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Science of Language in Vedic Tradition (Phonetics, Grammar, Logic & Epistemology)

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Item Code: NAU650
Author: Dr. G. Asokan
Publisher: Parimal Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2020
ISBN: 9788171106653
Pages: 400
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 600 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

The quintessence of the message of Vedic tradition to humanity is that true knowledge (Veda) and Tehteoutness (Dharma) is the key to human prosperity and ultimate freedom. Righteous action depends on true knowledge. One’s knowledge is reflected in his or her actions. But knowledge is not possible without language. It is in and through language that thought originates and finds expression. Language is the sole light and guide to truth about the behaviour of objects. In fact, language is consciousness itself.

Proper verbalization and proper understanding are vital for everything that is concerned in our intellectual and rational life. But the understanding of the truth about language is not possible without the aid of science of language, for science of language determines language. Sanskrit developed an amazingly rich linguistic tradition over more than three millennia.

The main purpose of this work is to provide in one place more or less a complete picture of the complex subject, covering almost every aspect of Language in a systematic and coherent form to.make the Indian material on science of language more accessible. The present work drew heavily from Siksas, Pratisadkhyas, Nirukta, Vyakarana, philosophical systems of Mimamsa, Nydya and Books on literary theory (Alamkara-Sdstra) and makes a thorough discussion of the linguistic theories that constitutes the corpus of science of language in Vedic tradition.

About the Book

Prof. (Dr.) G. Asokan, originally a logician, is well versed scholar in scriptures and thorough student of philosophy. He took his Masters Degree in Sanskrit —! Nydya and Bachelor’ Degree in Education from the University of Kerala. In the same Year he joined as Lecturer in Sanskrit — Nydya in the Department of Collegiate Education, Government of Kerala. During his professional career he took Post Graduate Diploma in Epigraphy from the Dept. of Archaeology, Kerala and Doctorate Degree in Sanskrit from Mahatma Gandhi University. He has been teaching Sanskrit language and Nydya-Vaisesika philosophy in various Govt. Colleges which are specially set up for Sanskrit learning in Kerala and also in the Ayurveda Colleges of Kerala and Tamilnadu for more than three decades. He has published a number of papers in reputed journals. His most renowned book named ‘Philosophy of Carakasamhitda’ is noted for its depth of understanding and lucidity of presentation.


It gives me great pleasure in writing this Foreword for the work Science of Language in Vedic Tradition ( Phonetics, Grammar, Logic and Epistemology ) written by Dr. G. Asokan.

Hardly there is any civilization other than Indian civilization which had made so deep reflections on all aspects of language, its physical aspect, psychological aspect and philosophical aspect. Language is studied on its Form and its Function to refer to its Content. The Form covers its physical aspects : how is language articulated ? what are the sections of oral cavity involved in language production ? how are the articulate sounds arranged ? How are the influences of one linguistic noise on the other? and may such questions like accent, tone, rhythm etc. are addressed in the study of Form of language. Right from the Vedic times we find reflections on such formal aspects of language .

We all know that Vedic tradition was an oral tradition. Texts used to be transmitted orally from one generation to another. Realising the danger of corruption of texts the Vedic sages introduced techniques to preserve the texts. These techniques were various modes of recitation called Wad, HANS and eight varieties of such as There was also a mode called Aram in which there used to be recitation of the text syllable by syllable registering all the features of a linguistic sound. By application of these techniques the age-old vedic texts have been transmitted to us from generation to generation.

What is worthnoting is the development of the science of phonetics out of these attempts of preserving the texts. Manuals called fret and came into being which reflect the depth of scientific knowledge of phonetics and phonology of the Vedic Sanskrit. presupposes the knowledge of grammar of Vedic Sanskrit. Panini mentions Shakalya as one of his predecessor grammarians in his Herat. HTT is the author of the Vets of the #7ag. atzA is the ultimate product of that grammatical tradition. It is not only a grammar of Sanskrit language but also the first book of descriptive linguistics known to the world. Bloomfield in his book called "Language" described 31 ‘a monument of Human intelligence’. 314TH is so rich in Morphological and Syntactic analysis.

Yask presented science of Etymology in his . He was also the first lexicographer who prepared the Dictionary of Rigvedic words called Nighut , Ancient Indian Philosophers reflected on the relationship of language and reality which contributed immensely to the development of Semantic theories of language. Indian aestheticians analysed the relationship of language of Art with the world of Arts. (In this way one can see the illustrious contributions of Indian intellectual, philosophical and aesthetic traditions to understand both Form and Function of language.

The very emergence of Comparative Philology and Historical Linguistics as branches of studying language in the 19th century owes its origin to the acquaintance of European scholars with Sanskrit after the historic speech of William Jones in the meeting of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta in 1784 wherein he had expressed his surprise about the closeness of Greek, Latin and Sanskrit. He thought this similarity could not be just an accident and suggested that the speakers of Sanskrit, Greek and Latin in the past at one point of time must be living together at some place. This speech inspired European scholars to study these classical languages more closely and that paved the way for the emergence of a new discipline of study called Comparative Philology and Historical or Diachronic Linguistics.

Acquaintance with Panini is the source of the development of Descriptive or Synchronic linguistics. Scholars all over the world are engaged in studying contributions of India in the field of linguistics. But a lot remains to be done. Particularly, it is of paramount importance to study Indian philosophical texts me the texts on Indian Aesthetics to know more and more about the Form and Function of Language. If we do this seriously, I am sure, our understanding will go much deeper than the level at which we are left at this point of time.

I am happy to see that Dr.G.Asokan has come out with this work of Science of Language in Vedic Tradition which is presented in two parts. Part 1 deals with the World of articulate sounds and Part 2 focusses on Word, Sentence and Verbal Cognition. I wish Dr.Asokan brings out many more such works in future.

lam sure the work will be received well by students, scholars and general public a like who are interested in knowing the contributions of ancient India towards unfolding the Mystery of ‘Language’.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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