The Sanskrit Language

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2001 - Sanskrit language - 438 pages
The Sanskrit Language presents a systematic and comprehensive historical account of the developments in phonology and morphology. This is the only book in English which treats the structure of the Sanskrit language in its relation to the other Indo-European languages and throws light on the significance of the discovery of Sanskrit. It is this discovery that contributed to the study of the comparative philology of the Indo-European languages and eventually the whole science of modern linguistics. Besides drawing on the works of Brugmann and Wackernagel, Professor Burrow incorporates in this book material from Hittite and taking into account various verbal constructions as found in Hittite, he relates the perfect form of Sanskrit to it. The profound influence that the Dravidian languages had on the structure of the Sanskrit language has also been presented lucidly and with a balanced perspective. In a nutshell, the present work can be called, without exaggeration, a pioneering endeavour in the field of linguistics and Indology.

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Contents

SANSKRIT AND INDOEUROPEAN
1
OUTLINES OF THE HISTORY OF SANSKRIT
35
PHONOLOGY
67
THE FORMATION OF NOUNS
118
THE DECLENSION OF NOUNS
220
NUMERALS PRONOUNS INDECLINABLES
258
THE VERB
289
LOANWORDS IN SANSKRIT
374
APPENDIX TO THE THIRD EDITION
390
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
399
INDEX
402
Copyright

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Page 6 - The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists...
Page 6 - ... some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists: there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothick and the Celtick, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family, if this were the place for discussing any question concerning the antiquities of Persia.
Page 60 - Sanskrit became a necessary bond for the cultural unity of India. Furthermore the Prakrits were unstable and subject to continual change through the centuries. Any literary language established on the basis of a vernacular rapidly became obsolete. The traditional Prakrits in the later period were as artificial as Sanskrit, and did not have the advantage of its universal appeal and utility. For such reasons alone Sanskrit was the only form of language which could serve as a national language in Ancient...
Page 47 - The importance of grammarians in the history of Sanskrit is unequalled anywhere in the world. Also the accuracy of their linguistic analysis is unequalled until comparatively modern times. The whole of the classical literature of Sanskrit is written in a form of language which is regulated to the last detail by the work of Panini and his successors (Burrow 1955: 47).
Page 209 - Dravidlan family. To begin with, a compound may be said to come Into existence when two words appear so regularly and frequently together that they become to all Intents and purposes a single expression, a process which Is normally associated with the development of a specialized meaning. For example, the compound word krsnaiakunl literally, 'black bird', means more specifically 'raven'; 'black bird' would be expressed by the uncompounded sequence of noun and adjective.
Page 208 - ... made of certain features of the Sanskrit language which lend themselves to a formalised treatment. Foremost among these features is nominal composition. As it is relevant in the present context to compare Sanskrit in this respect to other Indo-European languages, a recent formulation may be quoted: 'The capacity to combine independent words into compound words is inherited by Sanskrit from Indo-European, and similar formations are found in other IE languages. Sanskrit differs from the other IE...
Page 58 - Rudradäman (AD 150) marks the victory of Sanskrit in one part of India. In the South Prakrit remained in use longer and was not finally ousted by Sanskrit until the fourth or fifth century AD...
Page 106 - If this 9 had been confined to the comparatively few words in which Sanskrit i appeared to correspond to a in the other languages, it would never have acquired very great importance in Indo-European theory. It was due to its becoming a basic element in the early theories of apophony that it acquired such importance in the traditional theory of Indo-European.
Page 106 - In such cases the <? was considered to represent the reduced grade of the original long vowels, corresponding to the zero grade of the short vowels e, a, o. It was supposed to have become / in Indo-Iranian, and a in all the other IE languages If this...
Page 58 - Sanskrit still continued to hold its authoritative position; for, as observed by the latest writer on the language, "though it appears paradoxical at first sight, the Sanskrit language only 15 reached its full development as a language of culture and administration at a time when it had ceased to be a mother tongue." Buddhism and Jainism which started with using the popular languages, could not by-pass Sanskrit to which they had eventually to come. Sanskrit consolidated itself as a pan-Indian language...

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