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Paisaci, also known as Paisachi, or Paishachi, is an extinct language of classical India, its existence as a medium of debate and literary expression is recorded in various Theravada Buddhist sources, and mentioned in Prakrit and Sanskrit grammars of antiquity.

There are no extant works in this language today, although archaeology may yet uncover them. One famous work was supposedly the Brihat-katha, or Brahatkatham (Ocean of Stories), a collection of short stories written in the 5th century BC. It is known of through its adaptation in Sanskrit as the Katha-Saritsagara in the 11th century by Somadeva. One of the famous series of stories in this work is the Vikram and Vetaal series.

The Sanskrit etymology of the name of the language (suggesting that it means "Spoken by Demons") is deemed by modern scholars to be either jocular or simply false. As with most languages, the name seems to be devolved from a toponym associated with the origin or homeland of the language.

It is not precisely known to what extent this was a vernacular or an artificial, literary language, comparable to Pāli.

Historian Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade states that some of the old works like Krista Purana,Krishnadas Shama's Mahabharat composed in Konkani language reveal that modern Konkani might be a successor of Paishachi.[1]

References

  1. ^ Saradesai, Manohararai (2000) (in English). A history of Konkani literature: from 1500 to 1992. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 39-40. ISBN 9788172016647.  

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