Dissertation: Jammu and Kashmir Burushaski

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at CCAT.SAS.UPENN.EDU
Mon Oct 16 15:52:40 UTC 2006

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Jammu and Kashmir Burushaski: Language, language contact, and change

Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Sadaf Munshi

Dissertation Title: Jammu and Kashmir Burushaski: Language, language
contact, and change

Subject Language(s): Burushaski (bsk)

Dissertation Director:
Megan J Crowhurst
Ian F Hancock
Patrick J Olivelle
Samuel Keith Walters
Anthony C Woodbury

Dissertation Abstract:

The region stretching along the Kashmir province of the state of Jammu &
Kashmir in India and the Northern Areas region of Pakistan is home to
great ethno-linguistic diversity. The impetus for conducting a study on
the Burushaski language in the valley of Kashmir came from the realization
that the community, although invisible (roughly 300 speakers) within the
broad Kashmiri society (over 4 million speakers), has succeeded in
maintaining a separate identity -- social and linguistic. Having lived in
Srinagar for over a century, Jammu & Kashmir Burushos have very well stood
the pressures of linguistic assimilation and language loss. No study has
been carried on the language of the Jammu & Kashmir Burushos so far.

This study provides a structural description of Jammu & Kashmir Burushaski
- an undocumented variety of Burushaski, and analyzes the various forms of
linguistic interference since its split from the parent dialects in
Pakistan. It covers the various linguistic consequences of contact such
as:  borrowing, innovation, and simplification of linguistic features
characterizing Jammu & Kashmir Burushaski. Changes are studied at lexical,
phonological, and morpho-syntactic levels. My synchronic description of
the grammar is concerned with the structural properties of the language.
Grammatical description is preceded by an introduction of various speech
forms in context which emphasizes the importance of a discourse-centered
approach followed in this study. My approach to the study of
contact-induced change is based on an analytical framework following
Thomason & Kaufman (1988) and Thomason (2001). The study also discusses
some theoretical implications of the research outcomes. It presents a
unique situation in which linguistic outcomes of contact are reflected via
a complex interplay of various factors involving simultaneous contact with
two languages viz., Kashmiri and Urdu, each affecting the language in a
specific way - lexical borrowing from Urdu and structural borrowing from
Kashmiri. This is explained in terms of two important factors: (i)
language ideology in terms of a "native language" versus an "extra-native
MATRIX", and (ii) within the non-native matrix, a hierarchy of social
prestige associated with each of the two non-native languages.



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