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Reviewing the Spectrum of Vernacular Sanskrit by Professor Madhav M. Deshpa...

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Senate House Alumni Lecture Theatre

SOAS, University of London

Senate House, SOAS University

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

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In this lecture, I shall discuss a history of Sanskrit usage that falls outside the standard Pāṇinian or Classical Sanskrit. In doing so, I will review the evidence that we know about the extent of Sanskrit usage that can be inferred from grammarians other than Pāṇini. We will closely look at the discussion in Pātañjali’s Mahābhāṣya. Further, we will explore the mutual impact of Sanskrit on vernacular languages and the influence of the vernaculars on Sanskrit. We will consider different examples of non-standard Sanskrit and examine the sources of the non-standard aspects.

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Professor Madhav M. Deshpande was born in Pune, India, in 1946. In the high school matriculation examination in the State of Maharashtra, he won the coveted Jagannath Shankarshet Sanskrit Scholarship. For his undergraduate education in Sanskrit, Pali and Philosophy, Deshpande joined the Fergusson College, and received his B.A. degree in 1966, and his M.A. degree in 1968 from the University of Pune. All through this period, he also studied Sanskrit Shastras at the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth in Pune. In 1968, Deshpande joined the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, for his doctoral studies, and received his Ph.D. degree in Sanskrit/ Linguistics in 1972. That same year, he was appointed Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He continued teaching at Michigan till April 2017, before retiring and moving to Campbell, California. At present, he is a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Linguistics in Stanford University. His research interests include Sanskrit and Indo-Aryan Linguistics and Sociolinguistics, the Sanskrit grammatical tradition, and Indian religions and philosophy. He has published about fifteen research books and over two hundred research articles. He has also participated in Sanskrit debates, acted in Sanskrit dramas, and published poetry in Sanskrit and Marathi.

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Senate House Alumni Lecture Theatre

SOAS, University of London

Senate House, SOAS University

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

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