Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 6 June 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Copyright © 2008
M. S. Thirumalai


The Semantics of Haroti Postpositional-
Interrogating Simple Sentences

Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi, M.A. (Linguistics), M.A. (English), B.Ed.

What is Dealt with in This Paper?

My aim in this paper is to work on the spatial cognition in Haroti. This paper finds its root in artificial intelligence. The basic inquiry that shapes this work is: "How can one produce and interpret locative expressions that are appropriate in a given context?"

This paper will present an analysis of semantics and pragmatics of locative expressions like:

Sentence 1 mej pa rakhi che
Book table on put is

The book is on the table.

The paper will examine the possibility of constructing a computational model of comprehension and production in the spatial domain.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, Cognition, Locative, Semantics, Pragmatics, Computational model, etc.


Haroti is the name of the southern region of Rajasthan in India. This region has four districts namely Kota, Jhalawar, Bundi and Baran (See Appendix - i). The main aim of this paper is to demonstrate the play of locative expressions in Haroti. A locative expression is a SOV language and locative expressions occur post - positional. As in :

Sentence 2 Piisa ke adhar katori rakhii che
Coin on bowl put is

The bowl is on the coin.

Here the interesting element is that "Ke adhar" (on) is made of two different locatives lexicons but it gives the sense of one locative that is 'on' as translated into English. Contrary to SOV languages like English where a locative expression modifies the following phrase, in Haroti a locative expression works as post-modifier.

Keeping in mind how people can produce and interpret locative expressions that are appropriate in a given context, the data in the paper mainly focus on these questions:

(i) How do people manage to produce and interpret locatives?

(i-a) Do the locative phrase, and the locative phrase in a sentence give the same interpretations, or they vary?

(i-b) Why do certain locative phrases come as a null phrase, and other get full expression?

(ii) What is the possible syntax semantics interface in the construction of locatives?

The Status of Awareness of Computing Situations

As we know in human language processing, our brain computes the performance which works out in a given context. To prove the accountability of a given performance, the question how the acquired knowledge is put to use is crucially important.

A human compute system works on the following terms: How we take in the observe data, process it, and work out for actual use, given various contexts. Before giving an explanation to the problem: What are the relevant brain mechanisms for spatial cognition? It would be appropriate to suggest that in general conversation we are not aware of computation consciously.

This can be shown by giving a native speaker of Haroti the following sentences: For example:

Sentence 3 Pen kittab ma che
Pen book in is

The pen is in the book.

The speaker is cognizant of one situation that the book is closed and the pen is inside the book. He cannot say that the book is open, and the pen is in it, in Haroti. For this interpretation he will use different locative expressions like 'p?' and the sentence would become:

Sentence 4 Pen kittab p? che
Pen book on is

The pen is on the book.

The sentence (4) helps him to cognize two different situations -

a. The book is closed and the pen is on the book.
b. The book is open and the pen is on it.

This clarity has come out because locative expressions occur in the sentence. If they were used in the phrase:

Sentence 5 kittab m? pen
Book in pen

The pen (is) in the book.


Sentence 6 kittab p? pen
Book on pen

The pen (is) on the book.

Location of the Meaning of Locative Expression

The native speaker is not able to comprehend the various interpretations if they were used in phrases. This proves that locative expressions find their meaning in sentences. Though we acquire a language in phrases yet we comprehend it in sentences. Hence syntax finds its expression in pragmatics.

Postpositional Meanings

From the above example an interesting thing comes into light that verbal element adds clarity to the sentence, and provides various interpretations. Now the question arises whether verbal element entails the postpositional meaning or postpositions find their meaning in the sentence.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Crosstalk and Communication Breakdown in Professional Interactions in English | Phonological, Grammatical and Lexical Interference in Adult Multilingual Speakers | Politeness Strategies in Yemeni Arabic Requests | Unravelling Urdu Idioms | The Roots of Linguistic Reorganization of Indian States - The Experience of Orissa as a Linguistic Province in the British Raj | Characteristic Indian Attitudes in Nissim Ezekiel's Poetry | Teaching Language through Literary Texts in the ESL Classroom | The Semantics of Haroti Postpositional-Interrogating Simple Sentences | The Politics of Survival in the Novels of Margaret Atwood - A Doctoral Dissertation | Teaching Technical Jargon through Word Formation to the Students of Engineering and Technology | Indian Spirituality and Twice-Born Nature - A Study of Eliot's Approach to World | Discourse Choices in Pluralistic Nations - A Review of Maya Khemlani David-edited Language Choices and Discourse of Malaysian Families | Exploring the Effectiveness of World Wide Web
to Improve the Communication Skills of Management Students - A Pilot Study

Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi, M.A. (Linguistics), M.A. (English), B.Ed.
English Faculty
School of Languages
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University
Jammu & Kashmir

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