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Samskrtm Or Sanskrit  RSS feed

 
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Hello everyone, today I have something for you all
I am presenting an introductory view of a language originated from
India
You will find relevant information regarding it,here:
Wikipedia.org/wiki/sanskrit

And what role it can play in computer field here:
http://m.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/where-sanskrit-meets-computer-science/article7061379.ece

Moderators are free to move the post wherever it is suitable

I will love if someone will show interest in this
 
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It seems to be about Natural Language Processing. It is kind of interesting, but for people who don't know your language it doesn't mean much. "Two different words may denote an object, but you can’t use them interchangeably, for the functional aspect is what matters. For example you can’t replace ‘Agni’ with ‘Vahni,’ for ‘Agni’ has its own componential meaning. " What prevents them from being interchangeable? Is it really different from other languages in that regard?
 
Sachin Tripathi
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Hello,what he really meant by that
could only be told by him.
In my views
Actually Agni and Vahni both means fire

Agni-is personified and deified Agni as the sacrificial fire,

While
Vahni-just an ordinary fire
 
Sheriff
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So those two words appear to "denote the same object", but in fact they have different meanings. There's nothing unusual about that, it happens all the time in many, probably all, languages.

It may be that Sanskrit has less of the messy features of most human languages, but that's probably because it doesn't currently have any native speakers to insert new ambiguities. And those ambiguities which were already there, they can be ignored or explained away by people who are determined to demonstrate its purity. It takes a lot of hand-waving and obfuscating but the article you linked to is full of that.
 
Sachin Tripathi
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Have a look at it,There was a paper by Rick Briggs, a NASA researcher, published in the spring issue of Artificial Intelligence magazine in 1985 (Volume 6 Number 1), entitled ‘Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence’.
 
Sachin Tripathi
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Trying to explain Rick's work:
A perfect natural language must have these characteristics.
A statement should be easy to break down into a semantic net or an array of semantic data. (He referred to the array as series of triplets.)
It should be easy to compile a natural language statement from the data array. It should be human readable and comprehensible.
The statements coming out should be about the same as the ones going in. It shouldn’t sound weird, nor should it lose or gain information.
Deviations if any should be minimum.
Sanskrit, as it turns out, does all of that. It has an extremely logical structure. It’s grammar rules allow a kind of precision unmatched by other languages. It has a near unchanging syntax.
The computer readable data representation of a Sanskrit statement can be obtained by simply placing the individual words of the sentence in an array. This is aided by the fact that word order simply makes no difference in Sanskrit.
That very sentence can be reconstructed by putting together the contents of the array.
The language is extremely concise. It has perhaps the highest information to word count ratio. There are no redundancies.
 
Sachin Tripathi
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No one is determined to prove the purity of its
But it is better than many languages,in many aspects(including latin)
 
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Hmm. I'm a little sceptical. I didn't really understand the point of the article, and I don't know Sanskrit, but I have heard similar arguments about the uniquely "logical" structure of a language applied to other languages like Latin, Greek or Arabic in the past. I think this is partly due to the high cultural status of some languages, especially those that have been the vehicle for religious texts or other high value cultural traditions. For example, in the 19th and 20th centuries, British classicists would praise the virtues of Latin for training the mind to work in a logical fashion. I rather doubt that anybody ever produced any evidence to confirm that assumption, however, and many of our modern politicians learned Classics in school but seem utterly incapable of rational thought.

So as a highly inflected Indo-European language of a sophisticated culture, I'm sure Sanskrit has lots of interesting features that might fit into a particular way of analysing natural language for computers, but I don't see why similar arguments would not apply to other languages with similar features.

For example, here's Wikipedia's summary of the key features of Sanskrit grammer:

Wikipedia wrote:
Sanskrit verbs are categorized into ten classes, which can be conjugated to form the present, imperfect, imperative, optative, perfect, aorist, future, and conditional moods and tenses. Before Classical Sanskrit, older forms also included a subjunctive mood. Each conjugational ending conveys person, number, and voice.

Nouns are highly inflected, including three grammatical genders, three numbers, and eight cases. Nominal compounds are common, and can include over 10 word stems.

Word order is free, though there is a strong tendency toward subject–object–verb, the original system of Vedic prose.


Many ancient IE languages e.g. Ancient Greek had similar verb conjugations and moods etc, although these systems have often become simplified over the centuries/millennia, as in Spanish or English (and who needs 10 classes of verbs in any case?). Verb endings convey person, number and voice in pretty much all the inflected languages I've seen (Latin, Greek, Russian, Arabic etc) - that's what it means to have an inflected language in the first place. Many IE languages have three genders - German, Latin, Russian etc - and there may even be distinctions between the declension (grammatical case endings) for animate or inanimate nouns, as in Russian. If you have a highly inflected language that encodes the grammatical function of a word in its structure, then of course word order is less important, whether the language is Sanskrit, Latin or Russian. By contrast, English has no case endings on nouns, so it has to rely on word order to achieve the same goal ("man bites dog" vs. "dog bites man"). Finally, anybody who's learned German can attest to the widespread use of compound nouns with multiple word stems in a modern Indo-European language.

Of course, one advantage of Sanskrit is that it is effectively frozen and is not subject to the kind of messy variations that make it hard to define a "canonical" version of a modern language like English. On the other hand, the grammatical complexity might be seen as a disadvantage. All languages have to find ways to indicate relationships between individual words/concepts - agency, time etc - so you could choose e.g. modern Chinese as the ideal language for computer analysis, because it does all this without the need for complex grammatical inflections or distinctions between verb mood that might be a challenge to modern interpretation. For all I know, there might be great reasons for choosing Navaho or Swahili (which has very regular grammar) as your "ideal" language.

It seems that depending on your own cultural bias, you can make similar arguments for many languages, all of which offer different ways of solving the fundamental problem of expressing human thought in serial form.

PS: You might be interested in head-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG) as one approach to representing the underlying grammatical relationships in a sentence.
 
Sachin Tripathi
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Hello Chris,
I am feeling short of facts to debate with you over this topic
As I had just started studying Sanskrit,don't have much knowledge about it still.Yes I admit I was little biased towards Sanskrit,for your above stated reasons
But I feel Sanskrit needs people like us to improve and make it better
My sole purpose for posting on such a topic to attract you all to take interest in improving it and refining it into a better language
 
chris webster
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Good luck learning Sanskrit! I think learning any language is a fascinating and enriching experience, even if it's also quite a challenge.
 
Paul Clapham
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Sachin Tripathi wrote:But I feel Sanskrit needs people like us to improve and make it better
My sole purpose for posting on such a topic to attract you all to take interest in improving it and refining it into a better language



That seems like a strange motivation to me. Imagine if I said I was interested in learning Finnish so that I could help to improve it and refine it! The Finns would be, let's say, unimpressed by that.
 
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I wish Map was here to reply.

But anyways, Sanskrit is dead language like lot of other ancient languages.

You must have heard this saying, "देखो किस्मत का खेल, पढ़े लिखे फारसी और बेचे तेल" (see misfortune of the person, learned Persian and still selling low profit things).

There was a time when Persian language was also superior to all languages.

Language is often decided by Masters :-|

And more over, its money which drives a language.
People learn, speak the language that makes them to make/earn money.

A diamond is of no use, when you need food.
 
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R K Singh wrote:Sanskrit is dead language like lot of other ancient languages

Well it is not completely dead, according to 2001 census more than 14K people had Sanskrit as their spoken language in India.
This is a very very small number against the population.
I dont know the recent numbers, but that might have been lessened in last 14 years.

I think you are probably right about the money thing.
When people know they are not going to get extra ordinary income by mastering Sanskrit, they dont invest time and money in this.

Being the sacred language of Hinduism, I have high regards for Sanskrit.
I learnt it when at school (it was an optional subject) and still read/learn something when I get time which is out my respect for it.

I do not know whether it is going to be completely dead one day.
It is being taught in schools in my state(Odisha) and I am sure it is also being taught in other states too.
 
R K Singh
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I also learned it for 3 years (class 6, 7, and 8th), not optional, it was compulsory. And thats fine to know it and I wish that all state have it as mandatory subject.

But I dont know what to do with it except to read Ramayana or other ancient text. (just read, still cant understand much as not using day to day activities and need to look translation).

I doubt that it would be ever completely dead, as you need it for all occasions, from birth to marriage to new home to new car to death :-)

But it will be limited to Brahmins who would choose their profession to perform all rituals.
 
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