2021 Linguistic Geographies [online] seminar

Image source : https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/landkarte-der-dialekte-er-isst-die-eier-immer-ohne-salz-und.3720.de.html?dram:article_id=279450

This week marks the beginning of the linguistic geography I organise online, with some of my favorite researchers in the field joining the conversation this Winter and Spring, in English and French. More will follow later this year.

Our first seminar on the history and methods of linguistic geography will be held online on Friday 8 January at 2pm (CET, in France, Germany, Italy ; or 1pm GMT in the UK).

Our speaker will be Philip JAGESSAR (School of Geography, University of Nottingham) speaking on: ‘Mapping definitely, the indefinite’: the Linguistic Survey of India as an experimental atlas

You can still read Philip’s interview with me earlier this year here and his abstract at the bottom of this article.

 
If you would like to attend this session or for any enquiries, please contact me (Felix de Montety) at felix.de-montety@umrpacte.fr 

All are welcome: please forward this to anyone you think might be interested in attending. Please get in touch with me if you are interested in presenting your own work later this year or if you would like to indicate an event or publication that might be of interest to us.

Full program below !

Calendar

(all sessions are held on Friday afternoons)

8 January 2021 (14h (France & CET) //1pm GMT (UK))                                   

English language session             

  • Felix DE MONTETY (CNRS, Grenoble, France)

Seminar introduction

  • Philip JAGESSAR (School of geography, University of Nottingham, U.-K.)

‘Mapping definitely, the indefinite’: the Linguistic Survey of India as an experimental atlas

29 January 2021 (14h (France & CET) //1pm GMT (UK))                       

English language session 

  • Alfred LAMELI (Research Center Deutscher Sprachatlas, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany)

Language Mapping through the centuries (19th century-present)

  • Stefan RABANUS (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Università di Verona, Italy)   

Traditions and challenges in language mapping

5 Février/ February 2021(14h (France & CET) //1pm GMT (UK))                                  Séance en français / French language session  

  • Matteo DE CHIARA (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris, France)         

Quelles informations nous offre la toponymie ? Le cas de la vallée de Swat, Pakistan

  • Samia OUNOUGHI (LIDILEM, Université Grenoble Alpes, France)    

[titre à définir // tba]

26 Mars/ March 2021(14h (France & CET) //1pm GMT (UK))  

Séance en français / French language session      

  • Sven KÖDEL (Institut Historique Allemand, Paris, France)      

Cartographier les limites des langues dans l’empire napoléonien : l’enquête Coquebert de Montbret et la géographie de la langue française 

  • Mathieu AVANZI (Sorbonne Université, Paris, France)           

Cartographier la variation du français à l’ère des sciences participatives (2000-2020)

  • Guylaine BRUN-TRIGAUD (CNRS/Université Côte d’Azur, France)

Présentation de deux outils pour géolinguistes : ShinyDialect et ShinyClass 

Mapping definitely, the indefinite’: the Linguistic Survey of India as an experimental atlas

Philip Jagessar (University of Nottingham, School of Geography)

8 January 2021

In 1896, George Grierson – a member of the Indian Civil Service and noted philologist – commenced a monumental project to survey, classify and map the languages and dialects of India. A significant ambition of the Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) was to publish maps of the major languages and linguistic areas in India. At the start of the process Grierson had in mind which languages were to be mapped and which maps he wanted published in the LSI. Getting there meant making sense of and piecing together discrete forms of cartographic information so that the final maps were comprehensible to a broad readership composed of scholars, officials and laypersons.

Reading the final maps, on the other hand, suggests that the LSI could not settle on one way to map language. The forty-five maps which constitute a ‘linguistic atlas’ of India are diverse in style, size, scale and methods used. The only consistent feature of the maps is their lack of uniformity. This can partly be explained by the maps being made at different stages over two-and-a-half decades, and the changes in personnel, methods and material in that time. However, this paper argues that the maps of the LSI should be read as an experiment in which Grierson, through a network of surveyors, scholars and interactions with organisations such as the Survey of India, tries to find the most effective way to map language. Crucially, linguistic mapping is not an exact science – languages are only mapped approximately – and the variation in maps are a consequence of trying to capture India’s heterogeneous linguistic geography. The LSI’s maps were trying to answer questions which troubled Grierson such as how to map a language spoken over a large area or small area; how to map languages that extend beyond India; how to map an area with many different dialects; and how to map the geographical limits of a language or dialect. In other words, the LSI was an experimental atlas illustrating different methods and techniques to map the languages and dialects in the Indian subcontinent and beyond.    


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