Responsable: Dominic Goodall

École française d'Extrême-Orient
16-19 rue Dumas
605 001 Pondicherry, India

Tel: +91 413 233 45 39
Fax: +91 413 233 08 86 goodalldominic@gmail.com

Lecture by Kunthea Chhom
Kunthea CHHOM, doctoral student at the École pratique des hautes études and head of the Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum, will give a lecture entitled “What can we learn from Sanskrit Loanwords in Cambodian inscriptions?” at 4 pm in the Library Hall.

Ancient Cambodia (6th – 14th century A.D.) is relatively rich in inscriptions. As far as language is concerned, these inscribed texts can be classified into three main categories – inscriptions in Sanskrit, inscriptions in Old Khmer, and inscriptions in Sanskrit and Old Khmer. Much ink has flowed to describe the Sanskrit vocabulary in both Sanskrit and Old Khmer portions of inscriptions. Yet, the import of the vocabulary in the linguistic enrichment of the Khmer language has not been studied in details. Moreover, the inscriptions have never been justly studied together. While Sanskritists tend to ignore the Khmer parts, those who read Khmer tend to pay less attention to the Sanskrit ones. 

In the present study, I propose to examine the Sanskrit and Khmer parts together. If the early inscriptions seemed to give favour to Sanskrit, those in 10th century A.D. were increasingly in a form of Khmer characterised by an abundance of new Sanskrit loanwords in the topics which had been once written only in or reserved for Sanskrit; later still, we find more Khmer and Prakrit terms.