[INDOLOGY] absence of Gāndhārī among the literary Prākrits
H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl
Sat Jan 23 11:27:19 UTC 2021
Prākrits are literary languages developed within the Kāvya literary tradition. They are imitations of the spoken languages (Middle Indic languages) on the basis of Sanskrit. Sanskrit serves as a primer. The tradition started early. However, some of the literary dialects have been developed fairly late: Māhārāṣṭrī on the basis of a kind of a Śaurasenī-like dialect in which intervocalic t had been voiced, Apabhraṃśa, the language of popular songs sung during festivals on the basis of this Māhārāṣṭrī, the language of the Dhruvā songs .... etc. (see my article in JESHO 51/2 (2008) (pdf on my website). Gāndhārī was spoken on the fringe and was therefore and for reasons mentioned by Johannes Bronkhorst not included in these linguistic experiments in what basically was a Sanskrit tradition. I think this last argument, that we are dealing with a Sanskrit tradition, is the main point.
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