We have seen that the word “Prakrit” means “natural” or “vernacular,” as opposed to the “purified” literary Sanskrit.
The discovery near Khotan of official documents written in Prakrit makes colonization as well as religious missions probable.
The syllable ava was transformed in Prakrit into o, and the ta into da.
It is not however a derivative of this Prakrit but parallel to it and in some words presents older forms.
The first Indian colonists seem to have introduced a Prakrit dialect.
From this point of view every vernacular of India, from the earliest times, is a Prakrit.
The synthetic declension of Sanskrit and Prakrit has disappeared.
A still later and more abraded stage is also discussed under the head of Prakrit.
In the formation of the plural the Prakrit declensions are very closely followed by Marathi.
As the Pali and Prakrit stages are fully treated under their proper heads, very brief references to them will be sufficient.
popular dialect of ancient northern and central India (distinguished from Sanskrit), sometimes also applied to modern languages, 1766, from Sanskrit prakrta- "natural, original" (opposed to samskrta- "prepared, refined"), from pra- "before, forward, forth" (see pro-) + krta- "to make, do, perform," from PIE root *k(w)er- "to make, form" (related to karma).