Questions tagged [sanskrit]

For questions about Sanskrit, the Ancient Classical language of Northern India.

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24
votes
3answers
16k views

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Hindus believe that "Sanskrit is the mother of all Languages". It is a fact that Sanskrit has enriched most Indian Languages including the Dravidian Languages such as Telugu, as Latin enriched some ...
17
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6answers
16k views

Why are many ancient languages so complicated compared to many modern languages?

Many ancient languages have a structure that is more complex than that of the "respective" modern languages. Modern languages like English have simpler structure, without case, gender or declination, ...
10
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4answers
3k views

Is the Sanskrit spoken natively in pockets in India changing?

There are some small pockets in India where people actually speak Sanskrit as a native language. From Wikipedia: In these Indian villages, inhabitants of all castes speak Sanskrit natively since ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Why are Latin and Sanskrit called dead languages?

I hear Latin and Sanskrit are called dead languages. Sanskrit is used in rituals and at the temples. I think this is also true of Latin. What is the cause of their degradation when they have enriched ...
8
votes
6answers
19k views

Is learning German easier for people who know Sanskrit, and vice versa?

I've heard many times that learning German is easier for those who speak Sanskrit, and vice versa. Is there any linguistic basis for this? What similarities exist between the two languages that may be ...
7
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8answers
1k views

Can words have multiple, different origins

In the yoga context, it is common for gurus to give multiple origins of a specific word in order to 'dig' a deep meaning. For example, let us take the word मन्त्र. Here is a first explanation from ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

In what way is Japanese related to Sanskrit?

The Wikipedia says that Japanese katakana vowels “The gojūon inherits its vowel and consonant order from Sanskrit practice. “. Could expert explains this in easy language?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Sanskrit pangram joke?

There are claims that the sanskrit/devanagari pangram (with natural sanskrit phonetic alphabet order): कः खगौघाङचिच्छौजा झाञ्ज्ञोऽटौठीडडण्ढणः। तथोदधीन् पफर्बाभीर्मयोऽरिल्वाशिषां सहः॥ whose IAST ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How is Sanskrit "va" supposed to be pronounced?

I'm confused as to how I'm to pronounce Sanskrit's "v" letter. My teacher mostly pronounces it as a "w" in words such as "deva", "svara" or "dvipa" but invariably utters a "v" in syllables "vra" or "...
6
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5answers
2k views

Are Armenian գունդ (gund) and Sanskrit गिन्दुक (ginduka) related?

I was just looking at the words for "ball" in many languages. I noticed that Armenian has a word գունդ gund and Hindustani has a word गेंद / گیند gẽnd. I didn't spot any other language with a ...
6
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2answers
235 views

Good recent historical grammar of Sanskrit, preferably in English?

Does there exist a reliable, reasonably up-to-date historical-comparative grammar of Sanskrit written in English? Failing that, what are the standard works for historical Sanskrit phonology and ...
6
votes
1answer
317 views

Why are there so many 'a' sounds in Sanskrit?

I noticed that in Sanskrit (as well as in many Indo-Aryan languages), the vowel /a/ appears much more frequently than any other vowel. Many words have only have /a/ as a vowel. Is there any reason ...
5
votes
2answers
371 views

Are there traces of lost PIE laryngeals in Sanskrit?

I read on wiki that "Hittite retains laryngeals that disappeared entirely in Sanskrit (but left plenty of traces showing that it must once have existed). In Proto-Indo-Iranian, the laryngeals ...
5
votes
2answers
472 views

Is it possible in Sanskrit to distinguish between the names Rāma and Rām i.e. राम and राम् when used in a sentence?

Consider this sentence: रामो लेखन्या लिखति Is रामो in that sentence always referring to someone named राम (Rāma) or could it be equally possible that the person's name was राम् (Rām)? Are names like ...
5
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2answers
539 views

Why are these Sanskrit words in the nominative case

I'm studying the Sanskrit mantra that starts with asato ma: असतो मा सद् गमय asato mā sad gamaya तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय tamaso mā jyotirgamaya मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय mṛtyormā amṛtaṃ ...
5
votes
3answers
380 views

Etymology of Ancient Greek interrogative particle ἆρα

The Ancient Greek interrogative ἆρα is strikingly similar to modern Persian āyā. Both words exclusively signal yes/no questions, and almost always begin the sentence. There is an accent on the first ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Possible extrapolation of old German word "hansa" to protogermanic and possibly common root with Sanskrit "sangha"

I came across a discussion about if "Lufthansa" means air-Swan, inspired by the sanskrit word hansa swan. Which is of course wrong as it has its origins in the old german word hansa for group or ...
5
votes
2answers
394 views

The shout symbol?

wikipedia : Devnagari :- : "The avagraha ऽ (usually transliterated with an apostrophe) is a Sanskrit punctuation mark for the elision of a vowel in sandhi: एकोऽयम् ekoyam (< ekas + ayam) "this one"...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How many "principal parts" do Sanskrit verbs have?

What is the minimum number of forms that one needs to memorize in order to be able to fully conjugate a Sanskrit verb? I've found differing answers: some say six, others ten, and in fact, I personally ...
4
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2answers
340 views

How do we know that Avestan is sister of Vedic Sanskrit and not its daughter?

I am new here and to linguistics. Recently I have developed a passion and an interest for linguistics, but I am not familiar with it. So I got into debate with a person from India. He was claiming ...
4
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1answer
449 views

The etymology of Sanskrit jāla 'web'

I am looking for an etymology on the Sanskrit word jāla 'web'. What is the origin of it? I am trying to find a parallel in other Indo-European languages but no luck so far.
4
votes
2answers
324 views

Internal vedic sandhi: t-s or th-s? (Sanskrit, Devanagari)

For the sandhi in the Vedas and Aranyakas which of the following is more correct (i.e. t-s or th-s): स॒र्वेऽस्मात्स्यन्द॑न्ते॒ sa̱rve'smātsyanda̍nte̱ स॒र्वेऽस्माथ्स्यन्द॑न्ते॒ sa̱rve'...
4
votes
1answer
263 views

what about ophis Python==ahi Budhnya?

in short : is the equation ὄφις Πύθων == अहि बुध्न्य ahi budʰnya widely accepted by scholars ? Python and Ahi Budhnya/Ahirbudhnya are both a famous serpent, the first one in the Greek mythology, the ...
3
votes
2answers
387 views

Why does Sankr. नक्ति (nákti) not show Satemization

Did Sanskrit नक्ति (nákti) "night", PIE *nókʷts, not participate in the kentum-satem split? Why? Is it a loan? There are at least two synonyms, if that makes any difference. I have no actual reason ...
3
votes
3answers
671 views

Why does IAST exist when IPA is there?

When IPA can incorporate most of the sounds with Roman like symbols. Why do we need IAST? Why do we need yet another standard for representing Indic scripts/sounds? If non phone-city of Roman ...
3
votes
2answers
335 views

What language is this character from? [closed]

A colleague of mine owns a ring and asked me what language this character is from: I speak Japanese so I could pretty much rule out that and Chinese (her first guess). It's not Korean nor Thai either;...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

Gemination in Sanskrit and Pali

The Thai vocabulary consists of a lot of Pali and Sanskrit words. Their spelling is preserved, but not their pronunciation (so that for example, originally dental and retroflex stops except those both ...
3
votes
2answers
862 views

Vedic sandhi: ḥ-s or ss? (Sanskrit, Devanagari)

For the sandhi in the Vedas and Aranyakas which of the following is more correct (i.e. ḥ s or ss): रुद्रः सन्महो rudraḥ sanmaho रुद्रस्सन्महो rudrassanmaho This example is from the Mahanarayana ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Historically, did the Sanskrit alphabet contain two 'la' consonants?

Historically, did the Sanskrit alphabet (varnamala) contain two 'la' consonants (vyanjan varnas)? It seems there was one in the 'ya' series (varga) and another one in the 'sha' series. Current texts ...
3
votes
2answers
291 views

Does Sanskrit really have a large proportion of borrowings from non IE stock?

A comment on an answer to anoher question about Lithuanian suggests that 'quite a large number of words was borrowed from non-IE languages'. While some words in Sanskrit indeed seem to have Fenno-...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Do Old Indian words with voiceless aspirated stops have cognates in other branches of Indogermanic?

Inspired by this answer by Arnaud Fournet I have this question: Do Old Indic (Vedic, Sankrit) words beginning with a voiceless aspirated stop (like ph, th, or kh) have cognates in other branches of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

External sandhi rule for final visarga followed by r?

The picture at the bottom is taken from Introduction To Sanskrit by Egenes Thomas, in which we see that, if a vowel different from a or aa precedes the visarga, and if the initial lettre of the ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

What's a good source to say if a word is masculine or feminine in Sanskrit?

I trying to write a few verses and knowing the gender might change the meaning. A good source to Sanskrit grammar would also be accepted!
3
votes
0answers
468 views

How did Sanskrit embedding evolve?

This question is an extension of this one: How did Chinese recursion evolve? . In the comments, Mark Beadles helpfully pointed out that center-embedding is absent from Sanskrit in the early Vedic ...
2
votes
3answers
709 views

Sanskrit consonant clusters

I thought it'd be fairly easy to find a list of Sanskrit consonant clusters online, but the last hour or so has proved me wrong. There's information out there about how to write conjoined consonants ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Anunasika(Chandrabindu) in Vowels (Sanskrit)

Someone said Anunasika is like trying to say something entirely in nasal voice. So let’s say I want to pronounce a vowel ‘U’kara with Chandrabindu on top of it. I know it’s should be completely a ...
2
votes
1answer
420 views

Etymology "Pod" Sanskrit roots

In sanskrit "Pad" (rhyming with mud with a soft 'd') means feet; so does pod in Latin . Do they have same roots.
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Does any Sanskrit noun stem end in e ए?

Sanskrit nouns stems ending in dipthongs are very rare but I could still find examples of at least one stem each ending in every dipthong except e‌ ए. ऐ ai - रै rai ओ o - गो go औ au - नौ nau But I ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Modern Thai writing system and modern Khmer writing system and the sharing of Non-Sanskrit symbols

I understand that both old and modern Khmer and old and modern Thai, effected one another and share lots of words or "roots" of words. For example Modern Thai words derived from Old Khmer ឆ្លាតor ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Advice on voiced and unvoiced in sanskrit sounds

I am trying to learn Sanskrit alphabets, and want to see how I can pronounce the consonants. Then I noticed that when pronouncing the consonants, which are voiced and unvoiced, my vocal chords are ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

History of Preverbs in Indo-European

As you may know, quite some of the IE languages know preverbs, who may modify the meaning of a verbal root. I would like to know more about the interrelation of the various preverbs found in these ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Is Latin "ulula" cognate with hindi उल्लू ("ullu")?

Hindi उल्लू /ʊl.luː/ (derived from Sanskrit उलूक /uluːka/) appears superficially very similar to Latin ulula (both meaning "owl"). Are these words cognate?
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Etymology of Sanskrit नारक / नरक [nāraka / naraka]

If the word नर [nara], sometimes represented as नार [nāra] primarly means 'man, human, person' and the word नारक / नरक [nāraka / naraka] means 'hell', 'infernal' and/or 'inhabitant of hell', then ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Prefix a(n)- in Sanskrit and English

In learning about the three Buddhist marks of existence - referred to by the Sanskrit words anatman (lack of permanent self), anitya (impermanence) and dukkha (suffering) - I was interested to learn ...
1
vote
1answer
829 views

Is there any Sanskrit-Greek-Latin-English dictionary available?

Is there any Sanskrit-Greek-Latin-English dictionary [including online] available? I am so much interested in etymological study. I will be grateful for any help.
1
vote
1answer
192 views

Grammatical mistake in the Gita

I am studying Sanskrit. I encountered a sentence in verse 19 of chapter 1 of the Bhagavad gita - as it is. The sloka is as follows: स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत्। नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

What is the frequency of Devanagari signs in Sanskrit?

I've been searching everywhere to find the frequency of Devanagari's signs (including the sign in a conjunct) in a typical Sanskrit text. I found the frequency of Devanagari conjuncts here and there ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

Standardized and ambiguity-free language

Is there exist a language (the natural or the constructed one) with a completely standardized and ambiguity-free rules, and which is suitable for the modern use? I am wondering for a language which ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

what is the difference between ind. and indecl. in Sanskrit?

In spokensanskrit.de, there are words that are marked as ind. and indecl. For example, indecl. stands for indeclinable words in Sanskrit such as तावत्. The same word is also marked ind. Could anybody ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

Meaning of "Elin"

Elin is supposed to mean "Woman of Intelligence" in Sanskrit see http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Elin. However, I was not able to verify this independently in Sanskrit dictionaries on the web ...