Mnemonics in Ancient India

Gerard Huet Gerard.Huet at INRIA.FR
Tue May 23 17:38:26 UTC 2000

Re I don't think any language can be called inherently ambiguous, unless such
a claim is based on some quantitative measure of, say, numbers of
homonyms. Certainly Sanskrit is not any more inherently ambiguous than
other languages.

Well, the fact that Sanskrit insists on phonetic assimilation, through the
use of sandhi, which glues all the words within a phonetic stream, poses an
level of non-determinism in understanding a sentence, even in written form.
This ambiguity in sandhi deciphering precedes the possible ambiguities in
homonyms. This may explain why certain techniques of recitation were useful,
since they revealed the individual words from the phonetic mess. If you
the words backward in an english or french sentence you will not get extra
information, but in Sanskrit you certainly do.

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