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A 17th-century birch bark manuscript of Panini's grammar treatise from Kashmir.

Pāṇini (IPA: [pɑːɳin̪i]; a patronymic meaning "descendant of Paṇi"; fl. 4th century BCE<ref name="Pāṇini 1979">Frits Staal, Euclid and Pāṇini, Philosophy East and West, 1965</ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} <ref name=Pan>Sanskrit Literature The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2 (1909), p. 263.</ref>), or Panini, was a Vyākaraṇin from the early mahajanapada era of ancient India.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> He was born in Pushkalavati, Gandhara (on the outskirts of modern-day Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan).<ref name="Pāṇini 1979"/><ref name=Pan>Sanskrit Literature The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2 (1909), p. 263.</ref>

Pāṇini is known for his Sanskrit grammar, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules<ref name="Pan"/> of Sanskrit morphology, syntax and semantics in the grammar known as Aṣṭādhyāyī, meaning "eight chapters"), the foundational text of the grammatical branch of the Vedanga, the auxiliary scholarly disciplines of the historical Vedic religion.

The Ashtadhyayi is one of the earliest known grammars of Sanskrit, although Pāṇini refers to previous texts like the Unadisutra, Dhatupatha, and Ganapatha.<ref name=Pan/> It is the earliest known work on linguistic description, and together with the work of his immediate predecessors (the Niruktas, Nighantus, and Pratishakyas) stands at the beginning of the history of linguistics itself. His theory of morphological analysis was more advanced than any equivalent Western theory before the mid 20th century,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> and his analysis of noun compounds still forms the basis of modern linguistic theories of compounding, which have borrowed Sanskrit terms such as bahuvrihi and dvandva.

Pāṇini's comprehensive and scientific theory of grammar is conventionally taken to mark the end of the period of Vedic Sanskrit, introducing the period of Classical Sanskrit.


Pāṇini sections
Intro  Date and context  [[Pāṇini?section=A\u1e63\u1e6d\u0101dhy\u0101y\u012b_|A\u1e63\u1e6d\u0101dhy\u0101y\u012b ]]  Bha\u1e6d\u1e6dik\u0101vya  Modern linguistics  Other works  In popular culture  See also  References  External links  

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