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Talk:Sanskrit

Sanskrit was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
January 10, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 14, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
April 17, 2007Good article nomineeListed
June 8, 2007Good article reassessmentDelisted
October 20, 2014Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Delisted good article

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Contents

Origins of SanskritEdit

I am not a scholar in this area, so I am hoping someone here can address this. I read an opposition to the notion that Sanskrit is Indo-European online. They argued that Sanskrit pre-dated Aryan invasions by at least 2,000 years. I do not know how well-informed these people are, but here is the debate:

https://learnsanskritonline.com/lessons/Introduction/about-sanskrit

If it is true, this certainly should be corrected. If it is incorrect, perhaps the argument should be better detailed in the article.

Is Devanagari the official script?Edit

Is there any evidence? If there is then please attach it there. Otherwise remove the official tag. Sagir Ahmed Msa (talk) 06:01, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

What do you mean by "official"? Sanskrit is one of the official languages of India, just as Hindi is.[1] While this Act notes that Hindi in Devanagari is the first official language of Uttarakhand and does not specify any script for Sanskrit, its use is implicit, for the simple reason that Sanskrit has not been written in any other script for centuries. --Pete (talk) 08:37, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  Done. I removed the "official" label. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 14:02, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

This is not exactly true. You will find even today Sanskrit written in other lipis but by far Devanagari is the traditional script for Sanskrit. And it is because of that it was then adopted by Hindi. Hindi can also be written in other lipis.49.207.62.210 (talk) 10:52, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Sanskrit doesn't have any native script and throughout history was written down in local scripts, without any preference for a particular script. Sometimes there were scripts, which were used only for sanskrit (such as Grantha alphabet in Tamil Nadu), but even they were restricted to their particular region. We don't find any sanskrit inscriptions in devanagari outside of the region, where devanagari was traditionally used. Devanagari emerged as de facto sanskrit script only since 19 century, but it is still no more traditional for sanskrit than any other historical indian script. 80.250.56.174 (talk) 07:56, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

AgeEdit

This article seems to contradict the article on the Hittite language. The phrase "As the oldest Indo-European language for which substantial written documentation exists..." is not compatible with the description of Hittite as "the earliest-attested of the Indo-European languages". I do not claim to be an expert on either language, but my understanding is that any statements about the age of Sanskrit should be cautious because the dating of its earliest records is uncertain; dating for early HIttite records is somewhat more reliable. If/when the Sanskrit article is unlocked, this area of the article should be reconsidered. The sentence might be changed to read "... possibly the oldest ...", and a cross-reference to Hittite could be added: "(cf. Hittite)".

It would also be worth discouraging the misconception that, because of its antiquity, Sanskrit must be the "parent" of all other Indo-European languages. (The British writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg has been heard several times to say Sanskrit is the ancestor of English.) The branching of Proto-IE is well explained by the cladogram in the Proto-IE article. EEye (talk) 00:35, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

Seems sensible. But are the Hittite texts really "substantial written documentation"? Perhaps, though the oldest just amounts to two paragraphs in English, and nobody will be adapting it for tv any time soon. In fact the earliest of the dates claimed for the Rigveda predate this a tad, though of course with the Hittite we have actual original inscriptions. If you hear MB saying that again, just kick him in the shins. Johnbod (talk) 00:53, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

Is Vedic known to be the oldest documented Indo-European language?Edit

I think it is not really known that Vedic is actually the oldest. Hittite, Luwian, and Old Avestan are all also from the 2nd millennium BCE. Ficusindica (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:09, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

It states "oldest documented Indo-European family of languages". We must stick with what the RS are stating. I will embed a quote to ease WP:V. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:45, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Sources and sourced contentEdit

@Ficusindica: Why did you add "refers to recorded dialects" instead of "is a language"? The cited Encyclopedia Britannica and mainstream RS overwhelmingly state that "Sanskrit is a language". You did not add any sources, just made blog-like edits that do not reflect the cited sources. In a series of edits, such as this, you deleted some sources and sourced-content from the lead. Please explain. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:41, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

@Ms Sarah Welch: Sanskrit is ambiguous. It refers to both "Classical Sanskrit" and "Vedic Sanskrit." Vedic Sanskrit of course represent recorded dialects. They are natural languages. On the other hand, Classical Sanskrit is a constructed language. You can't actually view Sanskrit as a language, it comprises of recorded dilates and the standardized language. Although Sanskrit is a very common word, interpretation of the word "Sanskrit" as a single language has little credence. Ficusindica (talk) 23:57, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ficusindica: We must stick with what the mainstream WP:RS are stating. Sanskrit is an old IE language. Like all languages, it too evolved. The article is already acknowledging the Vedic and Classical aspects of this language (I will expand this section as well as I update and revise this article). Please provide some peer-reviewed scholarly sources with page numbers with any suggestions you may have. We can then collaborate. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:17, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Note that Britannica does note that "Vedic Sanskrit" comprises of (multiple) recorded dialects.[2] "Classical Sanskrit" is of course different. We must note that "Sanskrit" comprises both a group of recorded dialects and a constructed language. Ficusindica (talk) 00:20, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Languages have dialects, and a dialect refers to it in the context of a specific region or population group. That does not mean we should write "Sanskrit refers to recorded dialects". Because that does not reflect what Britannica and the vast majority of scholarly sources are stating. Britannic is calling Sanskrit "a language", "an Old Indo-Aryan language". It is not appropriate to emphasize the "dialects" part, which appears once in the entire Britannica article in the context of the early Vedic documents. To quote, "Sanskrit language, (from Sanskrit: saṃskṛta, “adorned, cultivated, purified”) an Old Indo-Aryan language in which the most ancient documents are the Vedas, composed in what is called Vedic Sanskrit. Although Vedic documents represent the dialects then found in the northern midlands of the Indian subcontinent and areas immediately east thereof, the very earliest texts—including the Rigveda (“The Veda Composed in Verses”), which scholars generally ascribe to approximately 1500 BCE—stem from the northwestern part of the subcontinent, the area of the ancient seven rivers (sapta sindhavaḥ). (...)" Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:28, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
We'll be going in circles. I see that you respect Sanskrit. But noting that Vedic Sanskrit is a term that refers to "a group of recorded dialects" does not demean the concept of Sanskrit. It's just that Sanskrit is not just "a language," and "dialect" is not a demeaning term. In a linguistic perspective, all daughter languages of a certain language, like daughter languages of Proto-Indo-European, are dialects. This is in contrast to "Classic Sanskrit," which is not a natural language, and we must contrast the two. Ficusindica (talk) 00:32, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ficusindica: While you registered your account a few years ago, you have about 250 edits. So, I request you to avoid WP:FORUM-y discussions, respect WP:Talk guidelines. We cannot cherrypick and generalize/misstate something beyond its context. We must summarize what the scholarly sources are stating. The sources are stating that Sanskrit is a language. The article's lead should too. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:48, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
It consists of two things, I hope that you understand. A group of recorded "dialects," used here in the linguistic sense, AND a constructed language. It's our job at Wikipedia to address ambiguities. Do you wish to issue a request for comment? Thanks. Ficusindica (talk) 00:51, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Ficusindica: I understand your POV. The article should not reflect the personal opinions of any editor, rather it should reflect what the scholarly sources are stating. The article should and does mention the early "dialects" aspect in the main section. It will be absurd to allege or make this article imply that Sanskrit is not a language. RFCs are not meant to be a way to discard our core content policies. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:59, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

@Ficusindica: Why are you fixated on noting that Sanskrit is a language? Ficusindica (talk) 12:33, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ms Sarah Welch:I do not deny that there is a concept of language behind the word "Sanksrit." While not dispelling that concept, we must note what the word refers to, a number of recorded Indo-European/Indo-Aryan dialects and a constructed language. What is your opinion on that? Thanks. Ficusindica (talk) 12:33, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Ficusindica: No need to ping yourself! I have struck it out and added your signature to your first line to prevent confusion. For the rest, please reread my comments above. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 12:41, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

@Ms Sarah Welch: I actually make mistakes a lot. But anyway, do you not think that we should refer to what the word "Sanskrit" refers to, as in breaking it down. We actually do it in the second para, but I happened to have done it in the lede sentence during my edits. I think that it may be useful to put it there. Ficusindica (talk) 12:44, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ficusindica:, Sanskrit is "ambiguous" only in the sense that, say, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Estonian, Turkish, Malay, Basque, and Afrikaans (and this isn't an exhaustive list) are "ambiguous". They all vary across a number of dialects. They all are also embodied in standard forms (often synthesizing features from multiple dialects and characterized by varying degrees of artificiality in vocabulary, grammar, and orthography) prescribed by one or more organizations. Would you argue against identifying them, first and foremost, as languages in their respective Wikipedia articles? Do you consider the editors who have classified them as such "fixated" on the use of the term "language" to identify them? If not, but you still feel that Sanskrit isn't a "language", it isn't clear what leads you to consider it a special case. Largoplazo (talk) 13:13, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
I do not deny that Sanskrit is a language, because that concept exists.
But we can say that there is a concept of Sanskrit as a language but also a reality of it being two thing, a "group of recorded dialects," another way of saying a group of "very closely related" languages, and a constructed language. I'm sure that you know that these two define the word Sanskrit, but you want to emphasize that Sanskrit is a language.
That's why I want to define Sanskrit in the lede sentence, and allow the rest of the lede paragraph address the idea of Sanskrit as a language.
I think the word "dialect" is the confusing part. Sometimes, a group of related dialects is called a language. Sometimes, a standard form exists, and colloquial varieties are called "dialects." What the word dialect actually means, is "any spoken and natural language." In this sense, a dialect is not a colloquial way of speaking but a natural language, unlike that standard form which is not a natural language. This is the usage of the word "dialect" used here. These recorded dialects are dialects in this sense, and are not "dialects" of a certain language. Sanskrit comprises "a group of recorded dialects," IE dialects that are lucky to have been written down. Tanks. Ficusindica (talk) 13:43, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
You still haven't presented anything that distinguishes Sanskrit from all the languages I listed. That was my whole point: You could just as well ask whether we should, up front, describe French as an ambiguous term describing either a set of dialects or a constructed, standardized language promulgated by l'Académie Française. But we don't. The fact that languages have dialects, as well as various registers that may include standardized, prescriptive, somewhat artificial versions, is inherent in language, not a salient feature specific to Sanskrit that calls for us to treat that language differently from others. Largoplazo (talk) 14:01, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Sanskrit is a historical language. French has been created by taking elements of various spoken forms. However, Sanskrit has not been created by taking elements from various spoken forms. These "dialects" were recorded as they were. Classical Sanskrit is a separate development, not created by assembling various dialects, but by constructing a language mainly based on the grammar and lexicon of Vedic. Vedic does not comprise "dialects of Classical Sanskrit" or "dialects of Sanskrit" ie. Vedic is not dialects of a standardized language. While the developments may sound similar, Vedic is never thought to be "dialects" of Classical Sanskrit of Sanskrit. Ficusindica (talk) 14:10, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe you aren't familiar with the development of any other language, but you still aren't expressing anything that appreciably distinguishes Sanskrit from other languages. French dialects aren't dialects of standard French: there were French dialects before there was a standard French. Italian dialects aren't dialects of standard Italian: there were Italian dialects before there was a standard Italian. Conversely, as Classical Sanskrit was an adaptation of existing grammar and vocabulary, standard French, standard Italian, etc., were all refinements (to use the word applied in the Italian language article) of existing vocabulary and grammar in one or another "preferred" dialects, typically one spoken and written in literary centers, like Francien dialect, spoken in Paris and its vicinity, and Florentine Italian. So your observation that the Vedic Sanskrit dialects aren't dialects of Classical Sanskrit fails to distinguish Sanskrit from these other languages in that regard, as do your observations about the provenance of Classical Sanskrit. Largoplazo (talk) 14:35, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
We can't call Classical Sanskrit refinements over Vedic. Classical Sanskrit is a constructed language. The difference between French and Sanskrit is that French does not refer to the dialects based on which French was formed, instead they are called "dialects of French." However, Sanskrit does refer to both the constructed language and the dialects used to created it. That's why we have to disambiguate the word Sanskrit to mean bot Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. Ficusindica (talk) 14:40, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
You haven't made it clear that the difference between "refinements" and what you're insisting on calling "constructed" is anything other than, perhaps, a matter of degree. Classical Sanskrit was not made up from scratch. As for "...French does not refer to the dialects based on which French was formed, instead they are called 'dialects of French'", that's a blatant contradiction. You say "French" doesn't refer to those dialects—and then you immediately refer to them "dialects of French"! Whatever distinction you're trying to draw still seems illusory to me. Largoplazo (talk) 15:41, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
  • An RS or two supporting the special treatment of Sanskrit as not-a-language would be helpful, but "In addition, bear in mind that article talk pages exist solely to discuss how to improve articles; they are not for general discussion about the subject of the article, ..."; this is, indeed, a discussion over the wording used in the article and the overall presentation of the subject in it, not a general discussion about the subject. So WP:FORUM isn't being infringed, is it? Largoplazo (talk) 20:59, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
There is no claim that Sanskrit is not a language, but it is simply composed of Classical and Vedic Sanskrit, and we have to note them both. Also, there is not proof that Vedic Sanskrit, at least Rigvedic, was actually composed in geographical India.Ficusindica (talk) 21:31, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Largoplazo: Any discussion that focuses on personal opinions / prejudices / wisdoms of an editor, that ignores RS already cited and our core content policies, and where the editor insists on their own personal POV without offering few RS with page numbers to support that POV, is a forum-y discussion. It is the pursuit of some script in their mind, rather than an objective consideration of the due and mainstream scholarship. The issue here is that the vast majority of scholarly sources call and treat Sanskrit as a language, like as you point out "French, Portuguese, Spanish, Estonian, Turkish, Malay, Basque, and Afrikaans". We summarize scholarly sources, and do not entertain the WP:FRINGE opinions of any editor or WP:TE. Ficusindica: Please see my comments above. Wikipedia is not the place for asking for proof of X or Y. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 21:38, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
You're mistaken. As founded as your point is about discussing the issue at length without invoking reliable sources, and while the discussion may seem "forum-y", it isn't "WP:FORUMy" just because the word "forum" was used as a shortcut to that section. The guidance in WP:FORUM doesn't cover this. And you're conflating the purpose of the discussion (covered by WP:FORUM) with its failure to focus on relevant grounds for reaching a resolution (not covered by WP:FORUM). Your substantive remarks might have been correct, but you invoked the wrong guideline to back it up. Largoplazo (talk) 22:33, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Simply put, Sanskrit is composed of Vedic Sanskrit (sometimes just "Vedic") and Classical Sanskrit. Ms Sarah Welch: Why are you opposed to even mentioning and defining the two? They are quite distinct. Ficusindica (talk) 21:43, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Ficusindica: The article already summarizes the Vedic and Classical Sanskrit aspects of the subject where it is due in the lead and the main article. Your POV is that "Sanskrit is not a language", or that "there is a concept of Sanskrit as a language, but it is not really a language", or some such. You keep arguing your POV without citing a few quality peer-reviewed scholarly publications with page numbers. That is not constructive. Wikipedia is not the place to insist on or summarize your personal wisdoms / prejudices / opinions. If you accept that scholarly publications do state Sanskrit to be a language, please stop deleting that from this article. It is WP:TE to do so. I have Tim Burrow and many of the cited sources on my desk. The replacement text you keep inserting before these cites misrepresent what those cited sources are stating. Please do not do so. For rest, please see above. If you do not understand wikipedia content policies and my related request, please contact WP:TEAHOUSE or one of the noticeboards. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 22:14, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Ms Sarah Welch: I never said Sanskrit is not a language. But we have to note what Classical and Vedic mean to disambiguate clearly. My version of the leading two sentences read:
"refers to recorded dialects of Old Indo-Aryan, Indo-European dialects spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE as well as a constructed language dating to mid-1st millennium BCE.[1][2] Referred to as Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit, respectively, Sanskrit is the primary language..." Ficusindica (talk) 22:18, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Unacceptable. For reasons, please see above. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 22:39, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference britsanskrit was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Tim Murray (2007). Milestones in Archaeology: A Chronological Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 115–116. ISBN 978-1-57607-186-1. 

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Largoplazo: The WP:FORUM states, "In addition, bear in mind that article talk pages exist solely to discuss how to improve articles; they are not for general discussion about the subject of the article,(...)." One way to distinguish a "general discussion about the subject" from "a discussion on how to improve articles" is the insistence of "personal opinions" versus "what the RS are stating and discuss that in light of wikipedia content guidelines". Article talk pages are not the place for the "general discussion/analysis of personal opinions" while ignoring the mainstream RS. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:11, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Additional sourcesEdit

We should avoid WP:CITEKILL, so I list a few more sources with page numbers supporting the mainstream scholarly view that "Sanskrit is a language":

  1. "Sanskrit is a language of learned treatises and commentaries to this day" - Prof. George Cardona, in The World's Major Languages, page 380, (Editor: Bernard Comrie)
  2. "Classical Sanskrit, a language that became a vehicle for scholarly, religious, and literary discourse...." - Prof. Benjamin W. Fortson, in Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, page 209
  3. "The idea was inspired by the critical discovery of the third member of the comparison (the tertium comparationis in technical jargon), namely Sanskrit - a language geographically far removed from the other two." - Prof. Benjamin W. Fortson, in Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, page 9
  4. "Sanskrit, a language which has survived as the living language of Indian philosophy,..." - Prof. Neal White, in A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, page vii
  5. "The most important discovery leading to this hypothesis was the recognition that Sanskrit, a language of ancient India, was one of the languages of the group." - Albert Croll Baugh and Thomas Cable, in A History of the English Language, page 20

There are a zillion more. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 22:38, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

I do not deny that Sanskrit (Classical Sanskrit) are all these. But how else will you define Vedic and Classical Sanskrit? Ficusindica (talk) 22:42, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Ficusindica: Please end this "I do not deny" style forum-y discussion. Find scholarly sources. Read them. Then start writing, "Sources such-and-such state...." on page number(s) "such-and-such", and we can improve this article by including "this, this etc". FWIW, for the umpteenth time, the article already summarizes the Vedic and Classical aspects of Sanskrit, with Panini and the rest per the scholarly sources. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 22:57, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Sanskrit comprises just Vedic and Classical and we must disambiguate right in the lede para. Please find a suitable disambiguation if you don't accept mine. Ficusindica (talk) 23:00, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
The discussion in the 2nd lead para suffices. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:11, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
But saying Sanskrit "is a language" is insufficient. It comprises at least two recorded languages as Vedic and a synthetic languages called "Classical Sanskrit." Ficusindica (talk) 23:16, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
No. For reasons and the next steps available to you, please see above. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:24, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
You want to disregard Britannica that points out two dialects recorded as Vedic. [3] You somewhat neglect me because of my negligible number of edits. Ficusindica (talk) 23:27, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ficusindica, I've browsed through the discussion above and am still not clear on why you object to begining the article with "Sanskrit is a language" in the lede sentence, and then in the subsequent paragraphs (of the lede itself) getting into the business of the various dialects and history of language development? That is the approach adopted by all the books referred above (do you have an example of a work that doesn't take this approach?), as well as wikipedia article on English language, Latin etc. Abecedare (talk) 23:35, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Sanskrit is not a single language with a single standard form. It comprises possibly two recorded dialects known as Vedic Sanskrit and a constructed language known as "Classical Sanskrit." Just saying Sanskrit is a language is misleading and insufficient. Ficusindica (talk) 23:38, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Ficus, you still haven't addressed my questions on lede sntence vs later paragraphs. Note that nobody is proposing that we "Just say[] Sanskrit is a language"; that's just a strawman. The only question is whether or not the first sentence says that it is a language. Can you cite any work that takes your preffered approach? Abecedare (talk) 23:45, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
We should choose as much information as we can in an elegant manner. Britannica ventures on discerning Vedic and Classical in the first and second paragraphs, and it doesn't note "it is a language." It is very elegant to note:
refers to recorded dialects of Old Indo-Aryan, Indo-European dialects spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE, as well as a constructed language dating to mid-1st millennium BCE. Referred to as Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit, respectively, Sanskrit is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism..." Ficusindica (talk) 23:52, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
The EB article is titled "Sanskrit langauage" and it starts with "Sanskrit langauage [is] an Old Indo-Aryan language...". Not sure what your point is, or what source you are citing that takes approach you are proposing. Can resume discussion once we have examples of such sources. Abecedare (talk) 00:06, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Then let's note it is an "Old Indo Aryan" language, not "is a language of ancient India with a documented history of nearly 3,500 years." However, you say my approach is not needed. But can you argue that it is disadvantageous? Ficusindica (talk) 00:18, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think it would be productive to begin a discussion on yet another proposal for the lede sentence, so soon after the previous one has been resolved after such (needlessly, IMO) lengthy debate. How about giving User:Ms Sarah Welch a couple of weeks to work on the article, and then we can debate on what can be improved? In the meantime, it would perhaps be prudent to limit discussion on the talk page to any errors that are introduced and need to be corrected post-haste, rather than matters of preferences, which can wait that long. Abecedare (talk) 00:20, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

She chooses to adorn the concept of Sanskrit a bit. We can't have such an indirect lede sentence. Ficusindica (talk) 00:22, 19 July 2018 (UTC)


@Ficusindia:Oh, my goodness. "I do not deny that Sanskrit (Classical Sanskrit) are all these. But how else will you define Vedic and Classical Sanskrit?" So you don't deny the sources that characterize Sanskrit as "a language". But you're still fretting about not delving right into the Vedic/Classical differentiation as though that were of greater urgency than identifying it as a language (as opposed to a musical style, a fruit, a geographical feature).
  • English language begins "English is a West Germanic language ...", not "English language may refer to Old English or Middle English or dialects spoken in Great Britain or dialects spoken in Ireland or dialects spoken in North America or dialects spoken in Africa or dialects spoken in Oceania or Asia or the Pacific."
  • French language begins "French (le français ... or la langue française ...) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family", not "French language may refer to any of a number of dialects spoken in and near Paris historically or in the present day or dialects spoken at various times in Lyon or dialects spoken at various times in Marseille or dialects spoken in Corsica or dialects spoken Quebec or dialects spoken in southern Belgium and parts of the Brussels region or dialects spoken in Guadeloupe or dialects spoken in Reunion or a standardized language constructed and revised by l'Académie française."
Both articles eventually cover the details! They don't start with the details. They don't need to start with the details. It is ordinary for a Wikipedia article's lead to cover high-level information and then get to the details later on. You're wringing your hands as though nobody is going to know about the separate existence of Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit or the significance of each of them unless we present that dichotomy as the first thing we tell people about the topic known as "Sanskrit".
I'd already tired of this, and you haven't come up with anything new. The only reason I'm appending this latest comment is to make one last-ditch effort at forcing the bigger picture in front of you, of how we generally handle languages that share with Sanskrit the characteristics that are at the core of your proposal for the article, to see if maybe you'll have an epiphany and see what I'm talking about so that you'll relax and feel better about it. If not, well, I gave it a shot. Largoplazo (talk) 00:24, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Sanskrit can be said to be a language, but "Classical Sanskrit" is also a language. Plus Vedic is composed of two dialects. If you don't distinguish these and just say Sanskrit is "a language," it's misleading. Being that both Classical and Vedic can be called Old-Indo-Aryan is sufficient, but distinguishing is better. Ficusindica (talk) 00:27, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
I take it back. One more comment: You're just repeating what I've already dispensed with several times. It's no more misleading than any of the other language articles are by beginning as they do. Putting high-level information up front and saving the details for later is not misleading. It's proper organization of an article. Unless and until you either claim that all those articles are misleading (which I don't believe you will do), or else you come up with a way in which Sanskrit actually differs in pertinent respects (you haven't so far; you've insisted on using the word "constructed" to describe Classical Sanskrit, but your attempt to use that word to distinguish it from the other languages fails: the fact is that the basic way the standard languages developed is comparable) from all those other languages, then you have no further grounds for arguing your case. Largoplazo (talk) 00:33, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Then please just note it is "an Old-Indo-Aryan language," not the adornment Ms. Welch lately put as the lede sentence. Ficusindica (talk) 00:37, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Parsing FicusindicaEdit

If I am able to understand these reams of posts being made by Ficusindica, it seems that his positions are two:

  • He thinks of 'Vedic Sanskrit' and 'Classical Sanskrit' as two different "dialects".
  • He thinks of 'Classical Sanskrit' as a "constructed" language.

To make any headway in this discussion, he needs to produce WP:RS that make exactly these points.

If I tried a bit, I could probably produce sources that say that Sanskrit was "constructed". But they would be based on a folk interpretation of sanskrtam as "well-constructed" and thereby infer that Sanskrit was "constructed". On the other hand, the scholars would interpret sanskrtam as purified or refined, as does George Cardona in EB [4]. I found this example in Michael Witzel's article. In 'Middle Vedic' apparently, one finds the form [bhoti] for the classical Sanskrit word bhavati. It would be ridiculous to claim that bhavati is a "constructed" word, whereas bhoti is the "unconstructed" word. For all we know, bhavati might have been the original word, which got shortened to bhoti in natural speech, but a reader of the Veda would have to follow the apparently wrong form for the sake of the metre or to adhere to the Vedic standard.

The other thing Ficusindica is completely missing is the time aspect. The Vedic language is older, and it was used for everyday speech. Classical Sanskrit came later and, by the time it was formulated, the vernacular languages were already Prakrits. So the classical Sanskrit could make rules for word forms, completely disregarding any spoken forms. When our article talks about "older form" and "newer form", it is indeed talking about "dialects" in the sense of Ficusindica. But we don't use the term "dialect" to distinguish the forms evolving in time. We use it only when there are multiple newer forms that vary by region or usage context and there are enough of them to warrant the term "dialect".

So, basically, I don't accept of either of Ficusindica's points. But I might be made to change my mind if he produces reliable sources that do it his way. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 01:35, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Return to "Sanskrit" page.