Int'l workshop on Sanskrit Computational Linguistics at Manipal

By Raj Udupi
Udupi Today Media Network


Manipal, 06 January 2017: Mahabharata is not just a story of five personalities. It’s a story of five generations. We are part of this story as we pass through these five generations, being child and becoming old who face many phases of life. This literature highlights the philosophical understanding of every individual and how one faces moral dilemma in different given conditions. It is very important to look into this scholarly treatise from contemporary perspective that would contribute to the knowledge base of Humanities. In this regard, the University made its commitment to fund this Mahabharata research project, which is being conducted by Dvaita Centre of Manipal University, said Dr H Vinod Bhat, the Vice Chancellor of Manipal University inaugurating Sanskrit Computational Linguistics (SCL) workshop here at European Studies on Monday. It feels great to begin the New Year with a workshop filled with eminent scholars and enthusiastic participants he added.



Many wonder the role of Dvaita philosophy under Department of European Studies (DES). But when we received funding from the Delegation of EU to India to establish Centre for European Studies we had included Dvaita Philosophy Resource Centre establishment into the proposal to establish bilateral academic exchange and facilitate mutual knowledge sharing. This is to preserve the rich philosophical heritage of Udupi the citadel of Dvaita Vedanta of Madhvacharya. The year 2017 stands remarkable as it is 700th year anniversary of Madhvacharya and at this hour Dvaita Centre is into a research in Mahabharata including Tatparyanirnaya (Madhva’s scholarly treatise) told Prof Neeta Inamdar, the Head of DES introducing the Academic Directors and other invited resource persons of the workshop.


Prof Gerard Huet from France, who was invited as Academic Director of the SCL workshop stated that Mahabharata stands also as a cultural epitome of Indian society integrated with significant social values. It is commendable that Manipal University has come forward and taken up such initiatives and has given opportunities to young traditional scholars to be part of the research project. Computational tools are very helpful in deciphering information embedded in such epic literatures. This workshop would fulfill such needs he concluded.


Professor Gerard P Huet is a French Computer Scientist, Linguist and Mathematician. He is a Senior Research Director at INRIA-Paris, France, a Member of French academy of Sciences and also a member of Academia Europaea.


For past few years, I have been interacting with Manipal regarding this research project on Mahabharata and finally the project is at its initial phase. There are few existing researches on Mahabharata but this one adds more to them at semantic and discourse level. Obviously, a thorough hands-on training program is necessary to make use of the SCL applications. This workshop on Sanskrit Computational Linguistics - linking Sanskrit grammar and texts with modern Science and Technology intends for computer scientists, especially interested in the computer treatment of natural language, as well as traditional Sanskrit scholars, who are eager to learn essentials of new technologies. The main aim is to train well the in-house traditional scholars on using SCL technology that will foster the efficiency in e-text annotation of Mahābhārata, told Prof Amba Kulkarni, another Academic Director as well as the Project consultant. It is nice to have the participants from diverse backgrounds like Sanskrit, SCL and Computer Science.


Professor Amba P Kulkarni is a Mathematician, Linguist and Sanskrit Scholar. Presently, she is a Research Fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla and is a Professor at Department of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad. She is well known for her efforts in Sanskrit Computational Linguistics across the globe.


The other resource persons of the workshop are:


Professor Shrinivasa Varakhedi is a Logician, Philosopher and Linguist. He is Dean of Shastra Faculty at Karnataka Samskrit University, Bengaluru. He is a recipient of president’s award “Maharishi Badarayan Vyas Samman”.


Professor Malhar A Kulkarni is a Grammarian, Linguist and Sanskrit Scholar. He is Professor at Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Bombay. He is well-known for his contribution towards WordNet and other tools.


Professor Peter M Scharf is a Grammarian, Linguist and Sanskrit scholar. He is visiting Professor at Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Bombay and Associate at Department of South-Asian Studies, Harvard University. He is renowned for his 'The Sanskrit Library' website.


Dr Pawan Goyal is a Computer-Scientist and Computational Linguist. He has completed his studies at UK. He is an Assistant Professor at IIT-Kharagpur. Despite being a computer scientist, he is well known for his contribution in Sanskrit Computational Linguistics.


The session topics of the workshop are:

Introduction to Computational Linguistics methods

Segmentation and morphological analysis of Sanskrit

Indian theories of verbal cognition

Parsing Sanskrit texts following the theories of Shabdabodha

Language Understanding: Syntactic and Analytic Approach

Language Computation: Scope and Limitations

Encoding Sanskrit texts in accordance with the Text-Encoding Initiative guidelines

Introduction and features of Sanskrit WordNet

Lexical Ambiguities in Sanskrit

Grammarian writes grammar, Programmer writes program. But what did Panini write?

All paths to an end are justified: Path constrained random walks for word segmentation in Sanskrit

Rules, Knowledge base and Algorithms: Automated analysis of compound types in Sanskrit


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