Gandhari language

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Gandhara fortified city depicted in a Buddhist relief

Gāndhārī is the modern name, coined by scholar Harold Walter Bailey (in 1946), for a Prakrit language found mainly in texts dated between the 3rd century BCE and 4th century CE in the northwestern region of Gandhāra. The language was heavily used by the former Buddhist cultures of Central Asia and has been found as far away as eastern China, in inscriptions at Luoyang and Anyang.

It appears on coins, inscriptions and texts, notably the Gandhāran Buddhist texts. It is notable among the Prakrits for having some archaic phonology (some being characteristic of the Dardic languages of the modern region), for its relative isolation and independence, for being partially within the influence of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean and for its use of the Kharoṣṭhī script, a unique sister to the Brahmic scripts used by other Prakrits.


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