Cracking an Unsolvable Grammatical Enigma Dating Back 2,500 Years
Today, about 25,000 people speak Sanskrit. With the deciphered grammar of Panini, computers can be taught the grammar of this language.
This rule is an integral part of Panini’s grammatical system, called the “Language Machine”, for teaching the sacred language of Sanskrit.
Decoding allows you to extract and understand any Sanskrit word using Panini’s “language machine”. More importantly, it can now train computers, helping scientists unlock the secrets of ancient texts.
Panini was a respected linguist and grammarian of ancient India who lived sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BC. His “Language Machine” is considered one of the greatest intellectual achievements in history, and he actually developed the first standard Sanskrit grammar in Indian history.
The Panini system consists of 4000 very short bases. Each of them has three or four words. And although Panini himself constantly tried to explain everything, for 2500 years no one could decipher his works.
So what is the main problem of decoding? – The truth is that Sanskrit is a very complex language that has a “contradictory grammar” of millions of words, including certain forms of “mantras” and “guru”. Panini described a large rule to solve this problem, but scholars failed to interpret it correctly, leading to grammatically incorrect results when translating texts.
The problem, according to Rajpuphat, is that each new attempt at decipherment introduces new ideas into Panini’s grammar. and “the more we fiddle with Panini’s grammar, the more it eludes us.”
The researcher rejected previous decoding experiments, where scientists traditionally assumed that in the event of a conflict between two rules of equal strength, the variable that appears later in the set of rules wins. According to Rajpopat, the ancient Indian linguistic world had a different meaning, since a rule had to be chosen to apply to the right side of the word. Based on this interpretation, Rajpuphat found that Panini’s “language machine” produced grammatically correct words with almost no exceptions.