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On Texts and Disciplines: How the Prātiśākhyas are Categorised by Their Commentaries

In: Philological Encounters
Author:
Giovanni Ciotti University of Hamburg

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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between texts and the scholarly categories to which they are attributed. In particular, it focuses on the Prātiśākhyas—grammars of the linguistic features characterising Vedic recitation—and on the position they occupy within the domains of Sanskritic scholarship according to the different views expressed by their commentaries. In fact, the Prātiśākhyas are variously presented as corresponding to specific canonical or non-canonical disciplines, or as piecing together parts of many disciplines. Because of the inherent stylistic difference between the Prātiśākhyas and their commentaries, Vedic scholars found in the latter ones the (textual) space where they could express their opinions regarding the scholarly frame of reference to which the Prātiśākhyas were said to belong.

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