Dr. Christiane PILOT-RAICHOOR: Renowned expert of the South Indian dravidian languages


Internationally known expert of the South Indian dravidian language BADAGA , Dr Christiane PILOT-RAICHOOR, 1951-2018, passed away after a lengthy illness in Paris on the 16th of July 2018.

She was a pioneer in research on this language threatened of extinction as it is only spoken by less than one and half lakh people.

She was the co-Director of LACITO (langues et civilisations à tradition orale) which is part of the prestigious French research institute CNRS (CENTRE NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE) from 2000 to 2008. Her research was focussed on South Indian Dravidian languages. She studied and documented the Badaga language and culture primarily spoken in the Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu, and published the Badaga-English Dictionary with the famous British anthropologist based in the USA, Paul Hockings in 1992. She has also lead an international group of researchers on the Kurumbas (another linguistic group from the Nilgiris District). Her ground breaking work highlighted a rare phenomenon found in certain dravidian languages…. Verbal root form being negative, adjunction of additional information giving it a positive form. Very kind and discrete, she was well known for her scientific flair.

She was the wife of the late Dr. Vasant RAICHOOR, Professor of French and ex-Registrar of Karnatak University Dharwar. She leaves behind two grown up sons Vikram and Anand and a grand-daughter, Garance.

Cremation on Monday 23rd July 2018 at 3.30 PM at the Père Lachaise Crematorium in Paris, France

A short list of her publications :

— 1992, Pilot-Raichoor Christiane, Hockings Paul, A Badaga-English Dictionary, Berlin : Mouton de Gruyter, 1992, 865 p.

Articles et chapters written :
— 2017 (Murugaiyan Appasamy, Pilot-Raichoor Christiane & Sethupathy Élisabeth), Expression des émotions en tamoul. Continuité culturelle et variation linguistique”, in N. Tersis & P. Boyeldieu (eds.), Le Langage de l’émotion : variations linguistiques et culturelles, Leuven‑Paris-Dudley : Peeters, p. 601-630.
— 2016 (Naïm Samia & Pilot-Raichoor Christiane), “The impact of geography and culture on the expression of spatial relations”, Language Typology and Universals (STUF) 69(3) : 375-409.
— 2016, Dravidian conceptual basis for the Badaga “tenses”, in: Guentcheva Z. (ed). Aspectuality and Temporality: Descriptive and theoretical issues, Benjamins [Studies in Language Companion series 172], p. 131-170.
— 2012, Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions: A Critical Landmark in the History of the Dravidian Language, in A. Murugaiyan (ed.), New Dimensions in Tamil Epigraphy, Chennai : Cre-A Publishers, p. 285-315.
— 2011, Éléments pour une typologie des systèmes de temps-aspect-mode en dravidien, Faits de Langues 38 “Du persan à la typologie. L’apport de Gilbert Lazard : 301-312.
— 2011, Les langues dravidiennes, In : Dictionnaire des langues / E. Bonvini, J. Busuttil & A. Peyraube (eds), Paris : Presse Universitaires de France, p. 1129-1140.
— 2010, Converbs and adverbial clauses in Badaga, a South-Dravidian language, in I. Bril (ed.), Clause Linking and Clause Hierarchy: Syntax and pragmatics, Amsterdam/ Philadelphia, Benjamins, p. 161-202.
— 2010, The Dravidian zero negative: diachronic context of its morphogenesis and conceptualisation — In : Rara & Rarissima: Documenting the fringes of linguistic diversity / J. Wohlgemuth & M. Cysouw (eds). — Berlin-New York : Mouton de Gruyter, p. 267-304.
— 2008, Morphological singularities of Present tense paradigms in Badaga, Indian Linguistics, 2008, 69 : 345 359.
— 2008, The Dravidian zero negative: a ‘myth’ or a challenging structural reality? International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics , 2008, 37 : 1-32.

A detailled list of her other scientific publications can be found at http://lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr/membres/pilot.htmX

Contributed by Jamsheed Rizwani

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