An old question
jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE
Fri Jul 3 06:28:44 UTC 1998
I personally think it is more interesting to ask when Sanskrit
ceased to have native speakers, not when it ceased to be "spoken"
(which incidentally may mean a number of different things)
Or rather: "During which periods did it have have native speakers?"
(Since examples of languages which ceased to have native speakers
and then later started to have native speakers again are rare but
not unknown that leaves that possibility open. Of course I don't
know and I'm not implying that anyone has argued that in the case
of the Vedic/Skt. continuum)
Another question one can ask is whether the liguistic processes
which led to the evolution of Classical Skt. from Vedic Skt. are
are the kind of processes normally exhibited in "normal" first
(native) language transmission.
(Whether Ashok Aklujkar makes that distinction in his quick answer
to the old question and whether we'll know I don't know but I do
think it is a useful one to make)
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