COLEBROOKE, HENRY THOMAS. 1765-1837.
A Grammar of the Sanscrit Language. Calcutta: printed at the Honorable Company's Press, 1805.
Volume 1 (all published). Folio (295 x 185 mm). xxii, 370,  pp. Printed in English and Sanskrit types. Early boards, rebacked in cloth. Toned, a few wormtrails at ends, clean tear across pp 1-2, a few corners dog-eared or with small loss, chips and short tears to title edges, new endpapers, rubbed.
Provenance: Fort William College, Calcutta (ownership inscription and "sold" remark signed by Secretary of the Board on verso of title, with some offsetting, show-through, and oxidation; the College's trilingual Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali inkstamp below).
"The first European work to be based on the indigenous linguistic tradition" (ODNB). Colebrooke had been appointed honorary professor of Hindu law and Sanskrit at Calcutta's new Fort William College in 1801. "Unfortunately he never finished the second volume, being discouraged by the greater popularity of the simpler grammars which were being published on the Latin model familiar to Europeans. Nevertheless, Colebrooke's volume stands as a monument marking the beginning of the study of traditional Sanskrit linguistics (vyakarana) by non-Indians, and in due course that study was to bring vyakarana into the global development of linguistics." Rare: the only copy to appear in the auction records was sold in 1987.
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