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The 'demise' of Kashmiri

[Book excerpt] Kalhana's Rājataraṅgiṇī — the oldest record of Kashmir's history — shows how the cosmopolitan became the vernacular.

Even as the Rājataraṅgiṇī composes Kashmir as a regional entity, it does so through a medium that is generally not understood to have served vernacular expression, namely the "cosmopolitan" Sanskrit kāvya. This is significant. It questions much of what we have recently learnt about the relationship between language and space in premodern South Asia. I refer to Sheldon Pollock’s cosmopolitan and vernacular: this is a binary that has proved most instructive in inducing many new aspects to the sociology of language use

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