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Re: [Pali] Re: History

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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