The Journey of Sanketi: Life and Language
Deepa Ganesh and HS Ananthanarayana
Prof. H.S. Ananthanarayana was a gold medallist in his M.A. (Sanskrit, 1954) from the University of Mysore and earned his PhD in Linguistics (1962) for a
Dissertation on Vedic Intonation from the University of Texas, Austin. He worked in the Department of Linguistics, Osmania University, Hyderabad for
almost 30 years and retired as Dean, Faculty of Arts, in 1991. He founded and was editor of a Linguistics journal, and also served on the editorial committees
of two distinguished national journals. He was responsible for creating an electronic version of the Rigveda from which all online versions of the text are
derived. He has several books, and more than 80 articles to his credit.
He has been felicitated at several national Linguistics conferences and at various universities for his contribution to the field. He was the UGC’s National
Lecturer in Linguistics for two terms continuously, a rare privilege. He was honoured by the Vishva Sanskrit Pratisthanam as ‘Sanskrit Scholar’ (2016)
when the Karnataka branch celebrated Sanskrit Day. He was also presented, at that time, with the Dr. B.S. Ramakrishna Rao Memorial Award for his contribution to the spread of Sanskrit language. The Asiatic Society, Kolkata awarded him the Prof. Suniti Kumar Chatterji Memorial Lectureship for 2018 and honoured him.
Prof. Ananthanarayana’s contributions in Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, Rigveda, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pāninian Grammatical tradition, Indo-Aryan and Dravidian Linguistics have all been trend setting. He was responsible for bringing to the notice of linguists, the work of our ancient grammarians which was way ahead in 600A.D. itself, though this is yet to be included in the History of Linguistics. His research in Sanketi, a dialect of Tamil of which he is a native speaker, started in 1968 with a paper on Sound Changes of this dialect and culminated in editing a volume of papers, Sanketi: A Linguistic Study, containing contributions by himself and two younger scholars. He is aptly called by his colleagues and friends as ‘Sanketi Pāṇini’ for his long-time research on Sanketi.
Now retired, Prof. Ananthanarayana continues to actively pursue his academic interest of writing to scholarly journals (in English as well as Kannada), participating in national seminars, delivering lectures and studying Vedanta.