When was punctuation introduced into Pali text?

At what point were punctuation marks introduced into the Pali texts?

How much do translators use that punctuation when translating?

E.g., the first stanza of Thig 6.5 in Pali is punctuated:

“Ucce kule ahaṃ
bahuvitte mahaddhane;
Vaṇṇarūpena sampannā,
dhītā majjhassa atrajā.

which Bhante @Sujato translates as:

I was born into an eminent family,
affluent and wealthy,
endowed with a beautiful complexion and figure;
Majjha’s true-born daughter.

Bhante Sujato’s placement of the semi-colon reads more naturally in the English. But departs from the punctuation in the Pali text. So I’m wondering how much a translator sees the punctuation as part of the text, and how much he/she sees it as the addition of later editors–a guide to one way of understanding the text, but not part of the text itself.

Thank you. :pray:


Punctuation is 100% an introduction by modern authors. Well, almost. But in verses, this is definitely the case. The punctuation in the MS edition as you see here is purely conventional: all verses have the same pattern. I ignore the verse punctuation when translating and I’m sure any other translator does, too.


Thank you, Bhante @sujato :pray: