SEMANTICS OF TEMPORAL REFERENCE IN URDU AND ENGLISH SYNTAX
Title: Semantics of Temporal Reference in Urdu and English Syntax
This dissertation aims to present a cross linguistic analysis of Urdu and English aspectual systems. Aspect is a crucial yet complex facet of temporal reference. Temporal reference corresponds to the means employed by languages to associate situations with time. Human beings cannot express situations linguistically without situating them in time. Languages encode temporal reference through tense, aspect and temporal adverbials. Out of these three, this study focuses on aspectual reference as it allows speakers to express situations according to their orientation and perspective, and thus gains significance in terms of its semantic contribution. Aspect has special temporal characteristics that can vary across languages leading to the parametrization of aspect. In this background, by adopting a generative framework, this dissertation focuses on the realization of the core dimensions of aspect viz. perfectivity and imperfectivity in Urdu and English, and attempts to address the semantic issues associated with how perfectivity and imperfectivity are realized in both of these languages. This research is descriptive and exploratory and aims to develop theoretical propositions regarding parameterization of grammatical aspect in Urdu and highlight the constraints on aspectual reference in Urdu. The analysis focuses on how each of the two grammatical aspects interacts with different types of situations as aspectual choices are constrained by the temporal constitution of situation types. This dissertation firstly addresses the realization of perfect in Urdu and English, and based on the issues uncovered through the analysis of perfect, the meaning contribution of perfectivity is discussed. Lastly the realization of imperfectivity in Urdu and English is analyzed. The analysis highlights that Urdu and English aspectual systems differ along two major lines. Firstly, perfectivity in Urdu is realized through light verbs primarily, which form a verbal complex, especially in case of dynamic and durative situations in comparison to English which utilizes simple verb constructions. Secondly, Urdu and English present perfect constructions differ in their aspectual value; Urdu perfect constructions are not obligatorily perfective but English perfect constructions are. Urdu imperfectives pattern with English imperfective mostly and exhibit the same semantic issues as English except the patterning of Urdu habituals with counterfactuals which require a fake-tense interpretation in Urdu. This study adds to the existing knowledge about the meaning contribution of aspectual markers by shedding light on how two structurally different languages Urdu and English express the same temporal information through different forms.
Pakistani Undergraduates’ Investment in English: An Exploration of Ideology-Capital-Identity Nexus
Owing to the undeniable need for proficiency in the English language, the Pakistani youth and their parents invest heavily in learning English. The main push factors for such investment are the ideologies of power and status associated with English, the various forms of social, economic and symbolic capital it accrues, and the established future identity that it promises. However, very little research in the context of Pakistan has taken stock of how these factors influence the extent of investment of learners in learning English. This study, therefore, aimed to explore the perceptions of soon-to-graduate BS English regarding the dividends they perceive to have (not) received after four years of investment in the English language. Drawing on Darvin and Norton’s (2015) model of investment, qualitative data was collected using an open-ended questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. An extensive thematic analysis of 112 questionnaires and 20 interview responses was carried out. It was found that students deem English as a tool for advancement and enrichment of social, cultural resources connected with its learning hence assigning it the value of symbolic capital. They consider it the most important language for seeking social status and a substantial place in a world with more ESL speakers than native speakers, hence enabling them to be recognized as legitimate members of the society and gain access to the envisioned identities. However, they face challenges in negotiating the identity of a proficient English user owing to insufficient exposure to and proficiency in the language. The study has implications for the way undergraduate students are exposed to English during their studies. It also contributes to our understanding of how ideology, capital, and identity have an overriding influence on the level of investment of Pakistani undergraduates seeking English language proficiency, an area not much explored yet.
Blurring the Artistic Boundaries Between Music and Literature: An Explorative Study of Selected English Songs from Pakistan
There should be more scholarly discussion about the literary value and meaning
construction present in a well-written and well-composed song. This study aims to start
a formal scholarly discussion by exploring the overlapping boundaries of music and
literature in songs that create a shared meaning and overall effect through
communication. Assuming, that when the textual and musical components of a song
communicate with each other, they construct a specific meaning. Music and literature
have always overlapped, from the times when oral tradition was the only form of
literature. It relied heavily on rhythm, rhyme, and composition for memorization and
sharing. So literature and songs have the same origin. This research studies the art of
meaning creation in a song, as one of those overlapping art forms. Songs have many
components, including instruments, vocal techniques, lyrical content, and composition
that convey an overall message to listeners. This study decodes that overall message by
analyzing the meaning behind each song component. The songs selected for analysis
are taken from the works of Aamir Zaki, Natasha Humera Ejaz, Natasha Noorani, Poor
Rich Boy, and Sajid and Zeeshan, who are English language recording artists and
singer-songwriters. The researcher uses the interpretive method provided by Richard
Middleton to analyze the conveyed meaning of selected songs while using Bakhtin’s
concept of contextual harmonies as the underlying principle for the study. Music has a
universal language, yet it is composed in a cultural context of instruments, language,
class, values, etc. This study also examines these contextual markers in each song to
better understand its overall effect.
CLIMATE- CHANGE DISCOURSE: A CORPUS-BASED ECOCRITICAL STUDY OF THE UN CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT SPEECHES
Ecolinguistics applies linguistic models to environmental texts to unveil the hidden
ideologies or the stories. Stories are the mental models that influence human’s
behaviour. People are unaware of these stories due to the implicit nature of the stories.
There is a little research which analyses global climate change discourse by taking
into account the stances of different political and non-political leaders and
organizations using a thorough framework. This research unveils the hidden stories in
the discourse of climate change. For this reason, 88 speeches and statements that were
delivered in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 were selected to compile corpus for
the study. Stibbe’s (2015) eight story framework, which he describes in
Ecolinguistics: Language, ecology and the stories we live by, has been used as a
model to investigate different types of stories in the corpus. This study uncovers the
stories in two steps; first a detailed lexical analysis of the corpus is done to identify
the stories, then the stories are judged according to an ecosophy. Ecosophy of this
study, that is used to evaluate the stories, is designed by following Stibbe’s (2015)
ecosophy. The study found the stories of identity, metaphor, frame, conviction,
evaluation, erasure and salience. Different linguistic features like trigger words, purr
words, nominalizations and abstractions have been used in the construction of the
stories. Trigger words have been frequently used in the construction of different
stories. The stories are largely destructive and ambivalent in nature. The story of
salience, which describes climate change vividly, is a beneficial story. The study calls
for encouraging the beneficial stories and resisting the destructive stories and the
destructive aspect of ambivalent stories by raising awareness about the harmful
impacts of the destructive stories on ecosystem.
FROM PARIAHZATION TO REHUMANIZATION: A STUDY OF I.W GREGORIO’S NONE OF THE ABOVE AND LAXMI TRIPATHI’S ME HIJRA ME LAXMI
The present study is qualitative in nature and aims to investigate the perspectives of pariahzation and rehumanization of transgender individuals. For the critical analysis of these two variables, the research is delimited to two literary texts which are Me Hijra Me Laxmi (2015) by Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and None of the Above (2015) by I.W Gregorio. The selected literary texts have been approached from two angles. First, the texts have been studied using Daryl. B Hill’s theory of Genderism, Transphobia, and Gender Bashing and then the texts have been analyzed using Rianna Oelofsen’s stance on Rehumanization. The textual analysis of the texts in the light of Daryl’s perspective underlines the marginalization and gender bashing faced by the protagonists, Laxmi and Krissy, in the respective texts while accentuating the ways in which these characters are subjected to pariahzation for not conforming to the normative gender binary. These characters are treated as pariahs of society because of transphobia. Furthermore, as the selected texts also show traces of rehumanization, so by using Oelofsen’s stance, the discussion is expanded beyond the domain of pariahzation, and it is concluded that despite being subjected to pariahzation, the two characters Laxmi and Krissy are able to accept their identities other than the gender binary and live their lives as free individuals, thus, challenging the traditional ideas of the gender binary and paving way for a gender diverse society.
Discourse Analysis of Written Text on Pakistani Vehicles: A Sociolinguistic Perspective
Thesis Title: Discourse Analysis of Written Text on Pakistani Vehicles: A
This research focuses on the discourse analysis of the text written on Pakistani public
transport vehicles. The data was collected from the roads, parking lots and market
places in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The text was written in three
languages, English, Urdu and Punjabi. The sample size was two hundred but since there
was a lot of duplication in the data, the actual sample size was shrunk to fifty-nine. The
data classification was done keeping into consideration the grounded theory, as the
thematic categories of data emerged after data collection. They included love for
religion, parents, opposite sex and country. Moreover it highlighted the theme of
morality, socio-economic problems, desire for upward mobility, wisdom based
quotations and social stereotypes. The data was analysed on two levels, i.e. linguistic
and social. Linguistic analysis was done keeping in mind Jank’s rubrics for linguistic
analysis. It analyzed lexicalization, transitivity processes and the use of euphemism,
polarity and modality etc. The linguistic analysis showed that the text employs
lexicalization, over-lexicalization, lexical cohesion and there was extensive use of
metaphors and similies. Modality, mood and polarity are also the regular features of
this text on public transport. It was noted that the text was multilingual as it was in
Urdu, Punjabi or English language with a lot of code switching. The data was then
further analysed to highlight some characteristics of the driver’s community, the socio-
economic problems they face and their struggle for upward mobility. It also highlighted
their moral and ethical values and some of their stereotypical beliefs. The social analysis
provided a deep insight into the life of public transport drivers in Pakistani society.
Evaluation of Objectives Un/Achieved by the Undergraduates in English Language Courses through Outcome Based Education System at Engineering Department, NUML
This research has been conducted to evaluate whether the undergraduates of Engineering department NUML, have achieved the outcomes in their English language courses through outcome-based education system or not. The sole purpose of conducting this research was to determine effectiveness of the OBE in English language courses taught to the undergraduates of engineering department at NUML. For this purpose, triangulated data was considered. In the first phase, the performance of all students in English Language courses was considered for analysis. This performance was based on the course learning outcomes measured through outcome-based education system. The collected data has been presented with the help of graphs. In the second phase a sample of fifteen teachers was selected at random from a population of 80 teachers of Faculty of Engineering and Computer Sciences, NUML, Islamabad. In this sample, five teachers are currently teaching English language courses in different departments of afore mentioned faculty and other eight teachers and two lab engineers are teaching in the department of Electrical engineering at NUML. These all teachers are well trained and implementing the OBE in their courses. The data was collected from these teachers through a questionnaire consist of closed ended questions only. The collected data has been presented with the help of pie-chart. In the third phase the data was collected from 15 students, selecting five at random from the particular semesters in which English language course are offered. This data was also collected through the questionnaire consist of close ended questions only. The information obtained from the students has been presented with the help of pie chart. The findings of this study show that following the OBE system, the undergraduates of engineering department, NUML, Islamabad have successfully achieved course learning outcomes in English language courses. This research also concludes that OBE system is better than the traditional system of teaching because former is student centric whereas the latter is teacher centric. The study also gives certain recommendations at the end for successful conduct of OBE system.
Developing ESL Literacy through Flipped Classroom: An Experimental Study
The aim of this study is to explore the effect of flipped classroom on ESL literacy of undergraduate students in Pakistani universities. The study further aims at finding out the students’ evaluation of different aspects of the flipped learning design for developing their literacy skills. The operational framework applied to measure the effects of flipped classroom on students’ literacy skills is based on the theory of constructivism including Bruner’s active learning theory and Vygotsky’s social interactionist view. The researcher has employed within-subject experimental design to investigate the effect of flipped classroom on developing ESL literacy skills of the learners. The data for the study includes the score of the learners’ writing tasks; the learners’ feedback on their experience of flipped classroom; and the researcher’s observations recorded in the reflective journal. The learners’ feedback on their experience of flipped classroom has been taken through a questionnaire to evaluate their experience of flipped learning and to figure out the best strategies for managing a flipped classroom in Pakistan. The results of the study indicate that there is a noticeable difference in students’ individual score in the writing tasks as well as difference in the mean scores of the task 1 (taken in the beginning of the course) and task 5 ( the final task) is also statistically significant. The results of the learners’ feedback forms show that students positively perceive the use of the flipped classroom as a great resource of learning that helped them improve their writing skills in an interactive and collaborative environment. Recommendations for the ESL practitioners have been made by taking learners responses on how they can be facilitated to benefit more from the flipped classroom.
Interrogating the Colonial Violence: A Study of Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves and Feroz Rather’s The Night of Broken Glass
This research study has been conducted to discover the dynamics of colonial
violence inflicted by the Indian colonizers on the Kashmiris in the novels The Book of
Gold Leaves by Mirza Waheed and The Night of Broken Glass by Feroz Rather. I have
applied Fanon’s concept of anti-colonialism and his ideas on revolutionary violence to
comprehend the psyche of colonizers and that of the agents of colonialism. This project
examines different dimensions of colonial violence presented in the novels and the
impacts of colonial violence on the natives as well as on the military responsible for the
colonial aggression. It examines the hostile relationship between the Kashmiri colonized
subjects and the Indian colonizer portrayed in the selected narratives and the
metamorphosis of the weak colonial subject into a hero of its people. Moreover, the study
holds the casual nexus of the perpetration of colonial violence responsible for the
generation of young boys into militants in Kashmir. Furthermore, it illustrates if
decolonization has been accomplished through revolutionary violence by the characters
of the novels or not. Alan Mckee’s method of textual analysis has been employed to
analyze the two novels comprehensively. The novelists have given voice to the colonized
Kashmiri people that have been victim to decades of oppression and have illustrated the
colonial performance of Indian soldiers and their harsh methods of colonial aggression.
They have succeeded in writing back against the colonial mentalities. I have attempted to
highlight that both revolutionary violence and colonial violence produce anguish and
distress with the aid of Fanon’s psychiatric study of the victims of war and their
victimizers. The study is an attempt to hold the Indian government and the Indian soldiers
accountable for colonial violence in Kashmir and concludes that revolutionary violence is
an aftermath of Indian colonial aggression and it will not cme to an end unless colonial
violence itself stops. This research will provide researchers with a unique lens to study
the works of Waheed and Rather with a better understanding and stress upon the issue of
Kashmir with zeal and urgency.
Islamic Postcolonialism: Representation of Islam and the Muslims of Dagestan in Alisa Ganieva’s Selected Works
Orientalist representations have not ended; rather they have metamorphosed in the form of neo-Orientalism which delineates representation of Islam and Muslims. The present study investigates the representation of the Muslims of Dagestan and Islam in Alisa Ganieva’s selected works: Mountain and the Wall (2012, translated in 2015) and Bride and Groom (2015, translated in 2018). Dagestan, one of the Russian Republics, has often been portrayed as a region afflicted with turbulence and unrest owing to Islamic fundamentalism. Through the lens of Islamic postcolonialism, the researcher has analyzed and compared the selected novels with the Anglo-American and other neo-Orientalists portrayals. The result of examination of different aspects of representation reveals that Ganieva draws upon neo-Orientalist binaries and stereotypes; utilizing both the western and indigenous writers’ fixations and categories in representation of Islam and Muslims in her selected novels, she dexterously applies the neo-Orientalist framework of “good Muslim” and “Bad Muslim” to demonstrate observant Muslims as extremists, primitive, and intolerant brutes, whereas, non-observant Muslims as progressive, modern and civilized. These novels are essentially continuation of neo-Orientalist representation of Islam and the Muslims, chiefly employed to legitimize these depictions and thus justify ideological as well as physical war against these observant Muslims. This thesis sheds light on the extensive impact of neo-Orientalist stereotypes that reinforce negative portrayals. In addition to that, it analyzes that how not only the west and native informers from the East utilize it, but Russia and its native informers have also benefitted from it in their endeavor to erase the Islamic identity of Muslim majority Dagestan by feeding Islamophobia.
Peritextual Features of English-Urdu Translations in Pakistan: A Polysystem Approach
In the Pakistani context, research in literary translation has generally tended to focus on the comparisons between source texts and target texts in order to identify departures from and distortions of the source text with reference to certain theoretical paradigms. That is why only the translated texts have remained the focus of research for decades. However, almost every product of translation, in its published form, is surrounded by other (meta-)textual features which are located either before or after the translated text. There are also certain textual features inside the book which contain very useful, yet generally ignored, information about translation. These features are called peritextual features and because of their peripheral positionality, they have received minimal attention of the Pakistani scholars. Addressing this lacuna, this study has explored the peritextual features—forewords, prefaces, translator notes, end notes and any other commentary either preceding or succeeding the text— of the English-Urdu translations in Pakistan in terms of their alignment with or departure from the major paradigms of translation. The study is descriptive-qualitative in nature. It uses purposive sampling for which 15 English-Urdu translations were selected from the target population of about 100 translations. The peritextual features of the selected translations have been examined, under the polysystem approach, in light of the Toury’s norms of translation and Even-Zohar’s polysystem theory to explore the theoretical tilt of English-Urdu translators with reference to major translation paradigms. The textual analysis established, while taking into consideration the initial, preliminary and operational norms (taken from the peritexts), that majority of the translators and translation critics aligned with the target-oriented or acceptability paradigm and reflected as well as conformed to the secondary position of translation in literary (poly-)systems of Pakistan. Within the target-oriented paradigm, they aligned with sense-for-sense translation, domestication, dynamic equivalence and free translation signifying variations within the same paradigm with varying degrees of orientation toward the target texts. Only a few of them preferred the source-oriented paradigm while falling back upon literal, faithful and semantic translations. The study is significant as it not only offers contextual information about the process of translation provided by the translators and critics but also because of being first of its kind in Pakistan.
INTIMATE MOBILITIES AND ACCULTURATION IN TRANSNATIONAL SPACE: AN ANALYSIS OF SELECTED WESTERN WOMEN’S MEMOIRS OF MARRIAGE AND MIGRATION
Defining features of the contemporary world are the mobility/movement of the bodies from one location to the other and the intercultural interactions among people from different locals, nations, races, and ethnicities, which have transpired inter-faith, inter-race, inter-cultural and transnational marriages. Among these are Western women who are marrying Eastern men, migrating to Eastern spaces and interacting with Eastern cultures, which is why this study aims to understand the female Western immigrant’s migration and acculturation experiences that go unregistered and affords insight into this growing phenomenon of Western women’s migrations into Eastern countries and marriages with Eastern men. Substantiated by the concepts of Intimate Mobilities and Mobile Intimacies by Christian Groes and Nadine T. Fernandez, and Acculturation Strategies by John W. Berry, this study analyzes three Western women’s memoirs of marriage and migration, Phyllis Chesler’s An American Bride in Kabul (2013), Marguerite van Geldermalsen’s Married to a Bedouin (2006), and Betty Mahmoody’s Not Without My Daughter (1987), to determine the factors that influence their mobilities to Eastern locations and the strategies they use to interact with Eastern cultures. The study concludes that Western women’s mobilities/migrations to Eastern countries are motivated by their intimacies/emotions, and these mobilities generate transnational spaces wherein they negotiate their Western and Eastern cultures and identities through different Acculturation Strategies. All three women are assimilated into Eastern cultures to a varying degree, with Chesler partially assimilated, Mahmoody between partially and completely assimilated, and Geldermalsen completely assimilated. As a consequence of their intimate mobilities, the transnational spaces and Eastern spaces transform their Western identities into Eastern identities as Afghan wife, Iranian wife, and a Bedouin woman.
Tracing Female Sexualisation and Subjectification in Gilbert’s City of Girls and Weisberger’s Chasing Harry Winston: A Post-Feminist Analysis
The role of postfeminism in creating empowered female subjecthood has been assessed in this research, by analyzing two chick lit novels: Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls, 2019 and Lauren Weisberger’s Chasing Harry Winston, 2008. In this context, postfeminism is defined through Rosalind Gill’s concept presented in European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2007, termed as Postfeminist Sensibility, which is a “distinct” sensibility, neither feminist nor anti-feminist, and posits several intersecting themes: subjectification (eroticization of female lifestyle and representation of women as dominant subjects), individualism (choice and empowerment), sexualisation of culture (increase in discourses about sex and sexuality, erotic presentation of girls), and femininity as a bodily property (female body as the source of identity, power and worth) (Gill, “Postfeminist Media Culture” 147). The Textual Analysis method by Alan McKee has been used to analyze the data while carrying out a qualitative research paradigm. Through the lens of these themes, the research has found that City of Girls and Chasing Harry Winston attempt to portray women as entirely free agents who choose to please themselves and acquire a unique identity that measures their worth and grants them autonomy over their lives. Yet, this agency and unique feminine identity are sourced solely in the female body, conditioned on the women producing themselves as sexually alluring subjects. Therefore, these postfeminist characters, under the guise of autonomy, have been found to be subservient to societal norms of sexuality, beauty, and consumer spending in order to conform to an attractive, sensual, and feminine model of a woman. Therefore, the agent of power and the assertive postfeminist subject is not entirely free in her choices, after all. The notion of femininity, with its relation to subjectivity and individualism, shows us the internalization of patriarchal and neoliberal standards under the guise of subjectified, postfeminist depiction of women in chick lit.
Translingual Space: An Exploratory Study of Digitally Mediated Communication in Pakistan
The multilingual world of today is increasingly becoming translingual, which is more evident in digitally-mediated communication. However, in contexts such as Pakistan, monolingual norms are still preferred, proposed, and performed, particularly in the contexts of language teaching and learning. The reality of the world outside the classroom, however, is that languages are being regularly meshed and mixed for online and offline communication. This study, therefore, aimed to explore the translingual strategies that Pakistani digital users employ in digital communication and the salient characteristics of such translanguaging. Using Li Wi’s (208) theoretical and analytical lens, this study qualitatively explored Pakistani users’ translingual practices on four different digital mediums i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The analysis of the data shows that Pakistani users go both between and beyond languages to communicate online. That is, they not only use different languages but also creatively employ emojis and images to articulate their views and opinions. English and Urdu were found to be the dominant languages meshed and mixed, with a tinge of Arabic, which is indicative of the socio- historical association of Pakistani users. The findings clearly show that online communication carries translingual characteristics, which has implications for making English language learners translingual competent to be able to communicate in today’s world.