an old question

T.I. Console info at TICONSOLE.NL
Tue Jul 14 19:07:34 UTC 1998

Robert Zydenbos wrote:

>In his little book _Lateinisches Mittelalter:
>Einleitung in Sprache und Literatur_ Karl Langosch wrote about
>mediaeval Latin as the European "father tongue" ("Vatersprache",
>next to "Muttersprache"), which I think is a beautiful and accurate
>expression. Sanskrit is the Indian Vatersprache. And are fathers
>less 'living' than mothers?

/off_stage:Depends. sometimes both are dead.

Personally, I think such a narrow, culture dependent and genealogical categorisation is a bit dangerous, especially in the case of languages. If a vernacular Prakrit was the Muttersprache for a certain north-Indian child, and Sanskrit was the Vatersprache, you suppose the child learned his first words from his Prakrit speaking mother, and learned his second words from his also Sanskrit speaking father. Education as a right of the father. This father-language then is par excellence an unpure language, as this very father on his turn learned first Prakrit from his mother, and only thereafter Sanskrit from his father, who on his turn etcetera. So the language will get a tiny little bit of contamination at each generation. I'm afraid this won't work. Sanskrit would survive much better if it were a guru language instead of a father language.

Sandra van der Geer
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