Spoken by 80 million people in South Asia and a diaspora that stretches across the globe, Tamil is one of the few ancient languages that survives as a mother tongue. Tracks Tamil from its earliest traces at the end of the first millennium BCE through the classical period, 850 to 1200 CE, when Tamil-speaking rulers held sway over southern India, and into late-medieval and modern times, including the deeply contentious politics that overshadow Tamil today.
This book brings together linguistic and archaeological evidence of South Asian prehistory. The author depicts and analyses the region, in particular the Indus Valley civilization, its links with neighbouring regions and its implications for social history. Each type of linguistic data is put into its socio-historical context. Consequently, the book is both a description of the unique methodology 'linguistic archaeology' and a treatment of South Asian linguistic data.
Casts lexicographers as key figures in the political realignment of South Asia under British rule and in the years after independence. Their dictionaries document how a single, mutually intelligible language evolved into two competing registers--Urdu and Hindi--and became associated with contrasting religious and nationalist goals
Offers crucial insights into the making of Telugu literature and its critical tradition across over a century. The book brings together English translation of major writings of influential figures dealing with literary criticism and theory, aesthetic and performative traditions, re-interpretations of primary concepts, categories and interactions in Telugu.
George Abraham Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India is one of the most complete sources on South Asian languages. This book is the first detailed examination of the Survey. It shows how the Survey collaborated with Indian activists to consolidate the regional languages in India. By focusing on India as a linguistic region, it was at odds with the colonial state's conceptualisation of the subcontinent, in which religious and caste differences were key to its understanding of Indian society. A number of the Survey's narratives are detachable from its rigorous linguistic imperatives, and together with aspects of Grierson's other texts, these contributed to the way in which Indian nationalists appropriated and reshaped languages, making them religiously charged ideological symbols of particular versions of the subcontinent. Thus, the Survey played an important role in the emergence of religious nationalism and language conflict in the subcontinent in the 20th century.
The first detailed examination of George Abraham Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India, one of the most complete sources on South Asian languages. The Survey was characterized by a composite and collaborative mode of producing knowledge, which undermines any clear distinctions between European orientalists and colonized Indians in British India. The Survey brings to light a different kind of colonial knowledge, whose relationship to power was much more ambiguous than has hitherto been assumed for colonial projects in modern India.
Maps and authoritative accounts of well-known and little-known language encounters. Covers Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, South East Asia (Insular and Continental), Oceania, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Mongolia, Central Asia, the Caucasus Area, Siberia, Arctic Areas, Canada, Northwest Coast and Alaska, United States Area, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Analyzes the discourses of love, labor, and life that transformed Tamil into an object of passionate attachment, producing in the process one of modern India's most intense movements for linguistic revival and separatism.