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Arvind Jadhav Yashwantrao Chavan College of Science, Karad-415124, Dist. Satara, Maharashtra India Email: lecturer.arvind@gmail.com. SOME METHODOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON SOCIOLINGUISTIC FIELDWORK: A CASE STUDY FROM MAHARASHTRA-KARNATAKA BORDER. Abstract .

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slide1
Arvind Jadhav

Yashwantrao Chavan College of Science, Karad-415124, Dist. Satara, Maharashtra

India

Email: lecturer.arvind@gmail.com

SOME METHODOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON SOCIOLINGUISTIC FIELDWORK: A CASE STUDY FROM MAHARASHTRA-KARNATAKA BORDER
abstract
Abstract

The paper illustrates some methodological considerations to undertake linguistic fieldwork in general and sociolinguistic in particular. This case investigates the morpho-syntactic variation in the multilingual situation at the Maharashtra-Karnataka border area.

The paper comprised of an introduction, the scope, sampling universe and subjects, methods of data collection and analysis, some initial steps before commencing the work, the observations during the fieldwork and the theoretical questions are raised to undertake the further research at the end of the paper.

introduction
Introduction

Language convergence process occurring due to prolonged language contact situation has been a topic of interest in Sociolinguistics.

Language convergence occurs due to immigration and in the case of tribal languages.

In India, prolonged language contact has been the major cause of language convergence. One of the first reported cases of this type was that of Kupwar in Sangli district (Gumperz and Wilson, 1971).

continued
Continued…

Similar sociolinguistic processes are found in many more villages around border regions in India.

At the Mahrashtra-Karnataka border, three languages (Marathi, Hindi-Urdu, and Kannada) have been co-existing for centuries in villages such as Arag, Bedag, Ugar, Abdul Lat, Kagal, Kagwad and Kudachi.

No any published work so far found after Gumperz research, and hence there is a need to undertake this study to know the present linguistic change.

defining boundaries
Defining boundaries

Why Kagwad and Kupwad?

  • Location: Border area, Multilingualism
  • Distance from border: Kagwad(0) and Kupwad (20)
  • 3 Languages: Marathi, Kannada and Hindi-Urdu
  • Changes in 40 yrs. (Industrialization, Education, Media, etc.)
  • Medium in schools: Marathi in Kupwad and Kannada and

Marathi in Kagwad

Kupwad and Kagwad may have started with similar sociolinguistic situations. Now, as the two villages are in two different states, the language convergence process is very likely to have progressed differently.

which linguistic items
Which linguistic items?
  • Gender agreement
  • Number agreement
  • Person agreement
  • Non-finite VPs and Compound verbs
  • Copula construction
  • ‘KI’: subordinating conjunction ‘that’
  • Interrogative and verbal suffixes
sampling universe
Sampling universe

Kupwad proper and Kagwad

2001 census: Kagwad = 13299

Kupwad = 67136

The speakers from Kagwad (13299) and Kupwad proper (13427) i.e. Kavthan area of Kupwad have selected for recording.

Outgrown area of Kupwad (80%) and justification

sampling subjects
Sampling subjects

Number of subjects is the challenging issue?

Previous studies:

  • Labov: New York: 88 speakers (1966)
  • Rajyashree: Dharavi: 62 speakers (1986)
  • Trudgill: Norwich: 60 speakers (1974)
  • Eckert: Detroit: 69/200 speakers (2000)
  • Susheela Thomas: Kasargod: 96 speakers (1995)
we can see total 96 speakers distribution
We can see total 96 speakers’ distribution
  • Villages: 48 Kagwad and 48 Kupwad,
  • Sex: 48 Males and 48 Females,
  • Age : 48 Adults and 48 Adolescents
  • Education: 48 Educated and 48 Uneducated,
  • Languages: 32 Marathi, 32 Kannada and

32 Hindi-Urdu

speakers of kannada as mt in kagwad or kupwad
2 Male Adolescents Educated (XI class)

2 Female Adolescents Educated (XI class)

2 Male Adolescents Uneducated ( 7th or less)

2 Female Adolescents Uneducated (7th or less)

2 Male Adult Educated (Service Sector)

2 Female Adult Educated (Service Sector)

2 Male Adult Uneducated ( Farming)

2 Female Adult Uneducated ( Farming)

Speakers of Kannada as MT in Kagwad or Kupwad
method of data collection
METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
  • Personal interviews (personal /group interviews)
  • Questionnaires
  • Participant’s observation and
  • Investigator’s long time involvement :

This is considered at prime importance for in-depth knowledge of societal structure and socio-cultural practices in the given communities in the selected area.

method of data analysis
METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS

As study focuses morpho-syntactic elements, the structural grammars will be considered for analysis of recorded data. The local varieties of concerned languages will be compared with that of standard languages.

LV (Kannada)= Standard Kannada

LV (Marathi) = Standard Marathi

LV (Hindi-Urdu) = Standard Hindi-Urdu

Note: LV= Local Variety

some initial steps
SOME INITIAL STEPS
  • Kupwad : 6 months; intermittent visits
  • Kagwad : 10 days residence, and some visits

Public places:at bus stop, college area, praying places, squares, hotels, shops, on the roads, in lanes, market or bazaar and in homes, hospitals.

e.g.

  • 83 year-old muslim claimed that he knew the Gumperz
  • Retired HM as a host of Gumperz and Wilson in 1968
  • Ex-panchayat (village) member from Kagwad gave account of a festival and the myth related with it.
primary observations by the fieldworker
Primary observations by the fieldworker
  • Patience is the supreme tool in the fieldwork studies.
  • It is a time consuming activity: the field worker should not make any hast.
  • Field worker should be frank and open minded, his being reserved will not be of any use.
  • He should always take all the apparatus of recordings and diaries with him to have chance anytime to record the natural conversation or an important issue. You can capture the speech event any time.
  • He has to check the instruments to be ready, all the time.
continued16
Continued…
  • Fieldworker have to fit anywhere and anyhow to record conversation. He should be flexible.
  • Fieldworker should plan his work now and then.
  • Always keep in mind that not to talk much on the sensitive issues. For example, some people do not know much of particular issue, but you are not there to teach or preach anything.
  • Much people are more demanding and they want to know almost everything about you and your work; without ignoring them try to satisfy them.
  • Some others are tongue-tied; they speak no word at all.
  • Control of unwanted noises can help to collect clear and audible data.
some theoretical questions
Some Theoretical Questions
  • Can the methodologies from bi/multilingual situations elsewhere than India applicable to follow in the fieldwork studies to be undertaken in India?
  • How to control different languages, different linguistic and socioeconomic factors at the same time? And if we restrict all the factors to certain degree, is it research worthy to know the process of convergence or to define variation in language and responsible socio-economical factors?
  • How to know which socio-economical factor is more responsible than other?
  • How to define the locale for case studies like Kupwad?
continued18
Continued…
  • How far the statistics or mathematical figures give the best results in studies like language variation?
  • What exactly mean by statistically sufficient data or justifiable data, as the terms used in the books on methodology in sociolinguistics?
  • Is there any need of standardization in methodologies for initiating sociolinguistic studies in India?
recommendation
Recommendation

While concluding this paper, I think, to get the answers for all the above and other questions regarding sociolinguistic studies, the urgent need is to undertake more studies considering different sociolinguistic factors separately; each one of them will give the different and better insight for theoretical perspectives and their application.

notes and references
Notes and References

1 Gumperz and Wilson. ‘Convergence and Creolization: A case study from Indo-Aryan/Dravidian border in India’. In Hymes D. (Ed.). Piginization and Creolization of Languages. Cambridge: CUP, 1971. Pages 151-167.

2 Gumperz and Wilson. ‘Convergence and Creolization: A case study from Indo-Aryan/Dravidian border in India’. In Hymes D. (Ed.). Piginization and Creolization of Languages. Cambridge: CUP, 1971. Page 166.

3 Kupwad is the same of Kupwar as used by Gumperz and cited in further studies of language contact. This spelling has preferred because in the entire written official document it is used, later one is not in use.

4 Gumperz and Wilson. ‘Convergence and Creolization: A case study from Indo-Aryan/Dravidian border in India’. In Hymes D. (Ed.). Piginization and Creolization of Languages. Cambridge: CUP, 1971. Page 153.

5 Census of India. Director of the Census Operations, Maharashtra. Sangli District: Villages and Town Directory, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001.

continued21
Continued…

6 Labov, W. The Social Stratification of English in New York City. Washington DC: Center for Applied linguistics, 1966. In Lesley Milroy and Mathew Gordon, 2003. Sociolinguistics: Methods and Interpretation. New York: Blackwell publishing, 2003. Page 27.

7 Payne, A. C. Factors controlling the acquisition of Philadelphia dialect by out-of-state Children. 1980(143-178). In Lesley Milroy and Mathew Gordon, 2003. Sociolinguistics: Methods and Interpretation. New York: Blackwell publishing, 2003. Page 27.

8 Labov, W. The Social Stratification of English in New York City. Washington DC: Center for Applied linguistics, 1966 (180-81). In Lesley Milroy and Mathew Gordon, 2003. Sociolinguistics: Methods and Interpretation. New York: Blackwell publishing, 2003. Page 28.

9 Rajyashree K. S. An ethnographic survey of Dharavi (a slum in Bombay). Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages, Manasagangotri, 1986. Page 20.

10 Thomas Susheela. Language Contact and Convergence: A case study in Kasargod. (Ph. D. Thesis). Mysore: University of Mysore, 1995. Pages 74-78.

11 Lesley Milroy and Mathew Gordon. Sociolinguistics: Methods and Interpretation, 2003. Page 34.