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Academic Paper

Title: Final Sound-Initial Sound: A Note on Playing Antyaksari
Paper URL:
Author: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Indian Statistical Institute
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Philosophy of Language; Phonetics; Phonology
Subject Language: Bengali
Abstract: Hindi /antaksOri /, Bangla / Ontakkhori / ‘final letter‘ is the name of a popular game based on songs. One person initiates any song and another one takes the cue from the final sound of the song’s final word to start a new song in a given language. Thus, the final sound has become and must become the initial sound and if one fails to do so within a stipulated time, s/he fails to score./L/Once we, in Bengal, played /Ontakshori /, nowadays we are playing /antaksOri /, thanks to the popularization of Hindi /OntaksOri / - programmes in TV. The hegemony of Hindi as a superstratum wins at last./L//L/This code-mixing is not the concern of this paper, rather it concentrates on the perception of sounds by the Bangla speakers, when they are playing the game. As all the final sounds do not occur in the initial position, e.g., /R/ and four semi vowels: / Y / (front mid), / W / (back mid), / y / (front high), / w / (back high) they are interpreted differently. The rule of the game and management of sounds are important here as they reveal the nature of perception by the native speakers of Bangla./L//L/However, what is revealing in this game is that, as Derrida asserts in his proposed Grammatology, writing has its own rule as well as speaking and behind every act of speaking there is writing and vise versa. This paper reasserts this position by showing that ‘writing’ (in the crude sense of the term) may also intervene in the domain of speaking. One may then, look into the domain of ‘spelling pronunciation’ for further elaboration of the fact./L/Note that the word “differance” as spelt by Derrida, at a time handles “to differ” and “to defer” shows the so-called autonomy of (arche-)writing or its own play with itself without being a supplement of speaking. Literate Bangla-speakers, at the time of playing this pleasurable game, defer the difference of r-R. This paper follows many technical terms as developed by Derrida in his proposed Grammatology, viz. trace, supplement, erasure…….
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Studies in Phonetics and Phonology, pp. 110-113, K. Nagamma Reddy, A. R. Fatihi, eds., Ess Ess Publications, 2002

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