Sanskrit Computational Linguistics


   How a language communicates information has been intriguing the Indian thinkers for ages. This led to different theories of language analysis. Panini's grammar saw the culmination of these different thoughts into his monumental work -- ashtaadhyaayi. The modern age of Information theory has provided a new boost to the studies of ashtaadhyaayi from the perspective of information coding. Importance of ashtaadhyaayi is 3 fold.

   The first one, as is well known, as an almost exhaustive grammar for any natural language with meticulous details yet small enough to memorize.

   Many scholars of ashtaadhyaayi believe that though ashtaadhyaayi is written to describe the then prevalent Sanskrit language, it provides a grammatical framework which is general enough to analyze other languages as well. This makes the study of ashtaadhyaayi from the point of view of the concepts it uses for language analysis important.

   The third aspect of ashtaadhyaayi is its organisation. The set of less than 4000 sutras is similar to a computer program -- with one major difference -- the program being written for a human being and not for a machine -- thereby allowing non formal or semi formal sutras for whose interpretation/implementation, assistance from a human being is required.

   The Language Technologies wing of the Department of Sanskrit Studies carry out research in all these three related areas highlighting the importance of Ashtadhyaayi and the Sanskrit Grammatical Tradition in the present context.