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An Analytical Study of 'Sanskrit' and 'Panini' as Foundation of Speech Communication in India and World
Institute of Elglish Studies,University of London (2012)
  • Ratnesh Dwivedi, Mr
Abstract
samskrtam or for short sanskrit or samskrtā vāk is an ancient sacred language of bharatavarsha that is the language of Hinduism and the Vedas and is the classical literary language of India. The name Sanskrit means "refined", "consecrated" and "sanctified". It has always been regarded as the 'high' language and used mainly for religious and scientific discourse. There are still hundreds of millions of people who use Sanskrit in their daily lives, but despite these numbers, its cultural worth is unsurpassed. The language name samskrtam is derived from the past participle saṃskṛtaḥ 'self-made, self-done' of the verb saṃ(s)kar- 'to make self', where saṃ- 'with, together, self' and (s)kar- 'do, make'. In modern usage, the verbal adjective saṃskṛta- has come to mean "cultured". The language referred to as saṃskṛtā vāk "the language of cultured" has by definition always been a "high" language, used for religious and learned discourse and contrasted with the languages spoken by the people. It is also called deva-bhāṣā meaning "Language of the Gods". The Sanskrit language is the basis for many of modern Indian languages — Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi — as well as the classical Prakrit and the language of Buddhist scripture, Pali and has also helped shape many current languages including French, German, Russian, English and the South East Asian languages such as Malay, Javanese, Cambodia2, Vietnam, Thai and the Philippines. It shows many ancient forms of words such as father, through, shampoo, trigonometry, and mouse, while guru, pundit, dharma, bandh, and yoga are among hundreds of Sanskrit words that can now be found in the Oxford dictionary. Sanskrit is a scientific and systematic language. Its grammar is perfect and has attracted scholars worldwide. Sanskrit has a perfect grammar which has been explained to us by the world's greatest grammarian Panini. At that time, devanagari was the language of the whole civilized population of the earth. But due to lack of training and careless pronunciation, the uneducated people began to develop numerous dialects. Before, such lingual alienation had been carefully avoided since it was well-known that the material and spiritual power of the language greatly depends on its purity. Now, however, various dialects came up which, after gradually deviating from the original language, could not be called devanagari anymore. New languages, called prakrta, came forth. Panini was a Sanskrit grammarian who gave a comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. Sanskrit was the classical literary language of the Indian Hindus and Panini is considered the founder of the language and literature. It is interesting to note that the word "Sanskrit" means "complete" or "perfect" and it was thought of as the divine language, or language of the gods. A treatise called Astadhyayi (or Astaka ) is Panini's major work. It consists of eight chapters, each subdivided into quarter chapters. In this work Panini distinguishes between the language of sacred texts and the usual language of communication. Panini gives formal production rules and definitions to describe Sanskrit grammar. Starting with about 1700 basic elements like nouns, verbs, vowels, consonants he put them into classes. The construction of sentences, compound nouns etc. is explained as ordered rules operating on underlying structures in a manner similar to modern theory. In many ways Panini's constructions are similar to the way that a mathematical function is defined today.
Keywords
  • Sanskrit,
  • Panini,
  • Morphology,
  • Grammer,
  • Communication,
  • Ashtadhyayi,
  • Vedas
Publication Date
Summer July 9, 2012
Citation Information
Ratnesh Dwivedi. "An Analytical Study of 'Sanskrit' and 'Panini' as Foundation of Speech Communication in India and World" Institute of Elglish Studies,University of London (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ratnesh_dwivedi/20/