A two-day “international webinar” on ‘Perspectives on Indigenous Minority Linguistic Groups: Issues, Challenges and Prospectus’ organized by Department of Linguistics, University of Kashmir (KU) concluded on Thursday.
The webinar was attended by more than 90 participants including students, scholars, researchers and faculty members from different parts of India and other countries like USA, Sweden, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, KSA, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Vice Chancellor, KU, Prof Talat Ahmed, in his presidential address highlighted the significance of undertaking the research on language endangerment.
Referring to Ethnologue, a global watchdog on status of world’s languages, he expressed concern over the speed at which languages around the world were dying and exhorted the local researchers to put efforts to stop any such trend in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
In his address, Prof Shakeel Ramshoo, Dean Research, KU congratulated the department for organizing the webinar on a vital theme and assured the department of all the support in its various research endeavours.
Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir, Registrar, KU appreciated the organizers of the webinar and talked about the importance of mother tongue in the overall identity of societies and cultures.
Commending the department for its good work Dr. Nisar promised the department of extension of the already established language lab.
Addressing the webinar, Prof Lily Want, Dean, School of Arts, Languages and Literature talked about the different aspects of documenting languages and reflected on how the documentation was relevant to literature and making the whole process as a very important link for opening up gates for interdisciplinary studies.
Prof Nazir Ahmad Dhar, former head, department of Linguistics, KU delivered the keynote address and talked at length about the linguistic composition of Jammu and Kashmir and the phenomenon of language endangerment.
He also talked about the status of the minority and the lesser known languages of J&K and the urgent need of documentation, promotion and preservation of these languages.
Prof Aadil Amin Kak, head, department of Linguistics, formally welcomed the guests and spelled out the academic and research activities being undertaken by the department.
The webinar started with an introductory speech by Dr. Musavir Ahmed highlighting the nature and importance of the webinar and introduced the dignitaries and speakers to the audience.
The webinar included four plenary lectures delivered by prominent linguists working on language endangerment and language documentation.
These included Prof Henrik Liljegrin from Sweden University, Prof Maya David from University of Malay, Prof Ahmar Mehboob form Sydney University and Prof Papuswamy, Deputy Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore. Dr Javaid ul Aziz presented vote of thanks towards the end of inaugural session.