The latest news buzzing in millions of people’s ears does not seem like any other big news. There is something more to it which cannot be explained like any ancient language far from comprehension. Hundreds of thousands of scholars spending their efforts, skills and time like an eternity to decode a rule, didn’t succeed to reach the shore. The path of decoding began in the 5th century BC and finds its master in the 21st century AD. Seems like the mystery has finally found its long-awaited revealer.
Had Papini been alive, how would he have felt? Rishi Rajpopat has earned something close like a successor of Papini. The 27-year young man has opened an unreachable portal to derive any Sanskrit word to construct millions of grammatically correct words through Panini’s language machine. In simple words, Rishi Rajpopat has found the secret doorway to the language machine of the father of Linguistics by decoding his unbreakable rule.
The Indian PhD student at the University of Cambridge has earned one of the greatest intellectual achievements in history by solving the grammatical problem which consumed countless toil of numerous scholars since the 5th century BC. We are proud of him is such an understatement for what most of us are feeling. The Sanskrit experts are emitting that Rishi Rajpopat’s discovery is revolutionary for Panini’s grammar can be taught to computers now which is of course going to be transpired for the first time in human history.
The inexplicable event turned into reality this year while Dr Rajpopat was researching for his PhD thesis. He has decoded this 2500-year-old algorithm, consequently making it possible for the first time to accurately use Panini’s ‘language machine’. “Astadhyayi” is supposed to work like a machine which is a detailed work consisting of 4000 rules written around 500 BC by Panini. Fundamentally, if you feed the base and suffix of a word, it would turn them into grammatically correct words and sentences through a gradual process.
Intriguingly, until now it was a hornet’s nest. Panini’s two or more rules often are concomitantly applicable at the same step making the scholars rack their brains over which one to choose. Solving these ‘rule conflicts’ requires an algorithm. According to Dr Rajpopat, Panini lay out a metarule to help us decide which rule to be applied in the event of ‘rule conflict’. However, scholars have been surprisingly misinterpreting this metarule for the last 2500 years. The false interpretation time and again landed them on a grammatically incorrect result.
What prepends more to the fascination is that many scholars had been developing numerous other metarules to fix this issue. Rishi Rajpopat states that these are simply incapable of solving the problem at hand and are utterly unnecessary. He unveils that Panini’s ‘language machine’ is self-sufficient.
“We’ve often been led to believe that we aren’t important, that we aren’t enough to advance the cause. I hope this discovery instills a sense of confidence and pride in Indian students and gives them the confidence to move forward.”
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