Int'l meet of South Asian Languages from tomorrow

The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Language Studies (IILS), New Delhi, has organised the 13th International Conference of South Asian Languages and Literatures (ICOSAL-13), from January 8 to 10.

Addressing a media conference here on Saturday, Director of CIIL D G Rao said that the linguistic and cultural diversity is a subject of growing social importance because a majority of the world's living languages are threatened in their continued existence.

"Out of 7,099 living languages, South Asia is the most linguistically diverse area with four language families, comprising more than 650 individual languages. Apart from the languages that rank in the top 10 numbers of speakers worldwide, Hindi ranks second and many so-called minority languages are spoken by significantly greater numbers of people than more well-known and more-widely taught European languages," he said.

"The South Asian languages belong to four major language families - Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, and Tibeto-Burman. The diversity of languages in South Asia and the different vitality of the languages, cultures, and literatures have strong implications on individuals and societies," he added.

"This is the first time, the CIIL is directly hosting an ICOSAL, even though it has been a partner with the host universities, whenever they were held in India. ICOSAL is an international forum of scholars from across the globe that deliberates on various aspects of languages, cultures, and literatures of South Asia. Four of the past 12 conferences were hosted by the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University. Eight conferences of ICOSAL have been held in India at Punjabi University, University of Hyderabad, Annamalai University, Osmania University, Punjabi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University and again in the University of Hyderabad. The previous conferences have attracted a large number of senior and young Indian and foreign scholars," he said.

Rao said, "The focus of ICOSAL-13 would be on the differences and similarities between the languages, cultures, and literatures of South Asia, approached from the perspective of the typologies of individual linguistic and cultural phenomena, the historical development of language families, and the numerous contacts between languages spoken in South Asia."

"The thrust areas for ICOSAL-13 are: Language Endangerment and Language Documentation; Linguistic Typology; Grammatical Tradition; Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Language Contact and Language Change; Translation and Writing Systems. Besides this, there will be papers in general sessions that includes Applied Linguistics; Clinical Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Forensic Linguistics; Genetic Classification; Historical Linguistics; Language Education; Lexicology and Lexicography; Literacy studies and literary theories; Literature; Morphology; Natural Language Processing; Neurolinguistics; Pragmatics; Phonetics and Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Semiotics and Sign Language; Sociolinguistics; Stylistics and Syntax," he said.


Two hundred participants, including 20 scholars from Russia, the United States of America, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and other South Asian countries working on various aspects of South Asian languages, cultures and linguistics will participate in ICOSAL-13. Boris A Zakharyin and Liudmila Khokhlova of Moscow State University, Moscow, and Omkar N Koul, co-founders of ICOSAL, are the key participants.

Deputy Director of CIIL and organising secretary of ICOSAL-13 Umarani Pappuswamy and co-organising secretary Ramamurthy were present.

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