The Linguistic Research Unit (LRU) was established by Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanabis, the Founder-Director of Indian Statistical Institute, in 1940’s or even earlier. The main research activity of the Unit, at the time, was related to analysis of frequency of occurrence of words in vocabularies of prominent Bengali authors, namely, Rabindranath Tagore, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and Saratchandra Chattopadhyaya, and others. These studies were an innovation in Indian Linguistics and Professor Mahalanabis’ plan to apply statistical technology to linguistic data was an extremely modern one, particularly in Indian perspective. These studies on the vocabulary of these authors have tremendous relevance in studies on linguistic usage in Bengali and also for linguistic as well as stylistic predictions. The objectives were three-fold: (a) working towards a basic Bengali primer based on colloquial Bengali; (b) preparing graded word list for use in textbooks for children in three different age groups, and (c) studying the vocabularies of representative authors in the stylistic (i.e., the objective analysis of individual style of authors) point of view.

 

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