Professor Madhav M. Deshpande

Professor Emeritus of South Asian Literature and Linguistics, University of Michigan.


Professor Madhav M. Deshpande began his academic career  in Pune, India, where he studied traditional and modern Sanskrit. Deshpande earned his B.A. in 1966 and M.A. in 1968, both in Sanskrit from the University of Pune. In 1972 he completed his doctorate in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. That same year, he was appointed Professor of Sanskrit and Hindu Studies at the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan  with a joint appointment in the Department of Linguistics. He continued to work here until his retirement. During his career he has published fifteen books and over 150 research papers relating to these areas.

Research Area/s

Historical linguistics, Sanskrit grammatical tradition, Sanskrit phonetics, Indo-Aryan linguistics and Sociolinguistics of Sanskrit and Prakrit languages.

Professor Madhav M. Deshpande’s academic interests include; the Sanskrit grammatical tradition, historical linguistics and sociolinguistics of Indo-Aryan languages, and the religious and philosophical traditions of India, including Hinduism and Buddhism.

Selected Publications

  • Samskrtasubodhini: A Sanskrit Primer (University of Michigan, Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, 1997).
  • The Meaning of Nouns:  Semantic Theory in Classical and Medieval India (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992).
  • Sociolinguistic Attitudes in India: A Historical Reconstruction (Karoma Publishers, 1979).  
Madhav Deshpande