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Prasad, Bishwa Nath (1950) A Phonetic and Phonological Study of Bhojpuri as Spoken in the Districts of Shahabad and Saran, on the Basis of the Observer's Own Pronunciation (With Texts in Phonetic Transcription). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This is a study in synthesis and on polysystemic basis of a form of Indian speech used by the writer and which covers an area of about fifty thousand square miles comprising parts of two provinces, Bihar and the United Provinces and typical, in many respects, of the speech of about twenty million people. The subject is dealt with in two sections - A. Phonetics, B. Phonology. A third section contains some specimens of texts, demonstrating the several types of styles of speech, and features of pronunciation. We have kept before us the view of speech as a social instrument requiring objective and empirical treatment. The sentence has been taken as the primary datum from which both the phonematic sounds and the syntagmatic prosodies have been extracted by a process of abstraction. Some of the important features of phonetic and phonological interest, e.g., nasalization and retroflexion, have been investigated in greater detail than others. The study is purely synchronic with only occasional glimpses of historical or comparative aspects where these have been considered of some interest in connection with the points under discussion. A synthesis of the views, ancient and modern, has been, as far as practicable, attempted in interpreting the linguistic facts in the thesis. The statement of phonetic facts based on the events of utterances and studied by perception technique, have been as far as possible, corroborated by instrumental technique consisting of kymographic and palatographic abstractions according to the new method of palatographic investigation into articulations elucidated by Prof. Firth in one of his most important articles on the subject. It is for the first time that a detailed synchronic study of a form of living modern Indian speech has been attempted on such a comprehensive plan, in accordance with modern linguistic techniques. The research has yielded some results of practical value which may be profitably utilized for reforming the spelling and printing in Sanskritic Indian language like Hindi, which has been adopted as the national language of India.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:37

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