Linguistic Geography of Kumaun Himalayas: A Descriptive Areal Distribution of Kumauni Language
Linguistic Geography or Areal Linguistics, has, in recent decades, assumed an added significance all over the world, due to its historical and sociological importance. In this work, perhaps for the first time, the areal variants of the item in question have been organised into different areal groups in accordance with their converging and diverging points, along with explanatory notes on their salient phonological and morphophonemic features, besides the geographical distribution of their correlates. In addition to this preference of areal variants with regard to their syntactic usages and semantic connotations, too have, adequately, been pointed out. Similarly, Centro-eastern Pahari correlates, with their own areal variants, too, have been given to determine the position of the items in question and their inter-relationship with regard to these neighbouring languages, viz., Nepali and Garhawali. Moreover, this micro level presentation of bewildering areal variants of various phonological and morphological elements may be called a trend setter and model for the researchers in the field of dialectology and linguistic geography. As such, this work, besides serving as a guide to similar studies in other Indian Languages, can, profitably, be utilized for historical and comparative studies of the ?Dardo-Pahari? group of the Himalayan Languages, being spoken in the Sub-Himalayan regions from Nepal in the east to the J & K state in the west.
Professor Dr. B.D. Sharma (b. 1928) is a renowned scholar of Sanskrit and Linguistics. He joined the Panjab University, Chandigarh as a Lecturer in 1962 and retired as Professor and Head in 1989. He obtained Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the Banaras Hindu University in 1958 and later on Ph.D. and D.Litt. in Linguistics from the Panjab University, Chandigarh besides the highest oriental title, viz., Sahityacharya (Varanasi) and Diploma in French, German and Persian. Dr. Sharma is well acquainted with nearly two dozen Indian and foreign languages and has to his credit 20 research volumes and scores of research papers on the subjects of language, culture and literature published in research journals of National and international repute. It was in recognition of his contribution to Linguistics that he was awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1984-86) to undertake the linguistic survey of the Himalayan languages from Ladakh to Bhutan. In the field of Sanskrit language and literature too his contribution is equally substantial. His research work on Kalidasa bagged him an award from the Sanskrit Academic, Uttar Pradesh. On his retirement from Panjab University in 1989 he has been awarded Emeritus Fellowship by the U.G.C. for the completion of his 12 volume research project, “Studies in Tibeto-Himalayan Languages” of which 5 volumes have already appeared. At present, he is actively, engaged in the completion of the remaining volumes of the above mentioned project.
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