Man has been characterized as the species bestowed with higher intelligence, and language which comprises the inbuilt capacity of grammar and speech is among the principal traits that sets humans apart from the rest of the animals. Thus, the genesis of human stability vis-à-vis world can undoubtedly be traced to form and function of human natural language. This makes one to frame the opinion that without having the power of language, human existence would have been probably incomplete. This indispensable part of human existence which is unconsciously acquired during the normal process of other biological developments is not simply the use of words to form sentences. The whole process is much more complex where the rules of language structure are so complex, intricate and subtle that these themselves have fascinated and puzzled the ingenious brains through millennia. These rules are not only limited to specific languages to discover internal structure of languages, or account for the diversity in terms of structural properties across languages but rather also extend to discover universal properties of languages which enables one to understand the similarities in this gift. In the backdrop of this ideological framework the academic discipline “Linguistics” has been conceived as an autonomous field of inquiry. Abstract models of Language conceived during the formative period of 20th century mainly focussed on Universal principles, and were embedded within relevant theoretical issues. These models, more or less, became a key to understand ‘how the human brain processes language’.
Twentieth century claims to be the century of comprehensive debates on the doctrines like structuralism, behaviourism, mentalism and cognitism and post-structuralism. All the doctrines have tried to account for the facts of languages among the principal areas of the debate. It is because of the fact that ‘Man’ is the nucleus of the subject matter of these doctrines and languages are salient traits unique to mankind. The deliberations, debates and controversies related to various themes of language resulted in a paradigm shift in priorities in linguisticss which include the focus on applied dimensions and the interdisciplinary approach.
The present global scenario in the context of technological, social and cultural revolution which took place during the last 30 years has made linguistics the indispensable area of study as the theoretical and applied models of the field provide arguments to maintain balance in the patterns of regional cultures and social life vis-à-vis its globalization dimensions.
The academic programmes chalked out by the Department of Linguistics, University of Kashmir in terms of research and teaching has the orientation to constitute the platform for academic interaction across the researchers and academicians of linguistics and its allied areas. The department has embarked on a path which it has assumed as its responsibility, a path of dedicated research and teaching. The department has put itself on the map of linguistic studies in India and hopes to do more in the future.