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