Language Variant subtags for Sanskrit

Peter Scharf peter_scharf at
Wed Jul 14 04:01:28 CEST 2010

See below

Peter M. Scharf                           (401) 863-2720 office
Department of Classics             (401) 863-2123 dept.
Brown University
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Providence, RI 02912                Scharf at

On 13 Jul. 2010, at 3:09 PM, Michael Everson wrote:

> On 13 Jul 2010, at 19:48, Peter Scharf wrote:
>> But how Paninian is Classical Sanskrit?  NO one has yet modelled  
>> Paninian grammar and validated texts against it in any systematic  
>> way.  The more generic term makes less of a claim and IS THE TERM  
>> IN USE.
> Yes, but can you please tell me what the Sanskrit terms for the  
> following are?
> Vedic dialect.

'chandas' is the term Panini used.  He distinguished from it  
'bhaa.saa' (the spoken dialect of Sanskrit at his time).
'vaidikabhaa.saa' is one modern term for Vedic language.  I have never  
heard Indian terms for the other three.  This is not surprising, since  
historical linguistics is a 19th century European phenomenon, though  
ancient Indian linguists did have awareness of historical language  
change.  If there are terms for the following, they are probably very  
modern ones.  I'll ask on the Indology list.

> Classical dialect.
> Epic dialect.
> Buddhist dialect.
> I assume it's something-or-other bhaṣa....
> Michael Everson *

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