About the speaker: Vysakh R is a doctoral student working in the field of Linguistic Anthropology. His research looks at the question of language endangerment in Nicobar Islands. He is also interested in Sociolinguistics, Language Documentation & Description, Language Revitalization, Language Ideologies and the Linguistic construction of identities.
Abstract: This talk will look at the discourse of language loss about Lurö, an Austroasiatic language spoken in Teressa Island, Andaman & Nicobar archipelago, India. Teressa, along with other islands of the Nicobar group, was severely affected by the tsunami of 2004. This talk will propose ways to investigate how this ecological disruption and subsequent changes interact with the discourse about language loss. Speakers claim that Lurö is being replaced by Sanenyö, the language of the neighbouring island. Previous research conducted prior to the tsunami however suggests that there was stable multilingualism in Teressa. This situation does not lend itself to the more obvious explanations of language loss such as dominant language influence, prestige or economic pressures. This talk will delve into the current state of the project, vis-à-vis research questions, relevant literature and preliminary methods.