A Synchronic Grammar of Oriya (Standard Spoken and Written)
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A Synchronic Grammar of Oriya (Standard Spoken and Written)

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Item Code: NAW205
Author: Bijay Prasad Mahapatra
Publisher: Central Institute Of Indian Languages, Mysore
Language: English and Oriya
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 8173421749
Pages: 364
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 560 gm

Inthe Yahoo-Singapore site, I found a question "Where do bottled waters come from?" and the best response as chosen by the ‘asker’: "Bottled water comes from a variety of sources, including many of the same sources from which tap water originates. Sometimes the water you can buy in a bottle is simply tap water from a municipal water system that has been enhanced in some way. Other sources of bottled water include springs, wells, and surface waters". The next question was even more interesting: "Where do grammars come from?" It was a four month old question begging a response from the web-surfers, but alas! There was none.

In an interesting blog -the expression platform used so frequently by the young today. I saw this interesting point about whether spelling and grammars’ matter and whether today’s search engines and computer geeks care about them. Let me quote from this page from Bruce Clay people who are international consultants. It mentions an experimental post written by Graywolf, which reads like this:

"Hih eferyone. Wilcome abroad de Wult Desney Wurld Eckspress Munorail. Wesa nuw embarkeng un e seenic jurney uver de Highway en de Ski. Wesa bi travellin nunstop dierectly tu> de Megic Kingdum, seew wesa esk det yousa remane seatid et ull tymes end nu eatin, drinken, smoking, er flashin photograph in pleeze."

Then they show that one could still read the above as a user of English. One could even guess that it was about the Walt Disney World. However, for any engine that is used as a grammar-checker, it looks a lot like keyword-mashing spam. There’s no language anywhere in site. In fact, one used that page as a case study, to see what the engines like Google do with it to show that the "search engines have the capability to distinguish words, stemming and language" (ibid. Bruce Clay), although it is not the case that "Google is out to become the grammar police".

Even in today’s mechanized world, and in the world dominated by easing tools like spell- checkers and grammar-checkers etc, there isa strong | need to write good grammars. I have been urging our senior linguists to come up with serious grammatical treatises that are not necessarily colored in any theory but are so comprehensive that every one is compelled to use them. Prof, Bijoy Mahapatra, who once belonged to us at CIIL but who later rose to become the Chief of Census of India’s ‘Language Division’ at Kolkata, was kind enough to have obliged us. The book we present here is. an evidence of his wide reading and true scholarship.

Jean Cocteau is credited to have said, "The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order". In the beginning, the western world knew only of glossaries that were products of notes scholars made on the margin of difficult texts - originally written in Latin. In the Indian set-up, the commentaries or the Tiikaas served that purpose. It is only later that we discovered the nitty-gritty of the rules that made these texts, i.e. the grammars.

In fact, many dictionaries were also so created as to attach style manuals and a set of strict rules of usage, as the French dictionary - Dictionnaire de Académie francaise (1693) had done. The lexicographers often began dictating the correct usage and definition from above a certain height, as it were. The proliferation in dictionary-making activity had another reason. But dictionaries became commercial and specialized tools with the publication of Webster’s and Worcester’s, and the task of writing grammars has been left to the specialists.

At this institute, we expect that this grammar will be heavily used by the teachers and researchers as a tool and will also be found useful by the Oriya speech community in general. Both Professor Mahapatra and the Institute would feel rewarded if the users derive maximum benefit out of this work.

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