Dhamma_Basti wrote:Regarding Oberlies: Yes I agree that there might has not been a direct progression from the vedic language to Pāli, certainly there are dialects in between.
I'm glad you agree. Moreover, as Oberlies writes, Pali does not descend from Vedic.
To the claims about the origin of Sanskrit and the pseudo-science around that: Pāṇini nailed down the Aṣṭādhyāyī well ahead of Buddhas birth-time, that's one of the few things indology can claim with some certainity
Would you please provide specific references? AFAIK, it's not so.
Pāṇini will win because he described the language of the Upaniṣads, and they will be predated to the Buddha even by Gombrich, so we can assume that this is an acceptable position.
Such logic doesn't hold water in Ancient India, since the transmission was oral, and hence the language could well be adjusted in the course of time.
Sorry to say this but the claim that 'sanskrit was invented' (first of all, what a claim! I want to be a language-inventer as well? Who invented chinese? Damn that guy!) first of all is unprovable, and second of all to say that sanskrit culture didn't exist at the time of the Buddha is just as difficult as well.
It can be easily proved, as far as scientific method goes. As Richard Salomon writes,
"Sanskrit began to come into epigraphic use only in the first century B.C."
https://books.google.com/books?id=XYrG0 ... &q&f=false
https://archive.org/stream/IndianEpigra ... /mode/2up/
Before that, inscriptions were written in other languages. So the emergence of Sanskrit can be very well dated.
The linguistic features of Sanskrit also betray its age and place of origin.
"The dialect at the basis of Rgvedic language lay to the north-west, while the classical language was formed in Madhyadesa."
Thomas Burrow, The Sanskrit Language
You might be confusing the process of resanskritisation of the buddhist culture in india taking place in the time after the Budha up to about 500CE with 'the invention of sanskrit' and certainly Seishi Karashima, Von Hinüber and a couple of other clever guys have proved that false resanskritisation of middle indic words did indeed create misunderstandings, but that's just a different story...
That's a continuation of the same story. Had Sanskrit existed during the Buddha's lifetime, this sanskritization won't be so artificial.
Dhamma_Basti wrote:Don't ask me for a source, I remember a tibetan monk in class mentioning this as we discussed the language of the Buddha. There is a strong belief in east asia that sanskrit is a kind of holy language, and every tibetan or chinese will agree that sanskrit will be always the language of the lord, similar to the arabic language for the muslims. This is strange since one would expect Pāli to take this place but for tibetan and chinese buddhism this is just not true. I wonder how this could happen, but I guess it's connected to the process of sanskritization of indian buddhism and the surfacing of Mahāyāna scriptures entirely composed in (sometimes rather awkward) sanskrit by time of the first century.
The invention of Sanskrit was a key instrument of restoring power for the Brahmanical lobby. And this lobby protects the status of Sanskrit ever since. They would claim that Sanskrit was an eternal sacred language, - hence it couldn't have predecessors.
In this regard, Sanskrit is similar to Modern Hebrew, which is quite different from Biblical Hebrew, despite being a reconstruction of it. However, for religious purposes, it is positioned as identical with the Biblical one.