Re: Origin of Pali
please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pali
All of your questions are answered there, except for No.3.
Modern scholarship asserts that the Buddha spoke an early form of
Magadhi, largely for the reason that much of Buddha's activities
happened within Magadha's domain of political and cultural influence.
However, I would think that the Buddha probably spoke more than one
vernaculars. I also believe the Buddha spoke Vedic too, since he
knew the Vedas, and he probably used Vedic when conversing with the
more stubborn Brahmins (who believed other languages are impure and
refused to talk in anything other than Vedic).
Mahayana Buddhists would like to think the Buddha spoke Sanskrit,
but Sanskrit is really the revival form of Vedic. Sanskrit itself
went out of use, and what remains today is Hindi. Hindi draws its
vocabulary with words from Sanskrit, and is written in Devanagari
script. It is constitutionally the national language of India, and
has the second largest number of native speakers in the world (370
In India, the top three spoken languages are Hindi, Telugu and
As for Sanskrit, it can still be learnt as a third language for
grades 5 to 8 in India.
Modern Magadhi/Magahi sounds very similar to Hindi, and it has about
11 million speakers in India. Theravada Buddhists used to think that
Pali is similar to or descended from Magadhi, but modern linguistic
analysis has shown it not to be the case.
I hope that you understand the difficulty of question 3. Much of the
history of ancient India is still as good a myth as Ramayana. More
works in this area still need to be done. The Buddha was born a
prince of the Sakya confederation, in today's Nepal. However, Indian
influence is evident in Nepal's history, culture and religions. I
have a feeling that the Sakyan people used the language of Kosala or
one very close to it. In MN, King Pasenadi called the Buddha a
Kosalaka, and AN and Sutta Nipata both mention Kapilavatthu
belonging to Kosala. Besides, the Buddha spent most of his time in
Kosala, either in Savatthi, the capital, or in the various towns.
However, it is hard to ascertain the language of the Kosalans or
Sakyans without more research.
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, rasoolpuri wrote
1-What is origin of Pli language
2-Which is its birth place .
3-What was the mother tongue of Bhudda
4- What are the reasons of death of Pali
5-What is its position in this age