Houben, Jan. 2018. Linguistic paradox and diglossia: The emergence of Sanskrit and Sanskritic language in ancient India. Open Linguistics 4(1). 1–18.
What is it about?
“We know that Middle Indian (Middle Indo-Aryan) makes its appearance in epigraphy prior to Sanskrit: this is the great linguistic paradox of India.” In these words Louis Renou (1956: 84) referred to a problem in Sanskrit studies for which so far no satisfactory solution had been found. I will here propose that the perceived “paradox” derives from the lack of acknowledgement of certain parameters in the linguistic situation of Ancient India which were insufficiently appreciated in Renou’s time, but which are at present open to systematic exploration with the help of by now well established sociolinguistic concepts, notably the concept of “diglossia”. Three issues will here be addressed in the light of references to ancient and classical Indian texts, Sanskrit and Sanskritic. A simple genetic model is indadequate, especially when the ‘linguistic area’ applies also to what can be reconstructed for earlier periods. The so-called Sanskrit “Hybrids” in the first millennium CE, including the Prakrits and Epics, are rather to be regarded as emerging “Ausbau” languages of Indo-Aryan with hardly any significant mutual “Abstand” before they will be succesfully “roofed,” in the second half of the first millennium CE, by “classical” Sanskrit.
Why is it important?
The history of (classical) Sanskrit, of Prakrit, of the so-called “hybrid” Sanskrits, of Vedic poetry and prose, and of the related Avestan and old Persian languages is of central importance for the cultural history of ancient India, ancient Iran and Asia.
Issue 05 of DABIR (Digital Archive of Brief notes & Iran Review)
Issue 05 of DABIR (Digital Archive of Brief notes & Iran Review), an open access on-line journal for published by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies, is out now.
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Issue 3 of Vol. 51 (2018) of the journal Iranian Studies has now been published.
If you are interested in studying with us at the Institute of Iranian Studies (), Freie Universität Berlin, please consider applying through the below programme. If you are an educator, please share widely and encourage your students to apply:
The Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) with funding of the Einstein Centre Chronoi “Time and Awareness of Time in Ancient Societies” is offering at Freie Universität Berlin and at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 8 doctoral fellowships for the winter term 2018/19, starting on January 1st, 2019.
Receiving a fellowship is connected with the admission to the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) and participation in one of the graduate school’s five doctoral programs. Each program is based on a structured curriculum.
Source: 8 Ausschreibungen – Berliner Antike-Kolleg
In this issue of L’Histoire, entitled Les mondes d’Alix and dedicated to the graphic novel series Les voyages d’Alix, specialists of antique history explore various aspects relating to the world and time of the novels. The historian Giusto Traina writes on the Parthians.
Traina, Giusto. 2018. Les Parthes aux marges de l’empire. L’Histoire 6. 66–71.
The European Conference of Iranian Studies (ECIS) is one of Europe’s largest conferences in Iranian Studies. It is held every four years and organized by the Societas Iranologica Europaea (SIE).
The ninth edition of the conference will be hosted by the Institute of Iranian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, taking place from 09–13 September 2019.
The first call for papers has been issued. For more information, visit the conference website.
Today, the Institute of Iranian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, received the confirmation of funding for Corpus Avesticum Berolinense (CAB), a long-term project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for 12 years . The goal of CAB is to edit all Zoroastrian rituals preserved in the Avestan language. This is excellent news for the institute and the discipline. The BiblioIranica team congratulates Prof. Alberto Cantera for this achievement. It is more than well-deserved.
See the institute’s announcement for more information.
Issue 04 of DABIR (Digital Archive of Brief notes & Iran Review)
Issue 04 of Dabir, an open access on-line journal for Iranian Studies, is out now. Dabir is published by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies.
Continue reading Dabir Journal – Issue 04