71 votes
Accepted

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

No, it is not. First and foremost, there are many languages recorded long before the advent of Sanskrit, and many religions recorded long before the advent of Hinduism. The oldest surviving texts in ...
  • 54.2k
30 votes

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Sanskrit is not the mother of all languages. Sanskrit is not even the mother of the modern Indo-Aryan languages of the Northern India. Neither it is their father or grandfather. In fact, no language ...
  • 16.4k
28 votes
Accepted

Why are Latin and Sanskrit called dead languages?

By definition, a dead language is a language that does not have any native speakers anymore but that had native speakers earlier (the last clause is needed to delineate dead languages from constructed ...
21 votes

Is Thai language related or a descendant of Sanskrit?

The script has nothing to do with the origin of the language. In fact, every script can be used to write any language. Usually a language adopts the script that is associated with the religion and/or ...
  • 16.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Why does IAST exist when IPA is there?

IPA and IAST serve different purposes, as their respective names already suggest. IPA is an alphabet for phonetic rendering of speech (in the broad sense). To use it on Sanskrit we would have to agree ...
  • 1,010
11 votes

In what way is Japanese related to Sanskrit?

Due to the study of Buddhism and its scriptures in the source language (either Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit or Pali) Japanese scholars were aware of the structure of the Indic scripts finally coming from ...
11 votes
Accepted

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

In the dictionaries, the Sanskrit name राम (Rāma), together with most other Sanskrit words, is given in the form of the stem. राम (Rāma) is the stem, and in a sentence it can be used only as a direct ...
  • 16.4k
10 votes
Accepted

Sanskrit pangram joke?

This verse is given as an example by the author King Bhoja (aka Bhojadeva) in his rather encyclopedic ~11th-century work Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇa, among (many!) other examples of word-play, ...
10 votes

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Not at all. Sanskrit, Latin and a few other languages had a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-European, which was prevalent around 2500 BC on the southern steppes of Russia. It is a fact that ...
  • 363
9 votes
Accepted

Why are these Sanskrit words in the nominative case

They are not nominative. Both of them are neuter nouns, which means that nominative and accusative look the same. In fact, they are in accusative case and you might want to call it "accusative of ...
  • 1,010
8 votes

Etymology of Sanskrit नारक / नरक [nāraka / naraka]

The etymology is not entirely certain. The historical linguist Manfred Mayrhofer in his Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen (vol. 1, pg. 37) essentially says (this is paraphrased from German)...
  • 857
8 votes

Why does Sankr. नक्ति (nákti) not show Satemization

As commonly reconstructed, PIE had three different types of "velar-ish" plosives: "Palatal velars" (probably plain velar): *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ "Plain velars" (probably uvular): *k, *g, *gʰ "Labial velars" (...
  • 54.2k
8 votes

Does the root word mus- in Latin mean "thief"'? Mouse=thief, Moses=Extractor etc

Mūs in Latin does not mean "thief", but only "mouse". (The Latin word for "thief" is fūr.) This word comes from an Indo-European word *mūs or *muHs, which is also the ...
  • 10.5k
8 votes
Accepted

Are there traces of lost PIE laryngeals in Sanskrit?

According to Lehmann's 1951 Proto-Indo-European Phonology (which is admittedly somewhat outdated but is the best resource I have on this), there are three main reasons to postulate some sort of reflex ...
  • 54.2k
7 votes
Accepted

What language is this character from?

It is the sacred syllable “om” in a rather stylised Devanagari script. In plain unicode text: आँ
  • 22.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Gemination in Sanskrit and Pali

This is most likely true. Voicing and aspiration does not contrast before an obstruent (they are written with the same voicing as the following C, and are written as unaspirated). It's most likely ...
  • 70.4k
7 votes
Accepted

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

Sangha is from Sanskrit *saṃ- (PIE *sem) "together" + *han- (PIE *gʷʰén) "strike, kill", and originally in Sanskrit meant "struck, put together". Hansa (referring to the Hanseatic league) is ...
  • 70.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Why does Sankr. नक्ति (nákti) not show Satemization

There are three different series of guttural sounds reconstructed for Proto-Indogermanic, that are usually represented by *k' (the k that gets satemised), *k (plain k that stays k), and *kʷ (that has ...
7 votes
Accepted

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

It is easy to prove that Vedic cannot be derived from Avestan. Vedic preserves voiced aspirates as such, Avestan (indeed all of Iranian) merges voiced plain and voiced aspirates into voiced plain. Now ...
  • 70.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Prefix a(n)- in Sanskrit and English

anitya is a compound of the negative prefix a- and nitya- “lasting, permanent”. As you point out, the negative particle is an- before a vowel and a- before a consonant (as here). English words with ...
  • 22.8k
6 votes

Was sanskrit first complex language

You are demonstrably wrong in your belief. Apart from the fact that your definition of "complexity" is far too simplistic and not subject to any kind of measurement, the question of language ...
6 votes

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

Not a single dictionary, but you could get the effect by chaining together resources. I suggest starting with Bopp's Glossarium Sanscritum which is a Sanskrit-Latin Glossary. After a few pages of that,...
  • 70.4k
6 votes

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

We don't know why Latin, ancient Greek, and Sanskrit had the grammatical systems that they did, or why modern languages related to these have developed different grammatical systems. It's difficult ...
  • 16.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Etymology of Ancient Greek interrogative particle ἆρα

ἆρα is considered to be cognate with the interrogative particle in Baltic languages (Latvian ar, Lithuanian aȓ). Persian āyā does not have a known ancestor in Old or Middle Persian. In early New ...
  • 22.8k
6 votes

Good recent historical grammar of Sanskrit, preferably in English?

Burrow’s The Sanskrit language (1955) is still very good (though pre-laryngealist). There is also an English translation of Mayrhofer’s Sanskrit-Grammatik, which is short but also very good.
  • 22.8k
6 votes

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

From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Indo-Iranian it has been theorized that *e, *o, and the sometimes reconstructed *a all merged into *a (some exceptions such as Brugmann's law--*o > *ā in open ...
  • 857
6 votes
Accepted

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

There are two laterals in Vedic Sanskrit, transliterated as l and ḷ, and rendered in Devanagari as ल and ळ. ḷ is not part of Paninian (Classical) Sanskrit, so if by Sanskrit you mean Paninian ...
  • 70.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Where did the Sanskrit language originate from?

The oldest antecessor of Sanskrit is found in Anatolia (today's Turkey and Northern Iraq) in the Mitanni kingdom. While the language used in correspondence and archives was Hurrian (not obviously ...
6 votes
Accepted

questions regarding satemisation in sanskrit

Proto-Indo-European is generally reconstructed as having three series of "velar" stops: the "plain velar" series *k *g *gʰ, the "palatovelar" series *ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ, and the &...
  • 54.2k
6 votes

Are there traces of lost PIE laryngeals in Sanskrit?

As far as I'm aware, yes. One of the origins of the Sanskrit voiceless aspirate is a PIE cluster of PLOSIVE + LARYNGEAL. I know only one word that illustrates this: पृथ्वी pṛthvī́ ('earth') > PIE *...
  • 1,379

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