UoM VC calls on CIIL to preserve the state’s indigenous languages
G. Hemantha Kumar, vice-chancellor of the University of Mysore (UoM), said on Monday that the indigenous languages of Karnataka must be preserved so that a significant part of the state’s heritage is protected. There are 50 tribal languages in the state and it is important to document and describe them before they disappear, he said.
Speaking as the guest of honor at the farewell celebrations of the 53rd Foundation Day of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) held here virtually, Prof Kumar said the CIIL, through its “Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL)” has undertaken projects on Siddi, HakkiPikki and Soliga in the State which have less than 10,000 speakers in order to prepare dictionaries, grammars and ethnolinguistic sketches.
“I have learned that the dictionaries are about to be published. The institute should consider developing spelling for some of Karnataka’s lesser-known languages, ”he suggested.
The VC has declared India to be a language paradise and a treasure house of languages. It is a nation widely recognized for its linguistic and cultural diversity. CIIL’s contribution to maintaining the diversity and promoting the languages of India has been commendable. It was one of the first institutions to document tribal and border languages and to publish dictionaries of many languages unknown to the rest of the world.
He said the institute has played an active role in the development of Indian languages in addition to regularly advising and assisting Union and state governments in all language matters. He continues his work on different aspects of language development such as language documentation, language description, corpus development, grammar studies, lexicographic studies, translation, testing and assessment, added the Professor Kumar.
“I am pleased that the Center of Excellence for Classical Kannada Studies is currently housed on our campus. We have allocated four acres for the center, ”said Professor Kumar.
N. Gopalaswami, Chancellor of the Sanskrit National University in Tirupati, who was the main guest, said Indian languages are just as important as English. Language learning apps should be developed in regional languages / mother tongues, he suggested.
Rajesh Sachdeva, former director of CIIL, who was another guest of honor, said that all Indian languages should work in harmony and that we cannot have unilingual schools (eg only English) in a multilingual country. . A child should be allowed to write their answers in Kannada or any regional language to questions asked in English during exams, he suggested.
CIIL director CG Venkatesha Murthy said they plan to launch the Endangered Languages journal for academics and indigenous communities. CIIL is committed to preserving and promoting all Indian languages.