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German initiative on Samskrtam dictionary:
“The extent of its indebtedness to the great seven-volumed Sanskrit-German Thesaurus compiled by the two eminent German Sanskritists, Otto Bohtlingk and Rudolf Roth, with the assistance of many distinguished scholars, such as Professor A.Weber of Berlin then only completed as far as the beginning of the letter ^ v was fully acknowledged by me in the Preface.”
The underlying motive of westerners’ interest in Samskrtam:
“I am only the second occupant of the Boden Chair, and that its Founder, Colonel Boden, stated most explicitly in his will (dated August 15, 1811) that the special object of his munificent bequest was to promote the translation of the Scriptures into Sanskrit, so as ' to enable his countrymen to proceed in the conversion of the natives of India to the Christian Religion.”
The root or route of languages:
“The Aryan languages (of which Sanskrit is the eldest sister, and English one of the youngest) proceeded from a common but nameless and unknown parent, whose very home somewhere in Central Asia cannot be fixed with absolute certainty, though the locality may conjecturally be placed somewhere in the region of Bactria (Balkh) and Sogdiana, or not far from Bokhara and the first course of the river Oxus. From this centre radiated, as it were, eight principal lines of speech each taking its own course and expanding in its own way namely
the two Asiatic lines :
(A) the Indian comprising Sanskrit, the various ancient Prakrits, including the Prakrit of the Inscriptions, the Pali of the Buddhist sacred Canon, the Ardha-Magadhi of the Jains, and the modern Prakrits or vernacular languages of the Hindus, such as Hindi, MarathT, Gujarat!, Bengali, Oriya &c.
(B) the Iranian comprising the Avesta language commonly called Zand or Zend', old Persian or Akhaemenian, Pahlavl, modern Persian, and, in connexion with these, Armenian and Pushtu ; and then
the six European lines :
(A) Keltic, (B) Hellenic, (C) Italic, (D) Teutonic, (E) Slavonic, (F) Lithuanian, each branching into various sub-lines as exhibited in the present languages of Europe.
It is this Asiatic and European ramification of the Aryan languages which has led to their being called Indo-European.”
“The name Semitic or Shemitic is applied to Assyrian, Hebrew, Aramaic (or Aramaean), Arabic, and Himyaritic, because in the tenth chapter of Genesis, Shem is represented as father of the principal nations speaking these languages e.g. in Assur (Assyria), Aram (Syria), and of Arphaxad, grandfather of Eber, from whom came the Hebrews or Trans-Euphratian race, the name Hebrew coming from^-e, and really meaning 'one who lives beyond (a river)' and Joktan, the father of many of the tribes inhabiting South Arabia. It is usual, too, to reckon among Semitic races the people of Abyssinia, whose sacred and literary language is the Ethiopic or Ge'ez, while their spoken dialects are Tigri for the north and north-east, and Amharic for the centre and south, all presenting affinities with the ancient Himyaritic Arabic of South Arabia (Yaman). Hence, speaking generally, we may classify Semitic languages under the two heads of: i. 'North Semitic,' comprising Assyrian, Hebrew, and Aramaic; South Semitic," comprising Arabic, Himyaritic, and Ethiopic.”
(The quotations are from the preface to Monier-William’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary.)