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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

In many civilizations, grammar is perceived as constituting the core of the cultural, intellectual enterprise as a whole. Probably the most striking example is that of ancient India, where grammar in its several modes evolved very early out of the attempt to preserve and analyze the sacred texts of the Veda. Grammar in this sense offers a wider template than discursive logic or emotional and associative experience, both of which have served the historians of culture as readily accessible tools. This is the introductory chapter of the book, which is divided into three relatively delimited domains, each of which takes up one major strand of the grammatical paradigm: issues of creation through grammaticalized language, of cultural encoding as poetics, and of meta-linguistic existential transformation.

Keywords: cultural encoding; grammaticalized language

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