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  • zeb1001@yahoo.com
    I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the roll of sankrit as
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 21, 2001
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      I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali
      language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the
      roll of sankrit as pertaining to the prakrit languages. Did the
      prakrits evolve from sanskrit, or is sanskrit a "polished" prakrit.

      Does this look right> Indo-european>Indo-ariyan>Prakrit>Magadhi>Pali.?

      Any info on this topic would be much appreciated.

      Metta zeb
    • Robert Didham
      Zeb A couple of useful books to start with on this subject are: Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada Tipi.tika. Berlin, de
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 22, 2001
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        Zeb

        A couple of useful books to start with on this subject are:

        Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada
        Tipi.tika. Berlin, de Gruyter 2001.

        Richard Pischel: Grammatik der Prakrit-Sprache. Strassburg, Truebner 1900
        (or the recent English translation published by Motilal Banarssidas)

        Oskar von Hinueber: Das aeltere Mittelindisch im Ueberblick. Vienna 2001.

        I suggest that Oberlies's is the best starting point because it is clear, up
        to date and draws on a mass of recent research(but von Hinueber's is very
        important - and it does not mean that there is not a lot more to do).

        There are then other places to look depending on your library facilities
        (such as Geiger, Bloch, Warder, Bechert, Caillat, Burrows etc - the
        bibliography in Oberlies will be a good starting point)

        I think you will find that the schema you suggest (Indo-European>
        Indo-Aryan> Praakrit> Maagadhi) is more than a little oversimplified. Again,
        the intro to Oberlies is useful here.

        Cheers

        Robert Didham


        >From: zeb1001@...
        >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [Pali] History
        >Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 23:09:06 -0000
        >
        >I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali
        >language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the
        >roll of sankrit as pertaining to the prakrit languages. Did the
        >prakrits evolve from sanskrit, or is sanskrit a "polished" prakrit.
        >
        >Does this look right> Indo-european>Indo-ariyan>Prakrit>Magadhi>Pali.?
        >
        >Any info on this topic would be much appreciated.
        >
        > Metta zeb
        >
        >


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      • Kumaara Bhikkhu
        I too am interested about what Zeb brought up, and was hoping that someone could offer some good answers. ... I checked it out at Amazon.com. It cost $142.25!
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 22, 2001
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          I too am interested about what Zeb brought up, and was hoping that someone could offer some good answers.

          So when Robert Didham wrote:
          >Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada
          >Tipi.tika. Berlin, de Gruyter 2001.

          I checked it out at Amazon.com. It cost $142.25! That's RM540.55 almost a month's wage of a laborer here.

          If you don't mind, Robert, could you give us a brief answer to Zeb's question based on Oberlies' book?
        • Ong Yong Peng
          Hi Robert, I am interested in Thomas Oberlies book, but it costs US$142.25! So, I hope you can tell me more about it before I place an order for it. It d be
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 22, 2001
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            Hi Robert, I am interested in Thomas Oberlies' book, but it costs
            US$142.25! So, I hope you can tell me more about it before I place an
            order for it. It'd be better if you know where to get it at a better
            price. :-)

            Thank you.

            metta,
            Yong Peng.

            --- Robert Didham wrote:
            > Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada
            > Tipi.tika. Berlin, de Gruyter 2001.
          • Robert Didham
            Hi Yong Peng, Zeb and others I know Oberlies is expensive (even more so with the abysmal exchange rate we have here at the moment – NZ$1 = US$0.39!!!!!!).
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 24, 2001
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              Hi Yong Peng, Zeb and others

              I know Oberlies is expensive (even more so with the abysmal exchange rate we
              have here at the moment � NZ$1 = US$0.39!!!!!!). It is highly likely that
              there will be a cheaper edition out, but it might not be for a couple of
              years, if they do the same as they did with von Hinuber�s Handbook of Pali
              Literature.

              However, it is worth it as a specialist reference, but not as a beginner�s
              book.

              The structure of the book is:
              Pp 1-16 Introduction (on the history of the language etc)
              Pp 17-69 Phonology of Vowles
              Pp 70-105 Phonology of Consonants
              Pp 116-129 Sandhi
              Pp 130-180 Morphology of Nouns
              Pp 180-191: Pronouns
              Pp 192-198: Numerals
              Pp 199-270: Verb
              Indices include concordances with Geiger, von Hinuber and Pischel and this
              is extremely useful.

              What has he to say about the linguistic classification of Pali?
              He doesn�t really go much into the proto-history of the language, so you
              need to go to somewhere else (Cardona and Jain possibly) for this area, but
              then that is a long way out of the scope of this book. However, he does
              mention the lineage from Indo-European, through proto-Indo-Iranian,
              proto-Indo-Aryan, Old Indo-Aryan and then into Middle Indo-Aryan. This is
              important because of the odd coincidence of aspects of Pali with Avestan,
              for example, which he mentions more or less in passing.

              The answer to your question (if I can fairly summarise a lot of detail
              without making a hash of it) is roughly that Maagadhi is by tradition the
              language of the Buddha though there is some debate about this too.
              Certainly it would have been an eastern language of around 5th century BCE.
              However Pali is largely a western language as the Asokan edicts show (but
              not the pillars which are largely eastern) though it has sporadic eastern
              features (which may be relics of the oral transmission of the texts �
              roughly like the language Luders called Alt-Ardhamagadhi).

              So Pali is a kind of lingua franca from a variety of dialects which was
              later committed to writing in Sri Lanka. A modern equivalent which springs
              to mind might be Swahili (are there any Africanists out there who can
              correct me if I am wrong about that?).

              Pali isn�t exactly an ossified relic either � the Mahavihara texts have
              elements which are rather peculiar and this may have been due to
              Sanskritisation in what is now Burma, especially in the 12th century CE.
              Oberlies suggests these features are the result of systematisation by the
              grammarians who were strongly influenced by Sanskrit traditions (again � a
              modern example is what happened to English grammar at the hands of
              classicists).

              It seems Pali had a different dialect base in MIA than Sanskrit and didn�t
              stem from the Rgvedic Sanskrit stream. This is an area that I would love to
              have seen more thoroughly covered, but then there is a limit to what you can
              cover in a relatively short book and I guess that is to come in a later
              work. The key reason I guess he left this is that the subtitle of the work
              says we are dealing with the language of the Theravada texts and this is an
              area which is more to do with comparative Prakrit/MIA studies.

              I hope I haven�t misrepresented the work. It is very good and packed with
              examples � and a LOT easier to sit down and read than Pischel, which I admit
              I use as a reference rather than bedtime reading!

              Is it worth it? No university library should be without it. You might be
              able to twist your local librarian's arm into buying one. Personally I got
              it because I had had it on order for well over a year with Amazon.de so I
              was getting a bit stubborn about getting it. If I had more patience I might
              have waited for a cheaper edition. However, I am glad I have it.

              If it comes to a choice between this and, say, the new PTS dictionary � I
              guess the dictionary would win � but only just. But then I haven't got the
              dictionary yet (volume 1 just published) so I am making do with the ones I
              do have.

              Not sure if there are cheaper sources, but you could try Harrassowitz as a
              possibility http://www.harrassowitz.de/


              Metta
              Robert



              >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
              >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
              >Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 11:59:34 -0000
              >
              >Hi Robert, I am interested in Thomas Oberlies' book, but it costs
              >US$142.25! So, I hope you can tell me more about it before I place an
              >order for it. It'd be better if you know where to get it at a better
              >price. :-)
              >
              >Thank you.
              >
              >metta,
              >Yong Peng.
              >
              >--- Robert Didham wrote:
              > > Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada
              > > Tipi.tika. Berlin, de Gruyter 2001.
              >


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            • Ong Yong Peng
              Dear Zeb and friends, I ve put up a new page under Pali Companion: http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm Not much of history yet, but I hope to
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 26, 2001
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                Dear Zeb and friends,

                I've put up a new page under Pali Companion:
                http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm

                Not much of history yet, but I hope to have unfold the language tree
                'mystery'. I am no language expert, so there may be some mistakes. If
                so, please let me know. I will also add pointers to this page as and
                when I have more information. Comments are welcomed to improve the
                page.

                Thank you,
                YP.

                --- zeb1001@y... wrote:
                I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali
                language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the
                roll of sankrit as pertaining to the prakrit languages. Did the
                prakrits evolve from sanskrit, or is sanskrit a "polished" prakrit.

                Does this look right> Indo-european>Indo-ariyan>Prakrit>Magadhi>Pali.?

                Any info on this topic would be much appreciated.

                Metta zeb
              • Robert Didham
                Dear Yong Peng Thanks This is a good start - there are a good number of sites with this type of table and many are full of mistakes (this one which I think you
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 27, 2001
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                  Dear Yong Peng

                  Thanks

                  This is a good start - there are a good number of sites with this type of
                  table and many are full of mistakes (this one which I think you took from
                  Encarta is not as bad as some).

                  One suggestion I would make with yours is to look at the way you have
                  structured the lineage to Pali. It implies that OIA (=old Indo-Aryan), MIA
                  and NIA are parallel developments from proto-IA and seem to be happening at
                  the same time. But this is not the case, since one stage followed from the
                  other (very roughly speaking). You also imply that Sanskrit is older than
                  Pali - true of Rgvedic Sanskrit, but you need to be careful since much of
                  the Sanskrit used in literature is contemporary to or later than Pali. We
                  also know that Pali was not exactly a vernacular.

                  One quite useful reference site for language information is
                  www.sil.org/ethnologue/ This is good on modern languages and reasonably
                  reliable, but less useful for old (i.e. quasi-dead) literary languages

                  Keep up the good work

                  Robert


                  >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
                  >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
                  >Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 02:12:54 -0000
                  >
                  >Dear Zeb and friends,
                  >
                  >I've put up a new page under Pali Companion:
                  >http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm
                  >
                  >Not much of history yet, but I hope to have unfold the language tree
                  >'mystery'. I am no language expert, so there may be some mistakes. If
                  >so, please let me know. I will also add pointers to this page as and
                  >when I have more information. Comments are welcomed to improve the
                  >page.
                  >
                  >Thank you,
                  >YP.
                  >
                  >--- zeb1001@y... wrote:
                  >I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali
                  >language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the
                  >roll of sankrit as pertaining to the prakrit languages. Did the
                  >prakrits evolve from sanskrit, or is sanskrit a "polished" prakrit.
                  >
                  >Does this look right> Indo-european>Indo-ariyan>Prakrit>Magadhi>Pali.?
                  >
                  >Any info on this topic would be much appreciated.
                  >
                  > Metta zeb
                  >


                  _________________________________________________________________
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                • ������� ��������� (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)
                  Dear Pali people, Translating in Russian Lesson X: Further readings of Gair and Karunatillake textbook, I have met a passage: Nanu amhaaka.m dvinna.m
                  Message 8 of 12 , Oct 29, 2001
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                    Dear Pali people,

                    Translating in Russian 'Lesson X: Further readings" of Gair and
                    Karunatillake textbook, I have met a passage:

                    "Nanu amhaaka.m dvinna.m bha.n.damuulaka.mpi go.naadayopi
                    samasamaayeva, tva.m kasmaa dve ko.t.thaase laddhu.m arahasii"ti.

                    Glossary lists 'bha.n.dammuu.lam' as 'capital', and does not list
                    'go.naadayo'.

                    However my intuitive version of translation is:

                    But since we both are investors and donors of oxen equally, why do you
                    deserve to get two shares?

                    Please tell what is the most appropriate translation.

                    Thank you in advance,

                    Dimitry
                  • Ong Yong Peng
                    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
                    Message 9 of 12 , Oct 30, 2001
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                      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.
                    • Robert Didham
                      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
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 1, 2001
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                        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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                      • Piya Tan
                        Robert, I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is Bechert s. P.
                        Message 11 of 12 , 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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                        • Ong Yong Peng
                          Dear Robert and Piya, thanks a lot. metta, Yong Peng. ... Robert, I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is Bechert s. P. ... literary
                          Message 12 of 12 , Nov 5, 2001
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                            Dear Robert and Piya,

                            thanks a lot.

                            metta,
                            Yong Peng.

                            --- Piya Tan wrote:
                            Robert,

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

                            P.

                            > Robert Didham wrote:
                            >
                            > By vernacular I usually mean a spoken language rather than a
                            literary language...
                            >
                            > 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.
                            >
                            > Metta
                            > Robert
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