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Panini

 

पानिनि

Based on new research 3100 BCE

conventional date (520 BCE - 460BCE)

Probably the single most influential individual in the linguistic

 and mathematical development of india

The worlds first Grammarian

the worlds first developer of Linguistics as a science

codified rules of Sanskrit grammar

first suggested alphameric

 symbols for numbers

 

postulated

use of zero and place value system ???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panini (??????)  was an ancient Indian grammarian (c. 520460 BC, but estimates range from the 7th or even earlier as far back as the 17th century BCE, to 4th centuries BCE pprior to the evolution of Classical Sanskrit) who lived in Gandhara and is most famous for his grammar of Sanskrit, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology in the text Ashtadhyayi.

Panini's grammar of Sanskrit is highly systematised and technical. Inherent in its analytic approach are the concepts of the phoneme, the morpheme and the root, only recognized by Western linguists some two millennia later. His rules have a reputation for perfection — that is, they are claimed to describe Sanskrit morphology fully, without any redundancy. A consequence of his grammar's focus on brevity is its highly unintuitive structure, reminiscent of contemporary "machine language" (as opposed to "human readable" programming languages). His sophisticated logical rules and technique have been widely influential in ancient and modern linguistics.

It was Panini who first enunciated  that grammatically, Sanskrit has eight cases for the noun (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, instrumental, vocative, and locative), three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), three numbers for verbs, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives (singular, dual, and plural), and three voices for the verb (active, middle, and passive). The language is very highly inflected. The ancient Indian scripts known as the Brahmi and Kharosthi alphabets have been employed to record Sanskrit. Both Brahmi and Kharosthi are thought to be of Semitic origin. The Devanagari characters, which are descended from Brahmi, also were, and still are, used for writing Sanskrit. The comparison of Sanskrit with the languages of Europe, especially by Sir William Jones, opened the way to the scientific study of language in Europe in the 18th cent. In fact it would not be too far fetched to say that the study of Grammar began in Europe after the discovery of Sanskrit. We doff our hats to this extraordinarily  brilliant individual who achieved so much with so little nearly 4 millennia ago.

Panini, and the later Indian linguist Bhartrihari, may have had a significant influence on many of the foundational ideas proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure, professor of Sanskrit, who is widely considered the father of modern structural linguistics.

 

References

Books:
 

  1. G Cardona, Panini : a survey of research (Paris, 1976).

  2. G,Cardona, Panini;His work and its traditions,(New Delhi, 1997)

  3. G G Joseph, The crest of the peacock (London, 1991).

Articles:
 

  1. P Z Ingerman, 'Panini-Backus form' suggested, Communications of the ACM 10 (3)(1967), 137.

 

 

 

From Wikipedia

Pa?ini (??????) (IPA [p????n??]) was an ancient Indian grammarian (c. 520460 BC, but estimates range from the 7th to 4th centuries BC) who lived in Gandhara and is most famous for his grammar of Sanskrit, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology in the text A??adhyayi.

Pa?ini's grammar of Sanskrit is highly systematised and technical. Inherent in its analytic approach are the concepts of the phoneme, the morpheme and the root, only recognized by Western linguists some two millennia later. His rules have a reputation for perfection — that is, they are claimed to describe Sanskrit morphology fully, without any redundancy. A consequence of his grammar's focus on brevity is its highly unintuitive structure, reminiscent of contemporary "machine language" (as opposed to "human readable" programming languages). His sophisticated logical rules and technique have been widely influential in ancient and modern linguistics.

Pa?ini, and the later Indian linguist Bhartrihari, may have had a significant influence on many of the foundational ideas proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure, professor of Sanskrit, who is widely considered the father of modern structural linguistics.

Pa?ini uses metarules, transformations, and recursions with such sophistication that his grammar has the computing power equivalent to a Turing machine. In this sense Panini may be considered the father of computing machines. His work was the forerunner to modern formal language theory, and a precursor to computing. Paninian grammars have also been devised for non-Sanskrit languages. The Backus-Naur form (Panini-Backus form) or BNF grammars used to describe modern programming languages have significant similarities to Pa?ini's grammar rules.

Nothing definite is known about Pa?ini's life, not even the century he lived in (he lived almost certainly after the 7th and before the 3rd century BC). According to tradition, he was born in Shalatula, near the Indus river in Pakistan, and lived circa 520–460 BC, a time probably falling within the late Vedic period: he notes a few special rules, marked chandasi ("in the hymns") to account for forms in the Vedic scriptures that had fallen out of use in the spoken language of his time, indicating that Vedic Sanskrit was already archaic, but still a comprehensible dialect.

Deities referred to in his work include Vasudeva (4.3.98). The concept of Dharma is attested in his example sentence (4.4.41) dharmam carati "he observes the law".

An important hint for the dating of Panini is the occurrence of the word yavan (meaning Greek) in 4.1.49, where the formation of the word yavanani (either "Greek woman", or "Greek script") is discussed. There would have been no first-hand knowledge of Greeks in Gandhara before the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 330s BC, but it is likely that the name was known via Old Persian yauna, so that Pa?ini may well have lived as early as the time of Darius the Great (ruled 521 BC485/6 BC).

It is not known whether Panini himself used writing for the composition of his work. Some people argue that a work of such complexity would have been impossible to compile without written notes, while others allow for the possibility that he might have composed it with the help of a group of students whose memories served him as 'notepads'. Writing first appears in India in the form of the Brahmi script from around the 6th century BC, so it is also possible that he would have known and used a writing system. (some infer he must have used the Kharoshti script  but no such manuscripts have been found)

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