A Novel Outlook for Studying ‘Vakyapadiya’: A Point of Departure
The ‘Vākyapadīya’ written by ancient Indian grammarian-philosopher Bhartṛhari in the fifth century CE ranks among the principal authoritative works in Sanskrit Grammar. This phenomenal text has been the topic of research for various grammarians, philosophers, philologists, and linguists since then. While various modern scholars have applied different methods to critically examine the theories stated in the ‘Vākyapadīya’, we propose a novel approach to study them i.e. psycholinguistics perspective. We present the theoretical discussion of the sentence-definitions given in the ‘Vākyapadīya’ along with the experimental design for each of them to analyze them from a cognitive point of view. This preliminary work is the first of its kind of work in Sanskrit grammar and can be considered as a bridge which brings two disciplines together i.e. Sanskrit grammar and the psycholinguistics. The approach in this paper is to provide a point of departure for the researchers working in these two fields. We also present guidelines for the experimental procedure and the methodology that is to be followed. We discuss the caveats of this work and suggest possible future work.
Keywords - Sanskrit, Vākyapadīya, Bhartṛhari, Eye-tracking, Language-comprehension.