October 19, 2005

Sanskrit and the Evolution of Human Speech

Based on Sri Aurobindo's Linguistic Theory
Dr Sampadananda Mishra

This book presents Sri Aurobindo's views on linguistics in general and on Sanskrit in particular. It compares Sri Aurobindo's approach to the problem of the origin of human speech with those of other philologists. Sri Aurobindo has extensively studied some of the word-families of Sanskrit to find out the original mind-impressions that the root-sounds have within them. Discovering these, he shows how Sanskrit has preserved the original primitive structure of language and the system of simple root-sounds.
This book is a tribute to Sri Aurobindo as a linguist par excellence. Sri Aurobindo declared categorically, “my subject … is the origin, growth and development of human language as it is shown to us by the embryology of the language ordinarily called Sanskrit … I base my conclusions on the evidence of the Sanskrit language helped out by those parts of the Greek, Latin and Tamil tongues which are cognate to the word-families of Sanskrit, and by the origins of Aryan speech I mean, properly, the origin of human speech as used and developed by those who fashioned these word-families and their stocks and off-shoots.” According to him the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are used as seed-sounds which combine to form primitive root-sounds, based on which language is said to have evolved. — Anuradha Choudry

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