Le rôle du sanskrit dans le développement de la langue khmère : une étude épigraphique du VIe au XIVe siècle

Abstract : Ancient Cambodia (6th – 14th century A.D.) is relatively rich in inscriptions, composed mainly in Sanskrit, in Old Khmer and in both languages (Sanskrit and Khmer). The impact of Sanskrit on the linguistic enrichment of the Khmer language has not been studied in detail. The present study proposes to examine the Sanskrit and Khmer parts together. It deals with the domains where Sanskrit elements appear densely clustered in the Khmer inscriptions, such as descriptions of donations, formulations of dating, boons and curses, proper names, orthography, royal administration, accounts of the functions of servants in temples and of objects offered to gods and cult objects. It also touches on areas where there appears to have been less palpable influence, such as prosody and morphological derivation. The Sanskrit loanwords in each domain show different features of interaction with Khmer terms: some of them acquire local connotations; some may be “calques” from Sanskrit into Khmer. (Calques of Khmer expressions in Sanskrit are also considered.) If the early inscriptions seem to favour Sanskrit (in some cases, in Prākritised forms), those from the 10th century A.D. onwards are increasingly in a form of Khmer characterized by an abundance of new Sanskrit loanwords. The 10th century is also marked by the appearance of some texts containing “equivalent” passages in their Khmer and Sanskrit portions; later on, in the 12th and the 14th century we find two inscriptions with equivalent passages in Khmer and Pāli. These passages prove that Sanskrit texts play not only the “rhetorical” role for which they are famous, but also the “documentative” role associated with the Khmer texts.
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Kunthea Chhom. Le rôle du sanskrit dans le développement de la langue khmère : une étude épigraphique du VIe au XIVe siècle. Linguistique. École pratique des hautes études - EPHE PARIS, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016EPHE5103⟩. ⟨tel-02105230⟩

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