periodisation of Skt.

Joel H. Tatelman jhtatelman at FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Sat Feb 21 14:10:23 UTC 1998

>> Medieval Sanskrit, in its syntax, had been deeply influenced by
>> Prakrit. So much so, that some genres, like drama dialog, are just
>> Prakrits in Sanskrit phonology. Modern Sanskrit, being modelled on
>> medieval S., (with some further influences from modern languages),
>> continues this.

I'm afraid I've missed most of the discussion on the "periodisation of Sanskrit", but I can certainly attest to the fact that one writer who observes the surface forms of classical Skt. morphology can still produce very different sentences than any number of others.

I've edited several chapters (c. 1500 verses) from an (est.) 16th century Newar Sanskrit Buddha-biography, the Bhadrakalpaavadaana. Although the narrative is based more or less on the third vol. of the Mahaavastu, the author of this voluminous (c. 10,000 verses) text adheres pretty closely to standard Skt. morphology. On the other hand, the language betrays both the influence of the type of Prakrit syntax familiar to readers of Paali and Buddhist Sanskrit literature and, in addition, other features which seem traceable to the fact that the author's vernacular was Newaarii, a Tibeto-Burman language.

While I have not yet published any of this material, interested parties can find valuable observations on the influence of Newaarii on Sanskrit in Bernhard Kölver's "Newaarrii into Sanskrit: On the Language of the SvayambhË", forthcoming in the _Manfred Taube Festschrfit_.


Joel Tatelman.

Dr. Joel Tatelman,
Visiting Lecturer in Sanskrit,
Department of South Asian Studies,
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
1250 Van Hise Hall,
1220 Linden Drive,
Madison, WI 53706

Tel.: (608) 276-0447 or 262-2749.
Fax:  (608) 265-3538

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