Sanskrit (English: ; Sanskrit: संस्कृतम्, romanized: saṃskṛtam, IPA: [ˈsɐ̃skr̩tɐm] (listen)) is a language of ancient India with a 3,500-year history. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions.Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language. As one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Luwian, Old Avestan and many other extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. It traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest-known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called Classical Sanskrit emerged in the mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not necessarily Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous, modern, North Indian, subcontinental daughter languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Nepali.The body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, music, drama, scientific, technical and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity, rigour and fidelity. The earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada (Chittorgarh). Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts. Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be widely used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants.
Of or pertaining to the Tamils, or to their language.
One of a Dravidian race of men native of Northern Ceylon and Southern India.
The Tamil language, the most important of the Dravidian languages. See Dravidian, a.
The ancient language of the Hindoos, long since obsolete in vernacular use, but preserved to the present day as the literary and sacred dialect of India. It is nearly allied to the Persian, and to the principal languages of Europe, classical and modern, and by its more perfect preservation of the roots and forms of the primitive language from which they are all descended, is a most important assistance in determining their history and relations. Cf. Prakrit, and Veda.
Of or pertaining to Sanskrit; written in Sanskrit; as, a Sanskrit dictionary or inscription.
a member of the mixed Dravidian and Caucasoid people of southern India and Sri Lanka
the Dravidian language spoken since prehistoric times by the Tamil people in southern India and Sri Lanka
of or relating to a speaker of the Tamil language or the language itself;
"the Tamil Tigers are fighting the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka"
"Tamil agglutinative phrases"
(Hinduism) an ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism); an official language of India although it is now used only for religious purposes
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