Well, mzybe not so cool: Sanskrit script?

Walter Slaje slaje at T-ONLINE.DE
Tue Jan 5 16:34:18 UTC 2010

> The standardized use of Nagari for Sanskrit should be seen in the wider 
> context of linguistic innovation in the nineteenth century.
> "The great recommendation of High-Hindi (or Nāgarī-Hindi) for its Hindu 
> supporters lies in its Nāgarī alphabet (which under British rule has 
> become the accepted all-India script for Sanskrit: being used for the 
> Deva-bhāṣā or 'the language of the Gods', it acquired in recent times the 
> honoured name Deva-nāgarī, and this added to its prestige, [...]

This may be true in general, but I find it difficult to apply the above 
criteria to Kashmir.
First, the name of the Sharada script refers already to a deity, namely to 
Sharada or Sarasvati Devi, the goddess of learning and eloquence. Why 
exchange a prestigious name and the script it designates for another, such 
as Deva-Nagari?
Second, Kashmir was never under British rule,
and third, Hindi played no role there at all and can therefore not be seen 
in the context of a linguistic innovation.

The manuscripts in old Kashmiri I am aware of are written in Sharada.
Modern Kashmiri is commonly written in the Urdu script - as a successor to 
the Persian characters in use for Persian texts in late medieval times, but 
significantly enough not in Devanagari.



Prof. Dr. Walter Slaje
Hermann-Löns-Str. 1
D-99425 Weimar

Ego ex animi mei sententia spondeo ac polliceor
studia humanitatis impigro labore culturum et provecturum
non sordidi lucri causa nec ad vanam captandam gloriam,
sed quo magis veritas propagetur et lux eius, qua salus
humani generis continetur, clarius effulgeat.
Vindobonae, die XXI. mensis Novembris MCMLXXXIII. 

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