PALI 200 | Pali Variations: Theory of an Imperfect Grammar

May 29 - July 17, 2024


Course Description

One of the most important features of Pali grammar is variation. This variation manifests in a certain porosity of nominal and verbal paradigms. For instance, in Sanskrit there is only one form for the ablative singular of buddha, that is buddhāt, but in Pali you may have buddhā, buddhasmā, buddhamhā, buddhato. The verbal system, especially in the past tense, is similarly crowded with redundant forms—just as an example: there are more than thirty correct ways to say “I went” using the same verbal root. This causes a great deal of frustration in many students. But that may change if we understand the dynamics beneath this apparent randomness.

In this course we are going to explore variation as the core of Pali grammar, we will problematize it, to see why it is there and why it is important. More specifically, we will focus on how classical grammarians deal with variation and exception, and we will compare that method with the modern approach of historical linguistics—just to discover that paradigms, in Pali, are very much in the eyes of the beholder.

The goal of this course is to become more receptive to a type of linguistic discourses that is not closed and based on fixed paradigms—like Sanskrit—but rather open and diverse in nature. It therefore serves as a transition for students who have completed the 100 Pali courses and wish to read Pali texts in the 200 series.

The course will provide students with all necessary materials, although we may also recommend additional materials for students to purchase if they desire.

Students who have not completed PALI 101-103 with us are welcome to join, so long as they have sufficient language training.

Course Preview

Video Poster Image

Course Structure

  • Wednesdays 12-2:00pm Pacific Time (California)
    • One 2-hour live session will be held per week on Zoom.
    • All live sessions will take place via Zoom and will be recorded for later viewing. 
  • Final exam.

Students Will Receive: 

  • 8 Zoom live class sessions + recordings (2 hours each)
  • 16 Hours of CE credit with YA
  • Yogic Studies Certificate upon completion (PDF)
  • Access to the private Community Forum

Dr. Aleix Ruiz-Falqués

Head of the Department of Pali and Languages at the Shan State Buddhist University, Khyentse Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies, and Lecturer of Pali at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Aleix Ruiz-Falqués teaches graduate courses in Pali language and literature in Taunggyi, Myanmar. Aleix completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2016, under the supervision of Prof. Eivind Kahrs. His research focuses on traditional grammar and scholasticism in Pali, particularly in Myanmar. More broadly, he is interested in ancient Indian literature (kāvya) and philosophy or knowledge systems (śāstra).

After completing his PhD in 2015, Aleix worked for two years on Pali manuscripts in Thailand, and he spent one year doing independent research in India. In 2018, he moved to the Shan State in Myanmar, where his long-term project is to teach and learn the Pali and Burmese languages and literature in a traditional monastic setting. One of his long-term goals is to reveal and demystify the treasures of the Pali medieval tradition that explain how we still possess the ancient words of the Buddha today.

Course begins soon! 

PALI 200 begins May 29th.









Enrollment is OPEN

Regular Tuition


One-Time Payment

  • Lifetime access to PALI 200

Regular Tuition

$67 x 3

Three Monthly Payments

  • Lifetime access to PALI 200

This course is eligible for 16 hours of Continued Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance

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