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What makes the Sindhi language special and why you should care - A linguist's view

We will describe the interesting linguistic features of Sindhi phonetics, morphology and syntax, and lay out the history of the language from ancient times to today.  Learn how the language reflects important concepts and relations in Sindhi culture, and how Sindhi expressions uniquely convey the Sindhi way of viewing the world.  Consider the role of the language in preserving culture and ethnic identity, and discuss resources for learning and improving Sindhi proficiency. Find out what factors are likely to determine the fate of Sindhi and what you can do about it.  Materials from an Internet based Sindhi language course currently being developed will illustrate the presentation. Dr. Cole is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She received her PhD in Linguistics from MIT and taught at Yale University before moving to Illinois.  Her area of research is phonetics & phonology, with an emphasis on laboratory methods for investigating speech processing by humans, and applications to computer speech recognition.  Another area of her research interest is Sindhi linguistics including field research analyzing Sindhi dialects in Kutch, India. Among her publications are articles on Sindhi, including an authoritative description of Sindhi grammar for the encyclopedic book on World Languages (2002), and an article on the phonology of alliteration in Shah Latif's poetry, which was presented at the annual conference of the South Asian Linguistics Association.  She has travelled extensively in Sindh. She supervised a course in introductory Sindhi at the University of Illinois in which she also gave lectures on Sindhi grammar, and is currently working on developing an internet-based multimedia course for learning Sindhi.

Sindhi Literature: Origins, Themes, and Trends

A tour of classical and contemporary Sindhi literature illustrated with images and art of Sindh. A number of classical folk tales essential to understanding Sindhi poetry will be related.  These provide an essential peep at the Sindhi psyche, values and culture.  Particular attention will be given to the life and works of Shah Latif, Sachal Sarmast, and Chenrai Sami, and a few sample translations of their works will be presented.  Themes and trends in contemporary Sindhi literature will be discussed, covering the era before partition, as well as the impact of partition and the Diaspora on Sindhi literature. Dr. Agha is Professor of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who grew up in Sindh, living both in Shikarpur, Hyderabad and Karachi.  He has traveled extensively in Sindh, written numerous short essays about Sindh and lectured about Sindhi history and culture, including several Sindhi Sammelans, Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) Meetings, the World Sindhi Institute conferences, and the last Young Sindhi Adults Retreat in Atlanta.  He was Guest of Honor ('Mukhi Mehman') at the Sindhi New Year (Cheti Chand) celebration organized by the Bharti Sindhu Sabha in Thane in 2000 (Mumbai, India) and has a particular passion for classical Sindhi music & poetry, and for promoting of animal rights & environmentalism.

The Language, Identity and Survival of Culture

Shakespeare says that a rose by any other name still smells as sweet. Many would claim Sindhi culture as a “rose” in the garden of human society from ancient times to today, but is it the same sweetness when expressed through English, Hindi, Urdu, or any other language? Join in this discussion of the thorny issues that link language and culture in defining the identity of the Sindhi community outside of Sindh. If culture shapes our experience of the world, then language plays a critical role in defining our perception and understanding of that experience. How central is language to the expression of Sindhi culture and to the formation of Sindhi identity? Among other topics, we’ll grapple with the reality of language decline and ask if Sindhi culture can survive the decline of the Sindhi language in the diaspora. Dr. Jennifer Cole

Linguistically Yours: Where is Sindhi headed?

Clearly, spoken Sindhi is gradually disappearing from generation to generation. In this session, we will discuss the place of the Sindhi language in the context of other Indian and European languages, as well as the possible implications of the loss of spoken Sindhi. Estimates, by linguists of spoken languages around the globe suggest that only 600 of the currently-used 6,000 languages appear to have a secure future.  Where does Sindhi stand on this scale? Are languages subject to Darwinian evolution, and if so, how fit for survival is the Sindhi language?  Is our generation charged with the social responsibility of keeping Sindhi alive? Can Sindhi survive as a vernacular, and if so, should it? What can we do today to save the demise of this age-old language? Dr. Jonathan Geen received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at McMaster University, where he completed a doctoral thesis focusing on a comparison of the Hindu and Jain Mahabharata.  He has taught courses in Sanskrit, Asian Religion, World Religions, and Science & Religion at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON), Butler University (Indianapolis, IN), and the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY).  Jonathan credits his interest in all things Sindhi to his lovely wife Sujata.

Sindhi Language and Literature

This presentation was part of a series on Indian Languages and Literature, organized by Department of Sanskrit at Harvard University.  Niranjan Dudani, MD - a practicing doctor, poet, writer and nationalist came to USA 35 years ago after serving 20 years in the Indian Navy.  Like many other Hindu Sindhis, his family had to leave Sindh and move to India after Partition.  Dr. Dudani will take us thru history and the evolution of language, the Sindhi literature that followed the path of Bhaktivad or Devotional Monotheism prevailing on the sub-continent.

Sindhi Vocabulary 101 with Viju Sidhwani & Jaideep Mulchandani

Jiye Sindhi jiye! Sindhe wara jiyan! Munjhe Amarlal ja pyarra jiyan!!

We’ll cover everything from the days of the week to the colors and the numbers.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or if you are fluent, everyone will enjoy the creative learning techniques and the wealth of vocabulary we’ll be sharing.

Jiye Sindhi jiye! Sindhe wara jiyan! Munjhe Amarlal ja pyarra jiyan!!

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