smokey wrote:Some sources say Sanskrit and some Magadhi. Now I wonder is there any evidence? I apologize if the question has been asked previously on this forum.
Bankei wrote:The Buddha probably spoke a number of dialects since his travels took him over a wide distance.
Pali certainly did change after its arrival in Sri Lanka. There are differences in the languages of the canon and the commentaries and later commentaries. All languages change. Just think how much English has changed over the last 10 years.
Kare wrote:That is right. But the main reason for the differences between the sutta style and the commentary style is probably the fact that the suttas were oral, while the commentaries were written texts right from the start.
Bankei wrote:hi Kare
This may be so, but wouldn't you expect large variations in language across the vast distances in which the Buddha traveled? eg. from Lumbini to Buddhgaya it is about 400km in distance.
sphairos wrote:Mamaṃ etad cetaso parivitakko udapādi: (This train of thought occurred to me) What if Buddha spoke two or more different languages?
it has never crossed my mind, though it seems plausible: Ancient Indians knew many slightly different languages, and for the learned middle and high social class or strata persons it was a "must" to know the language of the sophisticated culture, some local "high" languages, and the vernacular widely spread languages. We know that Buddha was a learned person, why should we suppose that he knew only one language?
Dukkhanirodha wrote:That would explain why there are so many synonyms and synonym expressions in Pali.
Is there any research trying to identify if some synonyms were used more often than others according to the place where the particular sutta was spoken?
Modern scholars suggest that Pali was probably never spoken by the Buddha himself.In the centuries after the Buddha's death, as Buddhism spread across India into regions that spoke different dialects, Buddhist monks increasingly depended on a common tongue for their discussions of Dhamma and their recitations of memorized texts. It was out of this necessity that the language we now know as Pali emerged.
Individual wrote:The Buddha didn't speak. Whatever people heard, it was always their own language which they thought they heard him speak.
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