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Title: Parsi Gujarati
Subtitle: Vanishing Dialect : Vanishing Culture
Series Title: Languages of the World/Materials 483
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Bharati Modi
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862880652 Pages: 170 Price: Europe EURO 64.80
The book is an effort in searching the cause for the apocalyptic state of Parsi Gujarati, which is (soon it will be 'was') one of the most valuable dialects of Gujarati. The Parsi Gujarati voices will vanish in 21st century and Gujarati will be impaired and permanently deprived of this attractive dialect. Before even the Gujarati Society registers this loss, the dialect will be gone. The loss of such dialect means an 'irretrievable loss of diverse and interesting intellectual wealth, the priceless product of mental industry' (Hale : 1992).
While supporting the commonly accepted reasons for language attrition (such as the shift towards the more prestigious language and shrinking of the community) it is attempted to pinpoint at the specific mode of the dialect formation as one of the important reasons for the coming death. Parsi Gujarati resulted out of the language contact situation but very differently from creoles. Leaving Pahalavi and acquiring Gujarati must have happened gradually. We can roughly periodize the changes in the dialect history : the emergence of the dialect, her gradual development, her arrested interlanguage stage', and the approaching structural collapse.With the death of Parsi Gujarati, Gujarati will lose one of her most beautiful dialects. Every conscious Gujarati will grieve the disappearance of this dialect which is like a valuable 'pedigree' of Gujarati.
Bharati Modi taught linguistics at the department of linguistics of the M.S. University of Baroda for 30 years. Mainly worked and published in the areas of phonetics, phonology and field linguistics. Influenced by her great teacher Ken Hale from whom she learnt her first lessons in field linguistics, she continued her interest in that areas all along. This book is the result of that interest.