Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

bi-lingual Related Abstracts

2 Bilingualism: A Case Study of Assamese and Bodo Classifiers

Authors: Samhita Bharadwaj

Abstract:

This is an empirical study of classifiers in Assamese and Bodo, two genetically unrelated languages of India. The objective of the paper is to address the language contact between Assamese and Bodo as reflected in classifiers. The data has been collected through fieldwork in Bodo recording narratives and folk tales and eliciting specific data from the speakers. The data for Assamese is self-produced as native speaker of the language. Assamese is the easternmost New-Indo-Aryan (henceforth NIA) language mainly spoken in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam and some other north-eastern states of India. It is the lingua franca of Assam and is creolised in the neighbouring state of Nagaland. Bodo, on the other hand, is a Tibeto-Burman (henceforth TB) language of the Bodo-Garo group. It has the highest number of speakers among the TB languages of Assam. However, compared to Assamese, it is still a lesser documented language and due to the prestige of Assamese, all the Bodo speakers are fluent bi-lingual in Assamese, though the opposite isn’t the case. With this context, classifiers, a characteristic phenomenon of TB languages, but not so much of NIA languages, presents an interesting case study on language contact caused by bilingualism. Assamese, as a result of its language contact with the TB languages which are rich in classifiers; has developed the richest classifier system among the IA languages in India. Yet, as a part of rampant borrowing of Assamese words and patterns into Bodo; Bodo is seen to borrow even Assamese classifiers into its system. This paper analyses the borrowed classifiers of Bodo and finds the route of this borrowing phenomenon in the number system of the languages. As the Bodo speakers start replacing the higher numbers from five with Assamese ones, they also choose the Assamese classifiers to attach to these numbers. Thus, the partial loss of number in Bodo as a result of language contact and bilingualism in Assamese is found to be the reason behind the borrowing of classifiers in Bodo. The significance of the study lies in exploring an interesting aspect of language contact in Assam. It is hoped that this will attract further research on bilingualism and classifiers in Assam.

Keywords: Language contact, bi-lingual, classifier, borrowing, Assamese, Bodo

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1 Analysis of Linguistic Disfluencies in Bilingual Children’s Discourse

Authors: Sheena Christabel Pravin, M. Palanivelan

Abstract:

Speech disfluencies are common in spontaneous speech. The primary purpose of this study was to distinguish linguistic disfluencies from stuttering disfluencies in bilingual Tamil–English (TE) speaking children. The secondary purpose was to determine whether their disfluencies are mediated by native language dominance and/or on an early onset of developmental stuttering at childhood. A detailed study was carried out to identify the prosodic and acoustic features that uniquely represent the disfluent regions of speech. This paper focuses on statistical modeling of repetitions, prolongations, pauses and interjections in the speech corpus encompassing bilingual spontaneous utterances from school going children – English and Tamil. Two classifiers including Hidden Markov Models (HMM) and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), which is a class of feed-forward artificial neural network, were compared in the classification of disfluencies. The results of the classifiers document the patterns of disfluency in spontaneous speech samples of school-aged children to distinguish between Children Who Stutter (CWS) and Children with Language Impairment CLI). The ability of the models in classifying the disfluencies was measured in terms of F-measure, Recall, and Precision.

Keywords: bi-lingual, Hidden Markov Models, multi-layer perceptron, children who stutter, children with language impairment, linguistic disfluencies, stuttering disfluencies

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