The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

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Derek
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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Derek » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:26 pm

Kare wrote:The dialects are very close. But they are of course influenced by the standard versions of Norwegian and Swedish.
That makes sense. There is archeological and linguistic evidence for the settlement of these areas by Indo-European tribes around 2,500 B.C.: "Between 3000 and 2500 BC new settlers (Corded Ware culture) arrived in eastern Norway. They were Indo-European farmers who grew grain and kept cows and sheep." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway This in turn is supported by DNA evidence for the Indo-European Corded Ware culture in the same time period (2,500 B.C., or 4,500 years ago): "Haak et al. (2015) studied DNA from 94 skeletons from Europe and Russia aged between 3,000 and 8,000 years old. They concluded that about 4,500 years ago there was a major influx into Europe of Yamna culture people originating from the Pontic-Caspian steppe north of the Black Sea and that the DNA of copper-age Europeans matched that of the Yamnaya." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans

Your example also shows that not only do dialects diverge over time, they also converge around centers of power. Presumably these same forces of divergence and convergence led to the formation of the MIA dialects, of which "Pāli" and Māgadhī would be two.

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dmytro » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:17 am

Lance Cousins wrote:
The standard epigraphical language used in the Gangetic plain and beyond in the last centuries B.C. and a little after was a form of Middle Indian rather close to Pali. We have no reason to believe that any other written language existed in that area at that time. Like Pali it is eclectic with word-forms originally from different dialectics and also with no standardized spelling (as was probably originally the case for Pali). So the first Buddhist texts written down in that area should have been in that form. Since the enlarged kingdom of Magadha eventually extended over nearly the whole Gangetic plain, that language was probably called the language of Magadha, if it had a name. And that of course is the correct name of the Pali language.

Pali is essentially a standardized and slightly Sanskritized version of that language. Māgadhī is a language described by the Prakrit grammarians and refers to a written dialect that developed later (early centuries A.D. ?) from the spoken dialect in some part of 'Greater Magadha'.

In effect, then, Pali is the closest we can get to the language spoken by the Buddha. And it cannot have been very different — we are talking about dialect differences here, not radically distinct languages.
http://www.buddha-l.org/archives/2013-May/018487.html

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dmytro » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:21 am

Kåre Albert Lie wrote:
The language of the Pali canon was called Magadhi by the commentators in Sri Lanka. According to the chronicles the canon reached Sri Lanka at the time of king Asoka. Therefore we have to ask: What was Magadha at the time of Asoka?

At the time of the Buddha Magadha was a minor, but aggressive kingdom in eastern North India. We may call this "original Magadha". The Buddha was not born in Magadha, so there is no reason to assume that he spoke the local dialect of that region. He was born further to the north east, in Kapilavatthu, which then belonged to the kingdom of Kosala. In the years after the death of the Buddha Magadha conquered its neighbors and expanded, so that at the time of Asoka the kingdom of Magadha comprised both Kosala and other areas, in fact most of northern and central India. We may call this "greater Magadha".

So where did the canon come from when it reached Sri Lanka? It came from Magadha, from "greater Magadha", and to the sinhalese "Magadha" may have had approximately the meaning of "India". To the sinhalese regional and local nuances of dialect probably mattered little. Their canon came from the mainland, from "Magadha", and it would be natural for them to say that the language of the canon was "something from Magadha", that is "Magadhi".

We can see many other examples in history of names being moved around on thee map and used for an expanded area after conquests. Rome was originally just a town. Then it became the name of an empire. You could be a Roman even without having set your foot in Rome. And even after the empire fell, Anatolia (Asia Minor) was called "Rum" by the turks, since that area once had belonged to the Roman empire. The famous poet Rumi, "the Roman" never had anything to do with Rome. He got his name not because he came from Rome (he was born in eastern Iran), but because he lived most of his life in Anatolia, in Rum.

After Asoka, after the Magadhan dynasties fell, the name Magadha again was "shrunk" into the area of "original Magadha", which developed its own dialectal peculiarities. So when this later Magadhan dialect, Prakrit Magadhi, became standardized as a Prakrit language, it caused endless rounds of confusion among scholars. Since they knew the late Prakrit Magadhi, and since the read that the commentators said the Pali canon was in Magadhi, some scholars thought that the canon originally was in some kind of Prakrit Magadhi and had been translated into Pali. This is one of the reasons behind some persistent rumors about the Pali canon being a translation.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 70#p284570
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 14#p148914
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 785#p70785

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dhamma_Basti » Sun May 14, 2017 2:29 pm

Dmytro wrote: Indeed fantastic, since Sanskrit didn't yet exist at that time:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=28943
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. What matters on the practical side is that if one wants to become a master of Pāli, one has to learn the language of the veda rather than sanskrit. That's my experience so far, from the practical point of view the relationship vedic sanskrit <> Pāli appears to be much stronger than that of pāṇinian sanskrit <> Pāli.

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, and if there is any point in time to be choosen for the birth of sanskrit it must be Pāṇinis time of the composition of the Aṣṭādhyāyī. But even if we accept that these processes might have taken place simultaniously, than still 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. :)
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.
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...

Coëmgenu wrote:
Dhamma_Basti wrote:But by the way. Mahāyāna-guys in my eyes have an even more magical explanation for the language of the Buddha: To them it was Sanskrit all the way down to the first sermon. Quite fantastic!
I've never heard of this particular claim, but I have heard it claimed that the Buddha himself did not speak any language in particular, because when he expounded the Dharma everyone heard it in their native tongue!

It would be interesting if this belief was a "mytho-historical" preservation of the fact that the Buddha might have had a retinue of translators.
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.

I am certainly a friend of the idea that there has been a retinue of translators with the Buddha. this could account for all the 冗長 and 多餘 that's in the Pāli -canon and that makes it so tiring to read it. ^^
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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dmytro » Sun May 14, 2017 6:05 pm

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

http://books.google.com/books?id=cWDhKTj1SBYC&pg=PA84
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.

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dhamma_Basti » Mon May 15, 2017 3:12 am

Dmytro wrote:
Dhamma_Basti wrote: I'm glad you agree. Moreover, as Oberlies writes, Pali does not descend from Vedic.
This he's not saying. as he puts it is "[Pāli]not a direct continuation of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit; rather it descends from a dialect (or a number of dialects) which was (/were), despite many similarities, different from Ṛgvedic." This basicly means that, some dialect, splitting from vedic at an earlier stage, later developed into Pāli. This is totally in accordance from what the learning experience is when one has learned all vedic, sanskrit and pāli. Many things of the vedic language do resurface in the pāli-language, but are lost in classical sanskrit. So if somebody wants to be good at pāli, it is more meaningful to take a deep look into vedic grammar than into that of classical sanskrit.

With regards to the 'sanskrit-was-invented-later'-theory you mentioned: I do neither have the time nor the energy to discuss this, so I feel very sorry. I just would lake to mention that I fundamentally disagree. There are so many fundamental assumption that I do not share with your theory that I even don't know where to start, and even if I would, I think in the end we all would still insist on our position, so please do not be disappointed if I'm not eager to continue here.
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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dmytro » Wed May 17, 2017 12:55 pm

Dhamma_Basti wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Dhamma_Basti wrote: I'm glad you agree. Moreover, as Oberlies writes, Pali does not descend from Vedic.
This he's not saying. as he puts it is "[Pāli]not a direct continuation of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit; rather it descends from a dialect (or a number of dialects) which was (/were), despite many similarities, different from Ṛgvedic." This basicly means that, some dialect, splitting from vedic at an earlier stage, later developed into Pāli.
Please read Oberlies carefully:

"This base dialect (or dialects) of Pāli was (/were) in several points more archaic than Rgvedic Sanskrit: ..."

https://books.google.com/books?id=zFc5_SU_uwwC&pg=PA6

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dmytro » Wed May 17, 2017 1:18 pm

Dhamma_Basti wrote: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
To the claims about "pseudo-science" and "certainty":
The evidence for dating Panini, Katyayana and Patanjali is not absolutely probative and depends on interpretation. However, I think there is one certainty, namely that the evidence available hardly allows one to date Panini later that the early to mid fourth century B.C.
George Cardona
Pāṇini: A Survey of Research

https://books.google.com/books?id=adWXhQ-yHQUC&pg=PA268

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dhamma_Basti » Wed May 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Yep not later than early to mid fourth century B.C. , with the common view among indologists that he must have lived somewhere between 7th and 5th century, give and take 200 years in both directions. Dating of Pāṇini certainly is still to be debated, but since he described the language of the Brahmanas and early Upaniṣads, we can be sure that this was his background and this was his learning. Without any doubt we can date these early Upaniṣads and Brahmanas prior to the Buddha. So whatever date we accept for Pāṇini, it does not change much in the principal statement that he described a language that existed at the time of the Buddha.

Regarding the question about vedic origian of Pāli: I do admit that with regards to Oberlies point of view my formulation was not right. We cannot, however, simply mark a point in the development of the indo-aryan language and say 'this is vedic, and that what was going on before is not vedic'. So the main point that I want to make is that Pāli, vedic sanskrit and classical sanskrit share the same origin, and vedic and Pāli share more similarities than Sanskrit and Pāli. So I am happy to correct myself:
his he's not saying. as he puts it is "[Pāli]not a direct continuation of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit; rather it descends from a dialect (or a number of dialects) which was (/were), despite many similarities, different from Ṛgvedic."
This basicly means that, some dialect, splitting from vedic at an earlier stage, later developed into Pāli.
to
his he's not saying. as he puts it is "[Pāli]not a direct continuation of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit; rather it descends from a dialect (or a number of dialects) which was (/were), despite many similarities, different from Ṛgvedic."
This basicly means that, according to Oberlies some dialect, splitting from the same root-language at an earlier stage, later developed into Pāli.
:) :hello:

Just to sum up the whole question of relative chronology between late vedic (the language described by Pāṇini) and the time of the Buddha of the Buddha (who did not speak Pāli by the way, before this fact escapes the attention of the potencial reader of this post) I will quote Michael Witzel, as he has the finger on the right point here:
§ 5 Conclusion
Reviewing the materials adduced so far, the following
be stated.
can
* The Buddha lived in time of changes from villages to
cities and from tribal states to large monarchies.
* Though he still knew about the living Vedic language
( chandas ), his own language, an early eastern Middle Indic
of the borderland between Kosala and Videha, still had the
perfect, which coincides with the standard of Eastern Vedic
spoken in Kosala-Videha.
* The large majority of the Vedic texts, including that
of the oldest Upaniṣads (BĀU, JUB, ChU) preceded him, and
he reacted against the Upaniṣadi c ātman theories.
* This occurred in a period where ascetics were common from
Gandhāra to Bihar, c. 430 BCE, as Herodotus attests and
Jaina tradition suggests, -- when both the Buddhist/Jaina
order developed.
22* The eastern countries and kings mentioned in Late Vedic
texts are those well before the earliest Buddhist texts.
Magadha was not yet a major power. Its prominent King
Ajātasattu is not mentioned and can be identified with one
of the Vedic Ajātaśatrus only with difficulty. In addition
Bhadrasena, Ajātaśatru’s son, belongs to a period well
before that of Ajātasattu, to the time of Yajñavalkya of
BĀU.
Cumulative evidence -- historical, archaeological and
textual--
of the Late Vedic and early Buddhist texts
therefore points to a clear time gap between both text
corpora and the time periods they depict.
In sum, the results of this limited investigation,
which
intentionally excluded the development of thought,
uphold the “traditional” view of several consecutive
linguistic, textual and historical layers from Vedic to the
earliest Buddhist texts. We can be fairly certain, that
this sums up “ wie es wirklich gewesen” -- evam etaṃ
bhūtapubbam .
From Michael Witzel - 'Moving Targets? Texts, language, archaeology and history in the
Late Vedic and early Buddhist periods" :)
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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu May 18, 2017 6:24 pm

Dhamma_Basti wrote:This basicly means that, according to Oberlies some dialect, splitting from the same root-language at an earlier stage, later developed into Pāli.
Isn't it even simpler and more elegant to simply note that some Prākrits (like Pāli) preserved different elements of their common Indo-European heritage than elements preserved by other Prākrits? Or rather yet, each of the early streams of dialects that would be called Prākrits eventually, all of them based on a common ancestor, were innovative in their own ways.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Re: The Buddha spoke pali by Stefan Karpik

Post by Dhamma_Basti » Thu May 18, 2017 11:35 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Dhamma_Basti wrote:This basicly means that, according to Oberlies some dialect, splitting from the same root-language at an earlier stage, later developed into Pāli.
Isn't it even simpler and more elegant to simply note that some Prākrits (like Pāli) preserved different elements of their common Indo-European heritage than elements preserved by other Prākrits? Or rather yet, each of the early streams of dialects that would be called Prākrits eventually, all of them based on a common ancestor, were innovative in their own ways.
I do not really see how that statement would be different from mine. ^^
However I am reluctant to call Pāli a 'Prākrit' for the simple reason that the common convention among scientist is to call languages based on Ardhamagadhi Prākrit, while the other languages of the area are treated as 'middle indic languages'.

Just one more note on Oberlies: He uses the term 'ṛgvedic' for a very specific reason, in order to prove that Pāli is not a descendant of the language preserved in the ṛgveda that has been handed down to us. The term 'vedic' is however more broad and not just confined to the ṛgveda. So it's really a question on how we define our terms here. :)
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