73 votes
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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31 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 ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
28 votes
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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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
22 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 ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
13 votes

What did the injunctive mood of Sanskrit do?

The injunctive can be defined formally as an imperfect or aorist verb without the augment (a-). Its main function is with the negative particle mā to express prohibition. In non-negative sentences it ...
fdb's user avatar
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11 votes
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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 ...
zwiebel's user avatar
  • 1,030
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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
11 votes
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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 ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
10 votes
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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, ...
ShreevatsaR's user avatar
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 ...
joe's user avatar
  • 363
9 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)...
Aryaman's user avatar
  • 1,134
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" (...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
TKR's user avatar
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8 votes
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
user6726's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
user6726's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
7 votes
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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 ...
user6726's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
fdb's user avatar
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7 votes

Is Sanskrit the origin of every language

No. Sanskrit is a member of the Indo-European language family spoken throughout most of Europe and much of South and Southwest Asia. It is not the origin of this family. The clearest demonstrations of ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,171
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,...
user6726's user avatar
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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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
6 votes
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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 ...
fdb's user avatar
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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.
fdb's user avatar
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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 ...
Aryaman's user avatar
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6 votes
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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 ...
user6726's user avatar
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6 votes
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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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
6 votes
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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 &...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 *...
Mellifluous's user avatar
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6 votes
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Reason for visarga turning to [o] in sandhi

This is a bit of a historical mystery. Sydney Allen in his book Sandhi offers some conjectures. The premise that seems not questionable is that the original situation was that the language had z for /...
user6726's user avatar
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