Linguistics A tool to conserve regional language

Bharti Magotra
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela.
How linguistics is a tool to conserve regional languages?
Linguistics is a tool to conserve regional languages through the medium of documentation which is a core aspect of field linguistics. In order to conserve a language, one should have command over language and best way to learn language is to study linguistics. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It is an academic field that discovers the internal functioning and evolution of various languages. People who study linguistics are known as linguists, who investigates the nature and function of language using the scientific method. It has various branches such as phonology, phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and some interdisciplinary fields such as applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, stylistics, and many more.
What is relationship between Linguistics & Language?
Linguistics, as we all know, is all about languages, and languages are a means of communication through which we humans in a society communicate. Languages are fundamental to human life, allowing us to interact and socialize. This field also speculates on how these languages change and evolve as a result of social, political, economic, and geographical factors. Linguistics should be studied to understand the evolution and nature of a language, to learn how a language works and changes in society, to see how the same language has different varieties and properties that are affected by geographical changes, to investigate how languages and dialects grow over time, and to comprehend other languages in the context of the same.
In Jammu, where can one pursue a linguistics course?
In the region of Jammu specifically, the course on linguistics is only offered by the School of Humanities and Liberal Arts, Cluster University in the department of linguistics and literature. The Department offers a five-year integrated course which incorporates a master’s degree with a regular graduate course with an exist option after a bachelor’s degree. The department fosters in students both theoretical and practical aspects of languages, along with literature and is apt for students who are inclined towards language learning. Some literature papers are also included in the course, such as introductions to poetry, fiction, nonfiction prose, literary criticism, post-colonial literature, postmodern literature, Indian writing in English, and so on, to demonstrate to students how linguistics aspects contribute to the creation of a discourse. The fields of linguistics and literature are complementary. So, this course provides a fruitful understanding of linguistics along with literature. Literature is a reflection of society through discourse and linguistics is mainly concerned with discourse. So, through this course students can gain knowledge about on-trend of society and its language use.
What is the significance of this course?
According to the National Education Policy 2020, “wherever possible, the medium of instruction will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language until at least Grade 5, but preferably until Grade 8 and beyond.” Furthermore, the primary goal of launching the NEP 2022 is to reform India’s education policy so that no one is forced to study a specific language. The importance of regional languages is also reflected in the new education policy. Similarly, the department of linguistics and literature seeks to investigate and promote national, international, and regional languages. Students are guided to work on regional languages during projects and dissertations so that they can contribute to the preservation of regional heritage. The course is designed to provide students with a better understanding of languages and communication skills.
Although this course is taught in English, specialization in other languages is also included. At both the UG and PG levels, students must complete a project/dissertation that is specialized in a regional language of their choice. At PG level, students will have three papers which will be taught with respect to English and modern Indian languages (Urdu/Hindi/Sanskrit/Dogri) as per the choice of the students.
What is the scope of linguistics?
Linguists are always in demand in all industries, whether private, government, public, or corporate. When it comes to job accessibility, the course has a broad and vast scope. Students who complete this course can pursue a variety of careers. This Programme prepares students for a variety of careers such as teacher, professor or lecturer, translator, editor, publisher, lexicographer, literary critic, public speaker, communication instructor and in fields like language pedagogy, speech synthesis, journalism & media, blogging, YouTuber, BPO, radio jockey, forensic, artificial intelligence, accent coach, proof reader, audiologist, and many more.