कौन कहता है कि आसमान में सुराख नहीं होता,
एक पत्थर तो तबियत से उछालो यारों |
'Who says there can't be holes in the sky,
throw a stone with full vitality first'.
The purpose of putting this quote as the HIGHLIGHT of the page for 'Historical Linguistics' demands an oath from me that I will do my best to meet the requirement of the Department at need. It forces me to recall my days at UT, Austin and Prof. Robert T Harms' classes of 'Historical Linguistics'. Prof. Harms did mention once to me that I would understand the seriousness of the course one day if I happen to teach Historical Linguistics some day, and I am surprised how right he was when he warned me about this some ten years ago. Anyway, I guess I have come a long way and have relatively been doing alright as a learner-cum-teacher by teaching various courses in the Department at DU in the span of eleven years. It has always been the case that I put myself in difficult situation first and then try to find a way out of that situation/difficulty, and with the grace of God and best wishes of my dear ones, I have always been able to come out of the situation successfully.
The course 'Historical Linguistics' is an effort to understand basically the changes that happen to the structure of language (s) over a period of time. The course does require at least the working knowledge of some classical languages like Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Old Persian, Tamil etc. This helps us in understanding the concept of language change better as we can verify the similar changes inter and intra structurally in different languages. However, it is not a must to have this skill for the students. The text books are full of examples from various classical languages, and thanks to the internet and its facilities that has made the world nothing but a cyber-village where all kinds of information is available at a single click of the mouse on a PC. So, I guess if there will be a need to check the etymology and genealogy of some words or family of languages, we would be able to do this without much problems.
The course does not require the students to mug up the words or sentences from any languages. The course in Morphology and Typology must remind you about the fact. Everything, may it be a word/phrase/sentence, will be presented with proper glosses and sense translation in English in the class in order to support/prove the theoretical assumptions.
All that the students will have to do is to understand the so-called canonical-structure of the words/ sentences that are put forward to prove the relevant theoretical points. The sincere concern of the students, though, should be to comprehend the on going discussion conceptually as this will not only help them to understand the concept better but will also make the class quite enjoyable.
The essential readings are must for the students. The students can not rely only on the class-notes, and also the PPTs will have no PRINT facility as the materials being used for preparing these PPTs are copy-righted.
As usual I am going to treat you all as active participants in the course, so, if you have any idea that could make the course more interactive and enjoyable besides being informative, you can send your suggestions to me and I will definitely incorporate them in the course (if required and are viable)
Let us shout together
Can we do it....yes, we can !