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551Re: [Pali] Re: History

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  • Piya Tan
    Nov 2, 2001
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      Robert,

      I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is Bechert's.

      P.

      Robert Didham wrote:

      > Dear Yong Peng
      >
      > By vernacular I usually mean a spoken language rather than a literary
      > language. In the case of Pali, it is a very mixed language in terms of
      > origin - it draws on several vernacular dialects, both eastern and western
      > MIA - but was essentially a written form which seems notto have coincided
      > exactly with any particular Prakrit language or dialect as far as is known.
      > This is not to say the language is somehow artifical - it isn't - but rather
      > that it has its origins in a number of different spoken varieties of speech
      > and appears to have been a literary language from the start (as a
      > Dichtersprache as somebody called it - I think perhaps it was Bechert). It
      > appears to have been used as a lingua franca at some stage (around the time
      > of Asoka?) in some parts of what is now India.
      >
      > Nor does this mean that the original texts of the canon were not transmitted
      > orally - just that Pali (as it was dubbed a couple of hundred years ago) is
      > the written form into which the texts of the Theravada Tipitaka became
      > crystallised, and not necessarily the language in which they were spoken
      > elsewhere.
      >
      > These "literary" languages did not have to be written - oral literature is
      > often transmitted in stylised forms of languages which helps preserve their
      > integrity over time. Not sure if there has been a lot done on this aspect
      > for Pali, but there is at least some excellent work (Mark Allon's thesis
      > springs to mind) and I am sure much more widely read people than I could
      > point us to the right places.
      >
      > However, I hope this sort of answers your question
      >
      > Metta
      > Robert
      >
      > >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
      > >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      > >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      > >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
      > >Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 03:40:19 -0000
      > >
      > >Dear Robert,
      > >
      > >thanks. I have updated the page with more pointers.
      > >http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm
      > >
      > >Can you elaborate on the following statement you made.
      > >
      > >metta,
      > >Yong Peng.
      > >
      > >--- Robert Didham wrote:
      > >We also know that Pali was not exactly a vernacular.
      > >
      >
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