Dear Colleagues

This seems like the perfect moment for one final plug - we can still squeeze one or two more folk into our Spoken Sanskrit Summer School, 7-19 Feburary 2016 on the south coast of New South Wales.

Please let your students and colleagues know.



McComas Taylor, Associate Professor
College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University, Tel. + 61 2 6125 3179

Address: Baldessin Building 4.24, ANU, ACT 0200

Spoken Sanskrit in three minutes? Go on. Try it!

From: INDOLOGY <> on behalf of Madhav Deshpande <>
Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2016 11:02 PM
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] FYI: Spoken Sanskrit blog entry plus discussion at "Language Log"

Thanks, Birgit.  What a wonderful blog by Victor Mair.  Spoken Sanskrit in its many varieties has always been alive in India, though only recently being taken seriously as a subject of academic study in the West.  From the stories of Kielhorn studying the Mahābhāṣya with Ananta Shastri Pendharkar at the Deccan College in Pune to Ingalls studying Sanskrit texts with young S.D. Joshi (before S.D. Joshi became his student at Harvard), there were accounts of a few western scholars going to India and studying Sanskrit with pandits using Sanskrit as the medium of instruction.  I have heard from George Cardona the story of a Sanskrit pandit being woken up in the middle of the night by his rivals for a debate in Banaras. Long before the emergence of the movement of Samskrita Bharati, there was encouragement to spoken Sanskrit in Pune when Ashok Aklujkar, Saroja Bhate and myself were students at institutions like the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapitha and Sanskrit Pathashala.  While colloquial forms of Sanskrit can be seen and heard in meetings of Samskrita Bharati and All India Radio, perfectly fluent Shastric Sanskrit can be experienced at forums like the Ganapati Vakyartha Sabha organized by the Shankara monastery annually.  Now many of the audio and video recordings of these sessions of Shastric debates in Sanskrit are becoming available through YouTube.  Last year, at a workshop on Sanskrit grammar organized by Jan Houben at Pondichery, I participated in discussions that were held in Sanskrit.  Having some exposure to spoken Sanskrit makes the experience of reading Sanskrit texts qualitatively different, because in many texts like the Mahābhāṣya of Patañjali, Śabara's Mīmāṃsāsūtrabhāṣya or Śaṅkara's Brahmasūtrabhāṣya, we almost have recordings of spoken debates.  Having participated in Sanskrit dramas on stage in Pune, I remember how my understanding of those dramas changed when I had to verbalize them on stage, and how different intonations of the same sentence might bring out different nuances. Some years ago, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to give a talk in Sanskrit at Heidelberg during their summer course in spoken Sanskrit. I am glad to see a serious interest emerging in spoken Sanskrit within western academics.  Best,

Madhav Deshpande

On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 5:59 AM, Birgit Kellner <> wrote:
FYI: Victor Mair posted an interesting entry on Spoken Sanskrit on the
weblog "Language Log" (that some of you might already follow):

It's related to a recent workshop in Jerusalem ("A Lasting Vision:
Dandin’s Mirror in the World of Asian Letters"), and also includes
reports and reflections by some of the workshop participants.

With best regards,

Birgit Kellner

Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner
Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Apostelgasse 23
A-1030 Vienna / Austria
Phone: (+43-1) 51581 / 6420
Fax: (+43-1) 51581 / 6410

INDOLOGY mailing list (messages to the list's managing committee) (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608, USA