The Department of Linguistics aims at promoting the intrinsic and scientific study of language, with particular focus on the structure of the indigenous languages of Assam.
The Department of Linguistics aims at promoting the intrinsic and scientific study of language, with particular focus on the structure of the indigenous languages of Assam, including Assamese.
It seeks to foster, promote and establish a sound tradition of documentation, description and analysis of the indigenous languages of the linguistically rich and diverse region of Assam, through teaching, research, training, consultancy and collaboration with institutions at the regional, national and international levels.
The Department was established in 1972 through the initiative of Professor Rohini Kumar Mahanta. Prof. Mahanta had trained at the School of Oriental and African Studies where he completed his Ph.D. in Firthian Phonology under the supervision of Prof. Eugenie Henderson.For about eight years since the inception the department ran a one-year PG Diploma course in Linguistics. In 1980, this was replaced by a two-year M.A. course in Linguistics.
Linguistics was introduced as an elective subject at the undergraduate level from 1995.
In 2001, the Department collaborated with the allied department of English Language Teaching to run a joint M.A. programme called LELT (Linguistics and English Language Teaching) with a provision for interdisciplinary intake.
In recent years, the department has worked collaboratively with linguists from international organisations such as Summer Institute of Linguistics, RCLT of La Trobe University, Australia and CNRS, Paris. Such collaborations have resulted in a training workshop on linguistics software and opportunities for students to conduct linguistic fieldwork under the guidance of Australian and American scholars.