Of the 72 South Asian languages, only seven are still going strong in Pakistan. These include Kashmiri, Pahari, Gojri, Shina and Balti. Meanwhile, the rest are fading out due to phonetics formation among other factors.
This was the crux of an international conference on linguistics held at University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday. AJK President Sardar Yaqoob Khan attended the inaugural session and spoke about the Pahari language.
Professor P.N. Koal, a renowned linguist from India, said that strong phonetics is the “blood” of any language. “When there is transformation in the phonetics of any language, nobody can guarantee survival of the language,” he said.
Dr Musawar, a prominent linguist and academician form Kashmir University Srinagar, presented a paper on the similarity of Shina and Kashmiri languages. He observed that both the languages have the same origin and need to be researched more. Migration is the main factor that changes the phonetics of any language and when the transformation occurs, in the phonetics then no one can ensure bright future of the language, he added.
Meanwhile, other speakers stressed upon the concerned authorities to give due priority to both mainstream and regional languages, saying the end of any language is the end of civilisation, culture and tradition.
Earlier, AJK varsity Vice Chancellor Dr Dilnawaz Gardezi highlighted the salient features of the conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2013.