Brahmaputra   studies


Jyotiprakash Tamuli

email: anitajyoti AT

Jyotiprakash Tamuli has been associated with the linguistics programme at Gauhati University since the early 1980's. He studied linguistics at Deccan College , Pune and at the University of Reading where a Commonwealth Fellowship enabled him to carry out his doctoral research on the compound verb in Assamese (1998).

Tamuli's research interests have been mostly centred on different aspects of Assamese linguistics. These include the grammar and meaning of such multi-word expressions as compound verbs and conjunct verbs. Two other areas of interest for him are dialect variation in contemporary Assamese and the forms of this language at earlier times.

Both of them relate to the trans-disciplinary perspective of the Brahmaputra Studies on human mobility in the northeast:

The study of ethnic varieties of Assamese as used by different indigenous communities has interesting possibilities for our understanding of the history of the region.

Tamuli's interest in earlier forms of Assamese intersects with the Brahmaputra Studies initiative on translating selections from the Assamese historical chronicles ( buranji s) into English in which he is coordinating with François Jacquesson. An urgent and immediate goal of this exercise is to examine how these chronicles add to our understanding of contacts and migrations of local populations and the unfolding of their history.

However, in the longer term, the body of language corpora generated will serve as excellent resources for linguistic descriptions and comparisons of the Assamese of the buranji texts with present-day Assamese.

In recent years, Tamuli has been directing efforts at promoting academic linkages that can facilitate transfer of know-how and skills between institutions and regions. One outcome of such efforts is the North East Indian Linguistics Society, an international forum for linguists working on languages of the region (website: Tamuli has served as co-chair of NEILS since 2006 along with LaTrobe University colleagues Stephen Morey as its other co-chair and Mark Post as its secretary.

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