Ancient Indian Linguistic Tradition
In the early period of the first millennium BCE, there developed a tradition of language analysis in India with a purpose to preserve the sacred language of the Vedas. It included the study of Chandas (metres), Nirukta (derivation), Śikṣā (phonetics), Prātiśākhya (phonology), Padapāṭha (word analysis), and Vyākaraṇa (grammar). Pāṇini in his Aṣṭādhyāyī (circa 4 th C BCE) provided a comprehensive linguistic description of the Sanskrit language prevalent at his time which included a set of rules and exceptions of generative nature. Pāṇinian model inspired the later grammarians to develop more or less similar models with different purposes including Pali and Prakrit grammars also. The tradition of language study flourished in many branches. The three chief disciplines of Nyāya, Mīmāṁsā and Vyākaraṇa primarily dealt with the nature of word and its meaning. They described the process of meaning comprehension from the utterance. Recent decades have experienced growing interest of computer scientists in the ancient linguistic tradition of India for various reasons. A range of tools and applications is being developed in IITs and universities to facilitate preparation of critical editions, translations and such other research activities. The objective of the present course is to provide glimpses of the knowledge system of the linguistic tradition of India conveyed in the early oral and written medium and also in today’s digital form.
After completing the course, the participants will be able to apply their learning to practical tasks in the field of Sanskrit Natural Language Processing.