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

Re: [Pali] History

Expand Messages
  • Kumaara Bhikkhu
    I too am interested about what Zeb brought up, and was hoping that someone could offer some good answers. ... I checked it out at Amazon.com. It cost $142.25!
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 22, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      I too am interested about what Zeb brought up, and was hoping that someone could offer some good answers.

      So when Robert Didham wrote:
      >Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada
      >Tipi.tika. Berlin, de Gruyter 2001.

      I checked it out at Amazon.com. It cost $142.25! That's RM540.55 almost a month's wage of a laborer here.

      If you don't mind, Robert, could you give us a brief answer to Zeb's question based on Oberlies' book?
    • Robert Didham
      Hi Yong Peng, Zeb and others I know Oberlies is expensive (even more so with the abysmal exchange rate we have here at the moment – NZ$1 = US$0.39!!!!!!).
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 24, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Yong Peng, Zeb and others

        I know Oberlies is expensive (even more so with the abysmal exchange rate we
        have here at the moment � NZ$1 = US$0.39!!!!!!). It is highly likely that
        there will be a cheaper edition out, but it might not be for a couple of
        years, if they do the same as they did with von Hinuber�s Handbook of Pali
        Literature.

        However, it is worth it as a specialist reference, but not as a beginner�s
        book.

        The structure of the book is:
        Pp 1-16 Introduction (on the history of the language etc)
        Pp 17-69 Phonology of Vowles
        Pp 70-105 Phonology of Consonants
        Pp 116-129 Sandhi
        Pp 130-180 Morphology of Nouns
        Pp 180-191: Pronouns
        Pp 192-198: Numerals
        Pp 199-270: Verb
        Indices include concordances with Geiger, von Hinuber and Pischel and this
        is extremely useful.

        What has he to say about the linguistic classification of Pali?
        He doesn�t really go much into the proto-history of the language, so you
        need to go to somewhere else (Cardona and Jain possibly) for this area, but
        then that is a long way out of the scope of this book. However, he does
        mention the lineage from Indo-European, through proto-Indo-Iranian,
        proto-Indo-Aryan, Old Indo-Aryan and then into Middle Indo-Aryan. This is
        important because of the odd coincidence of aspects of Pali with Avestan,
        for example, which he mentions more or less in passing.

        The answer to your question (if I can fairly summarise a lot of detail
        without making a hash of it) is roughly that Maagadhi is by tradition the
        language of the Buddha though there is some debate about this too.
        Certainly it would have been an eastern language of around 5th century BCE.
        However Pali is largely a western language as the Asokan edicts show (but
        not the pillars which are largely eastern) though it has sporadic eastern
        features (which may be relics of the oral transmission of the texts �
        roughly like the language Luders called Alt-Ardhamagadhi).

        So Pali is a kind of lingua franca from a variety of dialects which was
        later committed to writing in Sri Lanka. A modern equivalent which springs
        to mind might be Swahili (are there any Africanists out there who can
        correct me if I am wrong about that?).

        Pali isn�t exactly an ossified relic either � the Mahavihara texts have
        elements which are rather peculiar and this may have been due to
        Sanskritisation in what is now Burma, especially in the 12th century CE.
        Oberlies suggests these features are the result of systematisation by the
        grammarians who were strongly influenced by Sanskrit traditions (again � a
        modern example is what happened to English grammar at the hands of
        classicists).

        It seems Pali had a different dialect base in MIA than Sanskrit and didn�t
        stem from the Rgvedic Sanskrit stream. This is an area that I would love to
        have seen more thoroughly covered, but then there is a limit to what you can
        cover in a relatively short book and I guess that is to come in a later
        work. The key reason I guess he left this is that the subtitle of the work
        says we are dealing with the language of the Theravada texts and this is an
        area which is more to do with comparative Prakrit/MIA studies.

        I hope I haven�t misrepresented the work. It is very good and packed with
        examples � and a LOT easier to sit down and read than Pischel, which I admit
        I use as a reference rather than bedtime reading!

        Is it worth it? No university library should be without it. You might be
        able to twist your local librarian's arm into buying one. Personally I got
        it because I had had it on order for well over a year with Amazon.de so I
        was getting a bit stubborn about getting it. If I had more patience I might
        have waited for a cheaper edition. However, I am glad I have it.

        If it comes to a choice between this and, say, the new PTS dictionary � I
        guess the dictionary would win � but only just. But then I haven't got the
        dictionary yet (volume 1 just published) so I am making do with the ones I
        do have.

        Not sure if there are cheaper sources, but you could try Harrassowitz as a
        possibility http://www.harrassowitz.de/


        Metta
        Robert



        >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
        >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
        >Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 11:59:34 -0000
        >
        >Hi Robert, I am interested in Thomas Oberlies' book, but it costs
        >US$142.25! So, I hope you can tell me more about it before I place an
        >order for it. It'd be better if you know where to get it at a better
        >price. :-)
        >
        >Thank you.
        >
        >metta,
        >Yong Peng.
        >
        >--- Robert Didham wrote:
        > > Thomas Oberlies: Paali. A Grammar of the Language of the Theravaada
        > > Tipi.tika. Berlin, de Gruyter 2001.
        >


        _________________________________________________________________
        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
      • Ong Yong Peng
        Dear Zeb and friends, I ve put up a new page under Pali Companion: http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm Not much of history yet, but I hope to
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 26, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Zeb and friends,

          I've put up a new page under Pali Companion:
          http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm

          Not much of history yet, but I hope to have unfold the language tree
          'mystery'. I am no language expert, so there may be some mistakes. If
          so, please let me know. I will also add pointers to this page as and
          when I have more information. Comments are welcomed to improve the
          page.

          Thank you,
          YP.

          --- zeb1001@y... wrote:
          I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali
          language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the
          roll of sankrit as pertaining to the prakrit languages. Did the
          prakrits evolve from sanskrit, or is sanskrit a "polished" prakrit.

          Does this look right> Indo-european>Indo-ariyan>Prakrit>Magadhi>Pali.?

          Any info on this topic would be much appreciated.

          Metta zeb
        • Robert Didham
          Dear Yong Peng Thanks This is a good start - there are a good number of sites with this type of table and many are full of mistakes (this one which I think you
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 27, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Yong Peng

            Thanks

            This is a good start - there are a good number of sites with this type of
            table and many are full of mistakes (this one which I think you took from
            Encarta is not as bad as some).

            One suggestion I would make with yours is to look at the way you have
            structured the lineage to Pali. It implies that OIA (=old Indo-Aryan), MIA
            and NIA are parallel developments from proto-IA and seem to be happening at
            the same time. But this is not the case, since one stage followed from the
            other (very roughly speaking). You also imply that Sanskrit is older than
            Pali - true of Rgvedic Sanskrit, but you need to be careful since much of
            the Sanskrit used in literature is contemporary to or later than Pali. We
            also know that Pali was not exactly a vernacular.

            One quite useful reference site for language information is
            www.sil.org/ethnologue/ This is good on modern languages and reasonably
            reliable, but less useful for old (i.e. quasi-dead) literary languages

            Keep up the good work

            Robert


            >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
            >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
            >Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 02:12:54 -0000
            >
            >Dear Zeb and friends,
            >
            >I've put up a new page under Pali Companion:
            >http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm
            >
            >Not much of history yet, but I hope to have unfold the language tree
            >'mystery'. I am no language expert, so there may be some mistakes. If
            >so, please let me know. I will also add pointers to this page as and
            >when I have more information. Comments are welcomed to improve the
            >page.
            >
            >Thank you,
            >YP.
            >
            >--- zeb1001@y... wrote:
            >I am trying to find out a little about the history of the Pali
            >language, ie. the origins.There seems to be confliting views on the
            >roll of sankrit as pertaining to the prakrit languages. Did the
            >prakrits evolve from sanskrit, or is sanskrit a "polished" prakrit.
            >
            >Does this look right> Indo-european>Indo-ariyan>Prakrit>Magadhi>Pali.?
            >
            >Any info on this topic would be much appreciated.
            >
            > Metta zeb
            >


            _________________________________________________________________
            Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
          • ������� ��������� (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)
            Dear Pali people, Translating in Russian Lesson X: Further readings of Gair and Karunatillake textbook, I have met a passage: Nanu amhaaka.m dvinna.m
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 29, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Pali people,

              Translating in Russian 'Lesson X: Further readings" of Gair and
              Karunatillake textbook, I have met a passage:

              "Nanu amhaaka.m dvinna.m bha.n.damuulaka.mpi go.naadayopi
              samasamaayeva, tva.m kasmaa dve ko.t.thaase laddhu.m arahasii"ti.

              Glossary lists 'bha.n.dammuu.lam' as 'capital', and does not list
              'go.naadayo'.

              However my intuitive version of translation is:

              But since we both are investors and donors of oxen equally, why do you
              deserve to get two shares?

              Please tell what is the most appropriate translation.

              Thank you in advance,

              Dimitry
            • Ong Yong Peng
              Dear Robert, thanks. I have updated the page with more pointers. http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm Can you elaborate on the following statement
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 30, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear Robert,

                thanks. I have updated the page with more pointers.
                http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm

                Can you elaborate on the following statement you made.

                metta,
                Yong Peng.

                --- Robert Didham wrote:
                We also know that Pali was not exactly a vernacular.
              • Robert Didham
                Dear Yong Peng By vernacular I usually mean a spoken language rather than a literary language. In the case of Pali, it is a very mixed language in terms of
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 1, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear Yong Peng

                  By vernacular I usually mean a spoken language rather than a literary
                  language. In the case of Pali, it is a very mixed language in terms of
                  origin - it draws on several vernacular dialects, both eastern and western
                  MIA - but was essentially a written form which seems notto have coincided
                  exactly with any particular Prakrit language or dialect as far as is known.
                  This is not to say the language is somehow artifical - it isn't - but rather
                  that it has its origins in a number of different spoken varieties of speech
                  and appears to have been a literary language from the start (as a
                  Dichtersprache as somebody called it - I think perhaps it was Bechert). It
                  appears to have been used as a lingua franca at some stage (around the time
                  of Asoka?) in some parts of what is now India.

                  Nor does this mean that the original texts of the canon were not transmitted
                  orally - just that Pali (as it was dubbed a couple of hundred years ago) is
                  the written form into which the texts of the Theravada Tipitaka became
                  crystallised, and not necessarily the language in which they were spoken
                  elsewhere.

                  These "literary" languages did not have to be written - oral literature is
                  often transmitted in stylised forms of languages which helps preserve their
                  integrity over time. Not sure if there has been a lot done on this aspect
                  for Pali, but there is at least some excellent work (Mark Allon's thesis
                  springs to mind) and I am sure much more widely read people than I could
                  point us to the right places.

                  However, I hope this sort of answers your question

                  Metta
                  Robert


                  >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
                  >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
                  >Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 03:40:19 -0000
                  >
                  >Dear Robert,
                  >
                  >thanks. I have updated the page with more pointers.
                  >http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm
                  >
                  >Can you elaborate on the following statement you made.
                  >
                  >metta,
                  >Yong Peng.
                  >
                  >--- Robert Didham wrote:
                  >We also know that Pali was not exactly a vernacular.
                  >


                  _________________________________________________________________
                  Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
                • Piya Tan
                  Robert, I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is Bechert s. P.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 2, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Robert,

                    I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is Bechert's.

                    P.

                    Robert Didham wrote:

                    > Dear Yong Peng
                    >
                    > By vernacular I usually mean a spoken language rather than a literary
                    > language. In the case of Pali, it is a very mixed language in terms of
                    > origin - it draws on several vernacular dialects, both eastern and western
                    > MIA - but was essentially a written form which seems notto have coincided
                    > exactly with any particular Prakrit language or dialect as far as is known.
                    > This is not to say the language is somehow artifical - it isn't - but rather
                    > that it has its origins in a number of different spoken varieties of speech
                    > and appears to have been a literary language from the start (as a
                    > Dichtersprache as somebody called it - I think perhaps it was Bechert). It
                    > appears to have been used as a lingua franca at some stage (around the time
                    > of Asoka?) in some parts of what is now India.
                    >
                    > Nor does this mean that the original texts of the canon were not transmitted
                    > orally - just that Pali (as it was dubbed a couple of hundred years ago) is
                    > the written form into which the texts of the Theravada Tipitaka became
                    > crystallised, and not necessarily the language in which they were spoken
                    > elsewhere.
                    >
                    > These "literary" languages did not have to be written - oral literature is
                    > often transmitted in stylised forms of languages which helps preserve their
                    > integrity over time. Not sure if there has been a lot done on this aspect
                    > for Pali, but there is at least some excellent work (Mark Allon's thesis
                    > springs to mind) and I am sure much more widely read people than I could
                    > point us to the right places.
                    >
                    > However, I hope this sort of answers your question
                    >
                    > Metta
                    > Robert
                    >
                    > >From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
                    > >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                    > >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                    > >Subject: [Pali] Re: History
                    > >Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 03:40:19 -0000
                    > >
                    > >Dear Robert,
                    > >
                    > >thanks. I have updated the page with more pointers.
                    > >http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/companion/010002.htm
                    > >
                    > >Can you elaborate on the following statement you made.
                    > >
                    > >metta,
                    > >Yong Peng.
                    > >
                    > >--- Robert Didham wrote:
                    > >We also know that Pali was not exactly a vernacular.
                    > >
                    >
                    > _________________________________________________________________
                    > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
                    >
                    > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                    > Yahoo! Groups members can set their delivery options to daily digest or web only.
                    > [Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net/pali
                    > [Discussion] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pali
                    > [Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  • Ong Yong Peng
                    Dear Robert and Piya, thanks a lot. metta, Yong Peng. ... Robert, I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is Bechert s. P. ... literary
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 5, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Robert and Piya,

                      thanks a lot.

                      metta,
                      Yong Peng.

                      --- Piya Tan wrote:
                      Robert,

                      I thought the term is Kunstsprache, perhaps Dichtersprache is
                      Bechert's.

                      P.

                      > Robert Didham wrote:
                      >
                      > By vernacular I usually mean a spoken language rather than a
                      literary language...
                      >
                      > These "literary" languages did not have to be written - oral
                      literature is often transmitted in stylised forms of languages which
                      helps preserve their integrity over time. Not sure if there has been
                      a lot done on this aspect for Pali, but there is at least some
                      excellent work (Mark Allon's thesis springs to mind) and I am sure
                      much more widely read people than I could point us to the right
                      places.
                      >
                      > Metta
                      > Robert
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.