Sanskrit Phonetics and Devanāgarī literacy (a course).

Linguistics,Sanskrit -- 23 / September / 2013


I would like to invite you to the course on Sanskrit I will teach in this school year at Charles University, Prague. The course is an opportunity for everyone who wants to learn this language. The examples will come mostly from Yoga ancient texts and the course is very useful for those who practice Yoga or have any interest in the Sanskrit culture. It is also an opportunity to see and deal with a very scientific alphabet, in the same way which all the ancient grammars and scholars have been teaching it since thousand years. The course will be taught in English.


The course will start at October 3rd. Every Thursday at 9:10 am, in the room 102.

The address:

Charles University, Institute of Comparative Linguistics

Celetná 20

116 42 Prague 1


Here is the course description:


The aim of this course is to learn the Sanskrit phonetics in its two modalities, Vedic and Classic, by three traditional works: Taittirīya-prātiśākhya (Vedic), Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini (V B.C., Classic) and Harinamāmṛta Vyākaraṇa of Jīva Gosvāmi (XIV A.C., Classic). The course will make you learn the traditional alphabet as well. By the end of the course you will be able to recognize all the phonemes, write and pronounce exactly the Sanskrit words in the devanāgarī script.


Course plan:

1)    Sounds of Vedic Sanskrit and differences between Vedic and Classic.

2)    The characteristics and differences among the three works.

3)    Simple vowels, in its script (devanāgarī).

4)    Diphthongs.

5)    Consonants, first group.

6)    Consonants, second group.

7)    Consonants, third group.

8)    Consonants, fourth group.

9)    Consonants, fifth group.

10) The Pāṇini’s alphabet.

11)  Peculiarities of the Sanskrit sounds (Phonology and Indo-European studies).

12)  Some euphonic combinations (sandhi technician).



Written activities with one written test at the end.



MACDONELL, A.A. A Vedic Grammar for Students. Delhi, D.K.Printworld’s, 2005 (1916).

DAHIYA, Yajanveer. Panini as a Linguist: ideas and patterns. Delhi, Eastern Book, 1995.

WHITNEY, W.D. The Taittiriya Pratisakhya. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1973 (1871).

VASU, S.Ch. The Ashtadhyayi of Panini. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1997 (1891).

GOSVAMI, Jiva. Tr. Swami Purushatraya and Yadu Dasa. Harinamamrta Vyakarana. (non-published).

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