Language Variant subtags for Sanskrit

Michael Everson everson at
Tue Jul 20 11:31:29 CEST 2010

On 19 Jul 2010, at 19:06, Peter Scharf wrote:

> On the grounds that a language is something that occurs in various dialects that are mutually understandable to each other, I think that there should continue to be just a single language tag for Sanskrit.  Panini, Wackernagel, and Whitney all described the language in single treatises and referred to different dialects (including Vedic) within their treatises.  While some modern linguists would not mind referring to Vedic as a different language from Classical Sanskrit, in traditional circles in India this would not go over well at all.  A nice vague term like 'classical' is just what is needed for the standard Sanskrit, even better than the term, 'standard', since it is what has been used for the past couple of hundred years.

What is the difference between "Sanskrit" and "Classical Sanskrit", then? Why do you need both? Why not just the three others Vedic, Epic, Buddhist?

Michael Everson *

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list