Modern languages closest to Pali

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Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:19 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Addi (mountain)
[Interesting that hima is another word that Thai borrowed from Pali: http://www.thai2english.com/dictionary/snow.html]


(from the Pali word association thread)

Yes, interesting; to extend this further, is Hindi the closest modern language to Pali? I am sure it is, but since I am not versed in Hindi, just wanted to confirm if this is correct.

I know Sanskrit is the closest of the ancient languages, but curious as to which is closest of the modern languages (still in use)?

And then after Hindi (if in fact Hindi is the closest), is Thai the second-most?
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby SamKR » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:38 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Addi (mountain)
[Interesting that hima is another word that Thai borrowed from Pali: http://www.thai2english.com/dictionary/snow.html]


(from the Pali word association thread)

Yes, interesting; to extend this further, is Hindi the closest modern language to Pali? I am sure it is, but since I am not versed in Hindi, just wanted to confirm if this is correct.

I know Sanskrit is the closest of the ancient languages, but curious as to which is closest of the modern languages (still in use)?

And then after Hindi (if in fact Hindi is the closest), is Thai the second-most?


Hello David,

I think the Indo-Aryan languages (mentioned in this wikipedia page) are the closest to Pali: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Aryan_languages
But it would be hard to say which one among them is the closest to Pali. Hindi is definitely not more closer than Nepali, I think. Probably Prakrit languages (eg, Magadhi) could be closest, but I'm not sure.
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Last edited by SamKR on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:43 pm

I was looking at another wikipedia article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India - at the same time and came to more-or-less the same result: Hindi and its close relations are all descended from Sanskrit. But I couldn't tell whether one of the minor languages might actually be closer to Sanskrit than standard Hindi is.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:50 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:)?

And then after Hindi (if in fact Hindi is the closest), is Thai the second-most?
While Thai has for obvious reasons borrowed a great deal of vocabularly from Pali and Sanskrit, it is tonal language and of an different family grouping altogether.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:33 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And then after Hindi (if in fact Hindi is the closest), is Thai the second-most?
While Thai has for obvious reasons borrowed a great deal of vocabularly from Pali and Sanskrit, it is tonal language and of an different family grouping altogether.[/quote]

Thai script really screws up the pronunciation of pali and while the script itself might be indian in origin the spoken language is southern china in origin.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:38 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:)?

And then after Hindi (if in fact Hindi is the closest), is Thai the second-most?
While Thai has for obvious reasons borrowed a great deal of vocabularly from Pali and Sanskrit, it is tonal language and of an different family grouping altogether.

Yes, Thai has Pali and Sanskrit loan words, and uses an alphabet, also due to Indian influences. However, as Goofaholix says, it is basically a Southern Chinese dialect, and you get a lot of commonality between Thai and, for example, Cantonese (Actually, Cantonese is in a different languge group. However, it's much better known than other southern Chinese dialects...).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai%E2%80% ... _languages

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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:03 pm

Ukrainian and Russian are closest to Pali in grammar, among the European languages.

And they share the very basic vocabulary: http://dhamma.ru/paali/etimolog.htm
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Dmytro wrote:Ukrainian and Russian are closest to Pali in grammar, among the European languages.

And they share the very basic vocabulary: http://dhamma.ru/paali/etimolog.htm

That fits with the idea that the cultural group which spoke Pali/Sanskrit came into India from the North-West. The countries in between India and the Ukraine - Afghanistan, etc - ought to be closer than Ukrainian and Russian.
(That's all guesswork, in case you didn't notice :embarassed: )

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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Hi Kim,

Kim O'Hara wrote:I was looking at another wikipedia article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India - at the same time and came to more-or-less the same result: Hindi and its close relations are all descended from Sanskrit.


That's a part of Brahmanic mythology. Sanskrit didn't exist until the first centuries of Common Era. It was an artificial creation, based on Vedic language.

http://web.archive.org/web/200605010152 ... sans1.html

Hindi descended from Western Prakrits, while Pali is Eastern. So they are far off.

The only living Indian language descended from Eastern Prakrits is Marathi.

http://books.google.com/books?id=5eDHuc ... &lpg=PA264

"Marathi belongs to the Indo-Aryan stock of languages. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. It is spoken by 62.48 million people in India, which constitutes about 7.38% of the total population. Marathi is written in Devanagari script. The history of Marathi goes back to about 1000 AD when a Marathi inscription dating 980 AD was found at the foot of the huge monolithic statue of Gomateshwara in Mysore. Later inscriptions such as the edict of King Aparaditya (1183 AD) and the Pandharpur inscription (1273 AD) indicate the use of Old Marathi."

http://www.culturopedia.com/Languages/o ... uages.html

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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:34 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:That fits with the idea that the cultural group which spoke Pali/Sanskrit came into India from the North-West. The countries in between India and the Ukraine - Afghanistan, etc - ought to be closer than Ukrainian and Russian.


Once people in Gandhara (the ancient country located in the area of Afghanistan-Pakistan border) spoke Gandhari, which is quite close to Pali.

But now the languages of Afghanistan (due to the influence of Persian Empire) are Iranian - Persian and Pashto. Also related, but much more distant.

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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby vitellius » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:00 pm

Dmytro wrote:Sanskrit didn't exist until the first centuries of Common Era.


Dear Dmytro, but why?

According to the modern consensus in indology Panini (the "creator" of Classical Sanskrit) is dated to 450 BC, Katyayana and Patanjali, who developed his theory, are dated to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively. Some literary pieces in Classical and Epic Sanskrit are dated to pre-common era dates as well.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:37 pm

Oleksandr wrote:
Dmytro wrote:Sanskrit didn't exist until the first centuries of Common Era.


Dear Dmytro, but why?

According to the modern consensus in indology Panini (the "creator" of Classical Sanskrit) is dated to 450 BC, Katyayana and Patanjali, who developed his theory, are dated to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively. Some literary pieces in Classical and Epic Sanskrit are dated to pre-common era dates as well.


There are two Sanskrits, Vedic and Classical, and this will be a source of confusion if it isn't clarified.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:28 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:That fits with the idea that the cultural group which spoke Pali/Sanskrit came into India from the North-West. The countries in between India and the Ukraine - Afghanistan, etc - ought to be closer than Ukrainian and Russian.


Once people in Gandhara (the ancient country located in the area of Afghanistan-Pakistan border) spoke Gandhari, which is quite close to Pali.

But now the languages of Afghanistan (due to the influence of Persian Empire) are Iranian - Persian and Pashto. Also related, but much more distant.

:namaste:

Okay, that makes sense.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:12 am

Dear Oleksandr,

Panini (the "creator" of Classical Sanskrit) is dated to 450 BC, Katyayana and Patanjali, who developed his theory, are dated to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively.


I well know that Panini lived before the Common Era. He started the transformation of Vedic language into something new and living, but it was just a start. He still called the language 'chandaso'.

Some literary pieces in Classical and Epic Sanskrit are dated to pre-common era dates as well.


Thanks for correction. So first Sanskrit texts date to period about 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.

It was then that the name Sanskrit (refined) was introduced, and other Indo-Aryan languages were called by a derogatory term Prakrit (unrefined). Though the new language was created artificially, and had quite a different dialectal base than Vedic language (see viewtopic.php?f=29&t=4630&p=140638&hilit=Sanskrit#p140638 ), the Brahmanic mythology maintained that Sanskrit and Vedic are the same language. This mythology made its way into scholarship.

The similar modern language, created artificially from scratch, is modern Hebrew. It's quite different from ancient Hebrew, but for the religious purposes these languages are considered the same. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Heb ... sification ).

I would not touch this topic at all, if it were not for the derogatory attitude to Middle Indo-Aryan languages (so called Prakrits), including Pali, in the Brahmanic mythology.

Pali and other Middle Indo-Aryan languages originated from Old Indo-Aryan, and not from Vedic or Sanskrit (see viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3215 ). The 'mother Sanskrit' theory doesn't hold water at all.

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Mr Man » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:44 am

How about the Oriya language which is spoken in Orissa (India)?
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby vitellius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:15 am

Dmytro wrote:Thanks for correction. So first Sanskrit texts date to period about 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.


To the 5th century BCE, I would say, since the first (and normative) work in Classical Sanskrit is considered to be Panini's Astadhyayi. The introduction of the name "Sanskrit" is not directly connected with the origin of Classical Sanskrit, just as the term "Ukrainian" was introduced much later than all distinctive features of the language were formed.

I agree with the rest of your message.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:47 am

Hi Mr Man,

Mr Man wrote:How about the Oriya language which is spoken in Orissa (India)?


Thank you, it seems even closer.

"The script in the edicts of Ashoka in 2nd century BC at Dhauli and Jaugada and the inscriptions of Kharavela in Hati Gumpha of Khandagiri give us the first glimpse of possible origin of Oriya language. From the point of view of language, the inscriptions of Hati Gumpha are near modern Oriya and essentially different from the language of the Ashokan edicts. A point has also been made as to whether Pali was the prevalent language in Orissa during this period. The Hati Gumpha inscriptions, which are in Pali, are perhaps the only evidence of stone inscriptions in Pali. This may be the reason why the German linguist Prof. Hermann Oldenberg mentioned that Pali was the original language of Orissa."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriya_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hathigumpha_inscription

"The only inscription, the language of which is akin to Pali, is the Hati-Gumpha inscription of Kharavela, dated the 160th year of the Maurya era."

http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=QYx ... 9&lpg=PA19
http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=XdC ... A5&lpg=PA5
http://orissa.gov.in/e-magazine/Journal ... f/9-10.pdf
http://gujaratisbs.webs.com/Abstracts%2 ... 20More.pdf

I missed it, since it is called Utkali on the diagram:

http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=5eD ... &lpg=PA264

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:01 pm

Oleksandr wrote:To the 5th century BCE, I would say, since the first (and normative) work in Classical Sanskrit is considered to be Panini's Astadhyayi. The introduction of the name "Sanskrit" is not directly connected with the origin of Classical Sanskrit, just as the term "Ukrainian" was introduced much later than all distinctive features of the language were formed.


Well, it's hard to date the Panini's work.

"An important hint for the dating of Panini is the occurrence of the word yavanānī (in 4.1.49, either "Greek woman", or "Greek script") There would have been no first-hand knowledge of Greeks in Gandhara before the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 330s BC."

"The earliest inscription in Sanskrit is by the Saka Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman at Junagarh in Gujarat dated to AD 150. However, even here several of the words are wrong according to Sanskrit grammatical rules, some words show Prakrit influence and a few are un-Paninian."

http://www.oration.com/~mm9n/articles/d ... nskrit.htm
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby vitellius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm

Dmytro wrote:"There would have been no first-hand knowledge of Greeks in Gandhara before the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 330s BC."


Prior to Alexander, both North-West India and some Greek lands were parts of the Achaemenid Empire. I remember reading that some Greeks were settled in NW India by Achaemenid rulers, but I don't remember the source.

The Greeks are also mentioned in MN 93.

Dmytro wrote:"The earliest inscription in Sanskrit is by the Saka Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman at Junagarh in Gujarat dated to AD 150. However, even here several of the words are wrong according to Sanskrit grammatical rules, some words show Prakrit influence and a few are un-Paninian."


This reflects the lack of Sanskrit usage in administration in the period concerned.
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Re: Modern languages closest to Pali

Postby Dmytro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:32 pm

Oleksandr wrote:Prior to Alexander, both North-West India and some Greek lands were parts of the Achaemenid Empire. I remember reading that some Greeks were settled in NW India by Achaemenid rulers, but I don't remember the source.

The Greeks are also mentioned in MN 93.


Yes, indeed.

Thank you.
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