ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Language as People’s History

Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages by Peggy Mohan, New Delhi: India Viking, 2021; pp 352, ₹599

Life to Indian Languages

This paper presents a linguist’s response to the main themes that run through Majeed’s (2019) comprehensive and thought-provoking two-volume study of the Linguistic Survey of India and its Editor, George A Grierson. It argues that an important source of the complexity of Grierson’s subject position and the intellectual ambiguities in the LSI originates from the fact that the LSI is an unprecedented exercise in modern linguistics. Proffering a reading of the LSI’s methodology, the paper explores the ways in which linguists may participate in an interdisciplinary recovery of this important historical exercise and its afterlife.
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