Extension lecture organized at GDC Pampore

The Department of English under the auspices of Debates and Seminars’ Committee organized an extension lecture on ‘Language Hunting in J&K – A documentary linguist’s perspective’ on 12th June 2024. The lecture was delivered by Prof Sadaf Munshi – Professor Linguistics, at University of North Texas Dr. Sadaf Munshi received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. She works in the areas of historical and comparative linguistics, language contact, language documentation, and grammatical analysis and theory. More than 60 students as well as several faculty members attended the lecture. The event was coordinated, moderated and reported by Dr Huzaifa Pandit – Assistant Professor, English.

The event commenced with a welcome address by Prof Hilal Bakshi – Staff Secretary and Senior Associate Professor. In his address, Prof Bakshi highlighted the role of extension programs in furthering the educational needs of the students, and exposing students to diverse fields of knowledge through subject experts of repute. Next, Prof Munshi delivered an illuminating lecture on the outlined topic. Prof Munshi spoke in great detail on linguistic diversity of Jammu and Kashmir enumerating several less known languages like Khowar, Shiniya, Balti, Wakhi and Burushaski. Specifically focusing on Burushaski, she outlined the need, methods and strategies to research on such endangered languages by a combination of field work, recording, transcribing, structured and unstructured interviews, translations and workshops. She also dwelled on her discovery of Mankiyali – a severely endangered language spoken in a remote village across the border, called Danna. Post the lecture, an engaging Q and A session was held, in which the students in the audience engaged with the different aspects of linguistic preservation and career in linguistics.

Following the lecture, the Principal Prof (Dr.) Huda Galzai delivered a valedictory address. She extended gratitude to Prof Munshi for lecturing to the students, and offering them valuable exposure to an exciting domain of knowledge, which is immediately relevant to their lives. Speaking from a sociological point of view, she spoke of the great need to document linguistic diversity as a valuable instrument to attain a holistic understanding of social existence. After the conclusion of her address, she bestowed Prof Munshi with a memento as a token of appreciation from the college. The event concluded with a formal vote of thanks by Dr Huzaifa Pandit, in which he extended gratitude to all the stakeholders including the faculty, media and Mr Manzoor Ahmed, MTS for his technical support.

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