[INDOLOGY] sanskrit and computers?

patrick mccartney psdmccartney at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 09:25:54 UTC 2020

Dear Friends, I'm wondering if I might be directed towards any objective
discussion specifically related to Sanskrit and computers.To give some more
context, this is an evolving component of my Imagining Sanskritland
project. It links in with assertions like Sanskrit is the "language of the
rural masses." The idea that Sanskrit is the best language for computing
holds particular currency. I'm keen to look into it more. I'm guessing most
are likely aware of the factoids circulating, which are ultimately based on
the infamously disembedded NASA article by Rick Brigg's from 1985. It is
consistently recycled as a means to justify several cultural nationalist
assertions, one being that Sanskrit is the most "computerable" language. To
illustrate, here is a very recent assertion,

The language deserves to be treated much better than it has been so far,
more so when it has been called the best ‘computerable’ language.
Sanskrit’s credentials to be a language of future India are definitely
better and greater than we have realised so far. Its revival will not only
renew and revive the pride in our own cultural heritage, but will also
bring about spiritualism and the concept of a meaningful society and
polity, thereby bringing order and peace all across the country, a
desideratum for any developed society.

Since I'm not in any way a computer scientist, I'm curious to learn from
members of the list. I have found many articles from obscure online
journals and countless blogs that repeat the same things, quite often copy
and pasted...just like the "Sanskrit-speaking" village rumors.

I'm not, necessarily, curious about the intricacies of using technology to
understand Sanskrit's grammar or digitize the humanities, but, rather, the
aspiration to apply it to other machine learning/AI projects that compete
with other conlangs specific to the task of coding. However, what I'm
ultimately looking for is cogent discussion of the sociological side of
this phenomenon, if it exists.

Any advice is appreciated. :-)

All the best,

パトリック マッカートニー
Patrick McCartney, PhD
Research Affiliate - Organization for Identity and Cultural Development
(OICD), Kyoto
Research Associate - Nanzan University Anthropological Institute, Nagoya,
Visiting Fellow - South and South-east Asian Studies Department, Australian
National University
Member - South Asia Research Institute (SARI), Australian National

Skype / Zoom - psdmccartney
Phone + Whatsapp + Line:  +61410644259
Twitter - @psdmccartney @yogascapesinjap
 Yogascapes in Japan <http://yogascapes.weebly.com/> Academia
<https://patrickmccartney.academia.edu/> Linkedin
 Modern Yoga Research <http://www.modernyogaresearch.org/events/>

*bodhapūrvam calema* ;-)


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