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About Aṣṭādhyāyī 2.0


In his famous grammar of Sanskrit called Aṣṭādhyāyī, Pāṇini introduces linguistic concepts, such as thematic roles, abstract derivation levels, rewrite rules, and pre-concepts of phonemes and morphemes, all of which are used intensively in contemporary Linguistics. In addition, the Aṣṭādhyāyī compresses the grammar rule system into text form by making use of inheritance structures, a sophisticated meta-language, and a marker system. Although these concepts and methods continue to be of highest scientific interest, the Aṣṭādhyāyī is rarely studied in modern formal Linguistics because readers who are not thoroughly acquainted with the Sanskrit grammatical tradition don't understand the terse Sanskrit text.

Funded by a grant of the government of Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany), we developed the research environment Aṣṭādhyāyī 2.0

Who we are

Current staff

Wiebke Petersen www (Project chair)
Oliver Hellwig www (Main researcher)
Anil Kumar www (Main annotator)
Valentin Heinz www (Research assistant)
Victor Persien www (Research assistant)
Patrick Simon www (Research assistant)

Former staff

Norbert Endres www
Silke Hamann www
Simone Soubusta www

Research projects

  • Aṣṭādhyāyī 2.0
    Construction of an open web-based platform for the formal analysis of Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī (2013-2014)
    • PI: Wiebke Petersen
    • Funded by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (Programmlinie "Infrastrukturelle Förderund für die GGW in NRW")
  • Pratyāhāras or features?
    Pāṇini's Pratyāhāras versus phonological features (2011-2013)
    • PIs: Wiebke Petersen and Silke Hamann
    • Funded by the stategic research fund of Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf


Hellwig, Oliver and Petersen, Wiebke (to appear): Extending the core functionalities of Aṣṭādhyāyī 2.0. Accepted for Proceedings of SALA 2015.

Hellwig, Oliver and Petersen, Wiebke (to appear): What’s Pāṇini got to do with it? The use of gaṇa-headers from the Aṣṭādhyāyī in Sanskrit literature from the perspective of corpus linguistics. Accepted for Proceedings of WSC 2015.

Petersen, Wiebke and Soubusta, Simone (2013): Structure and Implementation of a Digital Edition of the Aṣṭādhyāyī. In Girish Nath Jha (ed.): Sanskrit Computational Linguistics — 4th International Symposium, Mumbai, India.

Hellwig, Oliver (2010): Performance of a lexical and POS tagger for Sanskrit. In Girish Nath Jha (ed.): Sanskrit Computational Linguistics — 4th International Symposium, New Delhi, India. LNCS 6465, p. 162-172, Springer.

Hellwig, Oliver (2010):Performance of a lexical and POS tagger for Sanskrit. In: G.N. Jha (ed.): Proceedings of the Fourth International Sanskrit Computational Linguistics Symposium (2010).

Hellwig, Oliver (2010):With N. Reiter et al.: Using NLP Methods for the Analysis of Rituals. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC, 2010).

Hellwig, Oliver (2010):Etymological trends in the Sanskrit vocabulary. In: Literary and Linguistic Computing, 25 (2010), 1, 105-118.

Petersen, Wiebke (2010): Linear Coding of Non-linear Hierarchies: Revitalization of an Ancient Classification Method. In A. Fink, B. Lausen, W. Seidel and A. Ultsch (eds.): Advances in Data Analysis, Data Handling and Business Intelligence. Studies in Classification, Data Analysis, and Knowledge Organization, 307-316, Springer. (PDF)

Petersen, Wiebke and Hamann, Silke (2010): On the generalizability of Panini's pratyahara-technique to other languages. In Girish Nath Jha (ed.): Sanskrit Computational Linguistics — 4th International Symposium, New Delhi, India. LNCS 6465, p. 21–38, Springer. (PDF)

Petersen Wiebke (2009): On the Construction of Sivasutra-Alphabets. In A. Kulkarni and G. Huet (eds.): Sanskrit Computational Linguistics. LNCS 5406, p. 79–98, Springer. (PDF)

Hellwig, Oliver (2009):Extracting dependency trees from Sanskrit texts. In: A. Kulkarni, G. Huet (eds.) Sanskrit Computational Linguistics, Springer, Berlin, 2009, S. 106-115.

Hellwig, Oliver (2008):SanskritTagger, a stochastic lexical and POS tagger for Sanskrit. In: Proceedings of the First International Sanskrit Computational Linguistics Symposium (2008), S. 37-46.

Hellwig, Oliver (2008): Frequent phrases and their Application to Text Segmentation. In: Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, 25 (2008), 55-72.

Petersen Wiebke (2008): Zur Minimalität von Paninis Sivasutras - Eine Untersuchung mit Methoden der Formalen Begriffsanalyse. Dissertation. (PDF)

Petersen, Wiebke (2005): How Formal Concept Lattices Solve a Problem of Ancient Linguistics. In: Dau, Frithjof; Mugnier, Marie-Laure; Stumme, Gerd (eds.): Conceptual Structures: Common Semantics for Sharing Knowledge, 13th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2005, Kassel, Germany, July 17-22, 2005, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3596, 337-352, Springer. (PDF)

Petersen, Wiebke (2004): A Mathematical Analysis of Panini's Siva-Sutras. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13 (4), p. 471-489. (PDF)

Petersen, Wiebke (2003): A set-theoretical investigation of Panini's Sivasutras. In: Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting on Mathematics of Language (MOL-8). Bloomington, Indiana, July 20-22, 2003. (PDF)


May 2014
Wiebke Petersen & Oliver Hellwig: Annotating and analyzing the Aṣṭādhyāyī
Presented at the CILC2014, International Conference on Corpus Linguistics, in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

December 8 2012
Norbert Endres: Research Potential by Text Engineering
Presentation at the International Conference on Historical Corpora 2012 (TITUS 25) University of Frankfurt.

September 10th-14th 2012
Anand Mishra: Panini's Grammar - Intensive Course
One week course given at the University of Duesseldorf.

April 2012
Wiebke Petersen: Representation techniques in Panini’s Sanskrit grammar.
Presentation at the “Workshop on Finite-state Methods in Language Resources and Historical-comparative Linguistics” in Düsseldorf.

March 2012
Wiebke Petersen: Formalizing Panini’s Descriptive Techniques.
Presentation at the “VIIe JournéeMonde Indien” in Paris.

February 1 2012
Oliver Hellwig: Howling jackals and twitching eyes‘ – Searching for descriptions of omina using computational methods
Presentation at the IKFG, University of Erlangen.

January 13 2012
Wiebke Petersen: Pratyaharas versus features
Invited lecture at the University of Hyderabad.

January 12 2012
Wiebke Petersen: Unlocking Panini's Astadhyayi
Invited lecture at the IIIT Hyderabad.

January 07 2012
Oliver Hellwig: ratha = ‚warrior‘ or ‚chariot‘? Computational Approaches to Polysemy in Sanskrit
Invited lecture at the 15th World Sanskrit Conference in New Delhi.

January 06 2012
Wiebke Petersen: On the descriptive techniques for phonological classes in Panini’s grammar
Invited lecture at the 15th World Sanskrit Conference in New Delhi.

September 12-16 2011
Anand Mishra: Pāṇini Crash Course

August 02 2011
Wiebke Petersen: On the economy of Panini’s Sivasutras
Invited talk at the "International Workshop: Dimensions of Grammar" in honor of Paul Kiparsky.

July 07 2011
Anand Mishra (University Heidelberg): Paninian Combinatorics: A set theoretical approach towards modelling Astadhyayi
Start: 10:30 a.m.
Location: University Düsseldorf,

July 01 2011
Wiebke Petersen (University Düsseldorf): Rules and Hierarchies in Panini's Grammar
Held on the workshop NLP Methods in Historical Linguistics in honor of James Kilbury.

May 25-27 2011
Project Coordination Meeting with our partner Amba Kulkarni (University of Hyderabad) in Heidelberg.

March 25-26 2011
Oliver Hellwig: Improving the automatic tokenization and lexical analysis of Sanskrit texts
Presentation at the University of Vienna.