Prākrit languages


Prākrit languages

      (Sanskrit prākṛta: “natural, usual, vulgar”), Middle Indo-Aryan languages that began as vernacular dialects and eventually developed distinct literary styles. These dialects were often distinguished by regional names, e.g., Śaurasenī, Māgadhī, Mahārāṣṭrī.

      Some scholars restrict the Prākrits to the languages used by Hindu and Jain writers; others include the Buddhist languages, such as Pāli and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, and the inscriptional Prākrits. Other Prākrits include the Ardhamāgadhī of the Jain faith and Paiśācī, known through grammarians' statements. The modern languages of India developed from the Prākrits, of which the Apabhraṃśa language (q.v.) was perhaps the latest stage.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Prakrit — [prä′krit] n. [< Sans prākṛta, natural, simple, vulgar < pra (for IE base see FOR1), before + kṛ, to do, make: cf. SANSKRIT] any of several vernacular, non Sanskrit Indic languages used in ancient India …   English World dictionary

  • Prakrit — noun Etymology: Sanskrit prākṛta, from prākṛta natural, vulgar Date: 1766 any or all of the ancient Indo Aryan languages or dialects other than Sanskrit see Indo European languages table …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Prakrit — Prakritic, adj. /prah krit, kreet/, n. any of the vernacular Indic languages of the ancient and medieval periods, as distinguished from Sanskrit. [1780 90; < Skt prakrta, deriv. of prakrti; see PRAKRITI] * * * …   Universalium

  • Prakrit — noun A broad family of the Indic languages and dialects spoken in ancient India …   Wiktionary


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