Seminar on Endangered Languages of Chittagong Hill Tracts Held at East West University
A seminar on Indigenous languages was held at East West University on July 15, 2012. It was organised by the Department of English. The Vice Chancellor of East West University, Dr Ahmed Shafee inaugurated the seminar by honouring Peterson with a crest. The chairperson of EWU department of English Zahid Akter, and the honorary advisor to the Department of English Dr Fakrul Alam was also present there.
Professor David A Peterson presented a paper titled “Issues in the Endangerment and Documentation of Chittagong Hill Tract Languages”. The objective of the paper was to provide an overview of the languages of CHT and evaluate their status. He presented on some features of the languages which make them interesting from the perspective of language typology and historical linguistics. Peterson also discussed about the elements of linguistics training that are essential to the production of local linguists who are prepared to make lasting contributions to the documentation of Bangladeshi languages.
David A Peterson is Associate professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Dartmouth College in the US. Professor Peterson has been actively engaged in descriptive projects treating minority languages of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), with funding by the Fulbright Foundation, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and the National Science Foundation. He is currently completing a full reference grammar for Khumi language, and has also worked extensively with Mru, Hyow(Khyang) and Pangkhua.
Peterson hopes that as the task of documentation will clearly fall primarily on Bangladeshi linguists, it would be desirable for Bangladeshi linguists to put in place the kind of training which will allow their trainee to accomplish it.