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Re: Pali grammar questions

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  • dipaeightprecepter
    Hi Ria, I am still having difficulty with word order. How do you determine which word comes directly before the verb? Here is an example from lesson two which
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 13, 2009
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      Hi Ria,
      I am still having difficulty with word order. How do you determine
      which word comes directly before the verb? Here is an example from
      lesson two which I missed.
      12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
      Does beggars get placed before the verb because they are human
      rather than the food getting placed before the verb? I have labeled
      beggars dative plural and food accusative singular. I thought that
      accusative always comes directly before the verb, but apparently that
      isn't true. The food is undergoing the action of being given as I see
      it. Why is beggars placed before the verb instead of food?

      thanks,
      Dipa
      -- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "grasje" <grasje@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear sister Dipa,
      >
      > You hit it right!
      > The nominative is for the doer of the action (the actor, the subject),
      > the accusative is for the thing or person undergoing the action (the
      > passive object).
      > The father is going, (with his chidren or with a wheelbarrow, that
      > does not matter)the father is singular, so the verb is in singular.
      >
      > The village is not dative singular, becase there is nothing "given" to
      > the village. (I once heard that the word dative comes from the old
      > indian word "dana") The village has to endure the going of the father,
      > and thus is accusative.
      >
      > In Narada's course, chapter 25 gives an overview of the use of the
      > cases. And it is a matter of a whole lot of practise. In English there
      > is only one case left: the possessive 's like in fathers's house. It
      > takes time to get used to the fact that in a sentences like "this is
      > the child" and "I see the child" the word for "child" has a different
      > ending. In "The child's toys" we have no problem with that fact.
      >
      > As I am dutch, I know nothing about Englisch grammars. Maybe one of
      > the other forum-members. (and I have the luck that I learned som
      > German, some 30 years ago, with dative, accustive and genitive
      > declensions)
      >
      > Kind regards
      >
      > Ria Glas
      >
      > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "dipaeightprecepter"
      > <dipaeightprecepter@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I am on lesson two of Elementary Pali Course. Here is number 13 to
      > > translate into Pali:
      > > "The father is going with the children to the village."
      > >
      > > How do you determine whether the verb is singular or plural?
      > > I need a rule or a pattern to follow to determine whether the verb is
      > > singular or plural.
      > >
      > > Why isn't "village" dative singular?
      > >
      > > If there is a resource with simple Pali and English grammar facts that
      > > you know of I would greatly appreciate it. My difficulties may be due
      > > to not being well educated in English grammar. I am struggling with
      > > determining what the object of a sentence is. I think I have hit on a
      > > rule that works for me. It is "The object is what the verb touches".
      > >
      > > Dipa
      > >
      >
    • James Whelan
      Hello Dipa, Hopefully I may be able to give a little help herre. Word order in Pali is to a large degree flexible. Usually, in fact almost always, the verb
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 14, 2009
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        Hello Dipa,

        Hopefully I may be able to give a little help herre.

        Word order in Pali is to a large degree flexible. Usually, in fact almost always, the verb comes last in a sentence. Usually (but not always) the direct object (here 'food') comes immediately before the verb. Usually (but not always) other qualifying expressions (here 'to the beggars') come before the direct object. Usually (but not always) the subject of the sentence (here 'the servants') comes first. Take a sentence of similar construction such as 'the Buddha gives instruction to the monks'. The (so called) usual order would be 'the Buddha to-the monks instruction gives / buddho bhikkhuunam saasanam dadaati'.

        By changing the usual order we can change the emphasis slightly. If we want to enphasise that is to the monks and not to others that he is giving instruction, we can take 'monks/bhikkhuunam' out of its usual place and emphasise it - just a little - by placing it directly before the verb 'Buddho saasanam bhukkhuunam dadaati'. We can emphasise it even more by placing it in an even more unusual position, right at the beginning of the sentence: 'saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam dadaati'. This is what you would do if for example someone asks you, 'Is the Buddha giving clothes to the monks', and you want to answer ''No, it's instruction that he's giving, not clothes', you could take 'instruction / saasanam' out of its usual place directly before the verb, and draw attentnion to it by putting it in that slightly unusual position at the beginning: saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam dadaati.'

        In fact one of the emphatic particles would in practice be used - words like 'hi' or 'eva', which you place immediately after a word to show that it is that word that you are emphasising. You may not have come to these yet but don't worry - you will, they are very easy, and they are very useful.

        In the English sentences 'the dogs bites the man' and 'the man bites the dog' we know who is doing what to whom by the word order - and by the word order alone. In Pali the 'usual' word order for 'the dog bites the man' is 'su.noo naram khaadati'. But if we change the order of the words and say 'naram su.noo khaadati', that is grammatically equally correct, but just emphases that it is the man (and not anyone or anything else) that the dog is biting. And of course we change the meaning to 'the man bites the dog' not by altering the word order, but by altering the endings: 'naro su.nam khaadati'.

        Now, we can doubly emphasise the extreme unusualness of the occurrence of a man biting a dog by taking the unusual step of putting the object after the verb, right at the end of the sentence: 'naro khaadati su.nam'. This is, of course, a very unusual word order, but is quite justifiable here to emphasise the effect of 'Wow! - did you see that!? - man biting dog!'.

        So you see, the order is not rigid, and there is no 'rule' about any particular word having to come directly before the verb, and certainly no rule (as you seem to have thought there might be) about words denoting human beings having to come directly before the verb. If the 'official' answers to the exercises have a different word order from the answers you have done, don't worry, chances are you are just as right as the 'official' answer. (Provided, of course, you have got everything else right - especially the word endings!)

        You are still in the early stages but you will find that you quickly get a feel for the balance of the sentence, and the differences of emphasis depending on word order. And bear in mind that sometimes it just makes no difference at all - often it is just a matter pure style and speaker's preference.

        I hope this make some sense - and good luck!

        Metta,
        James Whelan


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: dipaeightprecepter
        To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 2:57 PM
        Subject: [Bulk] [Pali] Re: Pali grammar questions


        Hi Ria,
        I am still having difficulty with word order. How do you determine
        which word comes directly before the verb? Here is an example from
        lesson two which I missed.
        12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
        Does beggars get placed before the verb because they are human
        rather than the food getting placed before the verb? I have labeled
        beggars dative plural and food accusative singular. I thought that
        accusative always comes directly before the verb, but apparently that
        isn't true. The food is undergoing the action of being given as I see
        it. Why is beggars placed before the verb instead of food?

        thanks,
        Dipa
        -- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "grasje" <grasje@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear sister Dipa,
        >
        > You hit it right!
        > The nominative is for the doer of the action (the actor, the subject),
        > the accusative is for the thing or person undergoing the action (the
        > passive object).
        > The father is going, (with his chidren or with a wheelbarrow, that
        > does not matter)the father is singular, so the verb is in singular.
        >
        > The village is not dative singular, becase there is nothing "given" to
        > the village. (I once heard that the word dative comes from the old
        > indian word "dana") The village has to endure the going of the father,
        > and thus is accusative.
        >
        > In Narada's course, chapter 25 gives an overview of the use of the
        > cases. And it is a matter of a whole lot of practise. In English there
        > is only one case left: the possessive 's like in fathers's house. It
        > takes time to get used to the fact that in a sentences like "this is
        > the child" and "I see the child" the word for "child" has a different
        > ending. In "The child's toys" we have no problem with that fact.
        >
        > As I am dutch, I know nothing about Englisch grammars. Maybe one of
        > the other forum-members. (and I have the luck that I learned som
        > German, some 30 years ago, with dative, accustive and genitive
        > declensions)
        >
        > Kind regards
        >
        > Ria Glas
        >
        > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "dipaeightprecepter"
        > <dipaeightprecepter@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I am on lesson two of Elementary Pali Course. Here is number 13 to
        > > translate into Pali:
        > > "The father is going with the children to the village."
        > >
        > > How do you determine whether the verb is singular or plural?
        > > I need a rule or a pattern to follow to determine whether the verb is
        > > singular or plural.
        > >
        > > Why isn't "village" dative singular?
        > >
        > > If there is a resource with simple Pali and English grammar facts that
        > > you know of I would greatly appreciate it. My difficulties may be due
        > > to not being well educated in English grammar. I am struggling with
        > > determining what the object of a sentence is. I think I have hit on a
        > > rule that works for me. It is "The object is what the verb touches".
        > >
        > > Dipa
        > >
        >




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Peter Bowen
        Thank you very much for the explanation, James. You have provided the type of clear, concise, and full explanation of basic Pali concepts that is so helpful to
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 14, 2009
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          Thank you very much for the explanation, James.

          You have provided the type of clear, concise, and full explanation of
          basic Pali concepts that is so helpful to beginners like myself (and
          probably others as well).

          I hope that you continue to give more of them, via this list, in the future!

          With metta,
          Peter Bowen


          2009/2/14 James Whelan <james.whelan5@...>:
          > Hello Dipa,
          >
          > Hopefully I may be able to give a little help herre.
          >
          > Word order in Pali is to a large degree flexible. Usually, in fact almost
          > always, the verb comes last in a sentence. Usually (but not always) the
          > direct object (here 'food') comes immediately before the verb. Usually (but
          > not always) other qualifying expressions (here 'to the beggars') come before
          > the direct object. Usually (but not always) the subject of the sentence
          > (here 'the servants') comes first. Take a sentence of similar construction
          > such as 'the Buddha gives instruction to the monks'. The (so called) usual
          > order would be 'the Buddha to-the monks instruction gives / buddho
          > bhikkhuunam saasanam dadaati'.
          >
          > By changing the usual order we can change the emphasis slightly. If we want
          > to enphasise that is to the monks and not to others that he is giving
          > instruction, we can take 'monks/bhikkhuunam' out of its usual place and
          > emphasise it - just a little - by placing it directly before the verb
          > 'Buddho saasanam bhukkhuunam dadaati'. We can emphasise it even more by
          > placing it in an even more unusual position, right at the beginning of the
          > sentence: 'saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam dadaati'. This is what you would do
          > if for example someone asks you, 'Is the Buddha giving clothes to the
          > monks', and you want to answer ''No, it's instruction that he's giving, not
          > clothes', you could take 'instruction / saasanam' out of its usual place
          > directly before the verb, and draw attentnion to it by putting it in that
          > slightly unusual position at the beginning: saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam
          > dadaati.'
          >
          > In fact one of the emphatic particles would in practice be used - words like
          > 'hi' or 'eva', which you place immediately after a word to show that it is
          > that word that you are emphasising. You may not have come to these yet but
          > don't worry - you will, they are very easy, and they are very useful.
          >
          > In the English sentences 'the dogs bites the man' and 'the man bites the
          > dog' we know who is doing what to whom by the word order - and by the word
          > order alone. In Pali the 'usual' word order for 'the dog bites the man' is
          > 'su.noo naram khaadati'. But if we change the order of the words and say
          > 'naram su.noo khaadati', that is grammatically equally correct, but just
          > emphases that it is the man (and not anyone or anything else) that the dog
          > is biting. And of course we change the meaning to 'the man bites the dog'
          > not by altering the word order, but by altering the endings: 'naro su.nam
          > khaadati'.
          >
          > Now, we can doubly emphasise the extreme unusualness of the occurrence of a
          > man biting a dog by taking the unusual step of putting the object after the
          > verb, right at the end of the sentence: 'naro khaadati su.nam'. This is, of
          > course, a very unusual word order, but is quite justifiable here to
          > emphasise the effect of 'Wow! - did you see that!? - man biting dog!'.
          >
          > So you see, the order is not rigid, and there is no 'rule' about any
          > particular word having to come directly before the verb, and certainly no
          > rule (as you seem to have thought there might be) about words denoting human
          > beings having to come directly before the verb. If the 'official' answers to
          > the exercises have a different word order from the answers you have done,
          > don't worry, chances are you are just as right as the 'official' answer.
          > (Provided, of course, you have got everything else right - especially the
          > word endings!)
          >
          > You are still in the early stages but you will find that you quickly get a
          > feel for the balance of the sentence, and the differences of emphasis
          > depending on word order. And bear in mind that sometimes it just makes no
          > difference at all - often it is just a matter pure style and speaker's
          > preference.
          >
          > I hope this make some sense - and good luck!
          >
          > Metta,
          > James Whelan
          >
        • grasje
          [:)] Thank you all for all these answers! Metta, Ria [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 14, 2009
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            [:)] Thank you all for all these answers!

            Metta,

            Ria





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dipa .
            Thank you James, Dhivan, and Ria, I would like to ask another question with hope that it might help me understand more. It may be that the answer you give is
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 15, 2009
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              Thank you James, Dhivan, and Ria,
              I would like to ask another question with hope that it
              might help me understand more. It may be that the answer
              you give is that the word order doesn't make any difference
              in these cases. If that is so then I want to know that. On the
              other hand if it does make a difference I want to know that as
              well.

              Here are two examples of answers taken from Lesson II B Translate
              into Pal from Elem Pali Course:
              2. You are giving medicine to the ascetic.
              answer: Tva.m sama.nassa osadha.m desi.
              verb giving
              accusative s. medicine

              12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
              answer: Daasaa aahaara.m yaacakaana.m denti.
              verb giving
              accusative s. beggars

              My answer for 12 was:
              Daasaa yaacakkaana.m aahaa.m denti.
              So, was my answer just as correct even though the word order was different?

              thanks,
              Diipaa

              Home: 417-864-4559
              Buddhist Group web site: http://www.geocities.com/sisterdipa/index.html
              Buddhist Group e-list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bowonWalnutSt/
              Audio Talks http://groups.google.com/group/discourses-of-the-buddha
              http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sutta.html
              Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are
              not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed,
              these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them. AN
              3.65


              On Sat, Feb 14, 2009 at 3:28 AM, James Whelan
              <james.whelan5@...>wrote:

              > Hello Dipa,
              >
              > Hopefully I may be able to give a little help herre.
              >
              > Word order in Pali is to a large degree flexible. Usually, in fact almost
              > always, the verb comes last in a sentence. Usually (but not always) the
              > direct object (here 'food') comes immediately before the verb. Usually (but
              > not always) other qualifying expressions (here 'to the beggars') come before
              > the direct object. Usually (but not always) the subject of the sentence
              > (here 'the servants') comes first. Take a sentence of similar construction
              > such as 'the Buddha gives instruction to the monks'. The (so called) usual
              > order would be 'the Buddha to-the monks instruction gives / buddho
              > bhikkhuunam saasanam dadaati'.
              >
              > By changing the usual order we can change the emphasis slightly. If we want
              > to enphasise that is to the monks and not to others that he is giving
              > instruction, we can take 'monks/bhikkhuunam' out of its usual place and
              > emphasise it - just a little - by placing it directly before the verb
              > 'Buddho saasanam bhukkhuunam dadaati'. We can emphasise it even more by
              > placing it in an even more unusual position, right at the beginning of the
              > sentence: 'saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam dadaati'. This is what you would do
              > if for example someone asks you, 'Is the Buddha giving clothes to the
              > monks', and you want to answer ''No, it's instruction that he's giving, not
              > clothes', you could take 'instruction / saasanam' out of its usual place
              > directly before the verb, and draw attentnion to it by putting it in that
              > slightly unusual position at the beginning: saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam
              > dadaati.'
              >
              > In fact one of the emphatic particles would in practice be used - words
              > like 'hi' or 'eva', which you place immediately after a word to show that it
              > is that word that you are emphasising. You may not have come to these yet
              > but don't worry - you will, they are very easy, and they are very useful.
              >
              > In the English sentences 'the dogs bites the man' and 'the man bites the
              > dog' we know who is doing what to whom by the word order - and by the word
              > order alone. In Pali the 'usual' word order for 'the dog bites the man' is
              > 'su.noo naram khaadati'. But if we change the order of the words and say
              > 'naram su.noo khaadati', that is grammatically equally correct, but just
              > emphases that it is the man (and not anyone or anything else) that the dog
              > is biting. And of course we change the meaning to 'the man bites the dog'
              > not by altering the word order, but by altering the endings: 'naro su.nam
              > khaadati'.
              >
              > Now, we can doubly emphasise the extreme unusualness of the occurrence of a
              > man biting a dog by taking the unusual step of putting the object after the
              > verb, right at the end of the sentence: 'naro khaadati su.nam'. This is, of
              > course, a very unusual word order, but is quite justifiable here to
              > emphasise the effect of 'Wow! - did you see that!? - man biting dog!'.
              >
              > So you see, the order is not rigid, and there is no 'rule' about any
              > particular word having to come directly before the verb, and certainly no
              > rule (as you seem to have thought there might be) about words denoting human
              > beings having to come directly before the verb. If the 'official' answers to
              > the exercises have a different word order from the answers you have done,
              > don't worry, chances are you are just as right as the 'official' answer.
              > (Provided, of course, you have got everything else right - especially the
              > word endings!)
              >
              > You are still in the early stages but you will find that you quickly get a
              > feel for the balance of the sentence, and the differences of emphasis
              > depending on word order. And bear in mind that sometimes it just makes no
              > difference at all - often it is just a matter pure style and speaker's
              > preference.
              >
              > I hope this make some sense - and good luck!
              >
              > Metta,
              > James Whelan
              >
              >
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: dipaeightprecepter
              > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 2:57 PM
              > Subject: [Bulk] [Pali] Re: Pali grammar questions
              >
              > Hi Ria,
              > I am still having difficulty with word order. How do you determine
              > which word comes directly before the verb? Here is an example from
              > lesson two which I missed.
              > 12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
              > Does beggars get placed before the verb because they are human
              > rather than the food getting placed before the verb? I have labeled
              > beggars dative plural and food accusative singular. I thought that
              > accusative always comes directly before the verb, but apparently that
              > isn't true. The food is undergoing the action of being given as I see
              > it. Why is beggars placed before the verb instead of food?
              >
              > thanks,
              > Dipa
              > -- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, "grasje" <grasje@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear sister Dipa,
              > >
              > > You hit it right!
              > > The nominative is for the doer of the action (the actor, the subject),
              > > the accusative is for the thing or person undergoing the action (the
              > > passive object).
              > > The father is going, (with his chidren or with a wheelbarrow, that
              > > does not matter)the father is singular, so the verb is in singular.
              > >
              > > The village is not dative singular, becase there is nothing "given" to
              > > the village. (I once heard that the word dative comes from the old
              > > indian word "dana") The village has to endure the going of the father,
              > > and thus is accusative.
              > >
              > > In Narada's course, chapter 25 gives an overview of the use of the
              > > cases. And it is a matter of a whole lot of practise. In English there
              > > is only one case left: the possessive 's like in fathers's house. It
              > > takes time to get used to the fact that in a sentences like "this is
              > > the child" and "I see the child" the word for "child" has a different
              > > ending. In "The child's toys" we have no problem with that fact.
              > >
              > > As I am dutch, I know nothing about Englisch grammars. Maybe one of
              > > the other forum-members. (and I have the luck that I learned som
              > > German, some 30 years ago, with dative, accustive and genitive
              > > declensions)
              > >
              > > Kind regards
              > >
              > > Ria Glas
              > >
              > > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>,
              > "dipaeightprecepter"
              > > <dipaeightprecepter@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I am on lesson two of Elementary Pali Course. Here is number 13 to
              > > > translate into Pali:
              > > > "The father is going with the children to the village."
              > > >
              > > > How do you determine whether the verb is singular or plural?
              > > > I need a rule or a pattern to follow to determine whether the verb is
              > > > singular or plural.
              > > >
              > > > Why isn't "village" dative singular?
              > > >
              > > > If there is a resource with simple Pali and English grammar facts that
              > > > you know of I would greatly appreciate it. My difficulties may be due
              > > > to not being well educated in English grammar. I am struggling with
              > > > determining what the object of a sentence is. I think I have hit on a
              > > > rule that works for me. It is "The object is what the verb touches".
              > > >
              > > > Dipa
              > > >
              > >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • James Whelan
              Hello Dipa, Subject to one small typo (aahaa.m for aahaara.m), your answer was just as correct! Metta James Whelan ... From: Dipa . To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 16, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello Dipa,

                Subject to one small typo (aahaa.m for aahaara.m), your answer was just as correct!

                Metta
                James Whelan


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Dipa .
                To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2009 3:19 PM
                Subject: Re: [Pali] Re: Pali grammar questions


                Thank you James, Dhivan, and Ria,
                I would like to ask another question with hope that it
                might help me understand more. It may be that the answer
                you give is that the word order doesn't make any difference
                in these cases. If that is so then I want to know that. On the
                other hand if it does make a difference I want to know that as
                well.

                Here are two examples of answers taken from Lesson II B Translate
                into Pal from Elem Pali Course:
                2. You are giving medicine to the ascetic.
                answer: Tva.m sama.nassa osadha.m desi.
                verb giving
                accusative s. medicine

                12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
                answer: Daasaa aahaara.m yaacakaana.m denti.
                verb giving
                accusative s. beggars

                My answer for 12 was:
                Daasaa yaacakkaana.m aahaa.m denti.
                So, was my answer just as correct even though the word order was different?

                thanks,
                Diipaa

                Home: 417-864-4559
                Buddhist Group web site: http://www.geocities.com/sisterdipa/index.html
                Buddhist Group e-list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bowonWalnutSt/
                Audio Talks http://groups.google.com/group/discourses-of-the-buddha
                http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sutta.html
                Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are
                not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed,
                these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them. AN
                3.65

                On Sat, Feb 14, 2009 at 3:28 AM, James Whelan
                <james.whelan5@...>wrote:

                > Hello Dipa,
                >
                > Hopefully I may be able to give a little help herre.
                >
                > Word order in Pali is to a large degree flexible. Usually, in fact almost
                > always, the verb comes last in a sentence. Usually (but not always) the
                > direct object (here 'food') comes immediately before the verb. Usually (but
                > not always) other qualifying expressions (here 'to the beggars') come before
                > the direct object. Usually (but not always) the subject of the sentence
                > (here 'the servants') comes first. Take a sentence of similar construction
                > such as 'the Buddha gives instruction to the monks'. The (so called) usual
                > order would be 'the Buddha to-the monks instruction gives / buddho
                > bhikkhuunam saasanam dadaati'.
                >
                > By changing the usual order we can change the emphasis slightly. If we want
                > to enphasise that is to the monks and not to others that he is giving
                > instruction, we can take 'monks/bhikkhuunam' out of its usual place and
                > emphasise it - just a little - by placing it directly before the verb
                > 'Buddho saasanam bhukkhuunam dadaati'. We can emphasise it even more by
                > placing it in an even more unusual position, right at the beginning of the
                > sentence: 'saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam dadaati'. This is what you would do
                > if for example someone asks you, 'Is the Buddha giving clothes to the
                > monks', and you want to answer ''No, it's instruction that he's giving, not
                > clothes', you could take 'instruction / saasanam' out of its usual place
                > directly before the verb, and draw attentnion to it by putting it in that
                > slightly unusual position at the beginning: saasanam buddho bhikkhuunam
                > dadaati.'
                >
                > In fact one of the emphatic particles would in practice be used - words
                > like 'hi' or 'eva', which you place immediately after a word to show that it
                > is that word that you are emphasising. You may not have come to these yet
                > but don't worry - you will, they are very easy, and they are very useful.
                >
                > In the English sentences 'the dogs bites the man' and 'the man bites the
                > dog' we know who is doing what to whom by the word order - and by the word
                > order alone. In Pali the 'usual' word order for 'the dog bites the man' is
                > 'su.noo naram khaadati'. But if we change the order of the words and say
                > 'naram su.noo khaadati', that is grammatically equally correct, but just
                > emphases that it is the man (and not anyone or anything else) that the dog
                > is biting. And of course we change the meaning to 'the man bites the dog'
                > not by altering the word order, but by altering the endings: 'naro su.nam
                > khaadati'.
                >
                > Now, we can doubly emphasise the extreme unusualness of the occurrence of a
                > man biting a dog by taking the unusual step of putting the object after the
                > verb, right at the end of the sentence: 'naro khaadati su.nam'. This is, of
                > course, a very unusual word order, but is quite justifiable here to
                > emphasise the effect of 'Wow! - did you see that!? - man biting dog!'.
                >
                > So you see, the order is not rigid, and there is no 'rule' about any
                > particular word having to come directly before the verb, and certainly no
                > rule (as you seem to have thought there might be) about words denoting human
                > beings having to come directly before the verb. If the 'official' answers to
                > the exercises have a different word order from the answers you have done,
                > don't worry, chances are you are just as right as the 'official' answer.
                > (Provided, of course, you have got everything else right - especially the
                > word endings!)
                >
                > You are still in the early stages but you will find that you quickly get a
                > feel for the balance of the sentence, and the differences of emphasis
                > depending on word order. And bear in mind that sometimes it just makes no
                > difference at all - often it is just a matter pure style and speaker's
                > preference.
                >
                > I hope this make some sense - and good luck!
                >
                > Metta,
                > James Whelan
                >
                >
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: dipaeightprecepter
                > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 2:57 PM
                > Subject: [Bulk] [Pali] Re: Pali grammar questions
                >
                > Hi Ria,
                > I am still having difficulty with word order. How do you determine
                > which word comes directly before the verb? Here is an example from
                > lesson two which I missed.
                > 12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
                > Does beggars get placed before the verb because they are human
                > rather than the food getting placed before the verb? I have labeled
                > beggars dative plural and food accusative singular. I thought that
                > accusative always comes directly before the verb, but apparently that
                > isn't true. The food is undergoing the action of being given as I see
                > it. Why is beggars placed before the verb instead of food?
                >
                > thanks,
                > Dipa
                > -- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, "grasje" <grasje@...>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Dear sister Dipa,
                > >
                > > You hit it right!
                > > The nominative is for the doer of the action (the actor, the subject),
                > > the accusative is for the thing or person undergoing the action (the
                > > passive object).
                > > The father is going, (with his chidren or with a wheelbarrow, that
                > > does not matter)the father is singular, so the verb is in singular.
                > >
                > > The village is not dative singular, becase there is nothing "given" to
                > > the village. (I once heard that the word dative comes from the old
                > > indian word "dana") The village has to endure the going of the father,
                > > and thus is accusative.
                > >
                > > In Narada's course, chapter 25 gives an overview of the use of the
                > > cases. And it is a matter of a whole lot of practise. In English there
                > > is only one case left: the possessive 's like in fathers's house. It
                > > takes time to get used to the fact that in a sentences like "this is
                > > the child" and "I see the child" the word for "child" has a different
                > > ending. In "The child's toys" we have no problem with that fact.
                > >
                > > As I am dutch, I know nothing about Englisch grammars. Maybe one of
                > > the other forum-members. (and I have the luck that I learned som
                > > German, some 30 years ago, with dative, accustive and genitive
                > > declensions)
                > >
                > > Kind regards
                > >
                > > Ria Glas
                > >
                > > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > "dipaeightprecepter"
                > > <dipaeightprecepter@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I am on lesson two of Elementary Pali Course. Here is number 13 to
                > > > translate into Pali:
                > > > "The father is going with the children to the village."
                > > >
                > > > How do you determine whether the verb is singular or plural?
                > > > I need a rule or a pattern to follow to determine whether the verb is
                > > > singular or plural.
                > > >
                > > > Why isn't "village" dative singular?
                > > >
                > > > If there is a resource with simple Pali and English grammar facts that
                > > > you know of I would greatly appreciate it. My difficulties may be due
                > > > to not being well educated in English grammar. I am struggling with
                > > > determining what the object of a sentence is. I think I have hit on a
                > > > rule that works for me. It is "The object is what the verb touches".
                > > >
                > > > Dipa
                > > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >

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