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CUNY York College **We aren't endorsed by this school
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PHIL 217
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Linguistics
Date
Aug 17, 2023
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2
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Development of Sanskrit Language Language and Literature has always played a huge role for people in India which is why it is so astonishing to see that there are about 19,000 different languages spoken in different parts of India where each language has been developed differently. Sanskrit is one of the languages which has long been universally accepted and known to be a remote cousin of all the languages in most of the Europe. Sanskrit comes from several resemblances due to which any reader with even slight knowledge of Latin or Greek will definitely recognize the relationship between the verbal system and with that of the Sanskrit language. Not only this but it is really startling to know that Hindi is directly derived from Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit in many respects is known to be closer than any other Indo-European language. Therefore, it was the discovery of Sanskrit which enabled the scholars to build a closer relationship between the languages of the Indo-European groups. It became evident that the earliest form of Sanskrit which was that of Reg Veda supported about the same relation to the classical tongue as it did to classical Greek, and this is one of the reasons that at all stages Sanskrit is a language that is developed having many inflections, but the Veda contained numerous forms which later went out of use. Nevertheless, as we further understand about the Sanskrit language, it is believed that a striking feature of the Vedic Sanskrit is the tonic accent which meant that every important word had an accented syllable which although was not stressed upon, but the voice was rose in pitch in classical Greek but for the tonic accent of the Sanskrit word, it laid exceptions due to the special rules of the language. But later in the early centuries of the first millennium a.c. old inflections disappeared, and the grammar of the Sanskrit language slightly simplified but still remaining complex.
Later in time development of Sanskrit language took a turn when Panini's great grammar known as "Eight Chapters" was composed towards the end of the 4 th century B.C. With the help of Panini's contribution towards Sanskrit, the language reached its classical form however lacking in its vocabulary. Also, by this time the sounds of Sanskrit language had actually been analyzed with an accuracy but unfortunately never reached in linguistic study until the 19 th century. But the great grammar of Panini stabilized and supported the Sanskrit language by presupposing the work of many earlier grammarians which succeeded in recognizing the root as the basic element of a word and had successfully classified some 2,000 monosyllabic roots and with the addition of prefixes, suffixes, and inflections it was believed to provide all the words of the language. It is thought that Panini's grammar with no doubt is known to be one of the greatest intellectual achievements of any ancient civilization with the most detailed and scientific grammar composed before the 19 th century in any part of the world. His work consisted of over 4,000 grammatical rules which employs single letters for the names of the cases, persons, moods, etc in which the linguistic phenomena were classified. Even though some of the later grammarians disagreed with Panini on minor points, but still his grammar was so widely accepted that shockingly no writer or speaker of the Sanskrit language dared seriously to violate it. Therefore, after all of the Panini's hard work, the language seemed to be fixed and from that time onwards the language began to be called "Perfected" or "Refined" Sanskrit. CITATION From the Textbook, "The Wonder that was India" by A.L Basham - (Page 388 - 391)
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