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Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.

2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

RESEARCH ARTICLE

KANNADA VERSUS SANSKRIT: HEGEMONY, POWER AND SUBJUGATION

Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN


Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics
Sahyadri Arts College, Kuvempu University, Shimoga

ABSTRACT
This paper explores the sociolinguistic struggles and conflicts which have been taken
place in the context between Kannada and Sanskrit. As a result, the dichotomy of
the enlightened Sanskrit and unenlightened Kannada is emerged among Sanskrit
oriented scholars and philologists. This process of creating the asymmetrical
relationship that exists between Sanskrit and Kannada throughout the formation of
the Kannada intellectual world. This constructed dichotomy impacted on Kannada
world, in such a way, without the intellectual resource of Sanskrit the development
of the Kannada intellectual world is quite impossible. Which affirms Sanskrit is
inevitable for Kannada in every respect of its sociocultural and philosophical
formations. This is a very simple contention, due to this; Kannada has been suffering
from the inferiority both in the contexts of cultural and philosophical developments.
In spite of the contributions of Prakrit and Pali languages towards Indian cultural
history, the Indian cultural past is directly connected to, by and large, limited to the
aspects of Sanskrit culture and philosophy alone. Sanskrit language per se could
have not done any domination, subjugation etc. on any of the Indian languages. But
its power relations with religion and caste systems are mainly responsible for its
domination on other Indian languages and cultures. Due to this sociolinguistic
hegemonic structure, Sanskrit has become a language of domination, subjugation,
ideology and power. This Sanskrit centric tradition created its own notion of
poetics, grammar, language studies and cultural understandings. These particular
thought processes reinforce the discourses of caste and religion hierarchies have
entered into the mainstream Kannada intellectual world.
The present paper attempts to organize all of these different threads into a
coherent picture by focusing on native distinctive sociocultural and epistemic
patterns of Kannada culture and intellectual world. It means, this paper affirms the
need to revisit the interconnections between Kannada and Sanskrit languages.

KY PUBLICATIONS

I. The discussions between Sanskrit and


INTRODUCTION Kannada are not linear, plain and unidirectional. But
"The history of humanity is not only a history of they are subtle and complex both in terms of
socio-economic activity. It is also a history of structures and functions. However, this paper does
semiotic activity". [M.A.K Halliday:2003 PP 210] not propose to resolve these complex and subtle
realities rather, to explicate the designs of linguistic
580 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN
Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

hegemony and subjugation at one hand. At the marches to the tune of universally validated
other hand, it tackles the changing processes of standards and prescriptions. This dual debate is by
power relations that have been associated with no means over, and is still at the center of much
Sanskrit and Kannada. Colonial mindset and Vedic international controversy, not least over the role of
implications privileged Sanskrit and English at the universities in fostering, preserving and advancing
expense of modern Indian languages. And they also particular kinds of knowledge (Weiler 2006, 2009,
created circuits in the relationship between Kannada pp 08). It may be noted that Kannada was not
and Sanskrit. unable to evolve epistemologies rather knowledge
In all language related debates the issue of systems over through the lives of its communities.
Sanskrit has been a site of controversy in When Sanskrit came into contact with Kannada, as a
contemporary situation of India. And a major source result, legitimization of epistemologies was
of contention regarding issues of identity and problematic and crucial. Because Sanskrit was
cultural authenticity is also connected to Sanskrit always referred to as language of literature,
alone. At the one hand, this line of argument cannot aesthetics and many other knowledge systems,
be denied, as far as the hegemonic condition of whereas, Kannada was considered lack of all these
Sanskrit over the native languages of India. No epistemological realities. However, Sanskrit was
doubt about it, I will definitely subscribe with this regarded as resource of all sorts of knowledge
argument. At the same time, I do contend it, systems such as religion, philosophy and logic. It
because Sanskrit is merely the responsible does not mean that Kannada has not responded to
parameter for the present linguistic conditions of this potential threat by employing a resistance
India should also be taken into consideration. mechanism. Kannada literary history provides many
However, this paper is trying to highlight that how examples to prove the way in which it poses major
can Sanskrit be a major source for the problems that challenges to Sanskrit in the contexts of literature
have been occurred to the native languages of India and aesthetics. This controversy over the national
in general, and Kannada in specific. and international politics of knowledge is very
The relation between Kannada and Sanskrit evident and has become a systematic critical inquiry
is very ancient. It is not possible to discuss that all in the present discourses politics of knowledge. The
th
changes, development, negotiations have been in 12 century Vachanakars of Kannada composed
the given relationship. Nevertheless, some many Vachanas [verses] refusing the Vedic
important debates can be floated here. hegemony and advocating a rational form of Bhakti
The Politics of Knowledge: Kannada/Sanskrit allowing no middleman in the way of reaching the
It seems to be very fascinating to talk about truth. This tradition prevailed throughout the
the politics of knowledge in the context of literary history of Kannada right from Pampa unto
Karnataka. At the same time, it appears to be a the last.
problem, because the debate about the politics of Sanskrit centric fierce ideological positions
knowledge bears, as we have seen, a remarkable imposed on Kannada were /are justified and
resemblance to recent debates about the notion appreciated through the ages until the twenty first
and practice of development. Much of this latter century. Kannada poets-writer offer interesting
debate focuses on the difference between insights into understanding the differences between
development from below and development from Kannada and Sanskrit based knowledge systems.
above, or between more localized and more Kannada and Sanskrit were never shown as equals
globalized conceptions and standards of rather created dichotomies like superior [Sanskrit]
development. In much the same way, the debate and inferior [Kannada] languages. Over a period of
about knowledge is characterized by a similarly time, these dichotomies have converted into social
polarized tension between knowledge that is more realities. Obviously these social realities have
grounded in local and regional traditions and accepted by various social groups of Karnataka in
knowledge cultures, and knowledge that rather terms of patronized understanding. This kind of

581 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN


Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

make-believe has become a strategy for all about what causes for language attrition. As it is
dominant languages in general and Sanskrit in discussed above, there are many reasons for
particular. As a result, this particular perception language shift and language death. Most studies of
causes to establish cultural faith among the speakers language shift have looked at a communitys
of a given language. These arguments delineate that transition to the new language. But, in the case of
the way in which hegemonic structures emerge in Indian context, dealing with language endangerment
any given speech communities across the globe. But, is a problematic one. It is very subtle and complex
hegemonic structures may be perceived in different phenomenon. It cant be analyzed based on western
ways according to the communities perceptions. modals alone. However, it can be argued differently.
Many a time, it is realized that this is perhaps state The language of Cosmopolis i.e. Sanskrit [Sheldon
sponsored hegemony. However, the available Pollock] plays a very important role in India in the
historical records make it apparent that the politics process of language shift/loss. We have always been
of knowledge is always from above. This reaffirms aware of the ambience of many languages in our
stereotype that epistemology is created from above environment. Many languages are alive in our
not evolved from below. Only the language that is environment and we have always perhaps switched
being spoken in a community, such languages can from one language into another unconsciously
always evolve knowledge and epistemological [Ananthamurthy. U. R 2009]. The 'ecologist'
paradigms in a given communities. perspective is a useful focus for linguists who call
Cultural theorists have already discussed for measures to reverse this trend of language shift.
the ways in which epistemological discourses If we value biological diversity and strive to protect
function as a medium for social voices. That is, that it, surely it is equally important to take moral
knowledge discourse is the means by which notions responsibility for the conservation and development
of caste, religion and gender are structured and of linguistic diversity.
reproduced within society. It is necessary to The status of Sanskrit is an instance of this
reestablish epistemological discourses of Kannada for close to a thousand years, this prestigious
from below to underscore and distinguish between language was the chief vehicle of the (exclusionary
Sanskrit driven knowledge systems and knowledge and undemocratic) transmission of knowledge;
systems evolved from/within Kannada communities. however, today it is this language, rather than the
The issues raised here are of such scope that they less prestigious Prakrits, that is dead. As Sanskrit-
are the relevant discourses of native perspectives speaking ruling classes could only capture the public
which evolved from below. The discourses of domain, the centuries of its dominance had no
education are also analyzed for their power to permanently crippling effect on the less prestigious
reproduce dominant/dominated relations external Indo-Aryan, Austro-Asiatic and Dravidian languages
to the discourse but which penetrate the social that flourished alongside it *Ayesha Kidwai 2008].
relations, media of transmission, and evaluation of This Sanskrit is still alive implicitly spreading across
pedagogic discourse. It is often considered that the India into the languages and cultures. So Sanskrit did
voice of the working class is the absent voice of not die. It grew, it developed and it gradually split
pedagogic discourse, but we shall argue here that into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and the other Indo-
what is absent from pedagogic discourse is its own Aryan languages, to some extent, Dravidian
voice (Bernstein, 1990, p. 65). languages too, and it is still with us under those
The death of Sanskrit: A continuation of guises. There's something a bit odd about lamenting
sociolinguistic hegemony the death of Sanskrit language when it has in fact
From a global perspective, the trend is the taken off like this. Given the existence of modern
same, many smaller languages are dying out due to Indo-Aryan, why be upset that Indians don't speak
the spread of a few world languages such as English, Sanskrit? Speaking Indo-Aryan pays homage to their
French, Chinese, etc. [Romaine 1989: 39] There are Hindu-Vedic heritage, without requiring them to
many pitfalls in trying to generalize on a global scale have frozen their culture as it was in one place and

582 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN


Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

time. Thus, language shift involves bilingualism important in understanding the multiplicity of
[often with Diglossia] as a stage on the way to language practice. This concept is inspired by the
monolingualism in a new language. E.g. Hindi has work of Bakhtin [1981] on the hybridity of the
got several dialects, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Awadhi so on dialogue of languages, by Anzaldua *1987+ on the
so forth. The fact is, these varieties of Hindi have hybridity of being the borderlands and by Bhabha
never been used in the domains like education, [1994] on the hybridity of the postcoloniality
administration, mass-media, literature [there may *Ofelia Garcia 2009:33+. As in views of Mohanty, it
be some exceptions] and other public domains. The is precisely this hybridity of language practices that
Sanskritized Hindi i.e. Khariboli took over their place. is responsible for the maintenance of the many
This new avatar of Sanskrit is the revitalization of old languages of the Indian subcontinent *2009+. This
Sanskrit. It also rejects the claim that Sanskrit is the fluidity in multilingual interaction demonstrates that
dead language. Standardization is nothing but different cultures have different ideas about the
Sanskritization of the Indian languages, it is not a integrity of their own group in relation to outsiders.
new practice, and it has been there throughout the If speakers of minority language manage to find an
history i.e. sanskritizing the nation. In my opinion, ecological niche in the majority community which is
when Mahatma Gandhiji suggested, making conducive to language maintenance, they may have
Hindustani as an official link language, instead of a better chance of survival.
Hindi, there was a lot of resistance to it. Hindustani In many [minority] languages, there are
is a combination of Hindi and Urdu, in which Sanskrit competing pressures towards (re) vernacularization
had no place. It would have been a definite move to and (re) standardization, which have their origin in
dehegemonizing the Sanskrit. the competition between the school and home
Sanskrit established a clear-cut dichotomy varieties. There has always been tension between
among Indian languages like Marga *The world of standard dialect and other regional/caste dialects.
Sanskrit+ and Deshi *Indigenous Languages+. This The standardization and modernization, these two
can be dealt with reference to Kannada. tendencies which are greatly affected indigenous
Unfortunately these dichotomies are used as the languages in terms of their structural and functional
qualifying characteristics of a standardized variety of loss. Bernadett Biro and Katalin Sipocz, are
languages, which results in the creation of identifying language shift in two types of linguistic
vernaculars [i.e. Native Languages] and Cosmopolis processes such as; functional loss and structural loss.
[i.e. Sanskrit]. Ananthamurthy. U. R [2009] describes Language shift can involve loss of function as well as
it in an optimistic way, Vernacular has always had its structural loss; the former means a decrease in the
advantage and use despite the power of the domains of language use, later refers to changes in
language of Cosmopolis Sanskrit in the past and the structure of the language occurring in the
English in our times. It is very evident that, it is a process of language shift. Due to the linguistic
kind of prevailing sociolinguistic hegemony on hegemony and cultural dominance of Sanskrit on
Kannada language and culture. It cant be Indian languages, all our indigenous languages are
considered as an advantage. suffering from both functional loss and structural
There has been a strong resistance loss. The attitudes of Sanskrit towards the other
throughout the history of Kannada language and Indian majority/minority languages can also play a
culture in order to dehegemonizing Sanskrit. As a decisive role in language shift. As far as functional
result, the sociolinguistic hybridity has been language shift is concerned, a necessary condition
developed by our various poets through their works, for the survival of the indigenous languages would
for example, great Kannada poets like Pampa, be the decrease of their functions. As far as the
Andayya, Nayashena, Kumaravyasa and structural side of language shift is concerned, we
Vachanakaras [mystic poets], by combining, marga can only sketch tendencies based on data provided
and deshi, is also a kind of resistance to the by some case studies [e.g. B P Pandit, Sourashtrasi in
Sanskritized Kannada. The concept of hybridity is Tamilanadu, D N S Bhats on Kannada+.

583 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN


Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

As if, the provincial languages are life' (p. 84). These views signify the linguistic
conspiring against the India unity [U N Shing 1992], chauvinism and fanatical attitudes towards Sanskrit
Suniti Kumar Chatterji [1943] made a statement and its religion. In my opinion, they are merely
such as, we feel that we ought to have a common slogans and emotional bursts. It is quite true; they
language for the whole of India as symbol of are also conspiring to establish the hegemony of
common Indian Nationality. It is also of the opinion, Sanskrit with the sanction of India constitution. Even
very clearly felt by the language planning otherwise, the continuity of Sanskrit is spread over
commission in a 1957, it was discussed by Sumathi across the other Indian languages and cultures in
Ramaswamy *2007+ in her paper, It is clear, terms linguistic structure, functional usages and
however, from the report submitted by the imbibed in cultural practices. This is to be
Commission a year later on November 1957, that it considered a greater damage to all the indigenous
saw its task as being more than just pedagogical, for languages of the Indian subcontinent.
at stake was the very survival of the emerging Standardization, Modernization and Diglossia: the
nation. The Commission was fiercely anxious about status of linguistic diversity
'the growing fissiparous tendencies and linguistic Tribal languages and other minority
parochialism which are jeopardizing the political languages do not institutionally support for their
unity of the country and are rocking the very communicative functions. And also, they have no
foundations of our freedom'.' A decade of linguistic written literary tradition and no access to
jealousy and bitterness had marred the joys of technology and science. In any of these domains,
independence; there had been much squabbling equal potential and access does not extend to them.
within the nation over state boundaries and Language revitalization and maintenance are and
territories; and Hindi, the proposed official language have always been political actioned. Because,
of India, had been found unacceptable by large Language policies are always discriminatory,
numbers of its people. Everywhere, 'regionalism' favoring to some privileged class/communities. It is
and 'linguism' were on the rise. The Commission's quite true that constitutional support and rights are
solution to these problems was clear-cut: to put extended to them in order to maintain their
Indians on a good and steady diet of Sanskrit by languages. Practically, they are not in favor of
making its study compulsory in schools, and by minority languages. The possibility of recasting the
instituting it as the official language of the nation. communities interests and perspectives is never
Sanskrit was ideally suited for this role, for it was the taken into consideration in order to achieve their
'Supreme Unifier' (p. 201) and the 'Great Unifying aspirations. The processes at work in
Force' (p. 81). 'The Indian people and the Indian standardization and hierarchies of styles and genres
civilization were born ... in the lap of Sanskrit' (p. also give rise to what Bourdieu calls legitimization
85). It is 'in our blood' (p. 81). It is 'the breath of our and authorization. Both these turn on how language
nostrils and the light of our eyes' (p. 87). Mixing its is socially evaluated. Legitimacy is accorded to
metaphors, the Commission also variously described selected ways of speaking or writing in that they are
Sanskrit as 'the bedrock' of Indian existence, the recognized by other producers, by the dominant
'main thread which runs through the entire fabric of classes and by mass audiences *Bourdieu 1993,
the cultural life of an Indian' (p. 102), and the anchor 331; Garnham 1993]. Differences in social and
that keeps the youth of India from losing their economic position tend to be reproduced in unequal
'cultural moorings' (p. 51). 'If the binding force of knowledge of legitimate language, which in turn
Sanskrit [is] taken away, the people of India would reinforces constraints an access to power. However,
cease to feel that they were part of a single culture Censorship, authorization, and the reinforcement of
and a single nation' (p. 70). So, by restoring Sanskrit the dominant languages are all traceable to the
back to its citizens, the nation, too, would be pervasive effects of power [Gal & Irvine 1997, Lind
restored, and its troubled waters calmed. In storm 1992].
Sanskrit, it was declared, brings a 'symphony to our

584 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN


Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

Standardization and modernization are a just a linguistic reality, it is a sociolinguistic attitude.


politicized discourse. Standardization of languages Primary speech varieties with localized or restricting
can be regarded as a legitimizing activity expanding domains as Low *i.e. colloquial Kannada] and
its institutional order through a programmed superposed varieties enjoying access wider or
course in socialization *Berger and Luckmann, enlarging domains as High *i.e. Standard
1966, quoted by U N Singh 1992].According to Kannada]has led many investigators to attribute ad
Fishman *1974+, the social context of language hoc values to diverse codes available in a
modernization is most commonly discussed in terms community. Such studies focusing on language
of (a) the growing identification with the standard attitudes generally rate primary speech as
version of the national language on the part of the conceptually 'deficient* and sociologically as
general public, (b) the increased accessibility of all 'deprived'. This raises certain issues of fundamental
varieties within the speech community, (c) the more nature, such as how does language structure reality.
rapid diffusion of linguistic innovations and status How far do the differences in speech behavior
markers, resulting in repertoire continuity rather reflect differences in adequacy as opposed to
than discontinuity across classes. This linguistic acceptable variation! In what manner does the 'high
inequality leads to the mismatch between home and brow' values of speech - uniformity, precision,
school languages. This tendency reinforces to elegance, purity of form, allegiance to literary
neglect the mother tongues of the tribe and tradition, elaboration of language through coining of
minorities as well. As a consequence, linguistic new terms - actually meet with the demands of
assimilation takes place, in turn; this forces the adequacy and effectiveness in everyday life
tribal/ minority children into subtractive language communication in a society? (Khubchandani 1981).
learning in a form of submersion education in the The relationship between Kannada-Sanskrit
dominant language. Institutions like education must and Kannada-English is also a Diglossic situation. The
promote mother tongue education in the former is dealing with standardization whereas later
multilingual situation. one is dealing with modernization. The hegemony of
Fishman [1971] divides all the multilingual both Sanskrit and English is imposed on Kannada. As
developing nations into three clusters: nations with a consequence, Kannada has to struggle with both
several Great Traditions, nations with one Great Sanskrit and English in order to retain its structural
Tradition and nations with none [Quoted by Dua. and functional usages. In the formalized
H.R: Hegemony of English]. Sanskrit took-over every communication, and in the domains like literature,
tradition into its account, considering that there is criticism and other discursive writings Standard
only one great tradition in India [i.e. Sanskrit]. As a Kannada [i.e. Sanskritized Kannada] is preferred. On
result, Sanskrit is considered the only language of the other hand, English is preferred in the domains
knowledge, philosophy, literature, great tradition like Science, Technology and Law. The similar
and resource of vocabulary. Due to its monistic situation can find in Hindi, which interface with
attitude, it imposed its monistic realities on all other Sanskrit alone, those bilingual speakers belonging
indigenous languages. As a consequence, linguistic to the North-Central region (characterized as the
homogeneity was developed instead of Fluid Zone, cf. Khubchandani 1 972a 1978) who
sociolinguistic heterogeneity. It is another way of retain their regional or caste dialects either of
leveling the diversities and nullifying them in the Western Hindi or of altogether different languages
domains of socio-cultural milieus. The knowledge of the region (such as Pahari, Lahnda, Panjabi,
systems and intellectual diversity were also Rajasthani, Awadhi, Chhatisgarhi, Bihari) for
integrated into Sanskrit tradition. informal communication within their speech group,
Characterizing linguistic codes in terms of but prefer to use Khariboli (standard Hindi) for
High and Low is another way of differentiating formalized communication. In this diglossia
sociolinguistic and cultural hierarchy. This situation, these speakers think of Khariboli as having
dichotomy is linguistically called as Diglossia. It is not a more prestigious role than their native speech,

585 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN


Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

which has a casual use. They regard their native pushed Kannada on an exactly opposite route, and
speech habits as mere substandard variations of the excluded Kannada and other regional languages
all-powerful standard Hindi [Khubchandani 1981]. from the realm of education, journalism, literature
The distinctions between Standardized and all other academic discourses. Instead of the
Kannada [i.e. Pure, high, powerful, elegant and common peoples language is being encouraged, the
standard variety] and Dialects [i.e. Impure, low, Sanskritized Kannada is promoted. Sanskrit has
powerless, non-standard, corrupted variety, become an ultimate necessity of all the functional
substandard] is big split. As a result, caste/regional domains [education, literature, media, technology
dialects are at the tip of extinction. It leads not and social science]. But still, neither Sanskrit nor the
merely ironing-out the dialects alone; it also leads to lexicon of Sanskrit are protected by the common
the cultural loss. people in their day to day interaction. Further, this
Sanskritization: Representation versus became a hurdle in acquiring knowledge and
Misrepresentation information.
This part of paper is trying to highlight that II.
how can Sanskrit be a major source for the problems Renowned linguist and cultural critic K. V. Narayana
that have been occurred to the native languages of from Karnataka proposes an alternative model to
India in general, and Kannada is in specific. This understand the relationship that exists between
whole linguistic process is called as Sanskritization. Kannada and Sanskrit in contemporary situations.
Sanskritization can be discussed in three broader The following tenets are the basic assumptions of
perspectives; his modal:
i. Structural linguistics Kannada and Sanskrit: A Readjustment
ii. Sociolinguistics The relationship between Kannada and Sanskrit is
iii. Diglossic Situation [it is a phenomenon very ancient. This paper does not intend to
of both structural and sociolinguistics]. understand the process of this relation. However,
Sanskrit language has highly influenced on this focuses the following aspects to explicate the
Kannada structure from sound to sentence. Due to relation between Kannada and Sanskrit;
this influence, Kannada has borrowed sounds, 1. Sanskrit has highly influenced Kannada
lexical items, sandhi rules and their written [linguistic] sound system; as a result Kannada
representation from Sanskrit, Ex. Aspirated sounds adopted many of its phonemes and their
like; Ph, bh, kh, gh, chh, jh [, , , , , ] written representation.
2. Sanskrit did influence on Kannada lexicon in a
vowels like R[] aI[] and[] etc. Therefore,
great manner. Kannada has borrowed lexicon
Sanskrit is very prevalent and predominant in the directly from Sanskrit and also through Prakrit.
context of high variety of Kannada which leads to The so called standardized variety of Kannada
linguistic discrimination among Kannada speakers. borrowed Sanskrit vocabulary probably more
Due to the process of Sanskritization, the real usage than fifty percentages.
of Kannada is restricted to a very limited domain. At 3. Some of the Word formational aspects of
the same time, the Sanskritized Kannada is not Kannada were highly influenced by Sanskrit.
associated with the common people. Consequently, many examples are available in
The pro-Sanskritization lobby is preparing the context of morphophonemic structures and
an artificial Kannada that is highly Sanskritized and compound formation of Kannada language.
only literary would able to gain knowledge and 4. Due to the influence of Sanskrit on Kannada in
information, restraining those who are illiterate some of the functional domains that created
from accessing information and knowledge. This diglossic situation in Kannada. The prominence
language [low variety] can be used for interaction, of Sanskrit lexicon is more in a higher stratum of
and these languages are also the medium of social groups of Kannada and its standard
knowledge dissemination and information sharing dialect, whereas, the prominence of native
among common people. Pro-Sanskritization lobby
586 Dr. METI MALLIKARJUN
Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

lexicon is more in the lower stratum of Kannada morphophonemic process Sanskrit rules are more
groups. prevalent. The most prominent compound word in
These structural influences of Sanskrit on Kannada i.e. u:To:pacha:ra in this particular
Kannada are the basis to understand the issues of combination, u:Ta (Kannada) and upacha:ra
standardization of Kannada. (Sanskrit) are incorporated. But Sandhi rule is
While determining the standard variety of Sanskrit (i.e. guNasandhi). In this way, Kannada has
Kannada, that form should be taken care to be developed its own structural designs to mix with
remained in the modal of Sanskrit. Most probably, Sanskrit structure. According to these structures,
all sounds of Sanskrit are considered as Kannada Sanskrit Kannadization (Samskrutada
sounds. Those phonological variations and Kannadikarana) seems to be a strategy. That is why;
diversities take place in Kannada are never common people cannot make out Sanskrit words
legitimized in this particular determination of that they regularly use hundred of them in their
standardization. In the sense, the only written routine communication; they simply consider them
variety of Kannada is being considered as standard as Kannada words. At the same time, when Kannada
form. Even there is a standardized spoken variety borrows words, sounds from other languages,
[pronunciation], it must be legitimized by written especially from English language, people think that
variety. However, sound structure and lexicon Kannada loses its purity. Thus, we need to
structures of Sanskrit dictate the standardization of determine that Sanskrit linguistic aspects
Kannada. More or less, in various discourses of internalized into Kannada which are very much
Kannada, the use of standard variety is more transplant and visible.
prominent. Thus, even in the present situation, Not only this, for many times, Sanskrit
Sanskrit still continues its dictation and domination lexicon and word rules are the main resources for
on Kannada in its various functional domains. many new morphological structures in Kannada. But
It is possible to examine the relationship such new word-formation happens only in Kannada.
between Kannada and Sanskrit from one more New words which are not practically used in
angle. Aspirated sounds and fricative sounds like / Sanskrit, basing the same language, Kannada makes
[/] are less prevalent in oral performance, use of them. This is the best example for signifying
creative practice in the context of language contact.
whereas, these sounds are more prominent and
As expanding the domains of Kannada use, this
prevailing without any gap in written Kannada. But
unique relationship with Sanskrit facilitates Kannada
in the process of neologism or in coinage of new
to get new word formations enormously possible.
words, Kannada violates the relation with Sanskrit in
With this linguistic assistance of Sanskrit,
many respects. This practice could be seen among
Kannada formed new words, if not always, many
grammarians of old Kannada. Such practices in the
times these Sanskrit forms replace Kannada lexical
process of new coinage are generally considered
items that are constantly use in routine
Arisamasa *i.e. compound but hybridized+. We dont
communication or they are also simultaneously used
see any hesitation among speakers while using such
along with these Sanskrit words. For example, one
hybridized [Kannada and Sanskrit] forms which take
can see that both anna and ku:Lu are in practice in
place in Kannada. As well as, in these new
Kannada. In this way, instead of the words or
constructions of Kannada and Sanskrit, the rules of
compounds have already been made available in
word formation and morphophonemic [sandhi]
Kannada, the words which we get from Sanskrit,
processes are used together. Lets see a sandhi rules
between these two structures a unique relationship
in word formation like Bh:ugaLLa [Land Thief]. There
established between Kannada and Sanskrit. It
is a mere Kannada and Sanskrit word alignment in
means, Sanskrit words attain positive connotation
the given formation. But morphophonemic rule of
whereas Kannada words attain negative/derogative
this alignment is Kannada (i.e. bhu:+kaLLa
connotation. Words like anna and ku:Lu are the best
=bhu:gaLLa, kg). This is how, while combining both
instances for this reality. The word anna in Sanksrit
Kannada and Sanskrit words into Kannada, in such

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Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) Vol.3.Issue 4.2015
A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

has a broader meaning a:ha:ra (i.e. food ) that But it is necessary to observe here one
reduced to akki (i.e. rice) in Kannada. Similarly, the more aspect. While teaching Sanskrit as a classical
word ku:Lu has a same connotation like a:ha:ra that language, one of the practicing written languages in
most probably prepared with the same ingredients, a given situation is being used in the process of
but now this word has got a negative and teaching this particular language. For example, even
derogatory meaning. Nonetheless, if Sanskrit forms though students learn Sanskrit, but they write it in
are given more privilege and legitimation, Kannada Kannada scripts. Even in the examinations, about
forms remain very informal in the functional Sanskrit poetry and related such texts and questions
domains. In such situation, if there are no on them are only being answered in Kannada. This
differences as for as meaning are concerned, but modal is very predominant in Karnataka. It seems to
there would be restrictions in their usages. be a strategy to stabilize this modal. Those who wish
However, Sanskrit forms get a prominent place in to learn Sanskrit, they learn it through Kannada.
writing practices, whereas, Kannada words remain Indirectly, they learn the secondary skills, reading
in oral practices alone. Due to the intrusion of and writing of Kannada. If Kannada is their mother
English lexicon, the consequences of diglossia are tongue, the primary skills, speaking and listening are
getting more complicated. already known to them. In this way, the problem
Cultural and Political status of Sanskrit and doesnt arise that students will not be deprived by
its support uncovered another face between the learning Kannada.
relationship of Kannada and Sanskrit in language As such Kannada has made used the impact
politics. Sanskrit is there in the list of languages of Sanskrit to strengthen itself. This is again
which should be studied during schooling. It is regarded as a strategy. The structures of Sanskrit
found, as mother tongue/ first language speakers of enter into Kannada; they never appear to be
Kannada generally learn Sanskrit instead of Kannada alienated. It is necessary to have knowledge of
during their schooling. This tendency seems to be Kannada scripts and writing system to read and
confined to cities. And its impact is not that serious write Sanskrit. Therefore, it has become possible for
at the surface structure. Still, there is an option Kannadigas to preserve the skills of Kannada to
between Kannada and Sanskrit. There are no being with Sanskrit. By adopting this model into our
tendencies that because of Sanskrit, except pedagogy very systematically, it is possible for us to
Kannada, no other languages are sacrificed. develop a cordial relationship with Sanskrit. As a
Alternative syllabuses like central and autonomous result, linguistic coexistence between Kannada and
those are in practices have kept Kannada outside Sanskrit becomes quite possible.
the education. Because Sanskrit is a classical Work Cited and References
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A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal
(Oct-Dec)
http://www.rjelal.com

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