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Prof. Braj B. Kachru
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chapter 1
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chapter 22
chapter 23
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chapter 25
chapter 26
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chapter 30
chapter 31
chapter 32
chapter 33
chapter 34
chapter 35
chapter 36
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chapter 39
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chapter 44
chapter 45
chapter 46
chapter 47
chapter 48
chapter 49
chapter 50
Selected Topics
   
An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Notes on the Plan of this Manual


 
READ  ME  FIRST THE SOUNDS OF KASHMIRI

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri is a manual for learning spoken Kashmiri of Srinagar, the summer capital of the Jammu and Kashmir state in India. The basic assumptions behind both the planning of this book and its structure are discussed below. We hope that the following notes will provide a guide to the users of this manual.

STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK

The book is divided into eight sections. The first section provides a very brief socio-linguistic profile of the Kashmiri language. The second section describes the sounds of Kashmiri, and provides some material for pronunciation practice. The third section introduces sixteen functional conversations (Lessons 1 through 16). By a functional conversation is meant a situation-oriented short conversation in which the participants are primarily using repetitive language.  The fourth section comprises fifteen lessons (Lessons 17 through 31). These are termed conversations. The aim of these conversations is to use language for discussing Kashmir-oriented topics in a semi-formal relationship between the participants. The participants are a Kashmiri and a non-Kashmiri. These conversations are longer than the ones presented in the previous section. A majority of the lessons in this section discuss the topics about Kashmir, the Kashmiris, and the important places in Kashmir. There are also two lessons about the Kashmiri firepot and the Kashmiri shawl merchant. The fifth section, entitled Notes on advanced grammar, provides a skeleton description of some topics on grammar which have not been discussed in the previous sections. This section may be consulted by a learner at any stage, depending on his interest and his background. The sixth section includes twelve review exercises that emphasize grammar, comprehension, and translation. In the Table of Contents of this book, the focus of each exercise is given to help the teacher and the learner in selecting the exercises. We have also included hints for working on the exercises. These hints should be consulted with reluctance, but, preferably not until after the answers to the exercises have been attempted. The seventh section (Lessons 32 through 45) includes fourteen narrative texts.  These lessons discuss the following types of themes. The legend about Kashmir; the places of interest in Kashmir; a Kashmiri folk tale; some historical characters; typical Kashmiri objects; the saints, some earlier poets of Kashmir, and three modern poets of Kashmir. The last section includes specimens of Kashmiri poetry. These poems are by the same poets who are included in the previous section, namely, Lal Ded, Habba Khatun, Zinda Koul 'Masterji', Gulam Ahmad 'Mahjoor' and Dina Nath 'Nadim'.

STRUCTURE OF EACH  LESSON

The lessons 1 through 31 have been structured in the following way. At the beginning of each lesson, there is an introduction to the lesson. This is divided into three brief subsections, namely, the contextual focus, the grammatical focus, and the lexical focus. After this the main lesson starts. There is at least one illustration in a majority of the lessons, drawn by a native Kashmiri artist, which provides some visual aid for understanding the lesson. In each lesson, the lexical meaning of all the new words is given before presenting a Kashmiri sentence in which the word(s) occur. The Kashmiri sentence is then followed by a free translation into English. The translation does not necessarily provide a one-to-one correspondence with the Kashmiri sentence. Each lesson is followed by a detailed section which includes notes on cultural matter, or other contextually relevant information, grammar, vocabulary, drills and exercises. It is up to the instructor or the learners to determine how much of this section is to be used in the class. It is also up to the instructor to determine whether the drills are to be used only for the oral practice in the class or also as take-home assignments. In the lessons 32 through 50 we have provided no notes; we have only provided 'equivalents' of important lexical items.

STYLE OF SPEECH

The variety of Kashmiri presented in this book is my idiolect, with serious input from Onkar N. Pandit. If we use George Grierson's terms, our variety of Kashmiri may be termed "Hindu Kashmiri" though I personally do not like this term. However, we have made a serious attempt to neutralize the Sanskrit elements in our speech at the lexical level. In the narrative texts (Lessons 32 through 45), it has not always been possible to avoid the Sanskrit items. The tradition of prose writing is still very recent in Kashmiri, and the present prose is either Persianized as that of Radio Kashmir or Sanskritized. Radio Kashmir has developed a very stilted prose style which sounds like servile translations of English or Urdu news releases.

We feel that in grammar and pronunciation the difference has been substantially neutralized.

VARIANT formS

In a few cases, a learner will find in this text the variant forms of the same lexical items. At the beginning, this may be a little confusing. It is, however, good to learn that human languages have a component of variation, too.

CULTURE NOTES

The notes given in this book on Kashmiri culture are very brief. We have attempted to cover all those points which are crucial for the understanding of the text. A learner who is interested in a more detailed treatment of either the Kashmiri culture or the literature will find the suggested reading list useful.

GRAMMAR

In the Introduction to each lesson, the subsection entitled "Grammatical focus" gives some indication of what follows in the lesson. The grammar section which follows each lesson does not necessarily form a part of the lesson. However, we have attempted to incorporate those grammatical points in the discussion which we think are relevant to the text. It is important that an instructor and the learner do serious shunting back and forth to make those sections meaningful.

The aim of the grammatical notes is not to present a complete grammar of the Kashmiri language in this manual. These are merely skeleton notes and are not complete or exhaustive. We suggest that the author's A Reference Grammar of Kashmiri (RGK) be used as a companion volume to this book. The author recommends the RGK with hesitation since it needs serious revisions. In a revised version of it, ideally speaking, the author would like to retain only its title. A Kashmiri-knowing instructor should be able to draw a learner's attention to its weak points as well as to its strong points. In the grammar section, we have presented several tense forms in one place. This has been done for the sake of convenience actually, such material may be presented to students in smaller sections at various stages.

GRADING OF MATERIALS

In the contemporary language pedagogy, it is fashionable to use the term "grading". A word on that might not be out of place here. The materials presented here have been "graded" intuitively. We have not used any statistical techniques for the vocabulary control or for grading the structures. We propose to prepare such supplementary materials in the near future.

TRANSLATIONS

The translation of lexical items or of constructions does not represent a formal equivalence. At places, it was difficult to establish even lexical equivalence between Kashmiri and English lexical items. For example, Kashmiri tsot is not English 'bread' or Hindi-Urdu chapati. It is a Kashmiri version of Persian na:n, which is eaten as snack with Kashmiri tea. The translation of Kashmiri tsa:man as English 'cheese' also shows arbitrary equivalence.

All translations of the poems in section VIII have been done by the author, except for four va:ks of Lal Ded for which we have used the translations of George Grierson or Richard Temple.

VOCABULARY AND GLOSSARY

In the introduction to each lesson (up to Lesson 32) there is a subsection entitled lexical focus. Under this subsection we have provided contextually determined lexical sets. After each lesson there is a list of useful vocabulary items. In Part II of An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri there is also a glossary.

CONTENTS OF PART II

This manual has a companion volume (Part II). It includes a glossary which is divided into three parts. The first part gives English equivalents for Kashmiri words. The second part gives Kashmiri equivalents for English words. The third part includes a partial list of English borrowings in Kashmiri. In addition, it also includes a glossary of selected terms used in this manual and, suggestions for further reading.

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