An Introduction to the Sacred Language of the Sikhs

Citation
Title:
An Introduction to the Sacred Language of the Sikhs
Editor:
City:
London
Publisher:
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Year:
1983
Volume:
No. of Volumes:
Edition:
Pages:
207
Series Volume:
Series Editor:
Series Title:
Translator:
Language:
English
URL:
DOI:
LCCN:
83133828
OCLC Number:
License
Select License
ISBN:
0728601079
Last Updated:
August 3rd, 2012
Abstract

 

This book has been designed as a self-contained introductory course for anyone who wishes to gain a knowledge of the original language of the Sikh scriptures. Those to whom it is addressed are naturally expected to have an interest in and a concern for the teachings of Sikhism, but it has not been assumed that they will necessarily possess any specialized linguistic knowledge. The course has indeed been intended primarily for those who know neither the Gurmukhi script nor modern Panjabi. It is also hoped, however, that users who do possess some knowledge of the modern language will benefit from working through the book.

The course is divided into three parts. Part I comprises a brief introduction to the Gurmukhi script, with the aid of a simple system of Roman transliteration. The aim has been to teach the antique conventions of 17th century Gurmukhi spelling, which differs in some respects from modern Panjabi orthography. The script should be thoroughly mastered before proceeding further, since the use of the Roman script is later kept to a minimum.

The bulk of the course consists of the 24 lessons of Part II. These are designed to introduce the grammar of the language of the Sikh scriptures. in a graded sequence, beginning with the simplest forms and constructions, then gradually working through the more complex ones. Each lesson concludes with a vocabulary of newly introduced words, to be learnt by heart on their first appearance, followed by two exercises. One is a simple grammatical exercise for completion in the Gurmukhi script, the second a longer exercise in translation. All the verses provided for translation have been taken directly from the compositions of GurU Nanak, brief notes having been supplied where the original text might appear ambiguous. References are also supplied in an appendix, for use by those who wish to consult translations or commentaries.


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