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Questions on PP - Lesson 10

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  • John Kelly
    Greetings all, I have some comments and questions on some of the (translate to English) exercises in the Pali Primer - Lesson 10. First, #4. Yaacako maatulassa
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 17, 2001
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      Greetings all,
      I have some comments and questions on some of the
      (translate to English) exercises in the Pali Primer -
      Lesson 10.

      First, #4.
      Yaacako maatulassa kuddaalena aavaa.ta.m kha.nitu.m
      icchati.
      Ans: The beggar wishes to dig a pit with his uncle's
      hoe.

      However, since maatulassa is an alternative form of
      the dative, couldn't this also be translated as:
      The beggar wishes to dig a pit with a hoe for his
      uncle.

      I think the first translaton (and the one given by
      Yong Peng and the PP Key) is the most logical, but I
      just wanted to note the ambiguity.

      Then on #12
      Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m rajako putta.m
      pakkosati.
      Ans: The washerman calls his son to step into the
      water and wash clothes.
      Why not alternatively?: Having stepped into the water
      to wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.

      This is really a question of does the absolutive
      (otaritvaa) apply to the subject (rajako) or the
      object (putta.m) of the sentence? Is there any
      quiding rule in Pali, or is it just a matter of
      interpretation?

      Similarly, on #22.
      Pupphaani sa.mharitvaa udakena aasi~ncitu.m upaasako
      kumaare ovadati.
      Ans: The lay devotee advises the boys to collect
      flowers and sprinkle them with water.
      Why not alternatively?: The lay devotee, having
      collected flowers, advises the boys to sprinkle them
      with water.

      Same question as above - does the absolutive
      (sa.mharitvaa) apply to the subject (upaasako) or the
      object( kumaare)?

      I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those
      more knowledgable in Pali.

      Thanks,
      John

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    • Ong Yong Peng
      Dear John and friends, other than #12 and #22, I m also puzzled with the answers of: Translate into English: 13, 16, 21, 22, 25 Translate into Pali: 1, 4, 5,
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 18, 2001
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        Dear John and friends,

        other than #12 and #22, I'm also puzzled with the answers of:

        Translate into English: 13, 16, 21, 22, 25
        Translate into Pali: 1, 4, 5, 6, 21, 22

        My problem is of a different nature.

        16. Naraa gaamamhaa nikkhamitvaa nagare vasitu.m icchanti.
        Ans: Men wish to leave the village and dwell in the city.

        My initial answer was 'Men, having left the village, wish to live in
        the city.'

        The reason is because 'nikkhamitvaa' (=having left, as we learned in
        chpt. 9) is a gerund/absolutive. And according to Warder, the gerund
        is used to express an action preceding the action of the main verb of
        a sentence. [Introduction to Pali 3rd Edition, PTS, p48] In our case,
        the main verb is 'icchanti' (=wish). It was in this light that I came
        out with my initial answer.

        However, according to Perniola, there are cases in which some gerunds
        indicates actions that follow that of the main verb. [Pali Grammar,
        PTS, p375] This is the way the answer in Pali Primer is given.

        Furthermore, by translating 'nikkhamitvaa' as 'to leave' turns it
        into an infinitive from a gerund? Does the sentence, in strict
        grammar terms, have one or two meanings? Is there a convention to
        follow?

        I would also be very thankful if someone can help me with this
        problem.

        Thank you,
        Yong Peng.


        --- John Kelly wrote:
        > Then on #12
        > Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m rajako putta.m
        > pakkosati.
        > Ans: The washerman calls his son to step into the
        > water and wash clothes.
        > Why not alternatively?: Having stepped into the water
        > to wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
        >
        > This is really a question of does the absolutive
        > (otaritvaa) apply to the subject (rajako) or the
        > object (putta.m) of the sentence? Is there any
        > quiding rule in Pali, or is it just a matter of
        > interpretation?
        >
        > Similarly, on #22.
        > Pupphaani sa.mharitvaa udakena aasi~ncitu.m upaasako
        > kumaare ovadati.
        > Ans: The lay devotee advises the boys to collect
        > flowers and sprinkle them with water.
        > Why not alternatively?: The lay devotee, having
        > collected flowers, advises the boys to sprinkle them
        > with water.
        >
        > Same question as above - does the absolutive
        > (sa.mharitvaa) apply to the subject (upaasako) or the
        > object( kumaare)?
        >
        > I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those
        > more knowledgable in Pali.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > John
      • Kumaara Bhikkhu
        ... I must first confess that I m no expert, but I m learning from my teacher who seem to be quite an expert. So, I thought I could share what I ve learnt and
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 18, 2001
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          At 01:19 PM 17-10-01 -0700, John Kelly wrote:
          >Greetings all,
          >I have some comments and questions on some of the
          >(translate to English) exercises in the Pali Primer -
          >Lesson 10.

          I must first confess that I'm no expert, but I'm learning from my teacher
          who seem to be quite an expert. So, I thought I could share what I've
          learnt and discovered.


          >First, #4.
          >Yaacako maatulassa kuddaalena aavaa.ta.m kha.nitu.m
          >icchati.
          >Ans: The beggar wishes to dig a pit with his uncle's
          >hoe.
          >
          >However, since maatulassa is an alternative form of
          >the dative, couldn't this also be translated as:
          >The beggar wishes to dig a pit with a hoe for his
          >uncle.
          >
          >I think the first translaton (and the one given by
          >Yong Peng and the PP Key) is the most logical, but I
          >just wanted to note the ambiguity.

          I think you've answered you question.


          >Then on #12
          >Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m rajako putta.m
          >pakkosati.
          >Ans: The washerman calls his son to step into the
          >water and wash clothes.
          >Why not alternatively?: Having stepped into the water
          >to wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
          >
          >This is really a question of does the absolutive
          >(otaritvaa) apply to the subject (rajako) or the
          >object (putta.m) of the sentence? Is there any
          >quiding rule in Pali, or is it just a matter of
          >interpretation?

          I made a similar mistake in my exercise book. My version was
          Having got down to the water, the washerman calls his son to wash
          the cloths.
          Wrong, says my teacher. Why? My teacher's most common answer to something
          like that is "That's how it is in Pali." If I recall correctly, he didn't
          explain much. I suppose he I'll be able to figure it out myself -- for this
          case at least.

          Well, I didn't manage then. But now that you brought it up, I've made
          another attempt; this time I'm better equipped as I've finished the book.
          Here's what I've come out with:
          [Note: This may spoil your fun of doing the same yourself.]

          First of all,
          Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m...
          is not
          Having stepped into the water to wash clothes...
          The meaning is actually something like
          To step into the water then wash clothes...
          Of course it would sound more English to say
          To step into the water and wash clothes...

          The notion of the infinitive "tu.m" applies not only to "dhovati" but also
          "otarati". If there were to be more "tvaa" verbs before that, the "tu.m"
          covers all them as well.

          Although we learn from the book that "tvaa" is translated as "having...",
          in many cases it cannot be applied that way. It's function is just to
          indicate sequence of actions (in most cases, at least). A direct
          translation may well be "then". [To those who know Chinese, I think it can
          be directly translated as liao3 (in Mandarin hanyu pinyin)]

          E.g.
          bhuñjitvaa pivitvaa sayitu.m
          will have to be translated as
          to eat, drink and sleep
          and certainly not
          having eaten and drunk to sleep (!)

          Actually, the following question (#13) gives us an idea of this as well.
          Tathaagata.m passitvaa vanditu.m upaasako vihaara.m pavisati.
          is translated as
          The lay devotee enters the monastery to see the Buddha and worship
          him.
          It would certainly wouldn't be right to translate it as:
          Having seen the Tathaagata (Buddha) to pay respect (worship), the
          lay devotee enters the vihaara (monastery).

          Back to #12, a somewhat literal translation would be:
          To step into the water and wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
          This of course sound pretty strange in English. A better translation would
          be that given in the answer key, which is just an inversion of the above:
          The washerman calls his son to step into the water and wash clothes.


          Like to add that, in my opinion, your alternative answer:
          Having stepped into the water to wash clothes, the washerman calls
          his son.
          would be possible if the Pali were:
          Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaritvaa rajako putta.m pakkosati.
          That nonetheless, in Pali, poses an ambiguity. To tie that first portion to
          'rajako', it would be safer to say:
          Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaranto rajako putta.m pakkosati.


          >Similarly, on #22.
          >Pupphaani sa.mharitvaa udakena aasi~ncitu.m upaasako
          >kumaare ovadati.
          >Ans: The lay devotee advises the boys to collect
          >flowers and sprinkle them with water.
          >Why not alternatively?: The lay devotee, having
          >collected flowers, advises the boys to sprinkle them
          >with water.
          >
          >Same question as above - does the absolutive
          >(sa.mharitvaa) apply to the subject (upaasako) or the
          >object( kumaare)?

          As above, the given answer is a more accurate translation.


          >I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those
          >more knowledgable in Pali.

          Again, I must make it clear that I'm still very much in the primary stage
          of learning Pali. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate corrections if any.
          I must also thank John Kelly for bringing it up. I've certainly learnt.

          peace

          Ven. Kumaara
        • John Kelly
          Dear Ven. Kumaara, Your explanations and analysis below are extremely helpful, and they fit very well with what I ve been discovering working through later
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 18, 2001
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            Dear Ven. Kumaara,
            Your explanations and analysis below are extremely
            helpful, and they fit very well with what I've been
            discovering working through later chapters of the book
            (I'm currently up to lesson 19). It all makes a lot
            more sense to me now.
            Thank you!
            Metta,
            John

            P.S. How do you say Thank you in Paali?
            --- Kumaara Bhikkhu <venkumara@...> wrote:
            > At 01:19 PM 17-10-01 -0700, John Kelly wrote:
            > >Greetings all,
            > >I have some comments and questions on some of the
            > >(translate to English) exercises in the Pali Primer
            > -
            > >Lesson 10.
            >
            > I must first confess that I'm no expert, but I'm
            > learning from my teacher
            > who seem to be quite an expert. So, I thought I
            > could share what I've
            > learnt and discovered.
            >
            >
            > >First, #4.
            > >Yaacako maatulassa kuddaalena aavaa.ta.m kha.nitu.m
            > >icchati.
            > >Ans: The beggar wishes to dig a pit with his
            > uncle's
            > >hoe.
            > >
            > >However, since maatulassa is an alternative form of
            > >the dative, couldn't this also be translated as:
            > >The beggar wishes to dig a pit with a hoe for his
            > >uncle.
            > >
            > >I think the first translaton (and the one given by
            > >Yong Peng and the PP Key) is the most logical, but
            > I
            > >just wanted to note the ambiguity.
            >
            > I think you've answered you question.
            >
            >
            > >Then on #12
            > >Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m rajako
            > putta.m
            > >pakkosati.
            > >Ans: The washerman calls his son to step into the
            > >water and wash clothes.
            > >Why not alternatively?: Having stepped into the
            > water
            > >to wash clothes, the washerman calls his son.
            > >
            > >This is really a question of does the absolutive
            > >(otaritvaa) apply to the subject (rajako) or the
            > >object (putta.m) of the sentence? Is there any
            > >quiding rule in Pali, or is it just a matter of
            > >interpretation?
            >
            > I made a similar mistake in my exercise book. My
            > version was
            > Having got down to the water, the washerman
            > calls his son to wash
            > the cloths.
            > Wrong, says my teacher. Why? My teacher's most
            > common answer to something
            > like that is "That's how it is in Pali." If I recall
            > correctly, he didn't
            > explain much. I suppose he I'll be able to figure it
            > out myself -- for this
            > case at least.
            >
            > Well, I didn't manage then. But now that you brought
            > it up, I've made
            > another attempt; this time I'm better equipped as
            > I've finished the book.
            > Here's what I've come out with:
            > [Note: This may spoil your fun of doing the same
            > yourself.]
            >
            > First of all,
            > Udaka.m otaritvaa vatthaani dhovitu.m...
            > is not
            > Having stepped into the water to wash
            > clothes...
            > The meaning is actually something like
            > To step into the water then wash clothes...
            > Of course it would sound more English to say
            > To step into the water and wash clothes...
            >
            > The notion of the infinitive "tu.m" applies not only
            > to "dhovati" but also
            > "otarati". If there were to be more "tvaa" verbs
            > before that, the "tu.m"
            > covers all them as well.
            >
            > Although we learn from the book that "tvaa" is
            > translated as "having...",
            > in many cases it cannot be applied that way. It's
            > function is just to
            > indicate sequence of actions (in most cases, at
            > least). A direct
            > translation may well be "then". [To those who know
            > Chinese, I think it can
            > be directly translated as liao3 (in Mandarin hanyu
            > pinyin)]
            >
            > E.g.
            > bhu�jitvaa pivitvaa sayitu.m
            > will have to be translated as
            > to eat, drink and sleep
            > and certainly not
            > having eaten and drunk to sleep (!)
            >
            > Actually, the following question (#13) gives us an
            > idea of this as well.
            > Tathaagata.m passitvaa vanditu.m upaasako
            > vihaara.m pavisati.
            > is translated as
            > The lay devotee enters the monastery to see
            > the Buddha and worship
            > him.
            > It would certainly wouldn't be right to translate it
            > as:
            > Having seen the Tathaagata (Buddha) to pay
            > respect (worship), the
            > lay devotee enters the vihaara (monastery).
            >
            > Back to #12, a somewhat literal translation would
            > be:
            > To step into the water and wash clothes,
            > the washerman calls his son.
            > This of course sound pretty strange in English. A
            > better translation would
            > be that given in the answer key, which is just an
            > inversion of the above:
            > The washerman calls his son to step into
            > the water and wash clothes.
            >
            >
            > Like to add that, in my opinion, your alternative
            > answer:
            > Having stepped into the water to wash
            > clothes, the washerman calls
            > his son.
            > would be possible if the Pali were:
            > Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaritvaa
            > rajako putta.m pakkosati.
            > That nonetheless, in Pali, poses an ambiguity. To
            > tie that first portion to
            > 'rajako', it would be safer to say:
            > Vatthaani dhovitu.m udaka.m otaranto rajako
            > putta.m pakkosati.
            >
            >
            > >Similarly, on #22.
            > >Pupphaani sa.mharitvaa udakena aasi~ncitu.m
            > upaasako
            > >kumaare ovadati.
            > >Ans: The lay devotee advises the boys to collect
            > >flowers and sprinkle them with water.
            > >Why not alternatively?: The lay devotee, having
            > >collected flowers, advises the boys to sprinkle
            > them
            > >with water.
            > >
            > >Same question as above - does the absolutive
            > >(sa.mharitvaa) apply to the subject (upaasako) or
            > the
            > >object( kumaare)?
            >
            > As above, the given answer is a more accurate
            > translation.
            >
            >
            > >I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those
            > >more knowledgable in Pali.
            >
            > Again, I must make it clear that I'm still very much
            > in the primary stage
            > of learning Pali. Therefore, I would greatly
            > appreciate corrections if any.
            > I must also thank John Kelly for bringing it up.
            > I've certainly learnt.
            >
            > peace
            >
            > Ven. Kumaara
            >
            >


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