Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Sanskrit lexicography has a long history, yet it does not satisfactorily address diachronic development of word-senses. Traditional Sanskrit lexicographers show little interest in chronological matters, partly because, for a variety of linguistic and textual reasons, Sanskrit sources cannot be dated reliably. I argue here that the creation of a "natively digital" Sanskrit dictionary would improve the situation. An electronic dictionary that draws on a database of semantically categorized examples associated with chronological metadata would serve a double purpose. First, it would enable lexicographers to revise sense-ordering within entries on the basis of the latest discoveries about the relative chronology of the sources. Second, the dataset of semantically categorized examples of word in context could serve as the basis for further quantitative analysis, findings of which could, in turn, feed into the lexicographic database in an iterative loop. This iterative workflow holds the potential to generate new knowledge as to the chronology of the sources. Rather than passively relying on the dating proposed by philologists and historians, lexicographers could thus play an active role in dating their own sources, while reaping the benefits of new chronological knowledge in their dictionaries.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 105-129
Launched on MUSE
2018-08-28
Open Access
No
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