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UMD Scientist Writes First Grammar for Language Used by Millions

December 2, 2013
Contacts: 

Keva Marable 301-226-8873

Anne Boyle David, associate research scientist at the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), has written the first volume in a multi-authored series of grammars, or sets of rules for using a language, describing under-documented and under-resourced world languages. Descriptive Grammar of Pashto and its Dialects is a comprehensive description of a language used by millions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Anne Boyle David, associate research scientist at the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), has written the first volume in a multi-authored series of grammars, or rules for the structure of a language, describing under-documented and under-resourced world languages. Descriptive Grammar of Pashto and its Dialects is a comprehensive description of a language used by millions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"The Pashto language is a fascinating case of dialect divergence. Isolating geography has combined with continual movement of people due to political and social upheaval to create a complex dialectal situation," David said. "A few Pashto grammars have been published before, but for the most part they confined themselves to one dialect, and there were some dialects with little or no published information on them."

The CASL Pashto grammar will provide critical information for linguists and language learners, such as detailed morphological descriptions, dialectal information, and annotated examples showing the language in use, all in both native and Roman scripts. "The new grammar serves both linguists and learners by putting descriptions of dialectal varieties side-by-side and presenting information on lesser-known dialects, including real-world examples from native speakers."

In February 2012, five CASL scientists signed a contract with publisher De Gruyter Mouton to produce a trailblazing series of grammars to include Bangla, Dhivehi (Maldivian), and Punjabi. De Gruyter Mouton is an international academic press based in Berlin and one of the leading publishers in the field of linguistics.

To learn more about the CASL grammar series, visit ter.ps/grammars.

The University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language conducts innovative, academically rigorous research in language and cognition that supports national security. CASL research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, bringing together people from the government, academia, and the private sector. CASL research is both strategic and tactical, so that it not only advances areas of knowledge, but also directly serves the critical needs of the nation. For more information, visit www.casl.umd.edu.

 

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