Exploring Linguistic Connections: Sanskrit and Dhivehi
In this educational poster, we explore the linguistic connections between Sanskrit and Dhivehi and shed some light on the Maldives’ early history.
The poster is divided into two panels.
Panel One: Phonology and Evolution of Scripts
Panel One gives a systematic visual representation of the sounds of both languages, as well as of different scripts to represent them.
Vowels, consonants, semi-vowels, numerals, and special characters are presented separately, and represented in Devanāgarī, Brāhmī, Dhives Akuru, Eveyla Akuru, and Thaana.
In the center, next to a depiction of the Isdhoo Loamaafaanu, the motto “My Voṇadaṇa Kingdom” is given in several Maldivian scripts alongside an English translation and explanation. Below it, we give a brief introduction and overview of the posters’ contents.
The bottom section of this panel illustrates the script’s evolutionary journey through Brāhmī, Dhives Akuru, Eveyla Akuru, and Thaana, with photos of representative artifacts.
Panel Two: Phonological Evolution and Cognates, Geography and History
Panel Two includes a table of phonological changes over time, from Sanskrit to different Prakrits, to older forms of Dhivehi to modern Dhivehi.
A second table lists examples of cognates between Sanskrit and modern Dhivehi.
A map of the Maldives shows the different atolls and points to many examples of islands with names that can be traced back to Sanskrit, with both a Sanskrit and English translation.
The southern atolls are highlighted and the distinctiveness of their dialects mentioned.
Another, much smaller map, shows the location of the Maldives relative to India and their distance to India and Sri Lanka.
Next to it are pictures of early artifacts from the Maldives, primarily Buddhist statues.
A timeline at the bottom of the panel gives examples of early settlement and construction on the Maldives, as well as mentions of the Maldives by Roman and Arab writers, up to about 1200 CE.