Wednesday, May 7, 2008

11. Hate Speech

From my own personal experience people of the same ethnic complexion and religious views as Greg would be called "Towelhead" and "Sand Nigger".

In speaking with an Urdu speaker and Baha'is practioner I found that "towelhead" is appropriate. He explained that Sikhs in his opinion are a blending of Arabs and Hindi's. He said the blend is odd because historically the two groups have been at odds. He said that the neighborhood determines the acceptance and tolerance of the mingling. Arabs and Sikhs in a Sikh neighborhood is completely acceptable and the same is true in an Arab neighborhood. A Hindi and a Sikh in a Sikh neighborhood is accepted but a the same couple in a Hindi area is viewed as more cautious. The men may joke and tell others to "lock up their wives".

Free speech in India is comparable to the US and other Western States. Greg could not recount any specific cases of hate speech in Indian culture.

Monday, May 5, 2008

10. Gender

Punjabi has two gender forms, masculine and feminine.
English has no distinct gender forms. Some English words come from gender based features or ideas.

9. Argument

Greg's view of argument comes from his parents. His father was the head of the family and was to be respected. His mother had a similar set of authority but a different role. India has markets and a history of haggling which would lead me to believe it to be an "argument" culture.

In the US, arguments frequently occur anywhere and everywhere. It is understood that you respect those older than you and those that have authority although it is not a rigid rule. Everyone is allowed to speak publicly although not everyone will be listened to. Public speakers have status and that determines their audience. Verbal arguments are the norm and any physical violence is not tolerated even though it maybe encouraged by spectators. Argument here is used to get ones way, it is usually used as a last resort.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

8. Advantages & Disadvantages of Bilingualism

The prejudices Greg encountered were primarily religion based. Since he was a Sikh he looked different. He remembers his dad wearing a turban until he got an important job. Greg had long hair down to his waist until four years ago when he made an important decision about work. He explained that in his religion your hair is connected to your soul and any cutting of it must be carefully considered.

Greg did not express any issues with knowing multiple languages. Punjabi was spoken at home and outside of the public eye. English became a major language in his life and the other language he knows are beneficial for traveling. Greg traveled back and forth between the UK and Western Europe as he was going through school.

The accent that he displays now is either British or "flamboyant". He is teased very little. Most people look at him with interest because he's different than what they are used to.

Greg's opportunities with his multilingualism are limited. He has only used them to communicate one on one with people and hasn't used them much since he came to California.

Greg's lifestyle shows an indifference to the monolingualism here. He views multilingualism as an embodiment of culture and excitement. I believe that given the choices of being multilingual and monolingual he would find more excitement in the former.

7. Language Play and Acquisition

Pig Latin
Play Language
Take first sound or consonant cluster
Add to end of word
Add -ay
Ex: cat => atscray

None known of

In English we commonly play with Pig Latin (rules stated above). Greg was unaware of any Punjabi play languages so we devised one of our own. We decided to adapt Pig Latin to Punjabi. Take the first syllable or sound group, place it on the end of the word, and add "Jabi".

Brother- bhai => hai-b-jabi

The problems with creating your own play language is you're not sure if it will work, if it will be easy to use, and if it will be fun to use.

6. Language Relations

Punjabi and English share no common ancestor. They are practically on different sides of the Indo-European Language Tree. English is in the West Germanic family which resides in the larger Germanic family. Punjabi is in the Middle Indie family which is in Viedic Sanscrit which is in Indic which lies in the Indo-Iranian macrofamily.
Possible Pidgin
If both languages were to meet in an even circumstances and a mutually beneficial trade system were established and both parties had the language experiences that both Greg and I have. I could see a multilingual blending occur. I presume that either English would incorporate nonstandard sounds found in Punjabi or Punjabi would become sloppier and incorporate English sounds. It is likely that a combination would occur. If we look back to the consonant chart (Entry 3).
I could see some sounds moving locations just slightly (Dental to Alvobar etc). I also believe it would become more phonetic.
Ex. PH=>F
I also think consonant clusters would be reduced, "th" would be replaced with theta. This could also lead to the dropping of silent letters similar to the dropping of "g" in "-ing".

Since this is a trading system I can also imagine that speed and efficiency would become important in writing. The shortening of words and creation of abbreviations and slang would come into effect. Similar to online chat speak today. Ex: LOL for Laugh Out Loud. In my own personal note taking I have come up with tricks that I could see beneficial in an actual standardized writing system.

/ comma, or (more than 2)
|| or
+ and, more, pluss
@ at (location)
# number
* importance
- less
! not (opposite)
w/ with
W? what
$ money
c cheap

Monday, March 10, 2008

5. Gestures & Personal Space

In speaking with Greg, he has told me that in India people seem to be more friendly. He says it is not uncommon for men to walk holding hands or embrace. Whereas in America it is often looked at as uncommon and homosexual.

I found that when he talked about his background he wanted to stand closer in a conversation and when I moved to a comfortable distance he "danced" along with me. This leads me to believe that space is more close than here. I have found conversational distances to be up to 6ft, intimate to be touching to a foot away. As the groups get larger the space gets exponentially larger.

Greg mentioned common gestures for food or hunger and begging or pleading. In America we have gestures such as the "Awkward turtle", "the finger", people who talk with their hands, and numerous others.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

4. Simple Sentences

English is ordered Subject, Verb, Object
Punjabi is ordered Subject, Object, Verb
Punjabi is primarily an inflectional language while English is predominately word-formation based.
English to Proper Punjabi

He eats an apple

Oh ik seb khanda hai

He is eating an apple

Oh ik seb kha reha hai

He ate an apple

Usne ik seb khadha


What did you do?

Tussi ki kitta?

What should I do?

Tuhanu ki karna chaida hai?

What can I do?

Main ki kar sakda haan?


Is it a book?

Ki eh kitaab hai?

It is a book

Eh kittab hai.

Is it the answer?

Ki eh jawaab hai?

It is the answer.

Eh jawaab hai.

Possible Mistakes
There is the possibility of accidentally messing up the word order.
The other mistake when translating to Punjabi is the misapplication of gender and extension for nouns, not inclining or declining for adjectives.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

3. Consonant Chart


Both: Green, English: Yellow, Punjabi:Blue

In comparison to Punjabi, English uses a smaller variety of sounds. Punjabi uses tones and many of the syllables sound squished together in speech.

I would assume it would be easier for a Punjabi speaker to learn English than vice versa. As some sounds are common in both. Greg mentioned that his parents learned English by pronouncing the alphabet. "A" is "Ahhh" etc.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2. Kinship


In English direct relation, age, and gender is important. There are specfic terms for people who are in the same nuclear family (brother, sister, mother father). We can see that age and gender is important because those that are older than you get specific kinship terms (grandmother, aunt, etc) while those who are the same age as you outside of your nuclear family receive a generic word (cousin).

In Punjabi terms denote relation to your mother or father and gender. Punjabi terminology distinguishes mother, mother's brother, and mother's sister, and each of their respective spouses, all of which are further distinguished from father, father's elder brother, Father's younger brother, and father's sister and their respective spouses where English has only "uncle" and "aunt." But the offspring of these relations are all either "brother" or "sister," according to sex.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

1. Colors

Given the instructions divide this image into color groups.I came up with:
The title of each color group is placed where I believe the purest of that color is.
When I asked Greg to do this, he became ecstatic and made several remarks.

"India is a world of color" - Greg

"I have an eye for color. That's why I was a fine arts major." - Greg

My initial expectation was that Greg's color groupings would be similar in number and characteristic because India was ruled by Britain and he has a strong British connection. This connection has been illustrated in that he identifies with London (a place he lived in childhood), his connection with people who have spoken in his accent, and a statement he made about traveling through British territories former and current. The remark was that if you are a British citizen each nation will welcome you "home".

Greg's Color Chart:
It is interesting to note that Greg chose to mark "Skin" and "Water" as distinct color categories from that of Red/Orange and Blue. He also chose to differentiate between Orange and Red-Orange.

In comparing the two color charts, Greg and I have similarities and differences. We both had colors in between Green and Blue, I labeled it Aqua and he called it Teal/Water. There is a high amount of divergence towards the Right side. Greg chose 4 color categories in the same area that I placed two. Had the differences of color been slightly off, I would have attributed it to my colorblindness and the ways our eyes see differently.

Monday, February 11, 2008

0. Introduction

My dad's parents traveled the US and Japan during WW2. My mom's parents moved westward from Arizona. Both groups met in California where my parents were born, met, and married. I was also born in California. I have traveled predominately in the Western hemisphere. My first language was English and I have dabbled in Spanish and French.

The grandparents of "Greg" lived in India during British rule. They moved to South Africa where his parents and their siblings lived. Due to political reasons, the family scattered across Africa into Ugunda and other places. Greg's parents moved to London, England where he was born. Greg fondly remembers the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. A great celebration was held, banquets of food lined the streets, Queen performed on the street. Greg has traveled through western Europe and parts of Africa. When he was ten his family immigrated to the USA. His first language was Punjabi but he also knows Hindi, English, Spanish, and French.