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Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples$
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Nicholas Sims-Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262856

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262856.001.0001

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Pāli and the languages of early Buddhism

Pāli and the languages of early Buddhism

(p.135) Pāli and the languages of early Buddhism
Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples

K. R. Norman

British Academy

This chapter goes back to the beginnings of Buddhism, in fact to that ancient problem: What language or languages did the Buddha speak? It discusses Old Indo-Aryan and the origin of the Prakrit dialects, the language(s) of the Buddha and the Jina, Old Māgadhī, the migration of the Buddhist teachings, the writing down of the canon in Ceylon, anomalous forms in the Theravādin canon, anomalous forms and the Aśokan inscriptions, and why anomalies remain in the Pāli canon.

Keywords:   Buddha, language, Old Indo-Aryan, Prakrit dialect, Jina, Old Māgadhī, Theravādin canon, Aśokan inscriptions, Pāli canon

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