VYAKARAN: Re: Classical Sanskrit Accent

jacob.baltuch at infoboard.be jacob.baltuch at infoboard.be
Sun Apr 6 22:00:39 UTC 1997

B.Philip.Jonsson wrote:

>>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

Aren't you confusing the question of what quality of prononunciation
to accept from a student, which is one thing, and the question of
what model to propose, which is another thing? Arguing over whether
to accept "Marathi Sanskrit" or "Reconstructed Sanskrit" as a model
can to some extent make sense to me, but can it ever make sense to
aim at "French Sanskrit" or "Swedish Sanskrit"? Can "French Sanskrit"
or "Swedish Sanskrit" be targets or can they only be something one
unwillingly accepts because there are higher priorities and time is
limited? It's not clear to me which of the two you are saying here.

Incidentally I think it would be interesting to hear from people
who are teaching Sanskrit, whether the question of the prononciation
model is an issue for them, how they have settled it (if they have),
how much importance they attach to oral proficiency and a good pronun-
ciation (if at all), how much importance and interest their students
appear to attach to those questions, etc.

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