The Opportunity & Challenges of Digitalization and Documentation of Indian Languages


Author: Ashish Kumar Pandey (Department of Linguistics, University of Lucknow)
Speaker: Ashish Kumar Pandey
Topic: Language documentation
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


Abstract

Rapid expansion of technology and consequence of globalization made us technically sound and fascinate towards the direction of dominant languages. Due to these motives the use of regional languages and dialects is declining in figures universally, for instance, Harrison comments that “Languages of wider communication are increasingly replacing local languages on a global scale” (2007:5). By the virtue of time it is effectually ruled over every individual language. In this state the tribal languages are entirely at the juncture of disappearance; “When a language disappears, a people’s unique system of experience and perception of the world is lost” (Harrison 2007:24–25). Every Language possessed unique knowledge and culture, if the language dies then the knowledge and culture in the language also dies. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the documentation and digitalization of the lesser known languages.
Therefore, there are numerous languages in India which require documentation and digitalization; they are both scheduled and nonscheduled languages, however, the information is to be visible to the world community and because of the lack of documentation and digitalization, the languages may shift towards the dominant languages and hence may lose their original form. Hence, there is a dire need for the documentation of these languages with the help of the Linguists. The present article analyses in depth various reasons for digitalization and documentation of endangered languages in India.

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Keywords: Language, Language endangerment, Language shift, Language death, and revitalization of language