Well, mzybe not so cool: Sanskrit script?

Walter Slaje slaje at T-ONLINE.DE
Tue Jan 5 02:45:37 EST 2010


> > "Did Sanskrit ever have a 'dedicated' script in the North?

à propos "North": Devanagari was not used in Kashmir until it was 
established under Hindu (Dogra) rule (second half of the nineteenth 
century). Previously, Sanskrit was written exclusively in (Proto-)Sarada 
characters. The Pandits, being unaccustomed to it, adopted Nagari only 
hesitantly and not without reservation.
See the reports of Buehler and Stein;
also Witzel, Kashmiri Manuscripts and Pronunciation; Witzel, The Brahmins if 
Kashmir.

Best,
WS

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Allen W Thrasher" <athr at LOC.GOV>
To: <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk>
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 11:13 PM
Subject: Re: Well, mzybe not so cool: Sanskrit script?


> "Did Sanskrit ever have a 'dedicated' script in the North? Grantha belongs 
> to the South. A few other dedicated scripts eg., Nadinagari, were 
> developed in the Decaan. But none became popular in the nineteenth 
> century. Oriya has ever been as good for Oriya as for Sanskrit. So is 
> Devnagari for Hindi and Sanskrit, Count Bengali, Telugu and Malayalam and 
> Kannad too among others. And Gujarati, Newari, the Brahmi and post-Brahmi 
> script and others I miss.  Similar to Latin, French, English,post-Kemal 
> Turkish and post-war German? A situation ripe for Lewis Carroll.
> DB"
>
> I have always wondered if anyone has done a study of the progress of the 
> use of Devanagari for Sanskrit.  Is it a result of the development of a 
> mass (pan-Indian, plus Western scholarly) market for printed Sanskrit? 
> After what date would a South Indian or Bengali pundit or purohit be more 
> likely than not to know Nagari in addition to his regional script?
>
> I have a vague memory that at some stage the Government of British India 
> decided it would not subsidize any Sanskrit publications that weren't in 
> Nagari, but can't for the life of me recall where I read or heard this. 
> Has anyone heard of anything of the sort? Are there counter-examples?
>
> Whenever a member of the public says anything that implies that Sanskrit 
> as a language is linked to a particular writing system, I emphatically 
> state that it is a language, something spoken, and that any script can be 
> used for it, and that the same is true for Pali.  It is interesting, 
> indeed, that Sanskrit and Pali are the only languagesthat come to mind 
> that are used across a large area, with a sacral aspect although also used 
> (in the case of Sanskrit) for many diverse secular purposes, which are not 
> linked with a single script.  How different from Greek, Latin, Hebrew, 
> Chinese, Arabic, Persian, and Church Slavonic.  It seems that with them 
> the script enters into the sociolinguistic definition of the language in a 
> way it doesn't in Sanskrit and Pali.
>
> Happy New Year to everyone.
>
> Allen
>
>
> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
> Senior Reference Librarian
> Team Coordinator
> South Asia Team, Asian Division
> Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
> 101 Independence Ave., S.E.
> Washington, DC 20540-4810
> tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at loc.gov
> The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of 
> Congress.

------------------------------
Prof. Dr. Walter Slaje
Hermann-Löns-Str. 1
D-99425 Weimar
(Germany)
www.indologie.uni-halle.de

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. 



More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list