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Encyclopedia > Panini (grammarian)
Indian postage stamp depicting Pāṇini (2004), with the implication that he used Kharoṣṭhī
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Indian postage stamp depicting Pāṇini (2004), with the implication that he used Kharoṣṭhī

Pāṇini (IPA [pɑːɳɪn̪ɪ]) was an ancient Gandharan grammarian (approximately 5th century BC, but estimates range from the 7th to the 3rd centuries) who is most famous for formulating the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology known as the Aṣṭādhyāyī. The International Phonetic Alphabet. ... Buddhas First Sermon at Sarnath, Kushan Period, ca. ... (6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) The 5th and 6th centuries BC are a period of philosophical brilliance among advanced civilizations. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम्) is a classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... Morphology is the following: In linguistics, morphology is the study of the structure of word forms. ... The Ashtadhyayi (Ạṣtādhyāyī, meaning eight chapters) is the earliest known grammar of Sanskrit, and one of the first works on descriptive linguistics, generative linguistics, or linguistics altogether. ...


Pāṇini's grammar of Sanskrit is highly systematised and technical. Inherent in its analytic approach are the concepts of the phoneme, the morpheme and the root, only recognized by Western linguists some two millennia later. His rules have a reputation of perfection — that is, they are claimed to fully describe Sanskrit morphology, without any redundance. A consequence of his grammar's focus on brevity is its highly unintuitive structure, reminiscent of contemporary "machine language" (as opposed to "human readable" programming languages). Grammar is the discovery, enunciation, and study of rules governing the use of language. ... In oral language, a phoneme is the theoretical basic unit of sound that can be used to distinguish words or morphemes; that is, changing a phoneme in a word produces either nonsense, or a different word with a different meaning. ... In morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest language unit that carries a semantic interpretation. ... a cow In vascular plants, the root is that organ of a plant body that typically lies below the surface of the soil (compare with stem). ... A system of codes directly understandable by a computers CPU is termed this CPUs native or machine language. ... A programming language or computer language is a standardized communication technique for expressing instructions to a computer. ...


Pāṇini uses metarules, transformations, and recursion. In this sense he may be considered the father of computing machines. The Backus-Naur Form or BNF grammars used to describe modern programming languages have significant similarities to Pāṇini's grammar rules. The Backus-Naur form (BNF) (also known as Backus normal form) is a metasyntax used to express context-free grammars: that is, a formal way to describe formal languages. ... A programming language or computer language is a standardized communication technique for expressing instructions to a computer. ...


Nothing definite is known about Pāṇini's life, not even the century he lived in (he lived almost certainly after the 7th and before the 3rd century BC). According to tradition, he was born in Shalatula, near the Indus river in the current Pakistan, and lived ca. 520–460 BC, a time probably falling within the late Vedic period: he notes a few special rules, marked chandasi ("in the hymns") to account for forms in the Vedic scriptures that had fallen out of use in the spoken language of his time, indicating that Vedic Sanskrit was already archaic, but still a comprehensible dialect. The Indus is a river; the Indus River. ... The Vedic civilization is the Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Vedas, the earliest known records of Indian history. ...


Deities referred to in his work include Vasudeva (4.3.98). The concept of Dharma is attested in his example sentence (4.4.41) dharmam carati "he observes the law". In Hinduism, Vasudeva is the father of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. ... Dharma (sanskrit, roughly law or way) is the way of the higher Truths. ...


An important hint for the dating of Pāṇini is the occurrence of yavan- "Greek" in 4.1.49, where the formation of the word yavanānī (either "Greek woman", or "Greek script") is discussed. There would have been no first-hand knowledge of Greeks in India before the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 330s BC, but it is likely that the name was known via Old Persian yauna, so that Pāṇini may well have lived as early as the time of Darius the Great. It is not known whether Pāṇini himself used writing for the composition of his work. Some people argue that a work of such complexity would have been impossible to compile without written notes, while others allow for the possibility that he might have composed it with the help of a group of students whose memories served him as 'notepads'. Writing only appears in South Asia in the form of the Kharoṣṭhī script in the 3rd century BC, so that for some (late) estimates of his lifetime, he could have known and used a writing system. The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century B.C.. It was the first true alphabet and is the oldest alphabet in use today. ... Alexander the Great fighting the Persian king Darius (Pompeii mosaic, from a 3rd century BC original Greek painting, now lost). ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC - 330s BC - 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC Years: 339 BC 338 BC 337 BC 336 BC 335 BC 334 BC 333 BC 332 BC... See Aryan Language or Old Persian For more information visit: *[Ancient Iranian Languages & Literature The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) ... Yona, Yonaka or Yavana is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greeks. ... Seal of Darius I, showing the king hunting on his chariot, and the symbol of Ahuramazda Darius the Great (Old Persian DārayawuÅ¡: He Who Holds Firm the Good), was the son of Hystaspes and Persian Emperor from 521 BC to 485 BC. His name in Modern Persian is داریوش (D... The Kharoṣṭhī script, also known as the Gāndhārī script, is an ancient alphabetic script used by the Gandhara culture of historic northwest India to write the Gandhari and Sanskrit languages (the Gandhara kingdom was located along the present-day border between Afghanistan and Pakistan between the Indus River and the... // Events The first two Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome over dominance in western Mediterranean Rome conquers Spain Gaulish migration to Macedonia, Thrace and Galatia 281 BCE Antiochus I Soter, on the assassination of his father Seleucus becomes emperor of the Seleucid empire. ...


See also

  • List of linguists
  • Pingala (Brother of Panini according to some traditions. Mathematician credited for first use of binary numbers, Fibonacci series and Pascal's triangle.)

The following is a list of linguists, those who study linguistics. ... Pingala (पिङ्गल) is the author of the Chhandah-shastra, the Sanskrit book on meters, or long syllables. ...

External links


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