Pali language

Middle Indo-Aryan language of the 5th century BC in which the most essential documents of Theravada Buddhism are written.

Linguistically, Pali is a homogenization of the northern Middle Indo-Aryan dialects in which the Buddha's teachings were orally recorded and transmitted. According to the tradition of Sri Lankan chronicles, the Theravada canon was first written down in the 1st century BC, though its oral transmission continued long afterward. No single script was ever developed for Pali; scribes used scripts of their own languages to copy canonical texts and commentaries (see Indic writing systems), and most extant palm-leaf manuscripts of Pali are of relatively recent date.

* * *

      sacred language of the Theravāda Buddhist canon, a Middle Indo-Aryan language of north Indian origin. On the whole, Pāli seems closely related to the Old Indo-Aryan Vedic and Sanskrit dialects but is apparently not directly descended from either of these.

      Pāli's use as a Buddhist canonical language came about because the Buddha opposed the use of Sanskrit, a learned language, as a vehicle for his teachings and encouraged his followers to use vernacular dialects. In time, his orally transmitted sayings spread through India to Ceylon (c. 3rd century BC), where they were written down in Pāli (1st century BC), a literary language of rather mixed vernacular origins. Pāli eventually became a revered, standard, and international tongue. The language and the Theravāda canon known as Tipiṭaka (Sanskrit: Tripiṭaka) were brought to Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Pāli died out as a literary language in mainland India in the 14th century but survived elsewhere until the 18th.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pali — (पाऴि, Pāḷi) heißt eigentlich „der Text“ oder „die Zeile“. Pali ist eine mittelindische Sprache, die aus dem Vedischen hervorgegangen und somit ein enger Verwandter des klassischen Sanskrit ist. Ob Pali jemals eine gesprochene Sprache war, gilt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pâli — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pali. Le pali, ou pāli, est une langue indo européenne de la famille indo aryenne parlée autrefois en Inde. Les premiers textes bouddhiques, tipitaka, sont conservés dans cette langue, qui est utilisée encore… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pali — For other uses, see Pali (disambiguation). Pali Pronunciation [paːli] Spoken in …   Wikipedia

  • Pāli Canon — The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pali language. [Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism , 2nd edn, Routledge, London, 2006, page 3] It is the only completely surviving early… …   Wikipedia

  • Pali literature —  body of Buddhist texts in the Pali language (Pāli language).       The word pali (literally, a “line”) came to be used in the sense of “text” in contrast to atthakatha (“saying what it means”), or “commentary” at some time during the early part… …   Universalium

  • Pali —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Pali (Hawaï).  Pāli Période depuis environ le IIIe siècle av. J.‑C. Région monde indien Typologie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • language — /lang gwij/, n. 1. a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition: the two languages of Belgium; a Bantu language; the French… …   Universalium

  • Pali literature — is concerned mainly with Theravada Buddhism, of which Pali is the traditional language. India Main article : Pali CanonThe earliest and most important Pali literature constitutes the Pali Canon, the scriptures of Theravada. These are mainly of… …   Wikipedia

  • Pali — /ˈpali/ (say pahlee) noun an ancient Prakrit language of India; the language of the Theravada Buddhist scriptures. {Sanskrit pālī bhāsā language of the sacred texts, from pālī line (of text) + bhāsā language} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Pali — 1690s, Middle High Indian dialect used in sacred Buddhist writings (the lingua franca of northern India from c. 6c. B.C.E. 2c. B.C.E.), from Skt. Pali, from pali bhasa language of the canonical books, from pali line, role, canon + bhasa language …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.