Colony’s Burden: A Case of Extending Bangla
Indian Statistical Institute
March 16, 1997
Aligarh Journal of Linguistics, Vol. V, No.1, pp.40-55, January 1997
All the linguistic movements in colonial India lead to the demand/desire for autonomy in different spheres and were linked with anti-imperialistic nationalist movement, though on the contrary, all these movements had become the mirror image of dominant others’ nation statist mimic imagination. In this way, there was a demand for “autonomous” and “pure” tool indigenous grammar (free from “adulteration”) of a well-defined enumerated and “pure” language which is selected centrally as a standard language. Therefore language-managers of a given community did two things: a) they, as a member of imagined community, defined the language boundary (i.e. selection of standard and extension of the standard language from centre to periphery) and b) managed that language with the help of a tool called grammar.
In this paper, the author tries to show the Bengalee intellectuals’ (language judge/-police/-managers) perspectives (19th. C. and the first three decades of the 20th C) on the issue of autonomy of two neighbouring languages, viz. Oriya and Asamiya, two neighbouring languages of Bangla. The paper shows a classical centre-periphery relation, where Bengal as a centre, wanted to subsume the periphery through hegemonic selving in course of standardizing and extending the political geography of Bangla with the supposed language module. The situation shows dialectic of hegemonic inclusion, which creates internal colonization, and thus captive languages with a feeling of derivative nationalism were trying to combat external colonization as well. These cases in the colonial period and at the time of the birth of a new nation states might help us to apprehend the post-colonial withdrawal syndrome from the other defeated varieties (i.e., so called “dialects”).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: Imagined Linguistic Nation state, hegemonic selving, Withdrawal Syndrome, Captive/defeated varietyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 17, 2012
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