Sanskrit Literature Study

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3.0 Discovery of Sanskrit
Sanskrit can be defined as an ancient, classical language of India that was historically used to write scriptures and poems. However, it was mainly utilised in matters related to religion and science. The term ‘Sanskrit’ alone means “complete or perfect” (Robertson & O’Connor, 2000). Many Indian grammarians studied the language but the most prominent of them all was Panini. His works consisted of comprehensive notations in the areas of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. His major work, Astadhyayi contained basic rules and definitions that described Sanskrit grammar.
Sanskrit itself was not exposed to the linguistic world until the 16th century as according to Rocher (2014), the first recorded comment known regarding
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Franz Bopp, a German linguist made Sanskrit the focus of his comparative study of grammatical systems, and for generations after, Sanskritocentrism became the norm for comparatists. The impact of Sanskrit towards the progression of comparative Indo-European linguistics can be attributed to the “quality, quantity, antiquity, and longevity of Sanskrit literature” (Rocher, 2014, p. 191).
Other prominent scholars that were influenced by Panini’s works include Saussure and Bloomfield. Frits Staal, a Dutch linguist stated that the idea of rules in language as what was put forth by Saussure and further explored by Chomsky, originated from Panini (Panini, 2013). As for Bloomfield, his synchronic grammatical works which include compounds and word formation were influenced by Panini’s grammar (Rogers,
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(2008). Computation as grammaticalisation. Retrieved from http://web.stanford.edu/dept/linguistics/newsletter/v4/kadvany-abstract.html
Kiparsky, P. (1994). Paninian linguistics. Retrieved from https://web.stanford.edu/~kiparsky/Papers/encycl.pdf
Lyon, J. (1968). Comparative philology. Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
Meera S. Sashital. (2015). Panini, the great grammarian. Retrieved from http://www.freepressjournal.in/panini-the-great-grammarian/608077
Panini. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.indianscriptures.com/gurus/rushi-scientists/panini
Robertson, E.F. & O’Connor J.J. (2000). Panini. Retrieved from http://www-groups.dcs.st- and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Panini.html
Rocher, R. (2014). Discovery of Sanskrit by Europeans. In E.F.K. Koerner & R.E. Asher (Eds.), Concise history of the language sciences: From the Sumerians to the Cognitivists (pp. 188-191). Retrieved from http://books.google.com
Rogers, D.E. (1987). The influence of Panini on Leonard Bloomfield. Historiographia Linguistica, 14(1), pp. 89-138. doi: 10.1075/hl.14.1-2.11rog
Wheeler, L.K. (2016). The Sanskrit connection: Keeping up with the Joneses. Retrieved from
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