I had made passing remarks on how Sanskrit sits at the top of world languages and it is Computer Programing Friendly.
‘Very soon the traditional Indian language Sanskrit will be a part of the space, with the United States of America (USA) mulling to use it as computer language at NASA. After the refusal of the Indian Sanskrit scholars to help them acquire command over the language, US has urged its young generation to learn Sanskrit.( source. http://www.ibtl.in/news/international/1815/nasa-to-echo-sanskrit-in-space-website-confirms-its-mission-sanskrit/)
# संस्कृत बनेगी नासा की भाषा, पढ़ने से गणित और विज्ञान की शिक्षा में आसानी
On visit to Agra, Aurobindo Foundation (Indian Culture) Puducherry Director Sampadananda Mishra told Dainik Jagran about the prospects of Sanskrit. Mishra said, “In 1985, NASA scientist Rick Briggs had invited 1,000 Sanskrit scholars from India for working at NASA. But scholars refused to allow the language to be put to foreign use.”
The NASA website also confirms its Mission Sanskrit and describes it as the best language for computers. The website clearly mentions that NASA has spent a large sum of time and money on the project during the last two decades.”
How Friendly is Sanskrit to Computer Programming.
Given below is our sample sentence. It appears in the text राजनीतिसमुच्चय authored by आचार्य चाणक्य |
मूर्खः परिहर्तव्यः प्रत्यक्षः द्विपदः पशुः । which means..
A stupid person must be avoided. He is like a two-legged animal in-front of the eyes.
Now, let’s get back to our good old Q & A format.
Q) Are you sure, the English translation you have provided is correct ? Else, why are there only 5 words in the Sanskrit version but so many words in the English version ?
A) Of course, the translation I provided is absolutely correct. But your doubt is also genuine. To know why the Sanskrit version is so economic in the usage of words, we need to first understand it’s structure.
Q) Umm hmm, go on..
A) As mentioned in the first article of the series, the words in Sanskrit represent properties. So the 5 words used in this sentence also represent properties.
मूर्ख = (the property of being) stupid
परिहर्तव्य = (the property that makes one) avoidable (by others)
प्रत्यक्ष = (the property of being) in front of the eyes
द्विपद = (the property of) having two legs
पशु = (the property of usually being) tethered
But, in spoken language, we always refer to objects and not properties. (The object being referred to need not exist in the real world. It is sufficient if it exists in the speaker’s imagination.) So we need a way to force the above words to represent objects rather than properties. That way of forcing a word(which represents a property) to represent an object is called vibhakti.
So, मूर्ख represents the property of being stupid, but मूर्खः (which is a vibhakti of the word मूर्ख) represents an object/person who is stupid. Here, मूर्खः is called the first vibhakti of the word मूर्ख | Similarly, परिहर्तव्यः is the first vibhakti of the word परिहर्तव्य | So, we have
परिहर्तव्यः = an object/person who must be avoided
प्रत्यक्षः = an object/person located in front of the eyes
द्विपदः = a object/creature having two legs
पशुः = an object/creature who is tethered = a beast or cattle (because usually beast or cattle is tethered)
Q) Hmm, cool. So this sentence has five words which represent 5 properties. But we converted the 5 words into their first vibhaktis. So the 5 new converted words represent 5 objects having those 5 properties. Am I right ?
A) Yes, absolutely.
Q) So far we have 5 different (vibhaktified) words representing 5 different objects having 5 different properties. How does this help in making a meaningful sentence. ?
A) Here comes the climax. There is a rule of Sanskrit Grammar which states that words having the same vibhakti represent the same object and not different objects! So the 5 different (vibhaktified) words actually do not represent 5 different objects, rather they are like pointers that point to the same object because they all have the same vibhakti viz. first vibhakti!”
The same mechanism is explained below graphically.
Q) Wow! So a typical word in Sanskrit is like class in Java(without methods) and the vibhaktified form of that word is like a pointer to an object of that class. Right ?
A) Yes! You got it. And not just that. There are actually 8 kinds of vibhaktis in all. In this article, we have considered only the first of those 8 kinds of vibhaktis.
‘There is at least one language, Sanskrit, which for the duration of almost 1,000 years was a living spoken language with a considerable literature of its own. Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigor until the present century. Among the accomplishments of the grammarians can be reckoned a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit in a manner that is identical not only in essence but in form with current work in Artificial Intelligence. This article demonstrates that a natural language can serve as an artificial language also, and that much work in AI has been reinventing a wheel millenia old.
First, a typical Knowledge Representation Scheme (using Semantic Nets) will be laid out, followed by an outline of the method used by the ancient Indian Grammarians to analyze.