VYAKARAN: Re: Classical Sanskrit Accent

bpj at netg.se bpj at netg.se
Sun Apr 6 20:59:39 UTC 1997

At 20:49 6.4.1997 +0100, Erik Hoogcarspel wrote:
>Op 06-apr-97 schreef Mr B.Philip.Jonsson [Seeker of Useless :
>>This question of Sanskrit accents in different parts of India rises the
>>question what model a western student should adopt: a theoretical
>>"scientifically reconstructed" accent -- more or less that of P^a.nini i.e.
>>--, the modern Indian accent closest to this ideal (Maharashtra?), the
>>accent of their Indic teacher, or allow for a greater degree of influence
>>from their _western_ substrate languages?
>how about the meaning of the word 'saNskRta'? shouldn't we strive for one
>(re)constructed standard of decent pronounciation and rise above our indian or
>western prakRta?

Maybe we SHOULD, but could those of us who are not phoneticians? And is it
worth it with a read-only language? Every language teacher sometimes ponder
the question which is most reasonable: striving for a goal of perfection
that some or most students cannot attain, or striving for an accent that,
while "foreign" causes as little misunderstanding and embarrasment as
possible? After all even the benefit of a native teacher is not as
efficient as immersion, and what immersion is possible with Sanskrit?

BTW: this is mostly not a question of pr^ak.rta versus sa.msk.rta, but of
mapping one sa.msk.rta -- Standard English, Standard Swedish, Standard
Dutch, Standard Marathi, Standard Tamil or whatever -- onto another, alien,
sa.msk.rta, viz. ^Aryabh^a.sa, and of what level of perfection/accomodation
best serves the purpose at hand. I KNOW what several native English
dialects sound like, but my actual performance is a continuum dependent on
several factors. Since I've stayed in Canada I am able to sound Canadian
enough to fool even some US people, not to mention Brits, Aussies and
non-Anglos, but mostly I have no reason to try doing so: I don't want to
pass myself off as a Canadian, only to make myself understood!


Philip <bpj at netg.se>

*  B.Philip Jonsson <bpj at netg.se>               *
*  Editor, Translator (English <-> Swedish),    *
*  Scholarly font-designer, Web-book designer   *

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