By J F. Staal
The achievements of Pānini and the Indian grammarians, starting approximately 2500 years in the past, have by no means been totally favored via Western students -- partially as a result of the nice technical problems provided through such an inquiry, and partially simply because appropriate instructional articles were restricted to imprecise and inaccessible publications.
This booklet makes to be had to linguists and Sanskritists a suite of an important articles at the Sanskrit grammarians, and gives a hooked up historic define in their actions. It covers reports and fragments starting from early 7th-century debts of the grammarians -- recorded through Buddhist pilgrims from China and Tibet, by means of Muslim tourists from the close to East, and by way of Christian missionaries -- to a couple of the simplest articles that experience seemed over the past century and a half.
Chapters within the ebook conceal the basis of Sanskrit experiences within the West laid by way of British students operating in India and together with the precise and actual info supplied by way of Henry Thomas Colebrooke; the linguistic reviews of Pānini through von Schlegel and von Humboldt; the paintings of Bhandarkar and of Kielhorn; William Dwight Whitney's low overview of the "native" grammarians; and the philological paintings of recent Western, Indian, and eastern scholars.
The editor observes that fabrics within the Reader show difficulties tackled through the Sanskrit grammarians which heavily parallel advancements in modern linguistics. He has supplied ancient and linguistic statement and bibliographic info within the introductions and notes that accompany every one choice. Articles are of their unique English, German, and French. Texts or passages in chinese language, Tibetan, Arabic, Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek have, for the main half, been translated into English, and all Sanskrit passages were translated into the Latin alphabet.
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Additional info for A Reader on the Sanskrit Grammarians
Furthermore, the language is very difficult to pronounce ("we have sometimes written down a word from the mouth of Hindus, taking the greatest pains to fix its pronunciation, and afterwards when we repeated it to them, they had great difficulty in recognising i t " (page 18); with characteristic selfconfidence, al-BïrQnï attributes this to his informants' carelessness). Lastly, the Hindus like to compose their works in meters in order to facilitate their being learned by heart. " Now it is well known that in all metrical compositions there is much misty and constrained phraseology merely intended to fill up the metre and serving as a kind of patchwork, and this necessitates a certain amount of verbosity.
Now he was deeply offended, and in consequence, as is their custom, he abstained from all food, and concealed himself in some corner until he was called upon by a sage, who consoled him, promising him that he would teach people grammar and the inflexions of the language. Thereupon the sage went off to Mahädeva, praying and fasting devoutly. Mahädeva appeared to him, and communicated to him some few rules, the like of which Abul'aswad Addu'alT has given for the Arabic language. The god also promised to assist him in the further development of this science.
This scholar was very famous throughout the five parts of India, and his excellences were known everywhere (lit. ' t o the eight quarters '). e. ] [** The date and religion of the celebrated philosopher-grammarian Bhartrhari have been the subject of ample discussion. Despite I Tsing's testimony, Bhartrhari is nowadays generally believed to have been a Hindu (see, for example, Biardeau 1964b) and is sometimes believed to have lived in the fifth century (because the Buddhist logician Dinnäga appears to quote him : Frauwallner 1959; cf.