International symposium

SAPHALA II: Jayanta's philosophy of language
Theories of compositionality in sentence semantics

  • Time: 19–21 December 2018, 10:00–12:00, 14:00–17:00
  • Venue: Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia

Organisation: Alessandro Graheli


This is the second of four yearly SAPHALA (South Asian Philosophy and Language) workshops, planned for the years 2017–2020 period. The workshops aim at the following primary goals:

  • Providing a forum for a debate on philosophical questions related to language from the perspective of South Asian philosophers
  • Tracing the historical development of philosophical ideas around language in South Asia
  • Finding bridges with philosophical issues of contemporary relevance


The Kashmirian philosopher Bhaṭṭa Jayanta (ninth century CE) famously wrote an encyclopaedic work on Nyāya epistemology and logic, the Nyāyamañjarī. His main philosophical interest was language (śabda), as is evident from the attention devoted to several language-related topics throughout his opus magnum. In the sixth book of Nyāyamañjarī, particularly, Jayanta scrutinizes the main theories of compositionality in sentence semantics, mostly elaborated by Mīmāṃsā authors, and offers his own influential synthesis based on the idea of the intrinsic tension of words towards the specific aim of the sentence meaning (tātparyaśakti). Jayanta is a pivotal figure in the history of South Asian philosophy of language who had a major impact on many later authors. The sixth book of the Nyāyamañjarī has been at the center of Alessandro Graheli's studies, presently in the framework of his project on "Semantics in classical Indian philosophy" (FWF project P 28069), focused on a new critical edition and translation of the sixth book of the Nyāyamañjarī. During the second installment of this yearly SAPHALA event (South Asian Philosophy and Language), from 3 to 18 December we will read, translate and discuss together the Sanskrit text, and from 19 to 21 December we will hold a symposium debating the main philosophical themes emerging from our reading sessions.

If you wish to participate in the symposium, please register with an email to alessandro.graheli(at) by 10 December 2018.


  • Daniele Cuneo (Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, France)
  • Nilanjan Das (University College, London, UK)
  • Hugo David (EFEO Pondicherry, India)
  • Elisa Freschi (IKGA and ISTB, Vienna)
  • Alessandro Graheli (IKGA and ISTB, Vienna)
  • Kei Kataoka (Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan)
  • Sudipta Munsi (IKGA, Vienna)
  • Parimal Patil (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)
  • Akane Saito (Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan)
  • Shishir Saxena (IKGA, Vienna)