Language maintenance and loss are not only barometers of social
transformation, modernization and urbanization, but are also indicators
of shift in interactional isoglosses, and thus an important factor in the
study of group dynamics. In the India of the past there was tremendous
internal migration of people resulting in a language mix. As respect
for the different was accepted as a core value of the culture, different
languages maintained themselves even under adverse circumstances.
The census shows changing ethnicity in the case of settler Bengalis.
in Assam declaring sometimes Assamese and sometimes Bengali, the
Wacadi speakers in Punjab declaring sometimes Punjabi sometimes Hindi,
the Sindhi speakers in different parts declaring sometimes Sindhi and
sometimes. Hindi as their mother tongue. One also finds split ethnicity
in the Khond tribe speaking five Dravidian languages - Kui, Kuvi, Penga,
Manda and Indi-awe, and the Gadbas speaking Gutob (Munda) and Ollari-
(Dravidian) languages. Thus one ethnic group speaking many languages
and one language spoken by many ethnic groups was considered natural.
In the modernization process under the pressure of mono-model develop-
mental strategies, minority languages and cultures come under increasing
strain to assimilate themselves with the majority. The pluralism-
assimilation, and the language maintenance - language death have thus
formed an important dimension of study of the dynamics of pluralism. 7
Urbanization in India has a distinct flavour. The intrusion of the
village into metropolitan cities and the industrialization resulting in.
changing demography which "in turn makes them represent miniature
India in its linguistic and cultural essence, are some of the aspects of
this flavour. .The challenge to the ideal-typical city as evidenced in the study of push and pull factors, the changing interactional modes
and consequent tensions offer an excellent field of Social Science Research
in these cities.
‘The CIIL has undertaken a number of inter-disciplinary research
programmes in. Bangalore City with a view to gaining insight into the
dynamics of .communication in a multi-ethnic, multilingual Indian metropolis. The present study encompassing investigation into language use
and language attitude by an important minority community is a distinct
contribution to the field of Indian Sociolinguistics.
It is often contended that existence of many languages lead to
fissiparous movements. It is not true. it is the refusal to recognise
the identity of smaller languages that hardens attitudes and leads to
identity assertion movements. This study, coming at a time when the
majority assertion came in the form of the Gokak Movement took place,
has implications which should be seriously considered by language planners.
loam aware of the limitations of the study. However, if it is. a
accepted by scholars as a generator of further ideas, then our effort
would have been rewarded.
I congratulate the researcher and all those responsible for bringing
out this study in record time.
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