Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 10 October 2010
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.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.



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Caste - Gender Ideology in
Gundert's Malayalam-English Dictionary

Deepa Mary Joseph M.A., M.Phil.

1.1 Social Variables in Dictionaries

Language, a medium for communication, represents a speech community. 'Speech community' signifies a society that shares the same language and culture. Nevertheless, linguistic variations, on the basis of region, religion and caste differences of a social group, could also be seen in a speech community.

Social structure and social mobility are the prominent factors of language hierarchy and variations. These linguistic variations reflect overtly the different social facts of a society. In short, language and society are inter-locked.

Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to society (Hudson, 1980). Sociolinguistic is not only to study language in its social context but also to analyze the society from the point of view of language. This study takes up the linguistic and the social variable of a specific speech community and scientifically interprets the relation of the community and its language.

The present paper takes two social variables i.e. caste and gender to examine the Sociolinguistic nature of the Dictionary with particular reference to the Kerala society. This paper aims to study the significance of Sociolinguistic nature of Malayalam-English Dictionary by Hermann Gundert (1814-1893), a German missionary. It is written according to the western logic and includes words from the social domain. This dictionary was published in 1872; hence, it represents, among other features, the social structure of nineteenth century Kerala.

1.2 The Social Nature of the Kerala Society

Social stratification is one of the determining factors for social structure. Caste is the basic factor for analyzing the social stratification of Kerala. This caste consciousness is a fundamental factor for the power sphere of the socio-political culture in Kerala. The caste system in Kerala is into two major categories such as Sava??a jaati and ava??a jaati. The upper castes like Nambuutiri, K?at?iya, Naaya? and Ambalavasi like Warier, Nambiar, and Nambeessan etc are included in to Sava??a jaati. The lower caste as Tiiya (Ezhava), Che?uma, Pana, Pulaya and other subaltern group etc belongs to ava??a jatti. Ava??a jaati had been considerd as untouchable and impure. The stratification based on caste in Kerala make the socio-political power hierarchy. This hierarchy made a specific language for communication.

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

English Loanwords in Meiteiron A Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Analysis | A Report on the State of Urdu Literacy in India, 2010 | More Than Meets the Eye Reasons Behind Asian Students' Perceived Passivity in the ESL/EFL Classroom | English for Medical Students of Hodeidah University, Yemen - A Pre-sessional Course | Education as an Indicator for Human Resource Development | Representation of Malaysian Women in Politics | A Modern Approach to Application of Abbreviation and Acronym Strategy for Vocabulary Learning in Second/Foreign Language Learning Procedure | Causes of Social Acceptance of "O" and "A" Level Education System in Pakistan | Pronounce Foreign Words the English way! | Dubhashi and the Colonial Port in Madras Presidency | An Investigation of Davis' Translation of SHAHNAMEH - Rostam and Sohrab Story in Focus | Feminine, Female and Feminist - A Critical Spectrum on Selected Novels by Kamala Markandaya, Shahsi Deshpande and Arundhati Roy | Four-letter Words and the Urdu Learner's Dictionaries in Pakistan | Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin - A Study of the Impact of War on Historical and Economic Aspects of the Society | Was Gandhi a True Mahatma? | Omani Women
Are Their Language Skills Good Enough for the Workplace?
| Spread of English Globalisation Threatens English Language Teaching (ELT) in Pakistan | Multiple Intelligences, Blended Learning and the English Teacher | A Micro-Case Study of Vocabulary Acquisition among First Year Engineering Students | Imagery of Wilderness in Margaret Hollingsworth's Islands | The Influence of Learning Environment on Learners' Attitude in a Foreign Language Setting | Caste - Gender Ideology in Gundert's Malayalam-English Dictionary | Development of a Hindi to Punjabi Machine Translation System - A Doctoral Dissertation | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF OCTOBER, 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. | HOME PAGE of October 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Deepa Mary Joseph, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of Malayalam
University of Madras
Chennai 600 005
Tamilnadu, India

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