Question about writing Sanskrit without breaks between words

Harunaga Isaacson harunaga at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Sun Oct 10 18:39:58 UTC 2004

It might also be worth looking at an article by Stephan Hillyer Levitt: Word
Separation and India. In: Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
82 (2002) [published in 2003], pp. 37-48.

According to a few notes I took when I glanced through this paper (I do not
have the paper itself at hand right now), Levitt concludes on p. 46 'It is not
true as an overall statement, as is generally stated, that word separation was
not practiced in Indian materials. Further, the device used in the
modern Devanaagarii textual materials* can be shown to be an ancient device
shared as well by early West Semitic materials and by Cyprian Cretan materials.
It would also seem that there was contact in this regard at the very least
between ancient Greece and India.'

* If I recall correctly, which may not be the case, Levitt here is referring to
the use of not spaces but tiny strokes to mark word-division in manuscripts.

I seem to recall further that Levitt also refers to Janert's studies of the
A"sokan inscriptions, to which Jonathan Silk helpfully drew attention.

Harunaga Isaacson

Harunaga Isaacson

South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
820 Williams Hall,
36th and Spruce Streets,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
tel. +1 215 898 6047

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