Origin and development
EtymologyThe word 'Pali' is used as a name for the language of the Theravada canon. The word seems to have its origins in commentarial traditions, wherein the ''Pāli'' (in the sense of the line of original text quoted) was distinguished from the commentary or vernacular translation that followed it in the manuscript. suggests that its emergence was based on a misunderstanding of the compound ''pāli-bhāsa'', with ''pāli'' being interpreted as the name of a particular language. The name Pali does not appear in the canonical literature, and in commentary literature is sometimes substituted with ', meaning a string or lineage. This name seems to have emerged in As such, the name of the language has caused some debate among scholars of all ages; the spelling of the name also varies, being found with both long "ā" and short "a" , and also with either a
Geographic originThere is persistent confusion as to the relation of to the vernacular spoken in the ancient kingdom of , which was located around modern-day Bihār. Beginning in the Theravada commentaries, Pali was identified with ' ', the language of the kingdom of , and this was taken to also be the language that the Buddha used during his life. In the 19th century, the British Bhikkhu Bodhi, ''In the Buddha's Words.'' Wisdom Publications, 2005, page 10. There is no attested dialect of Middle Indo-Aryan with all the features of Pali. In the modern era, it has been possible to compare Pali with inscriptions known to be in Magadhi Prakrit, as well as other texts and grammars of that language. While none of the existing sources specifically document pre-Ashokan Magadhi, the available sources suggest that Pali is not equatable with that language. Modern scholars generally regard Pali to have originated from a western dialect, rather than an eastern one.Collins, Steven. "What Is Literature in Pali?" Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia, edited by Sheldon Pollock, University of California Press, 2003, pp. 649–688. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1ppqxk.19. Accessed 6 May 2020. Pali has some commonalities with both the western Ashokan Edicts at in Saurashtra, and the Central-Western Prakrit found in the eastern . These similarities lead scholars to associate Pali with this region of western India.Hirakawa, Akira. Groner, Paul. ''A History of Indian Buddhism: From Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna.'' 2007. p. 119 Nonetheless, Pali does retain some eastern features that have been referred to as ''Māgadhisms''. Pāḷi, as a , is different from more with regard to its dialectal base than the time of its origin. A number of its morphological and lexical features show that it is not a direct continuation of Sanskrit. Instead it descends from one or more dialects that were, despite many similarities, different from .
Early historyThe commentaries refer to the Pali language as " " or the "language of Magadha". This identification first appears in the commentaries, and may have been an attempt by Buddhists to associate themselves more closely with the However, only some of the Buddha's teachings were delivered in the historical territory of Scholars consider it likely that he taught in several closely related dialects of Middle Indo-Aryan, which had a high degree of mutual intelligibility. Theravada tradition, as recorded in chronicles like the Mahavamsa, states that the ''Tipitaka'' was first committed to writing during the first century BCE. This move away from the previous tradition of oral preservation is described as being motivated by threats to the ''Abhayagiri Vihara. This account is generally accepted by scholars, though there are indications that Pali had already begun to be recorded in writing by this date. By this point in its history, scholars consider it likely that Pali had already undergone some initial assimilation with brahmans used to identify themselves. In Sri Lanka, Pali is thought to have entered into a period of decline ending around the 4th or 5th century (as Sanskrit rose in prominence, and simultaneously, as Buddhism's adherents became a smaller portion of the subcontinent), but ultimately survived. The work of Buddhaghosa was largely responsible for its reemergence as an important scholarly language in Buddhist thought. The '' While literary evidence exists of Theravadins in mainland India surviving into the 13th Century, no Pali texts specifically attributable to this tradition have been recovered. Some texts (such as the The earliest inscriptions in Pali found in mainland Southeast Asia are from the first millennium CE, some possibly dating to as early as the 4th Century. Inscriptions are found in what are now Burma, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia and may have spread from southern India rather than Sri Lanka. By the 11th Century, a so-called "Pali renaissance" began in the vicinity of Mahavihara of Anuradhapura. This era was also characterized by the adoption of Sanskrit conventions and poetic forms (such as '' kavya'') that had not been features of earlier Pali literature.Gornall, Alastair, and Justin Henry. "Beautifully Moral: Cosmopolitan Issues in Medieval Pāli Literary Theory". Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, edited by Zoltán Biedermann and Alan Strathern, UCL Press, London, 2017, pp. 77–93. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1qnw8bs.9. Accessed 15 May 2020. This process began as early as the 5th Century, but intensified early in the second millennium as Pali texts on poetics and composition modeled on Sanskrit forms began to grow in popularity. One milestone of this period was the publication of the Subodhalankara during the 14th Century, a work attributed to Sangharakkhita Mahāsāmi and modeled on the Sanskrit Kavyadarsa. Despite an expansion of the number and influence of Mahavihara-derived monastics, this resurgence of Pali study resulted in no production of any new surviving literary works in Pali. During this era, correspondences between royal courts in Sri Lanka and mainland Southeast Asia were conducted in Pali, and grammars aimed at speakers of Sinhala, Burmese, and other languages were produced.Wijithadhamma, Ven. M. "Pali Grammar and Kingship in Medieval Sri Lanka". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, vol. 60, no. 2, 2015, pp. 49–58. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/44737021. Accessed 7 May 2020. The emergence of the term 'Pali' as the name of the language of the Theravada cannon also occurred during this era.
Manuscripts and inscriptionsWhile Pali is generally recognized as an ancient language, no epigraphical or manuscript evidence has survived from the earliest eras.Anālayo. "The Historical Value of the Pāli Discourses". Indo-Iranian Journal, vol. 55, no. 3, 2012, pp. 223–253. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24665100. Accessed 7 May 2020. The earliest samples of Pali discovered are inscriptions believed to date from 5th to 8th Century located in mainland Southeast Asia, specifically central Skilling, Peter. "Reflections on the Pali Literature of Siam". From Birch Bark to Digital Data: Recent Advances in Buddhist Manuscript Research: Papers Presented at the Conference Indic Buddhist Manuscripts: The State of the Field. Stanford, 15–19 June 2009, edited by Paul Harrison and Jens-Uwe Hartmann, 1st ed., Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Wien, 2014, pp. 347–366. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1vw0q4q.25. Accessed 7 May 2020. These inscriptions typically consist of short excerpts from the and non-canonical texts, and include several examples of the Ye dhamma hetu verse. Surprisingly, the oldest surviving Pali manuscript was discovered in It is in the form of four a transitional script deriving from the to scribe a fragment of the . The oldest known manuscripts from Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia date to the 13th-15th Century, with few surviving examples. Very few manuscripts older than 400 years have survived, and complete manuscripts of the four Nikayas are only available in examples from the 17th Century and later.
Early Western researchPali was first mentioned in Western literature in 's descriptions of his travels in the kingdom of Siam. An early grammar and dictionary was published by Methodist missionary Benjamin Clough in 1824, and an initial study published by Eugène Burnouf and in 1826 (''Essai Sur Le Pali, Ou Langue Sacree de La Presqu'ile Au-Dela Du Gange''). The first modern Pali-English dictionary was published by Robert Childers in 1872 and 1875.Gethin, R & Straube, M 2018, 'The Pali Text Society’s A Dictionary of Pāli', Bulletin of Chuo Academic Research Institute (Chuo Gakujutsu Kenkyūjo Kiyō), vol. 47, pp. 169–185. Following the foundation of the , English Pali studies grew rapidly and Childer's dictionary became outdated. Planning for a new dictionary began in the early 1900s, but delays (including the outbreak of World War I) meant that work was not completed until 1925. T. W. Rhys Davids in his book ''Buddhist India'', and in his book ''Pāli Literature and Language'', suggested that Pali may have originated as a or common language of culture among people who used differing dialects in North India, used at the time of the and employed by him. Another scholar states that at that time it was "a refined and elegant vernacular of all Aryan-speaking people". Modern scholarship has not arrived at a consensus on the issue; there are a variety of conflicting theories with supporters and detractors. After the death of the Buddha, Pali may have evolved among Buddhists out of the language of the Buddha as a new artificial language. R. C. Childers, who held to the theory that Pali was Old Magadhi, wrote: "Had Gautama never preached, it is unlikely that Magadhese would have been distinguished from the many other vernaculars of Hindustan, except perhaps by an inherent grace and strength which make it a sort of among the Prakrits."
Modern scholarshipAccording to K. R. Norman, differences between different texts within the canon suggest that it contains material from more than a single dialect. He also suggests it is likely that the viharas in North India had separate collections of material, preserved in the local dialect. In the early period it is likely that no degree of translation was necessary in communicating this material to other areas. Around the time of It is possible that a language quite close to the Pali of the canon emerged as a result of this process as a compromise of the various dialects in which the earliest material had been preserved, and this language functioned as a lingua franca among Eastern Buddhists from then on. Following this period, the language underwent a small degree of Sanskritisation (i.e., MIA bamhana > brahmana, tta > tva in some cases). A. K. Warder, the Pali language is a Prakrit language used in a region of .Warder, A. K. ''Indian Buddhism''. 2000. p. 284 Warder associates Pali with the Indian realm ('' '') of Avanti, where the was centered. Following the initial split in the , the Sthavira nikāya became influential in Western and while the branch became influential in Central and . Akira Hirakawa and Paul Groner also associate Pali with Western India and the Sthavira nikāya, citing the Saurashtran inscriptions, which are linguistically closest to the Pali language.
Emic views of PaliAlthough Sanskrit was said in the tradition to be the unchanging language spoken by the gods in which each word had an inherent significance, such views for any language was not shared in the early Buddhist traditions, in which words were only conventional and mutable signs. This view of language naturally extended to Pali and may have contributed to its usage (as an approximation or standardization of local Middle Indic dialects) in place of Sanskrit. However, by the time of the compilation of the Pali commentaries (4th or 5th century), Pali was described by the anonymous authors as the natural language, the root language of all beings. Comparable to mystic traditions of the West, Pali recitations were often thought to have a power (which could be attributed to their meaning, the character of the reciter, or the qualities of the language itself), and in the early strata of Buddhist literature we can already see Pali s used as charms, as, for example, against the bite of snakes. Many people in Theravada cultures still believe that taking a vow in Pali has a special significance, and, as one example of the supernatural power assigned to chanting in the language, the recitation of the vows of are believed to alleviate the pain of childbirth in Sri Lanka. In Thailand, the chanting of a portion of the is believed to be beneficial to the recently departed, and this ceremony routinely occupies as much as seven working days. There is nothing in the latter text that relates to this subject, and the origins of the custom are unclear.
Pali todayPali died out as a literary language in mainland India in the fourteenth century but survived elsewhere until the eighteenth. Today Pali is studied mainly to gain access to Buddhist scriptures, and is frequently chanted in a ritual context. The secular literature of Pali historical chronicles, medical texts, and inscriptions is also of great historical importance. The great centres of Pali learning remain in the Theravada nations of Southeast Asia: , , , and . Since the 19th century, various societies for the revival of Pali studies in India have promoted awareness of the language and its literature, including the founded by . In Europe, the has been a major force in promoting the study of Pali by Western scholars since its founding in 1881. Based in the United Kingdom, the society publishes romanized Pali editions, along with many English translations of these sources. In 1869, the first ''Pali Dictionary'' was published using the research of Robert Caesar Childers, one of the founding members of the Pali Text Society. It was the first Pali translated text in English and was published in 1872. Childers' dictionary later received the Volney Prize in 1876. The Pali Text Society was founded in part to compensate for the very low level of funds allocated to Indology in late 19th-century England and the rest of the UK; incongruously, the citizens of the UK were not nearly so robust in Sanskrit and Prakrit language studies as Germany, Russia, and even . Even without the inspiration of colonial holdings such as the former British occupation of Sri Lanka and Burma, institutions such as the have built up major collections of Pali manuscripts, and major traditions of Pali studies.
Pali literaturePali literature is usually divided into canonical and non-canonical or extra-canonical texts. Canonical texts include the whole of the or ''Tipitaka''. With the exception of three books placed in the Khuddaka Nikaya by only the Burmese tradition, these texts (consisting of the five Nikayas of the , the , and the books of the ) are traditionally accepted as containing the words of the Buddha and his immediate disciples by the Theravada tradition. Extra-canonical texts can be divided into several categories: * Commentaries ('' '') which record additional details and explanations regarding the contents of the Suttas. * Sub-commentaries ('' ṭīkā'') which explain and add contents to the commentaries * Chronicles ('' '') which relate the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as well as the origins of famous relics and shrines and the deeds of historical and mythical kings * Manuals and treatises, which include summaries of canonical books and compendia of teachings and techniques like the * manuals, which explain the contents of the Other types of texts present in Pali literature include works on grammar and poetics, medical texts, astrological and texts, cosmologies, and anthologies or collections of material from the canonical literature. While the majority of works in Pali are believed to have originated with the Sri Lankan tradition and then spread to other Theravada regions, some texts may have other origins. The Gandhari Prakrit. There are also a number of texts that are believed to have been composed in Pali in Sri Lanka, Thailand & Burma but were not widely circulated. This regional Pali literature is currently relatively little known, particularly in the Thai tradition, with many manuscripts never catalogued or published.
Relationship to other languages
Paiśācīis a largely unattested literary language of classical India that is mentioned in and Sanskrit grammars of antiquity. It is found grouped with the Prakrit languages, with which it shares some linguistic similarities, but was not considered a spoken language by the early grammarians because it was understood to have been purely a literary language. In works of Sanskrit poetics such as 's '' '', it is also known by the name of , an epithet which can be interpreted as 'dead language' (i.e., with no surviving speakers), or ''bhūta'' means past and ''bhāṣā'' means language i.e. 'a language spoken in the past'. Evidence which lends support to this interpretation is that literature in Paiśācī is fragmentary and extremely rare but may once have been common. The 13th-century Tibetan historian wrote that the were separated by choice of : the s used Prākrit, the Sarvāstivādins used Sanskrit, the Sthaviravādins used Paiśācī, and the Saṃmitīya used . This observation has led some scholars to theorize connections between Pali and Paiśācī; concluded that it may have been an Indo-Aryan language spoken by in South India, and Alfred Master noted a number of similarities between surviving fragments and Pali morphology.
Ardha-Magadhi PrakritArdhamagadhi Prakrit was a Middle Indo-Aryan language and a Dramatic Prakrit thought to have been spoken in modern-day Bihar & Eastern Uttar Pradesh and used in some early Buddhist and Jain drama. It was originally thought to be a predecessor of the vernacular Magadhi Prakrit, hence the name (literally "half-Magadhi"). Ardhamāgadhī was prominently used by Jain scholars and is preserved in the Jain Agamas. Ardhamagadhi Prakrit differs from later Magadhi Prakrit in similar ways to Pali, and was often believed to be connected with Pali on the basis of the belief that Pali recorded the speech of the Buddha in an early Magadhi dialect.
Magadhi PrakritMagadhi Prakrit was a Middle Indic language spoken in present-day Bihar, and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Its use later expanded southeast to include some regions of modern-day Bengal, Odisha, and Assam, and it was used in some Prakrit dramas to represent vernacular dialogue. Preserved examples of Magadhi Prakrit are from several centuries after the theorized lifetime of the Buddha, and include inscriptions attributed to Asoka Maurya. Differences observed between preserved examples of Magadhi Prakrit and Pali lead scholars to conclude that Pali represented a development of a northwestern dialect of Middle Indic, rather than being a continuation of a language spoken in the area of in the time of the Buddha.
LexiconNearly every word in Pāḷi has s in the other Middle Indo-Aryan languages, the s. The relationship to is less direct and more complicated; the Prakrits were descended from Old Indo-Aryan vernaculars. Historically, influence between Pali and Sanskrit has been felt in both directions. The Pali language's resemblance to Sanskrit is often exaggerated by comparing it to later Sanskrit compositions—which were written centuries after Sanskrit ceased to be a living language, and are influenced by developments in , including the direct borrowing of a portion of the Middle Indic lexicon; whereas, a good deal of later Pali technical terminology has been borrowed from the vocabulary of equivalent disciplines in Sanskrit, either directly or with certain phonological adaptations. Post-canonical Pali also possesses a few loan-words from local languages where Pali was used (e.g. Sri Lankans adding Sinhala words to Pali). These usages differentiate the Pali found in the from later compositions such as the Pali commentaries on the canon and folklore (e.g., commentaries on the ), and comparative study (and dating) of texts on the basis of such loan-words is now a specialized field unto itself. Pali was not exclusively used to convey the teachings of the Buddha, as can be deduced from the existence of a number of secular texts, such as books of medical science/instruction, in Pali. However, scholarly interest in the language has been focused upon religious and philosophical literature, because of the unique window it opens on one phase in the development of .
VowelsVowels may be divided into # ## pure vowels: ''a, ā'' ## sonant vowels: ''i, ī, u, ū'' ## diphthongs: ''e, o'' # ## vowels short by nature: ''a, i, u'' ## vowels long by nature: ''ā, ī, ū'' ## vowels of variable length: ''e, o'' Long and short vowels are only contrastive in open syllables; in closed syllables, all vowels are always short. Short and long e and o are in complementary distribution: the short variants occur only in closed syllables, the long variants occur only in open syllables. Short and long e and o are therefore not distinct phonemes. vowels ''e'' and ''o'' are long in an open syllable: at the end of a syllable as in e-tum̩เนตุํ 'to lead' at the end of a syllable as in [so-tum̩] โสตุํ 'to hear' vowels are short in a closed syllable: when followed by a consonant with which they make a syllable as in [upek-khā] 'indifference', [sot-thi] 'safety' For vowels ''ā, ī, ū'', ''e'' appears for ''a'' before double-consonance: : ''seyyā = sayyā'' 'bed' : ''pheggu = phaigu'' 'empty, worthless' The vowels ⟨i⟩ and ⟨u⟩ are lengthened in the flexional endings including: ''-īhi, -ūhi and -īsu'' A sound called ''anusvara, anusvāra'' (Skt.; Pali: ''Anusvara, niggahīta''), represented by the letter (ISO 15919) or (ALA-LC) in romanization, and by a raised dot in most traditional alphabets, originally marked the fact that the preceding vowel was nasalized. That is, , and represented , and . In many traditional pronunciations, however, the anusvāra is pronounced more strongly, like the velar nasal , so that these sounds are pronounced instead , and . However pronounced, never follows a long vowel; ā, ī and ū are converted to the corresponding short vowels when is added to a stem ending in a long vowel, e.g. becomes , not , becomes , not *. Changes of vowels due to the structure of the word Final vowels The final consonants of the Sanskrit words have been dropped in Pali and thus all the words end in a vowel or in a nasal vowel: ''kāntāt -> kantā 'from the loved one''; ''kāntāṃ -> kantaṃ 'the loved one'' The final vowels were usually weak in pronunciation and hence they were shortened: ''akārsit -> akāsi 'he did'.''
ConsonantsThe table below lists the consonants of Pali (using Thai script of the many other possible scripts). In bold is the transliteration of the letter in traditional romanization, and in square brackets its pronunciation transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA. Among the labial consonants, is Labiodental consonant, labiodental and the rest is Bilabial consonant, bilabial. Among the dental/alveolar consonants, the majority is dental but and are Alveolar consonant, alveolar. Of the sounds listed above only the three consonants in parentheses, ṅ, ḷ, and ḷh, are not distinct phonemes in Pali: ṅ only occurs before velar stops, while ḷ and ḷh are allophones of single ḍ and ḍh occurring between vowels. In Pali language, the consonants may be divided according to their strength or power of resistance. The strength decreases in the order of: ''mutes, sibilant, nasals, l, v, y, r'' When two consonants come together, they are subject to one of the following change: # they are assimilation (phonetics), assimilated to each other # they are first adapted and then assimilated to each other # they give rise to a new consonant group # they separated by the insertion of a vowel infix # they are sometimes interchanged by metathesis (linguistics), metathesis Aspirate consonants when one of the two consonants is the sibilant s, then the new group of consonants has the aspiration in the last consonant: ''as-ti (root: as) > atthi'' 'is' the sibilant s, followed by a nasal, is changed to h and then it is transposed after the nasal: ''akas-ma > akah-ma > akamha'' 'we did' Alternation between ''y'' and ''v'' Pali v appears for Skr. y. For instance, ''āvudha -> āyudha'' 'weapon'; ''kasāva -> kasāya'' 'dirt, sin'. After the svarabhakti-vowel I there appear v instead of y as in ''praṭyamsa -> pativimsa.'' Alternation between ''r'' and ''l'' Representation of ''r'' by ''l'' is very common in Pali, and in Pkr. it is the rule for Magadhi, although this substitution occurs sporadically also in other dialect. This, initially, in ''lūjjati -> rūjyate 'falls apart''; sometimes double forms with l and r occur in Skr.: ''lūkha -> lūksa, rūksa 'gross, bad''
MorphologyPali is a highly inflected language, in which almost every word contains, besides the root conveying the basic meaning, one or more affixes (usually suffixes) which modify the meaning in some way. Nouns are inflected for gender, number, and case; verbal inflections convey information about person, number, tense and mood.
Nominal inflectionPali nouns inflect for three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) and two numbers (singular and plural). The nouns also, in principle, display eight grammatical case, cases: nominative case, nominative or ''paccatta'' case, vocative case, vocative, accusative case, accusative or ''upayoga'' case, instrumental case, instrumental or ' case, dative case, dative or ''sampadāna'' case, ablative case, ablative, genitive case, genitive or ''sāmin'' case, and locative case, locative or ''bhumma'' case; however, in many instances, two or more of these cases are identical in form; this is especially true of the genitive and dative cases.
a-stemsa-stems, whose uninflected stem ends in short ''a'' (), are either masculine or neuter. The masculine and neuter forms differ only in the nominative, vocative, and accusative cases.
ā-stemsNouns ending in ā () are almost always feminine.
i-stems and u-stemsi-stems and u-stems are either masculine or neuter. The masculine and neuter forms differ only in the nominative and accusative cases. The vocative has the same form as the nominative.
Linguistic analysis of a Pali textFrom the opening of the Dhammapada: The three compounds in the first line literally mean: : "whose precursor is mind", "having mind as a fore-goer or leader" : "whose foremost member is mind", "having mind as chief" : "consisting of mind" or "made by mind" The literal meaning is therefore: "The Dharma (Buddhism)#Dharmas in Buddhist phenomenology, dharmas have mind as their leader, mind as their chief, are made of/by mind. If [someone] either speaks or acts with a corrupted mind, from that [cause] suffering goes after him, as the wheel [of a cart follows] the foot of a draught animal." A slightly freer translation by Acharya Buddharakkhita :Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. :If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him :like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
Conversion between Sanskrit and Pali formsPali and Sanskrit are very closely related and the common characteristics of Pali and Sanskrit were always easily recognized by those in India who were familiar with both. A large part of Pali and Sanskrit word-stems are identical in form, differing only in details of inflection. Technical terms from Sanskrit were converted into Pali by a set of conventional phonological transformations. These transformations mimicked a subset of the phonological developments that had occurred in Proto-Pali. Because of the prevalence of these transformations, it is not always possible to tell whether a given Pali word is a part of the old Prakrit lexicon, or a transformed borrowing from Sanskrit. The existence of a Sanskrit word regularly corresponding to a Pali word is not always secure evidence of the Pali etymology, since, in some cases, artificial Sanskrit words were created by back-formation from Prakrit words. The following phonological processes are not intended as an exhaustive description of the historical changes which produced Pali from its Old Indic ancestor, but rather are a summary of the most common phonological equations between Sanskrit and Pali, with no claim to completeness.
Vowels and diphthongs* Sanskrit ai and au always monophthongize to Pali e and o, respectively ::Examples: maitrī → mettā, auṣadha → osadha * Sanskrit āya, ayā and avā reduce to Pali ā ::Examples: katipayāhaṃ → katipāhaṃ, vaihāyasa → vehāsa, yāvagū → yāgu * Sanskrit aya and ava likewise often reduce to Pali e and o ::Examples: dhārayati → dhāreti, avatāra → otāra, bhavati → hoti * Sanskrit avi and ayū becomes Pali e (i.e. avi → ai → e) and o ::Examples: sthavira → thera, mayūra → mora * Sanskrit ṛ appears in Pali as a, i or u, often agreeing with the vowel in the following syllable. ṛ also sometimes becomes u after labial consonants. ::Examples: kṛta → kata, tṛṣṇa → taṇha, smṛti → sati, ṛṣi → isi, dṛṣṭi → diṭṭhi, ṛddhi → iddhi, ṛju → uju, spṛṣṭa → phuṭṭha, vṛddha → vuddha * Sanskrit long vowels are shortened before a sequence of two following consonants. ::Examples: kṣānti → khanti, rājya → rajja, īśvara → issara, tīrṇa → tiṇṇa, pūrva → pubba
Sound changes* The Sanskrit sibilants ś, ṣ, and s merge as Pali s ::Examples: śaraṇa → saraṇa, doṣa → dosa * The Sanskrit stops ḍ and ḍh become ḷ and ḷh between vowels (as in Vedic) ::Example: cakravāḍa → cakkavāḷa, virūḍha → virūḷha
=General rules= * Many Assimilation (linguistics), assimilations of one consonant to a neighboring consonant occurred in the development of Pali, producing a large number of Gemination, geminate (double) consonants. Since Aspiration (phonetics), aspiration of a geminate consonant is only phonetically detectable on the last consonant of a cluster, geminate kh, gh, ch, jh, ṭh, ḍh, th, dh, ph and bh appear as kkh, ggh, cch, jjh, ṭṭh, ḍḍh, tth, ddh, pph and bbh, not as ''khkh, ghgh'' etc. * When assimilation would produce a geminate consonant (or a sequence of unaspirated stop+aspirated stop) at the beginning of a word, the initial geminate is simplified to a single consonant. ::Examples: prāṇa → pāṇa (not ''ppāṇa''), sthavira → thera (not ''tthera''), dhyāna → jhāna (not ''jjhāna''), jñāti → ñāti (not ''ññāti'') * When assimilation would produce a sequence of three consonants in the middle of a word, geminates are simplified until there are only two consonants in sequence. ::Examples: uttrāsa → uttāsa (not ''utttāsa''), mantra → manta (not ''mantta''), indra → inda (not ''indda''), vandhya → vañjha (not ''vañjjha'') * The sequence vv resulting from assimilation changes to bb. ::Example: sarva → savva → sabba, pravrajati → pavvajati → pabbajati, divya → divva → dibba, nirvāṇa → nivvāṇa → nibbāna
=Total assimilation= Total assimilation, where one sound becomes identical to a neighboring sound, is of two types: progressive, where the assimilated sound becomes identical to the following sound; and regressive, where it becomes identical to the preceding sound.
Regressive assimilations * Internal visarga assimilates to a following voiceless stop or sibilant ::Examples: duḥkṛta → dukkata, duḥkha → dukkha, duḥprajña → duppañña, niḥkrodha (=niṣkrodha) → nikkodha, niḥpakva (=niṣpakva) → nippakka, niḥśoka → nissoka, niḥsattva → nissatta * In a sequence of two dissimilar Sanskrit stops, the first stop assimilates to the second stop ::Examples: vimukti → vimutti, dugdha → duddha, utpāda → uppāda, pudgala → puggala, udghoṣa → ugghosa, adbhuta → abbhuta, śabda → sadda * In a sequence of two dissimilar nasals, the first nasal assimilates to the second nasal ::Example: unmatta → ummatta, pradyumna → pajjunna * j assimilates to a following ñ (i.e., jñ becomes ññ) ::Examples: prajñā → paññā, jñāti → ñāti * The Sanskrit liquid consonants r and l assimilate to a following stop, nasal, sibilant, or v ::Examples: mārga → magga, karma → kamma, varṣa → vassa, kalpa → kappa, sarva → savva → sabba * r assimilates to a following l ::Examples: durlabha → dullabha, nirlopa → nillopa * d sometimes assimilates to a following v, producing vv → bb ::Examples: udvigna → uvvigga → ubbigga, dvādaśa → bārasa (beside dvādasa) * t and d may assimilate to a following s or y when a morpheme boundary intervenes ::Examples: ut+sava → ussava, ud+yāna → uyyāna
Progressive assimilations * Nasals sometimes assimilate to a preceding stop (in other cases epenthesis occurs) ::Examples: agni → aggi, ātman → atta, prāpnoti → pappoti, śaknoti → sakkoti * m assimilates to an initial sibilant ::Examples: smarati → sarati, smṛti → sati * Nasals assimilate to a preceding stop+sibilant cluster, which then develops in the same way as such clusters without following nasals ::Examples: tīkṣṇa → tikṣa → tikkha, lakṣmī → lakṣī →lakkhī * The Sanskrit liquid consonants r and l assimilate to a preceding stop, nasal, sibilant, or v ::Examples: prāṇa → pāṇa, grāma → gāma, śrāvaka → sāvaka, agra → agga, indra → inda, pravrajati → pavvajati → pabbajati, aśru → assu * y assimilates to preceding non-dental/retroflex stops or nasals ::Examples: cyavati → cavati, jyotiṣ → joti, rājya → rajja, matsya → macchya → maccha, lapsyate → lacchyate → lacchati, abhyāgata → abbhāgata, ākhyāti → akkhāti, saṁkhyā → saṅkhā (but also saṅkhyā), ramya → ramma * y assimilates to preceding non-initial v, producing vv → bb ::Example: divya → divva → dibba, veditavya → veditavva → veditabba, bhāvya → bhavva → bhabba * y and v assimilate to any preceding sibilant, producing ss ::Examples: paśyati → passati, śyena → sena, aśva → assa, īśvara → issara, kariṣyati → karissati, tasya → tassa, svāmin → sāmī * v sometimes assimilates to a preceding stop ::Examples: pakva → pakka, catvāri → cattāri, sattva → satta, dhvaja → dhaja
=Partial and mutual assimilation= * Sanskrit Sibilant consonant, sibilants before a stop assimilate to that stop, and if that stop is not already aspirated, it becomes aspirated; e.g. śc, st, ṣṭ and sp become cch, tth, ṭṭh and pph ::Examples: paścāt → pacchā, asti → atthi, stava → thava, śreṣṭha → seṭṭha, aṣṭa → aṭṭha, sparśa → phassa * In sibilant-stop-liquid sequences, the liquid is assimilated to the preceding consonant, and the cluster behaves like sibilant-stop sequences; e.g. str and ṣṭr become tth and ṭṭh ::Examples: śāstra → śasta → sattha, rāṣṭra → raṣṭa → raṭṭha * t and p become c before s, and the sibilant assimilates to the preceding sound as an aspirate (i.e., the sequences ts and ps become cch) ::Examples: vatsa → vaccha, apsaras → accharā * A sibilant assimilates to a preceding k as an aspirate (i.e., the sequence kṣ becomes kkh) ::Examples: bhikṣu → bhikkhu, kṣānti → khanti * Any dental or retroflex stop or nasal followed by y converts to the corresponding palatal sound, and the y assimilates to this new consonant, i.e. ty, thy, dy, dhy, ny become cc, cch, jj, jjh, ññ; likewise ṇy becomes ññ. Nasals preceding a stop that becomes palatal share this change. ::Examples: tyajati → cyajati → cajati, satya → sacya → sacca, mithyā → michyā → micchā, vidyā → vijyā → vijjā, madhya → majhya → majjha, anya → añya → añña, puṇya → puñya → puñña, vandhya → vañjhya → vañjjha → vañjha * The sequence mr becomes mb, via the epenthesis of a stop between the nasal and liquid, followed by assimilation of the liquid to the stop and subsequent simplification of the resulting geminate. ::Examples: āmra → ambra → amba, tāmra → tamba
EpenthesisAn Epenthesis, epenthetic vowel is sometimes inserted between certain consonant-sequences. As with ṛ, the vowel may be a, i, or u, depending on the influence of a neighboring consonant or of the vowel in the following syllable. i is often found near i, y, or palatal consonants; u is found near u, v, or labial consonants. * Sequences of stop + nasal are sometimes separated by a or u ::Example: ratna → ratana, padma → paduma (u influenced by labial m) * The sequence sn may become sin initially ::Examples: snāna → sināna, sneha → sineha * i may be inserted between a consonant and l ::Examples: kleśa → kilesa, glāna → gilāna, mlāyati → milāyati, ślāghati → silāghati * An epenthetic vowel may be inserted between an initial sibilant and r ::Example: śrī → sirī * The sequence ry generally becomes riy (i influenced by following y), but is still treated as a two-consonant sequence for the purposes of vowel-shortening ::Example: ārya → arya → ariya, sūrya → surya → suriya, vīrya → virya → viriya * a or i is inserted between r and h ::Example: arhati → arahati, garhā → garahā, barhiṣ → barihisa * There is sporadic epenthesis between other consonant sequences ::Examples: caitya → cetiya (not ''cecca''), vajra → vajira (not ''vajja'')
Other changes* Any Sanskrit sibilant before a nasal becomes a sequence of nasal followed by h, i.e. ṣṇ, sn and sm become ṇh, nh, and mh ::Examples: tṛṣṇa → taṇha, uṣṇīṣa → uṇhīsa, asmi → amhi * The sequence śn becomes ñh, due to assimilation of the n to the preceding palatal sibilant ::Example: praśna → praśña → pañha * The sequences hy and hv undergo Metathesis (linguistics), metathesis ::Examples: jihvā → jivhā, gṛhya → gayha, guhya → guyha * h undergoes metathesis with a following nasal ::Example: gṛhṇāti → gaṇhāti * y is geminated between e and a vowel ::Examples: śreyas → seyya, Maitreya → Metteyya * Voiced aspirates such as bh and gh on rare occasions become h ::Examples: bhavati → hoti, -ebhiṣ → -ehi, laghu → lahu * Dental and retroflex sounds sporadically change into one another :: Examples: jñāna → ñāṇa (not ''ñāna''), dahati → ḍahati (beside Pali dahati) nīḍa → nīla (not ''nīḷa''), sthāna → ṭhāna (not ''thāna''), duḥkṛta → dukkaṭa (beside Pali dukkata)
ExceptionsThere are several notable exceptions to the rules above; many of them are common Prakrit words rather than borrowings from Sanskrit. * ārya → ayya (beside ariya) * guru → garu (adj.) (beside guru (n.)) * puruṣa → purisa (not ''purusa'') * vṛkṣa → rukṣa → rukkha (not ''vakkha'')
Alphabet with diacriticsEmperor erected a number of pillars with his edicts in at least three regional Prakrit languages in Brahmi script, all of which are quite similar to Pali. Historically, the first written record of the Pali canon is believed to have been composed in Sri Lanka, based on a prior oral tradition. According to the Mahavamsa (the chronicle of Sri Lanka), due to a major famine in the country Buddhist monks wrote down the Pali canon during the time of King Vattagamini in 100 BCE. Bilingual coins containing Pali written in the Kharosthi script and Greek writing were used by James Prinsep to decipher the Kharosthi abugida.Dias, Malini, and Das Miriyagalla. "Brahmi Script in Relation to Mesopotamian Cuneiform". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, vol. 53, 2007, pp. 91–108. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23731201. This script became particularly significant for the study of early Buddhism following the discovery of the Gandharan Buddhist texts. The transmission of written Pali has retained a universal system of alphabetic values, but has expressed those values in a variety of different scripts. In Sri Lanka, Pali texts were recorded in Sinhala script. Other local scripts, most prominently Khmer script, Khmer, Burmese script, Burmese, and in modern times Thai alphabet, Thai (since 1893), Devanāgarī and Mon script (Mon State, Burma) have been used to record Pali. Since the 19th century, Pali has also been written in the Roman script. An alternate scheme devised by Frans Velthuis, called the Velthuis scheme (see #Text in ASCII, § Text in ASCII) allows for typing without diacritics using plain ASCII methods, but is arguably less readable than the standard International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, IAST system, which uses diacritical marks. The Pali alphabetical order is as follows: * a ā i ī u ū e o ṃ k kh g gh ṅ c ch j jh ñ ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ t th d dh n p ph b bh m y r l ḷ v s h ḷh, although a single sound, is written with ligature of ḷ and h.
Transliteration on computersThere are several fonts to use for Pali transliteration. However, older ASCII fonts such as Leedsbit PaliTranslit, Times_Norman, Times_CSX+, Skt Times, Vri RomanPali CN/CB etc., are not recommendable, they are Deprecation, deprecated, since they are not compatible with one another, and are technically out of date. Instead, fonts based on the Unicode standard are recommended. However, not all Unicode fonts contain the necessary characters. To properly display all the diacritic marks used for romanized Pali (or for that matter, Sanskrit), a Unicode font must contain the following character ranges: :* Basic Latin: U+0000 – U+007F :* Latin-1 Supplement: U+0080 – U+00FF :* Latin Extended-A: U+0100 – U+017F :* Latin Extended-B: U+0180 – U+024F :* Latin Extended Additional: U+1E00 – U+1EFF Some Unicode fonts freely available for typesetting Romanized Pali are as follows: :
Text in ASCIIThe Devanagari transliteration#Velthuis, Velthuis scheme was originally developed in 1991 by Frans Velthuis for use with his "devnag" Devanāgarī font, designed for the TeX typesetting system. This system of representing Pali diacritical marks has been used in some websites and discussion lists. However, as the Web itself and email software slowly evolve towards the Unicode encoding standard, this system has become almost unnecessary and obsolete. The following table compares various conventional renderings and shortcut key assignments:
See also* Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit
General sources* See entries for "Pali" (written by of the Pali Text Society) and "India—Buddhism" in ''The Concise Encyclopedia of Language and Religion'' (Sawyer ed.), * * *
Further reading* American National Standards Institute. (1979). ''American National Standard system for the romanization of Lao, Khmer, and Pali''. New York: The institute. * * Perniola, V. (1997). ''Pali Grammar'', Oxford, The Pali Text Society. * Steven Collins (Buddhist studies scholar), Collins, Steven (2006). ''A Pali Grammar for Students''. Silkworm Press. * Gupta, K. M. (2006). ''Linguistic approach to meaning in Pali''. New Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan. * Hazra, K. L. (1994). ''Pāli language and literature: a systematic survey and historical study''. Emerging perceptions in Buddhist studies, no. 4–5. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld. * Müller, E. (2003). ''The Pali language: a simplified grammar''. Trubner's collection of simplified grammars. London: Trubner. * Russell Webb (ed.) ''An Analysis of the Pali Canon'', Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy; 1975, 1991 (see http://www.bps.lk/reference.asp) * Soothill, W. E., & Hodous, L. (1937). ''A dictionary of Chinese Buddhist terms: with Sanskrit and English equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali index''. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. * Bhikkhu Nanamoli. ''A Pāli-English Glossary of Buddhist technical terms''. * Mahathera Buddhadatta (1998). ''Concise Pāli-English Dictionary. Quickly find the meaning of a word, without the detailed grammatical and contextual analysis.'' * Wallis, Glenn (2011). ''Buddhavacana, a Pali reader'' (PDF eBook). . * Lynn Martineau (1998). ''Pāli Workbook Pāli Vocabulary from the 10-day Vipassana Course of S. N. Goenka''. .