Aligarh Muslim University: Dept of Linguistics begin online talk series

Aligarh: Eminent linguist and Prof B N Patnaik (IIT Kanpur) delivered the first online talk in the series of lectures on ‘Talking about Meaning’ organised by the Department of Linguistics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in which he meticulously spelt out the Paninian classification of ‘Meaning’ and how to understand and interpret the text. The webtalk was a part of the ongoing centenary celebrations in the university.

Discussing the theories of ‘Meaning’ prevailing in the Indian literary traditions, Prof Patnaik attempted to explain the principles of these theories in logical perspective.

He pointed out that the Indian philosophy started with Panini’s Ashta?hyayi. It discusses 4000 grammatical rules which were elaborated by Sanskrit writers.

Nonetheless, Structural Linguistics is not interested in ‘Meaning’, said Prof Patnaik reasoning that it is because Structuralism holds the concept that there is no absolute meaning or value in the human way of understanding things and elements.

He further shed light on how the use of language is important to understand and interpret ‘Meaning’.

Presiding over the lecture, Prof S Imtiaz Hasnain reflected on Prof Patnaik’s view of understanding the ‘Meaning’.

Introducing the speaker to the participants, Prof M J Warsi (Chairman, Department of Linguistics) said that Prof Patnaik is the co-editor of Noam Chomsky’s ‘The Architecture of Language’, author of the first partial generative grammar of Odia and the person to introduce the fifteenth century Odia epic, Sarala Mahabharata.

Dr Nazrin B Laskar extended the vote of thanks.

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