Pali (pä´lē), language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Some scholars classify it as a Prakrit, or vernacular dialect of classical Sanskrit. Pali, a tongue of the Middle Indic period (see Indo-Iranian languages) in which the Buddhist scriptures or canon (Tipitaka) were composed, became the main literary language of the Buddhists. As the number of Buddhists in India declined, Pali ceased to be employed in that country. The Buddhists of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand, however, still use Pali as a liturgical language.
See W. Geiger, Pali Literature and Language (tr., rev. ed. 1968).
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Pali. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.