Hi Charles and group,
Just for fun, if you're in the mood, why not try translating:
kumbhiilo sunakha.m gahetvaa khaadissaamii ti gaama.m agami
khaadati: eat (khaadissaami: 1st person, singular, future)
gacchati: go (agami: 3rd person, singular, aorist)
ga.nhati: seize, grasp, catch (gehetvaa: absolutive 'having seized')
The answer comes below in connection with the scope of iti phrases.
>Over at the "Concise Pali-English Dictionary"
>found "iti : [ind.] thus. (used to point out something just
>mentioned or about to be mentioned, and to show that a sentence is
>finished). Very often its former i is elided and ti only is
>remaining. || îti (f.), calamity.".
>In "Introduction to Pali", pp. 35-36, "ti" is defined (basically -
>see text for fuller definition) as an end-quote.
>I'm suspecting Yong Peng's translation is correct, and that "ti" is
>functioning as a "verbal period" (first usage above), but would
>appreciate any additional insight.
The function of iti is to nominalize a word or
phrase. That amounts to what we would call
putting a phrase inside quotation marks. The
phrase or word can then function as a subject or
object within a sentence. Examples:
"Three blind mice" is a three-word phrase.
The mailman said "bite me".
"At" is a preposition but "ate" is a finite verb.
All of these would be rendered in Pali with the
word iti at the position where the end-quote is
located in the English. However the position of
the start-quote is not marked in Pali. So to
return to your original question, editors
sometimes put quotation marks into Pali to show
the exact scope of the iti; this amounts to
marking the unmarked 'start-quote'. It's foreign
to Pali bu can be helpful since it's not always
clear exactly where the nominalized phrase begins.
Iti can be used to mark direct speech, as in the
original example sentence, or to show the cause
or intention for acting. An example of the latter
is the sentence at the beginning of this post:
kumbhiilo sunakha.m gahetvaa khaadissaamii ti gaama.m agami.
The crocodile went to the village to catch a dog to eat
The crocodile, thinking "having caught a dog, I
shall eat (it)", went to the village.
Wanting to catch a dog to eat, the crocodile went to the village.
Since it might be hard to know exactly how wide
the scope of the iti is in that sentence, it
might be helpful to write it like this:
kumbhiilo "sunakha.m gahetvaa khaadissaamii" ti gaama.m agami.
This rules out the possible alternative reading,
Having caught a dog, the crocodile went to the
village thinking "I shall eat", which could be
marked in the Pali:
kumbhiilo sunakha.m gahetvaa "khaadissaamii" ti gaama.m agami.
Here the scope of the iti is much narrower.
The difference, of course, is whether the
crocodile has already caught the dog before going
to the village to eat, or intends to catch the
dog at the village and then eat it. Common sense
makes the choice obvious when the sentence is
alone, but in some contexts the other could just
as well be correct. For example, in a fable the
crocodile could have been told by a villager
"catch that dog and bring it here and I will give
you a buffalo to eat".
Usually editors won't use quotation marks, since
they prefer to let the reader decide which
interpretation is the correct one. But in
primers, or if the purpose is to indicate a
particular interpretation, quotation marks can be
used like here.