27 Arunachal languages endangered: VC
RONO HILLS, Jun 15: Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) Vice Chancellor, Prof Saket Kushwaha said that 27 native languages of Arunachal have been listed under the endangered category in the UNESCO Atlas of the World Languages, 2009.
Prof Kushwaha disclosed this during the inaugural session of a two-day online national seminar on ‘Endangered languages of Northeast India’ here on Monday, according to a release from the university’s Centre for Endangered Languages, the organizer of the seminar.
“It is the need of the hour to concentrate on these endangered languages and preserve them for the future generation,” the VC said.
Pro-VC, Prof Amitava Mitra emphasized on the need of scripts for tribal languages and introduction of these languages at the school level to encourage the children to speak in their mother tongues.
RGU Registrar, Prof Tomo Riba spoke about the danger of losing the native languages “due to appropriation of Hindi and English languages at offices, schools and homes, and the current trend of overlooking the native languages as substandard.”
New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Linguistics (JNU-CL) Chairman, Dr Pauthang Haokip spoke on ‘Assessing language endangerment in Northeast India: A ground perspective’. He emphasized on different parameters of language endangerment, and the essence of tribal identity and language preservation.
RGU’s Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS) Director, Prof S Simon John spoke about the importance of documentation, preservation and dissemination of native languages of the region.
AITS professor Jumyir Basar and Dr Haokip chaired the first and the second technical session, respectively.
“The seminar will focus on the aspects of description, documentation and decipherment of texts of endangered languages and ethno-linguistics. It will also cover a wide range of topics
on Northeast’s endangered languages, such as classification, structures and typologies, phonetics and phonology, syntax, semantics, translation, missionary linguistics, endangered languages and cultures, bi- and multilingualism and education, revitalization and language planning, indigenous writing systems, ethno-linguistics, and documentation,” the release said.
Twenty-five scholars from different universities of Northeast India will present papers. Seventy participants from different places are attending the seminar.