SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Languages of South Asia at SOAS: Prakrit

Prakrit is an important language of Ancient and Medieval India, developed from a pre-classical form of Sanskrit. Its  various dialects are the basis of modern Indo-Aryan languages. It is used in the oldest written historical and literary documents (inscriptions of Asoka etc.; dramas, anthologies of lyric poetry, etc.), as well as in the vast canonical and narrative literature of the Jains.

The continued teaching of Prakrit is made possible thanks to the generosity of Dr Shamil Chandaria (London) in the name of his parents Anil and Lata Chandaria, supporters of the Centre of Jain Studies.


Dr Renate Sohnen-Thieme (
Professor Em. J. Clifford Wright (

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