- Course Code:
- Course Not Running 2016/2017
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Full Year
This course is a follow-on course for students who have passed the one year introductory Pali course at SOAS or elsewhere. We shall read selections from canonical, commentarial and paracanonical literature, mainly in Roman script, but also beginning to use one of the other main scripts traditionally used for the writing of Pali. We shall also do supplementary grammar work and look at issues relating to Pali studies.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
The aim of this course is to:
- build on students previous study of Pali to enhance their knowledge of Pali language, literature and philology
- to bring students to the level of being able to use Pali independently for reading primary sources, or analysing secondary sources / use Pali for research
By the end of the course a student should be able to:
- attempt the translation of unseen Pali texts
- translate prepared Pali texts
- read Pali in both Roman script and one other script traditional used for writing or publishing Pali
- demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of Pali grammatical forms
- demonstrate an understanding of Pali philology and its application in Buddhist Studies
- discuss the content, history and transmission of Pali texts
- demonstrate an awareness of some of the processes involved in editing
- demonstrate an awareness of the current developments and limitations of scholarship in the field
Scope and syllabus
The scope of the the course is Pali literature and philology , reading published Pal texts from canonical, commentarial or paracanonical sources. the course brings students from basic level Pali to a level where they can begin to use Pali themselves for research purposes. It provides students with working familiarity of at least one traditional script ued for Pali, important if students plan to use texts outside of the mainstream canonical tradition. Students will also be introduced to issues of philology, textual editing, and history of Pali literature, and the current state of the field.
This texts fits into the BA programmes in which it will be available by giving textual and language skills for students working in Buddhism or in South Asian languages. For students of study of religions, it provides greater knowledge of some Buddhist literature and our access to that literature
Method of assessment
3-hour exam (100%).
- Von Hinüber, Oskar (1996) A Handbook of Pali Literature, Gruyters.
- Rhys Davids, TW and W Stede (1925) A Pali English Dictionary, London and Oxford: The Pali Text Society (any reprint).
- Norman, KR (1994) Buddhism: A Philological Approach, London.
- Geiger, Wilhelm (1994) A Pali Grammar, revised by K R Norman, London and Oxford: The Pali Text Society.