This is an intermediate level course for Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the transregional, transcultural language of erudition in Ancient and Premodern South Asia. Its historical importance cannot be overstated in terms of both linguistic and cultural impact. Its systematic linguistic codification gave birth to the field of linguistics today and its rich diversity of expression led to its use as the language par excellence for the development of a wide range of fields including philosophy, grammar, art, ritual, mythology, statecraft, warfare, amorous play, prosody, aesthetics, drama, and much more. This course will be an intensive reading course diving deeply into a variety of genres of Sanskrit to enable students to be able to read different styles of Sanskrit comfortably. It will also include a spoken component to engage with the language more naturally and to enhance students’ fluency and comfort with reading.
This course is designed to give students novice-mid to novice-high proficiency in Sanskrit according to the NCSSFL-ACTFL foreign language proficiency standards. It introduces students to the language of Sanskrit, approaching it as a spoken as well as a written language. The course will include a weekly spoken Sanskrit session followed by reading and writing. Throughout this course, students will be covering fundamental grammatical concepts in order to develop a working knowledge of the most common forms and constructions one is likely to encounter in readings of the language. The course will mainly use handouts and external audio/video resources throughout the year, but will be largely based on Robert Goldman’s Devavāṇīpraveśikā. There will be frequent discussions about topics surrounding the language of Sanskrit, such as related linguistic, historical, and anthropological concerns.