I wanted to ask this in another topic, but thought it would lead us astray. So here is a question for you all:
I wonder how were the quotes in the suttas transmitted and then written down? The suttas often quote different speakers one by one, without introducing who is talking every time, like:
Now, in the written down versions we can see who is talking by the quotes. But how was it back when there was no written language and the suttas were transmitted orally? And did the earliest written version of the suttas already have these quotes or were they added later?
I mean, it could also be:
Often it is obvious who says what, but as a background: This came up because of DN 11 and MN 49. There the Buddha and Brahma talk together and I know that in one of these suttas in some of the versions of the Pali canon the infamous "featureless consciousness / consciousness without surface" is attributed to the Brahma instead of the Buddha, which to me makes much more sense. Venerable Sujato discussed this on his blog. So I wanted to investigate where the versions of the canon departed in their quotations and if this may change the way the suttas should be read.
Thanks for anything you can add,