Department of Linguistics

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Linguistics as a discipline: Language is considered a crucial human phenomenon. Linguistics, the scientific study of language and its elements, contributes to our knowledge of human society by investigating the nature of human communication. There exists a rich history of studying linguistics in many parts of the world, especially ancient India, Greece and China. The importance of this discipline is now recognized throughout the world. As a branch of modern human science, linguistics deals with language, its components, and language-related domains, ranging from natural language processing and artificial intelligence of information and communication technology to neurolinguistic aspects and language pathology. Linguistics makes use of subjects such as philosophy, sociology, anthropology, literary criticism, semiotics, biology, mathematics and statistics. ‘Linguistics’, thus ‘is an essentially outward-looking discipline combining well with other degree subjects and courses.’

Importance of studying Linguistics in Bangladesh: The importance of studying linguistic in the country is beyond controversy, and it can be explored in the following manners:

a) To prepare primers for the indigenous children: The linguistic situation of Bangladesh is not homogenous. We have more than forty indigenous languages. As human right, ethnic people must have their linguistic right. It is their intense desire to take education through the language of their own. But the arenas of their languages are very poor. Some of them have no orthography even. The government of Bangladesh recently founded an International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) with a view to preserve and promote the indigenous languages both in national and international level. In national level, the IMLI has to perform a lot of linguistic duties. It is their fundamental duty to prepare primers for the indigenous children and to do so the IMLI must classify these languages in accordance with the language typology. It is regarded as the work of language planning. The work should be done properly with the help of the department of linguistics as well as of the graduates of linguistics background.

 b) To eradicate illiteracy: The illiteracy problem of the country is very alarming. Many governmental and non-governmental organizations meanwhile, have taken efforts to get rid of the curse of illiteracy. But those attempts did not make good result to us. We find no means to solve this acute problem of the country near future. I am sorry to say that no project or, programme put forward as yet with the linguistic point of view. And so far I am concerned, no linguist is associated with the so call projects or plans like these. It can be stated here firmly that the any illiteracy project or programme can bring rapid result if linguists are accommodated with it and if it is chalked out and ran by them. The linguists can only make the device with which the illiteracy of the country can be eradicated.

c) To promote language performance and competence: This ability of a human being needs to developed from the beginning of his or, her language acquisition and learning. But the fact is that it is not introduced properly in the system of our education. There is no language policy or, official language-planning academy in the country. We have many dialects and the dialectic study of the country can unfold a very interesting domain of our language situation. We did not take part to make any linguistic census in Bangladesh. The psycholinguists say that there is some age limit within which each component of language is to be acquired. The dialectic variation of the Received Pronunciation is often heard monotonously. It is for reason that sound input is not proper when it was necessary. The acquisition of first language or, language-1 should take proper and scientific care. Government with the help of linguists and educationists can easily improve the situation. Some suggestions may put forward in this regard following those the linguistic behavior of us can change gradually:

 i) The educational curriculum from primary to higher levels should be modified and enriched with the object that the language skill is improved.

ii) To appoint a linguist in each primary teachers training institutes. Simultaneously posts of linguists must create in the secondary teachers training institutes.

iii) To improve language performance and competence in the colleges and in the universities should take priority and to fulfill the goal at least two posts of linguists need to create in the colleges of degree levels. The language skill of the pupils should take special care in the post-graduate colleges where BA (Hons) and MA course in Bangla and the same course in English have been introduced. Degree Offered There are four years BA (Hons) and one year MA course in the department. The Department also offers M Phil and PhD degrees. The M Phil programme requires two years, including a year of course work and another year of research work. The minimum requirement for admission to M Phil is second-class marks in BA Hons and MA examination. The department with the prior permission and assistance of the university authority is going to introduce a nine-month diploma course in Language and Communication. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for the course. Government officials, NGO workers and executives, media persons will get a change to do better their language performance and competence with this.