By Franklin Edgerton

This is often the 1st try out at an outline of the grammar and a lexicon of Buddhist hybrid Sanskrit, within which such a lot North Indian Buddhist texts are composed.

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Sample text

5. There have been attem p ts, as will be seen later, to identify the Middle Indie dialect on which this language was originally based. This question has also been somewhat blended, or confused, explicitly or implicitly, w ith the question of w hat language was used in w hat is presumed to have been the oldest, or ‘original’, form of the canonical literature of the Buddhists. A dm ittedly, no such 'original’ canon is preserved to us. 6. The nature of the BH S language, and the question of an ‘original’ canonical language of Buddhism , can be understood best against the background of the a ttitu d e of early Buddhism tow ards the use of various languages as vehicles for its religious teaching.

18. This is not mere speculation. There is much evidence suggesting the one-time existence of Buddhist tex ts in a num ber of different ancient Middle Indie dialects, even tho such tex ts are actually preserved only in two or three. In an im portant article of 1912,7 Sylvain L£vi showed this on the basis of essentially two types of evi­ dence: First, ab errant (dialectically foreign) forms in Pali, and forms which seem aberrant in BHS (where lack of a form ulated standard has made it harder to be sure w hat to call 'a b e rra n t’); and secondly, proper names and other words occurring in titles and scraps of phraseology in ASoka’s inscriptions, and in other pre-Christian inscriptions like those of B harhut, which allude to Buddhist literature.

22. Take Läghula = Iiähula*; / for r does indeed agree w ith Mägadlil, b u t gh for h is not norm al to any P r a k r it; it seems to be a hyper-Sanskritism . So, cy for ty In adhigicya is wholly isolated in Middle Indie. L6vi makes m uch of th e ya-sruti in avayesi (p. 497) = Pali avädesi; b u t neither Mg. nor AMg. nor any P rak rit recorded by Pischel (187) has the ya-sruti before e; it is, to be sure, perhaps found in th e old fragm ents of B uddhist dram as published by Lüders, Kl. Skt. , p.

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