India – A multi-linguistic zone

India – A multi-linguistic zone

India is place of hundred million of people inhibited in a land of multilingual, multicultural and multi- religious environment. India is always known for its diversity and multiplicity and as truly said India stands for unity in diversity. Languages from five different language families are spoken in India, namely, Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, Austro-Asiatic, Dravidian and Andamanese. All these five language families are distinct from each other. These five different language families have been distinguished on the basis of their linguistic study and analysis. Each of the language family comprises a different set of linguistic features . while Indo-Aryan languages are highly inflecting, Dravidian languages are agglutinative and Tibeto-Burman languages are isolating and agglutinative type. Even though a rigid compartmentalisation in terms of linguistic features is not possible all the time.

Indo-Aryan languages are spoken in the largest geographical area in the subcontinent. Stretching from Pakistan in the West to Bangladesh in the east , from Nepal in the north and to Sri Lanka in the south. Austro-Asiatic is another major language family spoken in India , surprisingly all the languages coming under this language family are ‘tribal languages’. On the other hand the Tibeto-Burman family of languages is a sub-family of Sino-Tibetan. Languages belonging to this language family mainly spoken in the Himalayan ranges stretching from north western India to north eastern India and further extending to Nepal, Burma and China. Almost all the languages belonging to this language family  are tonal .In most of the languages rising, failing and level tones are functional at lexical level. Dravidian languages are spoken in the southern part of India. The Andamanese languages are spoken in the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Very little known about this language family since languages belonging to this language family remained linguistically less treated . Even though the Andamanese language family is considered to be the oldest language family of India.

Learning a language ; Skills of language learning

Language is a medium of expression , a medium through one can express thoughts , feelings and etc. on this earth a person gets to know at least one language in his /her course of life .Even in the era of globalisation monolingual speakers are very less in number most of the world population are bi-lingual and people living in the land called India are generally multi –lingual that means they have got access to more than two languages. Linguists have categorised the process of language acquisition and language learning differently though. Language acquisition involves unconscious and effortless learning ( generally means learning the first language of mother tongue),and language leaning means consciously learning  of a language.

There are four different skills that one needs to master to learn a language , they are : listening skill, reading skill , speaking skill and writing skill.  Each of these skills comprises different sub skills . for example, if we take the reading skill into account , skimming and scanning are different sub skills of reading. Among these four different skills writing is the most complex one which involves the thought process as well along with writing. Before one writes down something one needs to have brain storming otherwise the subject remains incapable to write down properly. On the other hand the listening skill is considered to be the basic skill of a language to acquire and to develop speaking skill one needs to have constant practise. A person can be considered to be competent in a language only if he/she acquires these four different language skills in regards to that particular language.

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