Native speakers of Sanskrit...

Kumar at Kumar at
Thu May 9 09:56:00 UTC 1996

Dominik Wujastyk wrote--

>Many people live and work in a language other than their mother tongue.
>This is a pretty normal situation, and the fact that Sanskrit was not
>"mother", isn't as important as understanding the other socio-linguistic
>issues surrounding it, that have been so well described in Madhav
>Deshpande's studies.
>Secondly, I don't think medieval Latin was particularly artifical in any
>meaningful sense.  In fact, one reason why it is so difficult is that it
>is heavily coloured by the vernacular languages of the countries in which
>it was used, and this is because it was growing closer to the vernaculars,
>and being used for more secular writings.  Medieval Latin was certainly a
>great deal less artificial than Ciceronian Latin.

Isn't it possible to say precisely the same thing about Sanskrit language
because I believe it is also heavily coloured by Indian vernaculars.  For
instance, we know Caland (identified in his notes on Ananda Samhita the
influence of South Indian Syntax on Sanskrit) , Emenau and George Hart have
made substantial comments in this regard.  Although this is not my special
area of study, from my reading of Sanskrit texts composed in the South I
can tell how clsoe the syntax is to my mother tongue Telugu.  I am not
convinced that Telugu syntax is influenced by Sanskrit but I have a strong
feeling that Sanskrit syntax is influenced by many South Indian languages.


Dr. P. Kumar
Department of Hindu Studies & Indian Philosophy
University of Durban-Westville
Private Bag X 54001
South Africa
Tel: 031-820-2194
Fax: 031-820-2160
Email: kumar at

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