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A Grammar of the Prakrit Languages
A Grammar of the Prakrit Languages
Description
PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION

Richard Pischel’s Grammar of the Prakrit Languages was first published in the year 1900 in German. Since then it had been held as the most elaborate and comprehensive work on the subject. This translator in 1955 first brought out its English translation. .This translation was reprinted in 1965 and then in it was included the complete Index of Prakrit words of Late M. de Zilva Wickremsinghe published later in the Indian Antiquary by Grierson. But in the said index the Prakrit words were printed in types different from those of the main body of the translation; in addition the number of printing errors was quite considerable.

In the form in which this work is now put before the readers, the translation has been thoroughly revised and so also the index. In this work the translator’s son Shri Bhaskara Jha has largely contributed and this thing deserves mention.

By now a considerable amount of work in Prakrit has come to light-inscriptions have been published and so many such books in Apabhramsa have appeared as were not available to Pischel. Further different Prakrit languages, especially of the inscriptions and different Apabhramsa dialects have been analysed by competent scholars like Tagare and others. In the light of these publications the work of Pischel has become out of date and requires an over all supplementation and alterations. The present translator has for sometime been working in this line and it is hoped that in the next edition of this work necessary additions and alterations will be incorporated.

But the proposed work would require years of labour and in case this was to be necessary changes were to be made in it, publication of the work would have been delayed by years.

With obvious short-comings, this work is placed before the world of scholars with the hope that they would be content with this, however with due apology to them, following the maxim abhave salicurnam va.

Translator’s Note

The following changes have been made in the system of Romanisation of Indian words:
(a) m has been replaced by m.
(b) Small letters have been substituted for capital letters in proper nouns printed in Italics.

It is regretted that certain letters in Italics with diacritical marks have been printed with two different types joined together and that, as in the original, diacritical marks went off in course of printing in a number of places.

I must express my deep sense of gratitude to the Late Dr. Batakrishna Ghosh, whose English translation of the first chapter of the Introduction, under the title “Pischel on the Characteristics of the Prakrit Languages”, has been of great help to me.

About the Book:

Prakrit has a vast literature but it had no systematic comprehensive grammar. Scholars like Vararuci, Hemacandra, Trivikrama, Markandeya, Laksmidhra, Krsna Pandit, Ramasarana Tarkavagisa had indeed their own grammars but they differed immensely in respect of their contents. Lessen was the first who tried to systematize Prakrit grammar but he wrote in Latin. They came Pischel who analysed not only the extant Prakrit grammars but studied minutely the whole of extant Prakrit literature and collected first hand information about this about this important language. As a result of his study he brought out a systematised comprehensive grammar of Prakrit language in German. His voluminous work has continued for decades to be the only reliable authority on Prakrit grammar.

The present volume is an English translation of the German original of Pischel and contains a complete index of Prakrit words. The translator has taken keen interest in the comparative study of the grammars of Prakrit languages in the light of several Prakrit grammars available. The present revised edition is the result of his life-long interest in Prakrit language and literature.

About the Author:

RICHARD PISCHEL (b. 1849) was a scholar with profound philological knowledge whose works span the field of Indology from ancient to modern times. He obtained his qualification as university lecturer by writing De Grammaticis Prakritices, Breslau 1877. He was appointed professor of Sanskrit and comparative linguistics in Kiel. In 1902, he held the chair of Indology in Berlin University. He was an authority on Prakrit Grammar. He also wrote on vedic subjects, drama and Buddhism.

CONTENTS

Preface

Translator's Note

  1. Introduction
    1. The Prakrit Languages
    2. The Prakrit Grammarians

  2. Phonetics
    1. Sonants and vowels: the diphthongs ai and au; lengthening of short vowels; elevation of vowels; shortening of long vowels; single vowels; separation-vowels; dropping off and addition of vowels; dropping off of vowels; dropping off and weakening of syllables; samprasarana; vocalic samdhi; epenthesis; assimilation of vowels; anusvara and nasal vowels
    2. Consonants: consonants in free positions; on single consonants; conjunct consonants; deletion and addition of the anlaut; final consonants; samdhiconsonants; transposition of syllables

  3. Morphology
    1. The Noun: declension of the vowel stems in a, a, i, i, u, u, and consonants stems r, o, au, t, n, in, min, vin, a and the remaining consonantal stems
    2. Comparison: degree of comparison
    3. The Pronoun: first person, second person and third person pronouns; relative pronouns; demonstrative pronouns; interogative pronouns.
    4. The Numeral: one and two, two and three, four, six to nine, nineteen to ninety-nine; ordinals
    5. The Verb: present tense - indicative of the parasmaipada, indicative of atmanepada, optative, imperative, stem-formation, imperfect, aorist, perfect, pluperfect, future tense, passive, causative, desiderative, intensive, denominative, participles, infinitives, absolutives

  4. Towards Formation of Words and Composition
Abbreviations and list of the Edition used

Appendix I: General Index

Appendix II: Glossary of Selected Words

Appendix III: Index of Prakrit Words

A Grammar of the Prakrit Languages

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Edition:
1999
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PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION

Richard Pischel’s Grammar of the Prakrit Languages was first published in the year 1900 in German. Since then it had been held as the most elaborate and comprehensive work on the subject. This translator in 1955 first brought out its English translation. .This translation was reprinted in 1965 and then in it was included the complete Index of Prakrit words of Late M. de Zilva Wickremsinghe published later in the Indian Antiquary by Grierson. But in the said index the Prakrit words were printed in types different from those of the main body of the translation; in addition the number of printing errors was quite considerable.

In the form in which this work is now put before the readers, the translation has been thoroughly revised and so also the index. In this work the translator’s son Shri Bhaskara Jha has largely contributed and this thing deserves mention.

By now a considerable amount of work in Prakrit has come to light-inscriptions have been published and so many such books in Apabhramsa have appeared as were not available to Pischel. Further different Prakrit languages, especially of the inscriptions and different Apabhramsa dialects have been analysed by competent scholars like Tagare and others. In the light of these publications the work of Pischel has become out of date and requires an over all supplementation and alterations. The present translator has for sometime been working in this line and it is hoped that in the next edition of this work necessary additions and alterations will be incorporated.

But the proposed work would require years of labour and in case this was to be necessary changes were to be made in it, publication of the work would have been delayed by years.

With obvious short-comings, this work is placed before the world of scholars with the hope that they would be content with this, however with due apology to them, following the maxim abhave salicurnam va.

Translator’s Note

The following changes have been made in the system of Romanisation of Indian words:
(a) m has been replaced by m.
(b) Small letters have been substituted for capital letters in proper nouns printed in Italics.

It is regretted that certain letters in Italics with diacritical marks have been printed with two different types joined together and that, as in the original, diacritical marks went off in course of printing in a number of places.

I must express my deep sense of gratitude to the Late Dr. Batakrishna Ghosh, whose English translation of the first chapter of the Introduction, under the title “Pischel on the Characteristics of the Prakrit Languages”, has been of great help to me.

About the Book:

Prakrit has a vast literature but it had no systematic comprehensive grammar. Scholars like Vararuci, Hemacandra, Trivikrama, Markandeya, Laksmidhra, Krsna Pandit, Ramasarana Tarkavagisa had indeed their own grammars but they differed immensely in respect of their contents. Lessen was the first who tried to systematize Prakrit grammar but he wrote in Latin. They came Pischel who analysed not only the extant Prakrit grammars but studied minutely the whole of extant Prakrit literature and collected first hand information about this about this important language. As a result of his study he brought out a systematised comprehensive grammar of Prakrit language in German. His voluminous work has continued for decades to be the only reliable authority on Prakrit grammar.

The present volume is an English translation of the German original of Pischel and contains a complete index of Prakrit words. The translator has taken keen interest in the comparative study of the grammars of Prakrit languages in the light of several Prakrit grammars available. The present revised edition is the result of his life-long interest in Prakrit language and literature.

About the Author:

RICHARD PISCHEL (b. 1849) was a scholar with profound philological knowledge whose works span the field of Indology from ancient to modern times. He obtained his qualification as university lecturer by writing De Grammaticis Prakritices, Breslau 1877. He was appointed professor of Sanskrit and comparative linguistics in Kiel. In 1902, he held the chair of Indology in Berlin University. He was an authority on Prakrit Grammar. He also wrote on vedic subjects, drama and Buddhism.

CONTENTS

Preface

Translator's Note

  1. Introduction
    1. The Prakrit Languages
    2. The Prakrit Grammarians

  2. Phonetics
    1. Sonants and vowels: the diphthongs ai and au; lengthening of short vowels; elevation of vowels; shortening of long vowels; single vowels; separation-vowels; dropping off and addition of vowels; dropping off of vowels; dropping off and weakening of syllables; samprasarana; vocalic samdhi; epenthesis; assimilation of vowels; anusvara and nasal vowels
    2. Consonants: consonants in free positions; on single consonants; conjunct consonants; deletion and addition of the anlaut; final consonants; samdhiconsonants; transposition of syllables

  3. Morphology
    1. The Noun: declension of the vowel stems in a, a, i, i, u, u, and consonants stems r, o, au, t, n, in, min, vin, a and the remaining consonantal stems
    2. Comparison: degree of comparison
    3. The Pronoun: first person, second person and third person pronouns; relative pronouns; demonstrative pronouns; interogative pronouns.
    4. The Numeral: one and two, two and three, four, six to nine, nineteen to ninety-nine; ordinals
    5. The Verb: present tense - indicative of the parasmaipada, indicative of atmanepada, optative, imperative, stem-formation, imperfect, aorist, perfect, pluperfect, future tense, passive, causative, desiderative, intensive, denominative, participles, infinitives, absolutives

  4. Towards Formation of Words and Composition
Abbreviations and list of the Edition used

Appendix I: General Index

Appendix II: Glossary of Selected Words

Appendix III: Index of Prakrit Words

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