Re: [Pali] Re: Pali grammar questions
- Hello Dipa,
Subject to one small typo (aahaa.m for aahaara.m), your answer was just as correct!
----- Original Message -----
From: Dipa .
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
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.
accusative s. medicine
12. The servants are giving food to the beggars.
answer: Daasaa aahaara.m yaacakaana.m denti.
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?
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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
On Sat, Feb 14, 2009 at 3:28 AM, 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 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
> 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
> 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
> I hope this make some sense - and good luck!
> 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?
> -- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, "grasje" <grasje@...>
> > 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@> 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
> > >
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