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Sanskrit

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Postby languageleon » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:34 am

Classics, in the Western world, specifically refer to the Romans and Greeks.

Classical languages, linguistically, would be any former language. Sanskrit is not "the third classical language"--it is one of MANY that are studied all over the world, just as Latin and Greek are. You just have to remember that these two languages are more readily studied because of their development in our culture.

Though, I would like to see this forum spread to Classical languages, too :D Do a google ("Sanskrit forum") search for more, you'll find plenty.

Sanskrit websites and forums:
http://www.speaksanskrit.org/index.shtml
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Postby thesaurus » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:52 am

If you think about a "classical language" language as one that has a long, developed literary tradition, then Sanskrit would definitely count. And as an Indo-European language, you could definitely make a case for grouping it along with Greek and Latin. I'd be interested to know the extent to which Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek came into contact historically (possibly never?).

One of those languages I'd love to learn, but probably never will...
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Postby quendidil » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:24 am

thesaurus wrote:If you think about a "classical language" language as one that has a long, developed literary tradition, then Sanskrit would definitely count. And as an Indo-European language, you could definitely make a case for grouping it along with Greek and Latin. I'd be interested to know the extent to which Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek came into contact historically (possibly never?).

One of those languages I'd love to learn, but probably never will...
Greek and Sanskrit (or at least some closely related Prakrits) were in contact during the Indo-Greek period; Ashoka left inscriptions in Greek, a few Indian languages and Aramaic for instance.

There were also Indo-Roman trade links, though these involved mainly the Dravidian Tamil states of South India.
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Postby annis » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:27 pm

languageleon wrote:Classical languages, linguistically, would be any former language. Sanskrit is not "the third classical language"


In the context of traditional (European) Classical philology, Sanskrit is usually the first language people are expected to learn — after Greek and Latin — if they pursue advanced studies in historical linguistics. The "third classical language" title actually does make sense here.

My own personal definition of a classical language adds a proviso to the one you give — a classical language is a one that continues to be used by people even after all the native speakers have died off.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby languageleon » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:40 am

'tis why I said "linguistically." :) Study of Sanskrit truly and academically began in the 15-16th century, if I'm not mistaken, and didn't really take off until the 17th. It is not necessarily akin to tradtional European study, as Latin and Greek are.

I like your supplemental requirement--should a language be studied by others after the native speakers are no more, then yes, it would fall under our "classical language" category in the academic world.

Now, as an admin, where do you stand on adding other "classical" languages to Textkit ;)?
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Postby annis » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:19 am

languageleon wrote:Now, as an admin, where do you stand on adding other "classical" languages to Textkit ;)?


Jeff (the site owner) isn't interested in creating separate boards for them, but they've been discussed many times in the Open board, and in others where appropriate and topical, and I have no doubt they will continue to be.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re: Sanskrit

Postby da1andonlysupa » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:50 pm

My major is Historical Linguistics and, having gone through Comparative Greek and Latin texts such as Buck and Sihler, the three do go together well. Indeed, these texts may as well have been called "Comparative Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit". Also, many words from the theoretical language, PIE, can be reformed using knowledge of these 3 languages. However, this is linguistics and may not go well with this site. I'm not sure how many classics scholars are into Sanskrit but what would it hurt to post a group for those interested? I'd be there!!

David Mitchell
12-21-08
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