Sanskrit perfect Interlingua

Thu Dec 7 10:21:48 UTC 1995

Dear Colleagues,

In an article by Achyutananda Dash ("Kåraka-theory for knowledge 
representation", in Sa.mbhå.så (University of Nagoya) 1992, vol. 13) reference 
was made to the well-known discussion on the potential of shastric Sanskrit to 
serve as an interlingua in computer applications for machine translation. Dash 
mentions not only Rick Briggs' 1985 article "Knowledge Representation in 
Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence" (in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) 
Magazine, volume 6, no.1, spring 1985), but also refers to critical reactions 
to Briggs' views by Kiparsky, Michael, Dyer and others. According to Dash 
(1992:59, note 27) these critical reactions would have appeared in "A.I., List 
Digest, 5 Oct. 1984, volume 2, issue 131." Unfortunately, I could not find any 
"A.I., List Digest" in our Library or in other library-catalogue accessible to 
me by computer. Moreover, it is strange (and probably incorrect) that critical 
reactions to an article of 1985 would have appeared in an issue of 1984. 

Is there anyone who can help me find the correct reference to the critical 
reactions of Kiparsky and others to Briggs' article? The context in which Dash 
refers to Kiparsky and others suggests that they criticized Briggs' ideas by 
pointing out that Sanskrit has anaphoric constructions, pronouns, synonyms, 
homonyms, reflexive constructions, poetry, etc., something which would exclude 
this language beforehand from being a useful interlingua for Machine 

I would be very much obliged if someone could help me find the correct 
reference to the "AI List Digest" criticism of Briggs' ideas. I am also 
interested in further references to discussions of this subject. 

Jan E.M. Houben
International Institute for Asian Studies
P.O. Box 9515
2312 RA Leiden, the Netherlands. 

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