Affiliated Researcher

Bryan Levman_small

Bryan Levman

Bryan is a recent PhD graduate (June 2014) from the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. His research area is the language of early Buddhism, an important aspect of which is the investigation of the history of the Pāli textual tradition, specifically its transmission to Burma and the influence of the Burmese grammarian Aggavaṃsa’s Saddanīti on the interpretation and regularization of the Tipiṭaka (Smith 1928: VI). When comparing the Sri Lankan and Burmese recensions, hundreds of differences come up and – as has been noted by some philologists — the Burmese tradition may be “more correct and older” than the Sinhalese (von Hinüber 1983: 78). Parts of the Burmese tradition appear to be inherited directly from India, — rather than from Sri Lankan, as is commonly assumed, — so a study of parallel passages (especially in the Jātakas) of the Sinhalese and Burmese recensions and their commentary and interpretation in the Saddanīti is important in order to isolate the different traditions and determine their chronological and phylogenetic relationship.