Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [Pali] Re: hi! I'm new here. some basic questions..

Expand Messages
  • Jacques Huynen
    Hello Rett, I would like to know why you advise starting looking in the commentarial litterature rather than in the canonic one ? Is it for statistical reason
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 1, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello Rett,

      I would like to know why you advise starting looking
      in the commentarial litterature rather than in the
      canonic one ? Is it for statistical reason - because
      commentaries would be more bulky ? Or for some other
      reason ?

      Thanks

      With Metta

      Jacques Huynen

      --- rett <rett@...> wrote:

      > Hi Thomas and group,
      >
      > >
      > >
      > >bhuñjati/khaadati - both mean "to eat". I got the
      > impression that
      > >bhuñjati means having a meal, while khaadati refers
      > to devouring (like
      > >predator eating prey). is this close?
      >
      > My impression is close to yours, that khaadati is
      > more like 'chewing', and is more likely to be used
      > of an animal devouring prey, as you say.
      >
      > The rest of the questions you ask are not easy or
      > obvious questions to answer. Perhaps someone here
      > has looked into them and can answer, or has
      > developed a feeling for the distinctions in their
      > reading, but generally you'd need to do a corpus
      > search and examine how the words are used in various
      > contexts and see if you can detect patterns. We
      > don't have the advantage of being able to quiz
      > native speakers.
      >
      > The Pali corpus isn't fully digitalized and
      > searchable in the same way as, for instance, the
      > Anglo-Saxon corpus is. There are also several strata
      > or levels of Pali. One way to start would be to try
      > to answer these questions just within the stratum of
      > commentarial narrative Pali prose. (jaataka and
      > dhammapada commentaries, rasavaahini, thuupava.msa
      > etc). Maybe include epic writing like the
      > mahaava.msa. Pali as 'standardized' in Sri Lanka.
      >
      > Another issue is that you get into a certain amount
      > of comparison with other prakrits, with Vedic and
      > with Sanskrit. To really answer some of these
      > questions you'd want wider knowledge of early and
      > middle Indic, though personally I feel there would
      > be a lot of value in just working within the
      > commentarial Pali mentioned above and see how far
      > you could go with exactly mapping the semantic
      > fields of key 'everyday item' words. Technical
      > vocabulary pertaining to Buddhism is a whole nother
      > story.
      >
      > best regards,
      >
      > /Rett
      >


      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!?
      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
      http://mail.yahoo.com
    • rett
      Hi Jacques and group, ... It s just one possible way to focus a study to make it more manageable. The commentarial narrative prose has the following features
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 1, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Jacques and group,

        >
        >I would like to know why you advise starting looking
        >in the commentarial litterature rather than in the
        >canonic one ? Is it for statistical reason - because
        >commentaries would be more bulky ? Or for some other
        >reason ?

        It's just one possible way to focus a study to make it more manageable. The commentarial narrative prose has the following features that appeal to me:

        It's extensive.

        Has folklore from all walks of life, including many descriptions of secular life.

        The language is relatively standardized.

        The style is explicitly that of a written, literary language.

        My impression so far, though I can't back it up with proof, is that the canonical prose has somewhat less wide-reaching story material, has a greater variety of odd and problematic forms and has more of an oral recitation style (cadenced prose, repetitions, and different ways of handling paragraphs, topicalization, transitions, the pronominal marking of retention or change of grammatical agent, anaphora etc). This doesn't mean I don't think it's worth studying. On the contrary, the canonical Pali prose is the most beautiful and profound literature I've ever read. It's just that there might be some value in doing separate studies of different strata, and the commentarial prose strikes me as a bit easier to start out with.

        I'm also a believer in learning ancient languages in the same sequence that a child learns to read. Stories > simple non-fiction > advanced technical writing and literature. The commentarial prose has a lot to offer in the way of simpler stories, and because of its standardization it's a realistic goal to get to where you can read Jaataka prose and Dhp-a like a bedside novel: extensively, quickly and with little or no reference to the dictionary.

        best regards,

        /Rett
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.