privacy policy

Introduction: Categories and Historical Overview


· Andrew Ollett University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, United States of America)


07/27 | 13:30-13:50 UTC+2/CEST


“Vernacular grammars” refers to grammars written in precolonial South Asia for languages other than Sanskrit and Tamil. This talk will give a brief overview of the history of the genre, starting from Prakrit grammar and proceeding to the cultivation of grammar in the Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam-speaking countries. One question we will try to address is why vernacular grammars never took hold in regions where the vernacular was an “Indo-Aryan” language. This talk will also introduce some of the key concepts used to compare vernacular forms with forms of other languages (usually Sanskrit) and to think about language difference, loosely corresponding to “homophones,” “cognates,” “loanwords,” and so on. It will also thematize the close connections between vernacular grammar and vernacular poetics.