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A PRAKRIT ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: प्राकृत _prākṛta_, Shauraseni : _pāuda_, Magadhi Prakrit : _pāua_) is any of several Middle Indo-Aryan languages .

The Ardhamagadhi ("half-Magadhi ") Prakrit, which was used extensively to write the scriptures of Jainism
Jainism
, is often considered to be the definitive form of Prakrit, while others are considered variants thereof. Prakrit
Prakrit
grammarians would give the full grammar of Ardhamagadhi first, and then define the other grammars with relation to it. For this reason, courses teaching "Prakrit" are often regarded as teaching Ardhamagadhi. Pali
Pali
, the Prakrit
Prakrit
used in Theravada Buddhism , tends to be treated as a special exception from the variants of the Ardhamagadhi language, as Classical Sanskrit
Sanskrit
grammars do not consider it as a Prakrit
Prakrit
_per se_, presumably for sectarian rather than linguistic reasons. Other Prakrits are reported in old historical sources but are not attested, such as Paiśācī .

Some modern scholars follow this classification by including all Middle Indo-Aryan languages under the rubric of "Prakrits", while others emphasise the independent development of these languages, often separated from the history of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
by wide divisions of caste , religion , and geography . While Prakrits were originally seen as "lower" forms of language, the influence they had on Sanskrit
Sanskrit
– allowing it to be more easily used by the common people, as well as "Sanskritization" of Prakrits – gave Prakrits progressively higher cultural cachet.

The word _Prakrit_ itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular ", in contrast to the literary and religious orthodoxy of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
. Alternatively, Prakrit
Prakrit
can be taken to mean "derived from an original," which means evolved in a natural way. Prakrit
Prakrit
is foremost a native term, designating "vernaculars" as opposed to Sanskrit.

The Prakrits became literary languages, generally patronised by ancient Indian kings identified with the Kshatriya Varna of Hinduism, but were regarded as illegitimate by the orthodoxy. The earliest extant usage of Prakrit
Prakrit
is the corpus of inscriptions of Emperor Aśoka (r. 268–232 BCE). Besides this, Prakrit
Prakrit
appears in literature in the form of Pāli Canon of Theravada
Theravada
Buddhists , Prakrit
Prakrit
canon of the Jains, Prakrit
Prakrit
grammars and in lyrics, plays and epics of the times. The various Prakrit
Prakrit
languages are associated with different patron dynasties, with different religions and different literary traditions, as well as different regions of the Indian subcontinent. Each Prakrit
Prakrit
represents a distinct tradition of literature within the history of India
India
and Nepal
Nepal
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Dramatic Prakrits * 3 List of Prakrits * 4 References * 5 Notes

ETYMOLOGY

The Sūryaprajñaptisūtra, an astronomical work dating to the 3rd or 4th century BC, written in Jain Prakrit
Prakrit
language (in Devanagari book script), c. 1500 AD.

According to the dictionary of Monier Monier-Williams (1819–1899), the most frequent meanings of the term _prakṛta_, from which the word "prakrit" is derived, are "original, natural, normal" and the term is derived from _prakṛti_, "making or placing before or at first, the original or natural form or condition of anything, original or primary substance". In linguistic terms, this is used in contrast with _saṃskṛta_, "refined".

DRAMATIC PRAKRITS

_ Pillar capital with addorsed lions and Prakrit
Prakrit
inscriptions in the Kharosthi
Kharosthi
script, British Museum
British Museum

Dramatic Prakrits were those that were devised specifically for use in dramas and other literature. Whenever dialogue was written in a Prakrit, the reader would also be provided with a Sanskrit translation. None of these Prakrits came into being as vernaculars, but some ended up being used as such when Sanskrit
Sanskrit
fell out of favor.

The phrase "Dramatic Prakrits " often refers to three most prominent of them: Shauraseni , Magadhi Prakrit , and Maharashtri Prakrit . However, there were a slew of other less commonly used Prakrits that also fall into this category. These include Pracya, Bahliki, Daksinatya, Sakari, Candali, Sabari, Abhiri, Dramili, and Odri. There was an astoundingly strict structure to the use of these different Prakrits in dramas. Characters each spoke a different Prakrit
Prakrit
based on their role and background; for example, Dramili was the language of "forest-dwellers", Sauraseni was spoken by "the heroine and her female friends", and Avanti was spoken by "cheats and rogues".

Maharashtri Prakrit, the ancestor of modern Marathi , is a particularly interesting case. Maharashtri was often used for poetry and as such, diverged from proper Sanskrit
Sanskrit
grammar mainly to fit the language to the meter of different styles of poetry. The new grammar stuck, which led to the unique flexibility of vowels lengths – amongst other anomalies – in Marathi.

Unusual Prakrits appear in the margins of the Prakritic world: Elu in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and Gāndhārī Prakrit
Prakrit
in Gandhara
Gandhara
and Central Asia
Central Asia
both have unusual phonological and grammatical changes not found in other Prakrits.

LIST OF PRAKRITS

* Ardhamagadhi * Dramili * Gandhari * Magadhi * Maharashtri * Paisaci * Shauraseni * Jain Maharashtri * Jain Shauraseni * Apabhraṃśa * Elu

REFERENCES

* National Institute of Prakrit
Prakrit
Study and Research. Shravanabelagola , Karnataka, India * Banerjee, Satya Ranjan. _The Eastern School of Prakrit
Prakrit
Grammarians : a linguistic study_. Calcutta: Vidyasagar Pustak Mandir, 1977. * Daniels, Peter T., _The World's Writing Systems_. USA: Oxford University Press , 1996. * Deshpande, Madhav, _ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
">

* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Middle Indo-Aryan". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ Daniels, p. 377 * ^ Woolner, Alfred C. (1928). _Introduction to Prakrit_. Delhi
Delhi
: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.,. p. 235. ISBN 9788120801899 . * ^ Woolner, pg. 6 * ^ Deshpande, pg. 33 * ^ Deshpande, pg. 35 * ^ Woolner, Alfred C. (1928). _Introduction to Prakrit_ (2 (reprint) ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-81-208-0189-9 . Retrieved 17 March 2011. * ^ Woolner, pg. v. * ^ Banerjee, pg. 19-21 * ^ Deshpande, pg. 36-37

* v * t * e

Indo-Iranian languages

INDO-ARYAN (INDIC)

OLD / MIDDLE

OLD

* Vedic

* Sanskrit
Sanskrit

* Classical * Buddhist

* Mitanni-Aryan

MIDDLE

* Abahatta * Apabhraṃśa

* Dramatic Prakrits

* Magadhi * Maharashtri * Shauraseni

* Elu * Gāndhārī * Paisaci * Pāli * Prakrit

MODERN

CENTRAL

HINDI

* Awadhi * Bagheli * Bhojpuri * Bombay Hindi * Braj Bhasha * Bundeli * Caribbean Hindi * Chhattisgarhi * Fiji Hindi * Haflong Hindi * Haryanvi * Kannauji * Khari Boli * Sansi Boli

URDU

* Dakhini
Dakhini
* Hyderabadi Urdu
Urdu
* Rekhta (early form)

OTHERS

* Danwar * Parya

EASTERN

BENGALI–ASSAMESE

* Assamese * Bengali * Bishnupriya Manipuri * Chakma * Chittagonian * Hajong * Kayort * Kharia Thar * Nahari * Rajbanshi * Rohingya * Sylheti

BIHARI

* Angika * Vajjika * Magahi * Maithili * Majhi * Sadri

ODIA

* Halbi * Odia

OTHERS

* Mal Paharia

NORTHERN

* Garhwali * Kumaoni

* Nepali

* Palpa

North western

* Aer * Dogri * Hindko * Kangri * Kutchi * Punjabi * Sindhi * Saraiki

SOUTHERN

MARATHI–KONKANI

* Konkani * Marathi

INSULAR

* Maldivian * Sinhala

WESTERN

BHIL

* Bhili * Gamit

RAJASTHANI

* Bagri * Goaria * Gojri * Jaipuri * Malvi * Marwari * Mewari * Dhatki (sociolect)

OTHERS

* Domari * Gujarati * Kalto * Khandeshi * Parkari Koli * Romani * Saurashtra

OTHERS

DARDIC

* Dameli * Domaaki * Gawar-Bati * Kalami * Kalash * Kashmiri * Khowar * Kohistani * Nangalami * Palula * Pashayi * Shina * Shumashti * Torwali * Ushoji

IRANIAN

OLD / MIDDLE

OLD

WESTERN

* Old Persian * Median

EASTERN

* _Avestan _ * _Old Scythian _

MIDDLE

WESTERN

* Middle Persian
Middle Persian
* _Parthian _

EASTERN

* _Bactrian _ * _Khwarezmian _

* Ossetic

* _Jassic _

* Sakan (Sacian) * Scythian * Sogdian

MODERN

NORTH

* _Old Azari _ * Balochi * Central Iran * Zoroastrian Dari * Fars * Gilaki * Gorani

* Kurdic

* Sorani * Kurmanji * Southern group

* Mazandarani * Semnani * Taleshi * Deilami * Tati * Zazaki

EASTERN

PAMIR

* Ishkashimi * Sanglechi * Wakhi * Munji * Yidgha * Vanji * Yazghulami * Shughni * Roshani * Khufi * Bartangi * Sarikoli

OTHERS

* Ossetian

* Digor * Iron

* Pashto

* Central Pashto * Northern Pashto * Southern Pashto * Wanetsi

* Yaghnobi * Ormuri * Parachi

WESTERN

SOUTH

* Persian

* Caucasian Tat * Dari * Tajik

* Luri

* Feyli * Bakhtiari * Laki * Kumzari

* Larestani * Bashkardi

OTHER INDO-IRANIAN LANGUAGES

NURISTANI

KAMKATA-VIRI

* Kamviri * Kata-vari * Mumviri

OTHERS

* Askunu * Kalasha-ala * Kamkata-viri * Tregami * Vasi-vari

_Italics_ indicate extinct languages .

* v * t * e

Major languages of South Asia

MAIN ARTICLES

* Languages of India
India

* list by number of speakers * scheduled

* Languages of Pakistan * Languages of Bangladesh * Languages of Bhutan
Languages of Bhutan
* Languages of the Maldives
Languages of the Maldives
* Languages of Nepal
Nepal
* Languages of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Contemporary languages

AUSTRONESIAN

* Sri Lankan Creole Malay

DRAVIDIAN

* Brahui * Jeseri * Kannada
Kannada
* Malayalam
Malayalam
* Tamil * Telugu * Tulu

INDO-ARYAN

* Angika * Assamese * Bhojpuri * Bengali * Chakma * Chittagonian * Dhivehi * Dogri * Gujarati * Hindi * Hindko * Kashmiri * Konkani * Kumaoni * Magahi * Mahal * Maithili * Marathi * Nepali * Odia * Punjabi * Sanskrit
Sanskrit
* Saraiki * Sindhi * Sinhala * Rajasthani language * Urdu
Urdu

IRANIAN

* Balochi * Pashto * Wakhi

ISOLATES

* Great Andamanese * Burushaski * Nihali * Kusunda

MON–KHMER

* Khasi * Nicobarese

MUNDA

* Ho * Korku * Mundari * Santali * Sora

ONGAN

* Önge * Jarawa

TIBETO-BURMAN

* Ao * Bodo * Dzongkha
Dzongkha
* Garo * Meithei * Mizo * Nepal
Nepal
Bhasa * Sikkimese * Tenyidie * Tibetan * Tripuri

EUROPEAN INFLUENCE

* English

* Indian English * Pakistani English * Sri Lankan English

* French * Portuguese

SCRIPTS

HISTORICAL

* Indus (Undeciphered) * Brahmi (Abugida) * Kharosthi
Kharosthi

BRAHMIC

* Devanagari
Devanagari
* Bengali * Gujarati * Gurmukhī * Malayalam
Malayalam
* Kannada
Kannada
* Odia * Ranjana * Sinhala * Tamil * Telugu

EUROPEAN

* Latin alphabet

ARABIC

* Arwi * Nastaʿlīq * Shahmukhi * Arabi Malayalam
Malayalam

Language activism

* Hela Havula * Bengali Language Movement * Sanskrit
Sanskrit
revival * Pure Tamil movement * Nepal
Nepal
Bhasa movement * Punjabi Language Movement * Urdu
Urdu
movement

AUTHORITY CONTROL

* GND : 4047050-7 * NDL : 00569186

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Prakrit
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