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The Panini Masterclass Series The Linguist. The Grammar. The Language Machine


Sep 08 2023 to Sep 10 2023 6:30 p.m.



Bangalore International Centre

7 4th Main Rd, Stage 2, Domlur 560071

Event Description

Pāṇini was a Sanskrit grammarian who gave a comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. This lecture series is aimed at introducing one of the intellectual giants of ancient India and his unique contribution to the history of linguistics. Sep 8 | The Linguist & His Language | 6:30 pm This first lecture will be an introduction to this pivotal linguist, his life, his place in the history of linguistics and the form and content of his grammar. Sep 9 | The Perfect Grammarian | 6:30 pm It is generally agreed that the Paninian system is based on a principle of economy, an Occam’s razor. This makes the structure to be of special interest to cognitive scientists. This lecture looks at the main features of Pāṇini’s Sanskrit grammar, highly acclaimed as the foremost and the most perfect grammar available in the world. Economy, the prime objective of Pāṇini in devising his grammar, the methods employed to achieve economy such as the sūtra style, abbreviations, code letters, technical terms, information chaining and metalanguage, will all be discussed. It is aimed at creating an understanding of his method and technique. Sep 10 | An Ancient Language Machine Creator | 6:30 pm Pāṇini’s metalanguage has its own vocabulary, syntax, and grammar although it is basically Sanskrit. Extensive use of abbreviated expressions and other devices has given it an appearance of a code language. It is this feature of the Paninisutra that has inspired comparisons with a computer program. Due to the algebraic nature of formal aspects of certain rules of Pāṇini’s grammar- Astadhyayi and its comprehensiveness, the structure has been described as a machine generating words and sentences of Sanskrit. This lecture on Pāṇini’s formal approach to language analysis coupled with his derivational scheme and the technical devices used by him will help the listeners understand why Pāṇini is compared to Euclid on the one hand and his grammar is compared to Turing Machine on the other.

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