Sindhi: Language description and pedagogical work

Descriptive linguistic work

I have an ongoing research interest related to Sindhi, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of Pakistan and India. I have written three encyclopedia articles [publications 1, 2, 3 (listed below)] that provide a sketch of the grammar, history and sociolinguistic status of Sindhi. In 2000 I conducted field work among Sindhi speakers in Kachh (in Gujarat, India), collecting speech data for an acoustic phonetic study on consonants, vowels, and prosodic variation.

Pedagogical work

During my visit to Kachh in the winter of 2000, I began work on the development of pedagogical materials for Sindhi, geared towards the English-speaking students. This work was done in collaboration with Vimmi Sadarangani of the Indian Institute for Sindhology (Adipur, Gujarat). In summer 2000, Ms. Sadarangani joined me at UIUC as co-instructor in a summer intensive course in Sindhi, offered for college credit. Since 2002 I have been working intermittently on a project to develop Sindhi Online, a web-based course for beginning-level Sindhi. This course is intended to cover the basic elements of Sindhi grammar, including pronunciation, word formation and sentence structure. The course also includes a tutorial on the Sindhi-Arabic script. Sindhi Online is still under development, but it is open to visitors.

Language, culture, identity: the status of Sindhi today

I have given a number of presentations to non-linguists on the status of Sindhi today, in Pakistan and the diaspora. These presentations highlight the role of language in establishing community and individual identity, and in the transmission of culture, and the emergence of an internet-based community of Sindhi language users. [Slides S1, S2, S3, S4 (listed below)]

Papers and presentations on Sindhi

Encyclopedia and descriptive linguistic papers

3. Cole, J. 2006. The Sindhi Language. In K. Brown (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition, v.11:384-386. Oxford: Elsevier.

2. Cole, J. 2005. Sindhi. In Strazny, Philipp (ed.) Encyclopedia of Linguistics. New York: Routledge.

1. Cole, J. 2001. Sindhi. In Garry, J. and C. Rubino (eds.), Facts about the World’s Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Major Languages, Past and Present, pp. 647-653. New York, NY: The H.W. Wilson Company.

Language, culture & identity: Non-technical works on language loss, language & culture and the current status of Sindhi in Pakistan and the diaspora

Slides from recent presentations:

S4. "Language, Identity and the Survival of Culture," Conference on Language, Terrorism and Ideology: The Sindhi Struggle in Pakistan, Washington, DC., October 2005. Slides are a short version of the YSA-2004 presentation (below)

S3. "Sindhi on the Brink," Biennial Conference on Pakistan Studies, American Institute of Pakistan Studies and the University of Pennsylvania, May 2005.

S2. "Language, Culture and Identity," presentation to the Young Sindhi Adult third annual convention, Washington, D.C., May 2004.

S1. "What's special about the Sindhi language and why you should care," presentation to the Young Sindhi Adult second annual convention, Vancouver, May 2003.

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