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Re: Problems translating a sentence from the Jaataka

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  • Jim Anderson
    ... Dear Piya, Sorry, my digital copies come from CSCD and SlTP which are unedited. It s best to get the hard copies. I was able to order and receive the
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 1 6:28 AM
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      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Piya Tan" <dharmafarer@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Jim,
      >
      > Do you have a digital copy of Kaccayaana-V and Moggallaa.na-V?
      > (Besides the CSCD, that is; preferably an edited one.)
      >
      > Thanks & metta,
      >
      > Piya Tan

      Dear Piya,

      Sorry, my digital copies come from CSCD and SlTP which are unedited.
      It's best to get the hard copies. I was able to order and receive the
      Kaccaayana-byaakara.na and Moggallaana-byaakara.na from
      myanmarbook.com based in Yangon ($10 usd per book). They are in
      Burmese script and include the vutti or commentary on the grammatical
      suttas. I'm working on producing an edited digital version but it
      will be years before I'm finished. I recently read that the
      Moggallaana system is modelled after Candragomin's Ssnskrit grammar.
      I would like to say that the interpretation of "ra~n~naa pana
      vandite" I gave in my previous message has some mistakes and is
      really at the stage of trial and error. I made a mistake
      with "ha~n~nate". It should be translated as "is killed" not "was
      killed". Also, "vandite" still remains problematic for me. I don't
      know Kacc-v all that well --- there is so much more to learn.

      Best wishes,
      Jim
    • flrobert2000
      Dear Jim, Thanks for your attempts to explains this use of vandite. I will ask my Pali teachers in Yangon as soon as I get back there and will let you know
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 1 6:41 AM
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        Dear Jim,

        Thanks for your attempts to explains this use of vandite. I will ask
        my Pali teachers in Yangon as soon as I get back there and will let
        you know what they think. I will also try to find out how it has been
        translated in Burmese.
        With metta,

        Florent

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson_on@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Piya Tan" <dharmafarer@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Dear Jim,
        > >
        > > Do you have a digital copy of Kaccayaana-V and Moggallaa.na-V?
        > > (Besides the CSCD, that is; preferably an edited one.)
        > >
        > > Thanks & metta,
        > >
        > > Piya Tan
        >
        > Dear Piya,
        >
        > Sorry, my digital copies come from CSCD and SlTP which are unedited.
        > It's best to get the hard copies. I was able to order and receive the
        > Kaccaayana-byaakara.na and Moggallaana-byaakara.na from
        > myanmarbook.com based in Yangon ($10 usd per book). They are in
        > Burmese script and include the vutti or commentary on the grammatical
        > suttas. I'm working on producing an edited digital version but it
        > will be years before I'm finished. I recently read that the
        > Moggallaana system is modelled after Candragomin's Ssnskrit grammar.
        > I would like to say that the interpretation of "ra~n~naa pana
        > vandite" I gave in my previous message has some mistakes and is
        > really at the stage of trial and error. I made a mistake
        > with "ha~n~nate". It should be translated as "is killed" not "was
        > killed". Also, "vandite" still remains problematic for me. I don't
        > know Kacc-v all that well --- there is so much more to learn.
        >
        > Best wishes,
        > Jim
        >
      • Jim Anderson
        ... Thanks, Florent, I look forward to hearing what you can find out in Yangon. It s good that you have a Pali teacher to help you. About a month ago, I met
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 1 10:44 AM
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          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "flrobert2000" <flrobert2000@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Jim,
          >
          > Thanks for your attempts to explains this use of vandite. I will ask
          > my Pali teachers in Yangon as soon as I get back there and will let
          > you know what they think. I will also try to find out how it has
          > been translated in Burmese.
          > With metta,
          >
          > Florent

          Thanks, Florent, I look forward to hearing what you can find out in
          Yangon. It's good that you have a Pali teacher to help you. About a
          month ago, I met and spoke with a senior Burmese bhikkhu, also a Pali
          teacher, who was visiting a meditation centre just outside of
          Montreal and he tells me that one can learn Pali much more quickly
          with a good teacher. It takes about two years to teach a student the
          Kaccaayanabyaakara.na or one year for a bright student.
          Unfortunately, Pali teachers are few and far between outside of South
          Asia.

          Best wishes,
          Jim
        • Jon Fernquest
          Florent wrote: I will also try to find out how it has been translated in Burmese. The nissaya genre of Burmese literature (also genre of Mon, Yuan/Chiang
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 1 7:09 PM
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            Florent wrote: "I will also try to find out how it has been translated
            in Burmese."

            The "nissaya" genre of Burmese literature
            (also genre of Mon, Yuan/Chiang Mai literature),
            essentially a phrase by phrase interleaved translation
            of Pali into Burmese, addresses this exact issue.

            Some of these works exist in published book form
            (listed in front of Stewart's Burmese dictionary)
            but most I suspect are only in palm leaf.
            Something to check for in Peter Skilling's
            palm leaf text library in Nonthaburi.

            The following book in French supposedly
            describes the genre in detail.
            Has anyone had a chance to read it?

            Pruitt, William
            Etude linguistique de nissaya birmans:
            traduction commentee de textes bouddhiques
            Paris :
            Presses de l'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient,
            1994
            Monographies ; no. 174
            Tipitaka. Vinayapitaka. Suttavibhanga.
            Patimokkha. Bhikkhupatimokkha. Burmese
            Buddhist literature, Burmese --
            Translations from Pali
            ISBN 2 85 539 774 X
            http://lib.sac.or.th/search/

            I believe that Justin McDaniels is coming out with a book this year
            that addresses nissaya for Yuan/Chiang Mai language.

            Anyway what I am reading from these discussions is a parallel
            Pali-English corpus is needed:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_text
            I'm doing a parallel alignment/translation of my favorite Jataka,
            the Mahasuddasana Jataka, no 95.

            [Also an extensive and complete master syllabus for Pali that has all
            grammar points systematically arranged, perhaps in flow chart form,
            for example, the locative case ending on a word may indicate a
            locative absolute phrase which requires a noun object, no object?,
            then possible ellipsis, must substitute object, find object, which
            object is most reasonable choice?....BTW the quickest way to come up
            to speed on locative absolute phrases seems to be Yong Peng's answers
            to exercises chapter 16, Warder, what I will be quizzing myself with
            while walking to work this week, thanks Yong Peng!]

            [Also Thanks for the references to those grammars]

            With metta
            Jon Fernquest
          • Ong Yong Peng
            Dear Jon, the answers which you referred to was contributed by John (Kelly). And, so, thanks John! http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/pali.php?palidd=c16 metta, Yong
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 1 10:26 PM
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              Dear Jon,

              the answers which you referred to was contributed by John (Kelly).
              And, so, thanks John!

              http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/pali.php?palidd=c16

              metta,
              Yong Peng.


              --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jon Fernquest wrote:

              the quickest way to come up to speed on locative absolute phrases
              seems to be Yong Peng's answers to exercises chapter 16, Warder, what
              I will be quizzing myself with while walking to work this week, thanks
              Yong Peng!
            • flrobert2000
              Dear Mahapaliha and Jim, I asked my teacher about the use of vandite in the sentence: Ra~n~naa pana vandite bhagavanta.m avanditvaa .thaatu.m samattho naama
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 16 7:03 AM
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                Dear Mahapaliha and Jim,

                I asked my teacher about the use of vandite in the sentence:

                "Ra~n~naa pana vandite bhagavanta.m avanditvaa .thaatu.m samattho
                naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi."

                According to him, vandite stands instead of vandito (vandite vandito
                hutvaa he told me), and Bhagavaa in the nominative singular is
                understood. He said that here the passive form implied by Ra~n~naa
                competes with the locative absolute. This happens sometimes,
                especially in the commentarial litterature and in this case the
                passive form is stronger.

                However after researching a bit I also found this sentence in the texts

                "Suddhodanamahaaraajena pana vandite bhagavati avanditvaa .thito
                naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi"

                which further confuses me! I haven't talked about it with my teacher
                yet but I will do so as soon as I meet him.

                Regards,

                Florent
              • Mahinda Palihawadana
                Dear friend, No problem here, really. The new sentence you have quoted is a recast of the earlier one. It means When the Blessed One was worshipped by king
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 16 9:49 AM
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                  Dear friend,
                  No problem here, really. The new sentence you have quoted is a recast of the
                  earlier one. It means" When the Blessed One was worshipped by king
                  Suddhodana, there was not even a single Sakiyan (who was) able to stay
                  without worshipping him". Note the locative absolute "mhaaraajena
                  bhagavati vandite". It confirms our guess that bhagavati was understood in
                  the earlier sentence too.

                  Mahinda


                  On 3/16/08, flrobert2000 <flrobert2000@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Mahapaliha and Jim,
                  >
                  > I asked my teacher about the use of vandite in the sentence:
                  >
                  > "Ra~n~naa pana vandite bhagavanta.m avanditvaa .thaatu.m samattho
                  > naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi."
                  >
                  > According to him, vandite stands instead of vandito (vandite vandito
                  > hutvaa he told me), and Bhagavaa in the nominative singular is
                  > understood. He said that here the passive form implied by Ra~n~naa
                  > competes with the locative absolute. This happens sometimes,
                  > especially in the commentarial litterature and in this case the
                  > passive form is stronger.
                  >
                  > However after researching a bit I also found this sentence in the texts
                  >
                  > "Suddhodanamahaaraajena pana vandite bhagavati avanditvaa .thito
                  > naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi"
                  >
                  > which further confuses me! I haven't talked about it with my teacher
                  > yet but I will do so as soon as I meet him.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > Florent
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jim Anderson
                  Dear Florent (and Mahinda), Thank-you for sharing your teacher s explanation of this puzzling matter and for the Suddhodana quote from Sp V 1006 which I wasn t
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 17 7:15 AM
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                    Dear Florent (and Mahinda),

                    Thank-you for sharing your teacher's explanation of this puzzling
                    matter and for the Suddhodana quote from Sp V 1006 which I wasn't aware
                    of. I would like to pass on another possible solution, offered by Ole
                    Pind on my own list and supported by Lance Cousins, which is to
                    take "vandite" as an accusative plural in association with "paade" of
                    the previous sentence. "...tumhaaka.m paade vandaami, aya.m me vandanaa
                    ti. ra~n~naa pana vandite. . ." --- " . . . I honour your feet, 'this
                    is my third salutation'. And (his feet) being honoured by the
                    king, . . ." The same usage of 'vandite' with 'paade' also occurs at D
                    II 164. I hadn't considered this possibility before but it sounds
                    plausible to me.

                    Best wishes,
                    Jim
                  • mahipaliha
                    ... aware ... Ole ... of ... vandanaa ... feet, this ... Dear Jim, I do not wish to split hairs, but this is perplexing. Even in terms of this
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 20 8:38 AM
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                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson_on@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear Florent (and Mahinda),
                      >
                      > Thank-you for sharing your teacher's explanation of this puzzling
                      > matter and for the Suddhodana quote from Sp V 1006 which I wasn't
                      aware
                      > of. I would like to pass on another possible solution, offered by
                      Ole
                      > Pind on my own list and supported by Lance Cousins, which is to
                      > take "vandite" as an accusative plural in association with "paade"
                      of
                      > the previous sentence. "...tumhaaka.m paade vandaami, aya.m me
                      vandanaa
                      > ti. ra~n~naa pana vandite. . ." --- " . . . I honour your
                      feet, 'this
                      > is my third salutation'. And (his feet) being honoured by the
                      > king, . . ."

                      Dear Jim,
                      I do not wish to split hairs, but this is perplexing. Even in terms
                      of this interpretation,it seems to me that we
                      cannot take paade ( the paade which you have put within
                      parenthesis) as an acc, pl. To get the sense "feet being honoured by
                      the king", we must assume that paade is in a locative absolute
                      construction, isn't it? But in that case, it should be "padesu
                      vanditesu", because otherwise it would mean that the king worshipped
                      only one foot. Are you thinking of an accusative absolute?

                      >The same usage of 'vandite' with 'paade' also occurs at D
                      > II 164.

                      What we have at D. ii 164 is "vandite ca pana aayasmataa mahaa-
                      kassapena ...sayam eva bhagavato citako pajjali" wich is similar
                      to "vandite pana ra~n~naa" in our passage. It means "when worshipped
                      by the venerable Mahaakassapa the Blessed One's pyre lighted of its
                      own accord. Here we have the locative absolute "vandite .. citake"
                      the latter word being again "understood". There is no 'paade' here.

                      Best wishes.
                      Mahinda
                    • Jim Anderson
                      Dear Mahinda,
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 20 3:45 PM
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                        Dear Mahinda,

                        << Dear Jim,
                        I do not wish to split hairs, but this is perplexing. Even in terms
                        of this interpretation,it seems to me that we
                        cannot take paade ( the paade which you have put within
                        parenthesis) as an acc, pl. To get the sense "feet being honoured by
                        the king", we must assume that paade is in a locative absolute
                        construction, isn't it? But in that case, it should be "padesu
                        vanditesu", because otherwise it would mean that the king worshipped
                        only one foot. Are you thinking of an accusative absolute? >>

                        Jim:
                        Yes, but only after Lance Cousins said " I would call that construction
                        'accusative absolute'. " (his words). Now I have never seen the accusative
                        absolute being described in any of the Pali grammars I'm aware of --- just
                        locative and genitive absolutes --- so it's rather new to me.

                        >The same usage of 'vandite' with 'paade' also occurs at D
                        > II 164.

                        Mahinda:
                        << What we have at D. ii 164 is "vandite ca pana aayasmataa mahaa-
                        kassapena ...sayam eva bhagavato citako pajjali" wich is similar
                        to "vandite pana ra~n~naa" in our passage. It means "when worshipped
                        by the venerable Mahaakassapa the Blessed One's pyre lighted of its
                        own accord. Here we have the locative absolute "vandite .. citake"
                        the latter word being again "understood". There is no 'paade' here. >>

                        Jim:
                        The relevant D II 164 passage is: ". . .bhagavato paade sirasaa vandi.msu.
                        vandite ca pana aayasmataa. . ." Ole Pind says there shouldn't be a period
                        after 'vandi.msu". Hence, ". . .they honoured the feet of the Bhagavant with
                        the head and, furthermore, while (the feet) were being honoured by the
                        Venerable. . ." or " . . .when (the feet were) worshipped by. . ." The
                        problem with an understood "citake" in a locative absolute construction is
                        that the object of honouring has shifted from the feet to the pyre. The
                        "paade" (acc. pl.) also occurs earlier in our Ja I 88 passage but its
                        connection to "vandite" would be more convincing if we had "vandite
                        ca pana ra~n~naa" instead of "ra~n~naa pana vandite". I cannot decide for
                        sure which of the two interpretations (yours or Ole's) is correct if only
                        one of them can be correct and, if so, for what reason. I simply do not know
                        enough Pali grammar to decide.

                        I have also been thinking about the "snehaanvayamiv osadhaa" passage which I
                        find even harder to interpret.

                        Best wishes,
                        Jim
                      • mahipaliha
                        ... construction ... I have much respect for Lance Cousins, but would not hesitate to form my own judgement on an issue. While working on the Dhammapada and
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 20 10:54 PM
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                          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson.on@...>
                          wrote:
                          >Mahinda : Are you thinking of an accusative absolute? >>
                          >
                          > Jim:
                          > Yes, but only after Lance Cousins said " I would call that
                          construction
                          > 'accusative absolute'. " (his words).

                          I have much respect for Lance Cousins, but would not hesitate to
                          form my own judgement on an issue. While working on the Dhammapada
                          and its commentary (since published by OUP/USA), I realized how even
                          the brightest Pali scholars have on occaion tripped. So I won't be
                          overawed, nor would I reject a scholar's opinion out of hand. The
                          possibilty of this being an acc. abs. is admitted.

                          > Now I have never seen the accusative
                          > absolute being described in any of the Pali grammars I'm aware of -

                          The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally my
                          Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
                          Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
                          1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
                          very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
                          MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
                          (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
                          absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
                          vandito."

                          > The relevant D II 164 passage is: ". . .bhagavato paade sirasaa
                          vandi.msu.
                          > vandite ca pana aayasmataa. . ." Ole Pind says there shouldn't be
                          a period
                          > after 'vandi.msu". Hence, ". . .they honoured the feet of the
                          Bhagavant with
                          > the head and, furthermore, while (the feet) were being honoured by
                          the
                          > Venerable. . ." or " . . .when (the feet were) worshipped by. . ."
                          The
                          > problem with an understood "citake" in a locative absolute
                          construction is
                          > that the object of honouring has shifted from the feet to the
                          pyre.

                          The pyre with the body of the Buddha inside. Not much of a shift.

                          The pnctuation question is difficult to resolve because MSS were
                          notoriously inattentive to punctuation.

                          I would, for now, assume that
                          (1)the loc. abs. or a simple locative of time (vandite: after the
                          act of worship) explains the Mahaprinibbana Sutta passage. But the
                          acc. abs. construction cannot be ruled out.

                          (2) In the JA psg, the elliptical loc. abs. vandite (bhagavati)is
                          more likely, because (a) there is another similar text where the
                          assumed bhagavati is explicitly present and (b) it suits the context
                          well. Context being the situation where some relatives of the Buddha
                          were reluctant to pay homage to their younger relation, but had to
                          do so when King Suddhodana himself paid homage.

                          Dear Jim, many thanks for the trouble you took to forward the
                          exchange of messages in your grammar group and for inviting me to be
                          a member. But I find that responding to messaages in this group
                          already consuming too much of my time, which I would gladly spend on
                          some other activities I am presently engaged in ( where
                          incidentally, grammar is such a nuisnace to a writer in modern
                          Sinhalese).
                          Best wishes.
                          Mahinda
                        • Jim Anderson
                          Dear Mahinda, You wrote:
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 21 3:31 PM
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                            Dear Mahinda,

                            You wrote:
                            << The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally my
                            Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
                            Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
                            1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
                            very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
                            MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
                            (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
                            absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
                            vandito." >>

                            I have not seen Wijesekaera's book but have been hearing about it on my list
                            over the past few years. I will see if I can get a copy. Thank-you for all
                            the points you've made about "vandite". I'm not ruling out the possibility
                            of a locative absolute construction especially in view of the Suddhodana
                            passage at Sp V 1006 with "bhagavati" I can also see the merits of
                            taking "vandite".as an accusative plural in agreement with "paade"
                            especially in the passage at D II 164. Either way, I don't think it makes
                            much of a difference in a translation. It's mostly a matter of concern to
                            grammarians.

                            Best wishes,
                            Jim
                          • flrobert2000
                            Dear Mahinda and Jim, Thank you very much for the very interesting discussions that followed my question about this sentence from the Jaataka. I do agree in
                            Message 13 of 25 , Mar 24 9:47 PM
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                              Dear Mahinda and Jim,

                              Thank you very much for the very interesting discussions that
                              followed my question about this sentence from the Jaataka.

                              I do agree in the end that it doesn't make much difference in the
                              translation and that it mostly matters to grammarians. I am not sure
                              I mentioned it, but this sentence was actually cited in the last
                              exercise of Ven. Buddhadatta's New Pali Course Part II. I must say
                              that I have found some of the sentences very challenging to
                              translate, especially when the context is not very clear. Trying to
                              solve Buddhadatta's exercises, have been sometimes quite valuable
                              because of the grammatical research and discussions to which they
                              lead. Putting back the sentences into context has also helped me to
                              discover some inspiring stories, especially from the Dhammapada
                              Commentaries.

                              My teacher keeps on reminding me that I should try at this stage to
                              directly read the suttas (as Bhikkhu Bodhi recommends it in his very
                              inspiring pali lectures) in order to gain some fluency, and without
                              paying too much attention to some grammatical difficulties. However,
                              I still get "frightened" by the complexity of this language and I
                              feel sometimes completely hopeless in front of some constructions,
                              especially when reading the commentaries. I wonder how many more
                              years of studies it will take before I can approach the fluency of my
                              teachers, who have been studying it since they were children!

                              Regards,

                              Florent

                              --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson.on@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > Dear Mahinda,
                              >
                              > You wrote:
                              > << The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally
                              my
                              > Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
                              > Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
                              > 1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
                              > very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
                              > MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
                              > (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
                              > absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
                              > vandito." >>
                              >
                              > I have not seen Wijesekaera's book but have been hearing about it
                              on my list
                              > over the past few years. I will see if I can get a copy. Thank-you
                              for all
                              > the points you've made about "vandite". I'm not ruling out the
                              possibility
                              > of a locative absolute construction especially in view of the
                              Suddhodana
                              > passage at Sp V 1006 with "bhagavati" I can also see the merits of
                              > taking "vandite".as an accusative plural in agreement with "paade"
                              > especially in the passage at D II 164. Either way, I don't think it
                              makes
                              > much of a difference in a translation. It's mostly a matter of
                              concern to
                              > grammarians.
                              >
                              > Best wishes,
                              > Jim
                              >
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