The Pāṇini Masterclass Series
The Linguist. The Grammar. The Language Machine
This is a BIC Venue Event
Pāṇini was a Sanskrit grammarian who gave a comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. This lecture series is aimed at introducing one of the intellectual giants of ancient India and his unique contribution to the history of linguistics.
Sep 8 | The Linguist & His Language | 6:30 pm
This first lecture will be an introduction to this pivotal linguist, his life, his place in the history of linguistics and the form and content of his grammar.
Sep 9 | The Perfect Grammarian | 6:30 pm
It is generally agreed that the Paninian system is based on a principle of economy, an Occam’s razor. This makes the structure to be of special interest to cognitive scientists. This lecture looks at the main features of Pāṇini’s Sanskrit grammar, highly acclaimed as the foremost and the most perfect grammar available in the world.
Economy, the prime objective of Pāṇini in devising his grammar, the methods employed to achieve economy such as the sūtra style, abbreviations, code letters, technical terms, information chaining and metalanguage, will all be discussed. It is aimed at creating an understanding of his method and technique.
Sep 10 | An Ancient Language Machine Creator | 6:30 pm
Pāṇini’s metalanguage has its own vocabulary, syntax, and grammar although it is basically Sanskrit. Extensive use of abbreviated expressions and other devices has given it an appearance of a code language. It is this feature of the Paninisutra that has inspired comparisons with a computer program.
Due to the algebraic nature of formal aspects of certain rules of Pāṇini’s grammar- Astadhyayi and its comprehensiveness, the structure has been described as a machine generating words and sentences of Sanskrit. This lecture on Pāṇini’s formal approach to language analysis coupled with his derivational scheme and the technical devices used by him will help the listeners understand why Pāṇini is compared to Euclid on the one hand and his grammar is compared to Turing Machine on the other.
Dr. Saroja Vidyadhar Bhate was the Head of the department of Sanskrit and Prakrit Languages, at Pune University from 1987 to 2001. She has been the Director of about a dozen national seminars, two national workshops and two international seminars. She received the U.G.C. National “Veda Vyas Sanskrit” award for the year 2000 for excellent contribution in teaching/ research/ innovation/ new programmes and promotion of the Sanskrit language. She was a Visiting Professor in the University of Oxford, where she delivered lectures on Pāṇini. She also delivered two lectures in the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and one lecture in the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She has written several books such as The Fundamentals of Anuvṛtti, Pāṇini’s Taddhita Rules, Bhartṛhari Philosopher and Grammarian and Law in Vedic and Prakrit Literature.