, trying to
negotiate between under-translation and over-translation.
Narayan analyses narratives of Jenukuruba tribal community as cultural texts and
shows that narratives are not merely for entertainment. But they are the result of
realization of societal knowledge. It is a positioning of self power as an effect of the
operation of social relationship. New power relationship leads to new knowledge which
is reflected in cultural texts. Knowledge is not ‘true’ or ‘false’ but every narrative tries
to see knowledge in its own perspective.
Rajyashree, drawing insights from theories of structuralists, Marxists and Neo-
Marxists, analyses Marathi poetry to study the social changes, especially with reference
to the process of Urbanization in Indian society as reflected in the poetry. She also
explores the linguistic approach - a path which has not been traded on by many literary
Geetha Kumary analyses headlines of Malayalam Newspapers and categorizes
them into different rhetoric expressions like personification, simile, metaphor,
metonymy, euphemism, antithesis, irony, pun, transferred epithet, hyperbole, proverbial
statement, idiomatic expression, imperative expression, interrogation and exclamation.
She also shows that the use of these expressions make headlines more sensational and
attractive. Further, these rhetoric expressions with choice of appropriate words give
rhyme and poetic expression.
The lone paper on the second theme by Rangila discusses the role of language in
the empowerment paradigm. The paper conceptualizes an empowerment paradigm in
detail within the scope of semiotogy of civilization. He explores a general paradigm of
power that explicates nature, structure, function and signification of language as it
participates in life making. To understand the role of power in shaping of linguistic
entities and categories, Rangila situates linguistic enquiry into a general process of life
making wherein both linguistic structuralism and power configuration are local variants
of what he terms as parastructures.
The five papers on the broad theme of language, society and education have
multiple focus. They simultaneously look at multilingualism and language planning.
Pattanayak, using the framework of modernity and contemporaneity makes a
distinction between monolingualism, bilingualism and multilingualism. He then relates
these concepts to polity in terms of unitary, federal and multi-tier states. In conclusion,
he discusses three perspectives in language planning namely, the one, the two and the
Mallikarjun traces the evolution of language policy for education, both language
as a subject and medium of instruction in Karnataka since independence of the country,
and particularly after reorganization of the States. The policy as it is today is evolved in
Bayer presents current trends in research methodology in the context of
globalization and its impact on multilingualism and multiculturalism. She also points
out some of the limitations such as compartmentalization of research output. She argues
that knowledge gained through research is not shared across social sciences and research
results are not of immediate relevance to the people under study. She proposes that
research results have to be combined with the main objective, 1.e. the total development
of the community through its shared participation.
Kapfo reports on language situation in Nagaland with special emphasis on the role
of Nagamese in interlingual communication among different linguistic groups of Nagas.
He analyses reported language use and attitudes/opinions about Nagamese. He
concludes that Nagamese is predominantly used in most situations except in official
domain, irrespective of the interactions between educated and uneducated inter-ethnic
groups, or between tribal or non-tribal groups. However, most language groups are not
in favour of further developing Nagamese as a lingua-franca and introducing it in
schools. He concludes that both positive and negative attitudes towards Nagamese are
Sharma brings out the fluctuation in language identities and motives behind the
shift in identities. He further argues that language identity in Indian context is not
exclusive but one can maintain multiple identities where they do not interfere with one
another. He shows with example of Haryana that there is no scope for reflecting
multiple identities in census because of the faulty design of census questionnaire
vis-a-vis language, as it does not permit the reporting of more than one mothertongues
The section on language teaching deals with different perspectives. Using a
sociolinguistic perspective, Sam Mohan Lal provides a framework for preparation of
materials for language teaching after analyzing each factor involved, starting from
content selection to the writing of exercises. He concludes that a proper co-ordination
between the objectives of the syllabus, materials, teaching methodologies, language
teacher and student will give confidence to the student not only about the structure of
language but also about being more interactive and creative.
Nair highlights the theoretical developments in the field of linguistics vis-a-vis
language teaching methods. He presents evolution of language teaching methods from
Grammar Translation method to the latest methodology of language teaching, which
emphasizes on notional/ functional syllabus corresponding to communicative needs.
The contribution of information sciences to linguistics is evident in the paper by
Sharada. She presents an alternative to existing content organization in a Kannada
monolingual dictionary. She further discusses problems involved in retrieving data and
suggests possible solutions.
The section on language analysis deals with different aspects of linguistic
structures using different analytical techniques. Giridhar gives empirical and
theoretical arguments for a different taxonomy of Kannada compounds. The taxonomy
is different from the traditional taxonomies as well as those given by other scholars like
D.N:S. Bhat and Sridhar. He, however, does not take a position vis-a-vis the contentious
issue of gamakasamasas.
Basu uses contrastive methodology to identify the problem areas in Bengali for
Nepali speakers and in Nepali for Bengali speakers. Bengali and Nepali both belong to
Indo-Aryan group and both speech communities have had close contacts. He discusses
certain problem areas in context of language learning and teaching. The problem areas
identified are that of plural formation, case markers and syntactic structures.
Baruah discusses four unique morphological features of Assamese, a modern
Indo-Aryan language. These features are neither found in the genetically related or
cognate languages of Assamese nor in its contact non-cognate languages. He defines
them as ‘developmental features’ of Assamese.
Acharya analyses and describes the causatives and passive constructions in Lotha,
a Naga language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman family.
In the life of a discipline, a time comes after a while when one needs to look back. Has
the time come now for Applied Linguistics? I guess it has.
The term applied in the context of language sciences is accepted as a ‘fashion’ by
those who are ‘purists’. And yet, there has not been a Pure Linguistics ever in our
literature, unlike Pure Mathematics. Nevertheless, there have been other epithets such
as ‘Green’ linguistics (thanks to Probal Dasgupta), ‘Fuzzy’ Linguistics (a la John Robert
Ross) or ‘Functional’ Linguistics (Martinet or Halliday?), etc. Ihave often asked myself
as to why has no one in our long tradition talked about Pure Linguistics. I think I can
hazard a guess now. Language and purity do not go together. That is because
pre-varication is an ingrained characteristic of our expression system. Consequently,
all our productions and reproductions vis-‘-vis language are instances of ‘double
articulation-—twice removed from what could have been ideal, real, deep or
underlying—all four words being a part of our inherited semantics now.
It is this removal from reality that adds colour to what we say or do with
language—even when we actually don’t say anything. Our fiction or drama, or our
poetry cannot therefore be a mere mirror of reality. For that matter, even if there is a
genre that is ideally expected to be reflecting our life and living - such as journalistic
writing or mass media coverage, the way our cameras move, or the way the pen is tilted
or the kind of paper we write in, or the diction a particular commentator resorts to - all
show the same creative uncertainty, the same pre-varication. No wonder then that what
we are expected to do linguistically under oath of honesty and truthfulness is not what
we actually do whether we stand as witnesses or when we stand on judgment on others.
There is this general uncertainty in all instances of speak, not only when there is
double-speak. It is from this uncertainty, the removal from reality, and this double-
articulation that all modern folklore flows and enriches our existence.
Be that as it may, we cannot escape this realization that our linguistics is bound
by our languages. It cannot free itself from this chain of ‘impurity’ and uncertainty. It
is not surprising, therefore, that ideal speaker-listeners are only a myth that we all like
to believe in. All our calculations vis-‘-vis speed of learning and rate of retention are
only approximations. The way a feature gets diffused through space and time can only
be determined roughly. What was once thought to be more exact in linguistics, namely,
Phonetics has also turned out to be only approximate and imprecise. Our parsers, built
after decades of research, give so many parses that the choice of interpretation as to
which one is intended is still left open to listeners or readers. (This is like saying, all
our literary texts are open- ended, and that only their readers assign them meaning. In
other words, a text ‘happens’ only when a reader reads it.) Our spell- checkers and
grammar-checkers. once again show only certain percentage of accuracy. Our
phonology has numerous loose ends and counter-examples and our ‘laws’ of sound
change have many leakages. There have also been scholars who have gone to the
extreme of writing rules for exceptions, too. Others have thrown up their hands in
desperation, and talked about only aarSa- prayoga or nipaatane siddha to account for
In short, in whatever we do in Linguistics now or have done earlier, we are far
away from reality and purity. Does it mean that as a discipline, Linguistics can never
hope to be pure, exact and screntific? (I can easily see a smile on the face of our
detractors at this point.) But if we turn this question towards Physics or to what was
once thought to be on a more. perfect ground, Chemistry, we find that this uncertainty
and hypocrisies are inherent in these ‘pure’ and ‘hard’ sciences, too. To my mind, in
the quest of knowledge, purity can only be an ever-elusive and never-available concept.
And, hence, Applied Linguistics.
There are some who would skirt the question on purity and use the word core as
an antonym to applied. But those who talk about the Core vs. Applied distinction in
Linguistics often come up with situations where the core is nothing but a nebulous
undifferentiated whole - a few rules of syntax or word formation or even phonology
where the conditioning factors lie within grammar. The proponents of autonomy of
syntax had very soon learnt that such attempts to raise fireballs within Linguistics would
not pay. The boon of linguistics has been that greater number people knew and believed’
that most of what is Linguistics reside beyond the Core - that most of it reside in its
edges. Here Linguistics is woven together with sister disciplines. Some edgy areas show
the mark of needle-work clearly and disciplines that conjoined to form the pastiche
have not so far arrived at a common understanding. They still remain, what we call in
our jargon, ‘hyphenated linguistics’. Others have had a good mix - so much so that they
have néw emerged as almost parallel disciplines - Sociolinguistics being by far the best
example of this trend.
In its present incarnation, Applied Linguistics has emerged as a composite .
endeavor where there have been a confluence of ideas from a number of disciplines
such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Artificial Intelligence, Folklore, Geography,
History, Information Sciences, Literary Studies, Mathematics, Neurology, Philosophy,
Physics, Psychology, Sociology and Statistics in alphabetical order. The approaches
that owe their birth to these disciplines have got enmeshed in language analyses of
various kinds in such manner that it is very difficult now, for instance, to separate out
as to how much of what we know about language and mind is purely linguistics and
how much of itis psychology. Further, ever since these disciplines began taking interest
in matters of language, each one of them has also changed beyond recognition. Of
course, there have been greater interaction with some of these disciplines so that impact
of Linguistics has not been the same everywhere, nor have their influences been equal
If we look at the history of the term, there was a time when Applied Linguistics
meant only or mainly Language Teaching. The Master’s programs in different
institutions of higher learning which used the fashionable title of Applied Linguistics
ended up offering ELT courses with a fair dose of testing and sampling techniques.
Today there is hardly anyone outside the ‘empire’ who would agree with this narrow
interpretation. language and mind, or for preparing a human atlas, or for application on
There seems to have emerged a greater consensus that all applications of Linguistics -
whether they be for understanding processing of language by intelligent machines, etc.
must be brought under the general title of Applied Linguistics. This journey from a
narrow space to a wider corridor has taken us the last fifty years.
If one were to write a Social History of Applied Linguistics today, a few names
would come up immediately, as a part of the Indian chapter, as architects of this
discipline in this part of the world. Sumitra Mangesh Katre and Prabodh Bechardas
Pandit belong to this league, and they have both left a legacy for us to make best use
of what they have done. The trinity is complete only with Debi Prasanna Pattanayak’s
name. Debi babu who is still among us, and turns seventy today, has had seminal
influence on almost all attempts to promote the discipline in India. He has been a part
of almost all those institutions which have been primarily responsible for promotion of
research and teaching of Indian languages and linguistics in the tradition I have outlined
above. These include Deccan College, Viswabharati, American Institute of Indian
Studies, Ford Foundation, and of course, Central Institute of Indian Languages. The
last one of these has been founded by him, and promoted in trying circumstances. Any
one who knows the internal folklore of this organization will know the level of
involvement of DP with the well-being of this institution - so much so that we can both
praise him for all positive things that have happened in the institute and blame him for
all that has gone wrong. There are a very few scholars who are so much involved with
the ways a given discipline develops in a country and the way a designated institution
becomes instrumental in that activity. What P.C.Maholanobis has done to the discipline
of Statistics and to the institution called ISI in India has been quietly achieved by Debi
Prasanna Pattanayak here.
As someone who has watched this institution grow from outside since 1974, I can
testify that each corner of this institution bears the mark of this extra-ordinary person.
If we are now thinking about being different from what has so far happened to the
Institution and step into the World of Language Sciences boldly - laying our own path
and charting into newer territories - it is because our foundation has been strong. Time
forgets him who forgets time. We shall never forget you, Debi babu.
The present volume ’Papers in Applied Linguistics IT is brought out in honour of
Professor D.P. Pattanayak, the founder Director of the Central Institute of Indian
Languages on the occasion of his attaining the 70th year. The volume contains
twenty-seven papers in the areas of language analysis, language teaching and
various other applications of linguistics. Based on the content and broad area of
coverage, these papers are categorised into - ReSearch Methodology,
Sociolinguistics, Language. Planning,-Language and Culture, Language Teaching,
Language Analysis and Language, Literature and Translation. These are also the
areas of interests of Prof. Pattanayak.
Five papers under the section on Research methodology discuss various issues
in the research and analytical techniques. Their choice of areas and methodological
issues show the variety or range of ideas covered in this section.
B.D. Jayaram’s paper stresses the need for a sample study to formulate and
execute a project plan and assess its effectiveness in a given field of study. The
important reasons for selecting a set of samples and the characteristics that
distinguishes one set of samples with another are identified in the paper. The types
of sampling dealt in here are mainly based on the manner of selection. They include
judgment (purposive sampling), snowball sampling, multi-stage sampling and
systematic sampling. The author discusses both advantages and disadvantages of
these sampling procedures in sociolinguistic research.
Hans R. Dua discusses some issues from the point of view of sociolinguistic
theory to find out the limitations and significant aspects in survey of language use. He
opines that the data on actual usage is required to be supplemented while surveying the
data based on self reports. The frequency scales such as validity, reliability and
replicability are more helpful for the development and standardization of the
quantitative measures of language use. He also points out that there is a need to identify
and develop reliable measures to understand the relative significance of various
parameters of language use for adopting domain analysis, network analysis or in giving
importance to the participants rather than any other parameter.
Rekha Sharma in her paper reports her administration of the Stroop Test in
the context of a study of colour naming and word reading to find out the differences
in performance between males and females and between monolingual English and
non-English bilingual speakers. The experiment is based on English texts.
Nair studies, listening comprehension skill by correlating aural cloze
procedure with multiple choice test. He discusses various testing techniques in
detail and compares the cloze test with multiple-choice test. Based on the results
of these tests, he concludes that aural cloze procedure is a better choice to test the
listening comprehension skill.
Srivastava and Ramaswamy investigate the effect of bilingual education on
those situations where one has a language other than one’s mother tongue as a
medium of instruction. They consider socio-economic status and sex of
school-going students and assess their academic achievement and self concept of
academic ability when they are a part of bilingual education programme. For this
purpose, they administered a revised version of Kuppuswamy’s socio-economic
status scale and the questionnaire of self-concept of academic ability. For
administrating the first scale, they took the average marks of four previous
examinations obtained by each student in each of the five curricular subjects. For
the second scale, they took students from trilingual media school. The data analysis
was done on the three-way ANOVA and the outcome of the analysis is discussed
in detail and the results are presented in a tabular form. The authors stress the
importance of medium of instruction and socio-economic status and suggest the
need to study the important societal factors from different angles to reinforce
bilingual education so that clearer and more positive results emerge.
Bayer and.Sam Mohan Lal present their papers on sociolinguistics aspects.
Bayer discusses the use and spread of Hindi as a lingua franca of a minority
group in a situation where Kannada is the dominant language. She clarifies
conceptually on the notions of link language, lingua franca and language of wider
communication, which are often used in the same sense. She discusses the patterns
of Hindi use in different situations by the Tamil speakers (a minority group in
Bangalore), for whom Hindi functions as a lingua franca and focuses Tamils’
attitude towards Hindi.
Sam Mohan Lal’s paper presents two different minority segments who represent
the twin tendencies of convergence and shift in tribal and non-tribal situations. The two
situations are represented by the Uralis,a tribal community living in Sathyamangalam
hill tracts and Iyengars, a minority Tamil speaking group, living in Bangalore,
respectively. The author compares these two communities, and finds that due to the
strong forces of change the languages of the minorities are undergoing a systematic
partial shift. He notices a remarkable difference between the speech pattern of the older
generation and the younger generation both in the case of Iyengars and Uralis. Among
the younger generation, the selection of their linguistic code generally depends on the
socio-economic class they belong to and with whom they interact. Among the Uralis,
the women and the old people show less influence of the dominant language of the area,
Tamil, than the male and younger generation speakers exhibit. This differences between
these two categories have correlation with their frequency of contact with the dominant
There is a greater scope of research on convergence and shift in the area as
the author put forth some questions at the end of the paper.
Sound change in a language is a natural phenomenon. This feature enables
Bakul C. Chowdhary to propose certain changes in the Bengali script by
simplifying some of the graphemes that are redundant in their function so that the
existing diglossia situation in the language and in the use of the script with regard
to the spoken and written varieties, can be reduced to a large extent. This will
facilitate, in the opinion of the author, the writing system which will then be more
economical, scientific and less adhoc and it will also reduce the burden of both the
first and the second language learners.
When a language becomes more complex and archaic then the need for
simplification arises. Ideally, the ruling elites have to use the simplified language
in their administration for better understanding of their order by the common men
as they are the majority of the subjects in their territories. This strategy will not only
lead to the emergence of common man’s language but will also reverse the position
of many of our modern Indian languages. From this historical perspective,
Yadurajan presents a case for Kannada language simplification describing its
emergence in historical dimension.
Mallikarjun’s paper also deals with similar aspects of language of
administration with reference to Kannada. He discusses both general and specific
areas of use of language in administration by taking the contemporary language
situation. He presents a linguistic study of language in administration by studying
the basic structure of communication, its sub-domains and modes of
communication. The role of technical terms, their characteristics and grammatical
categories, phrases, sentence patterns and formats of correspondence and their
properties with their statistics in administrative language are studied in detail.
Language and Culture
Rajyashree gives a vivid picture of a case of Mysore Marathi and its linguistic
acculturation. Due to the acculturation phenomenon, according to her findings, there
is achange in the structure of Marathi, which indicates a convergence between Marathi
and Kannada at all linguistic levels.
Omkar N. Koul and Madhu Bala discuss various modes of greetings in Punjabi
such as verbal and nonverbal greetings, fixed and alternative greetings. The correlation
between modes of greetings and modes of address and their condition of occurrences
are also presented in the paper with suitable examples.
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