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

Re: [Pali] Traditional grammar 3: Kc 3, 4, 5

Expand Messages
  • rett
    ... Hi Rene, Thanks for the question. In this post I try to provide some basic background to the study of Kc. Not much is known for sure about the author of
    Message 1 of 38 , Dec 16, 2004
      >Dear Rett--
      >
      >I was wondering, who was Kaccayana? Can you give us a brief
      >introduction to him, e.g. when / where he lived, and maybe the
      >significance of this work? (Very briefly, of course). I couldn't
      >find anything on him in my references.
      >
      >Rene

      Hi Rene,

      Thanks for the question. In this post I try to provide some basic
      background to the study of Kc.

      Not much is known for sure about the author of this grammatical work.
      According to tradition the author is identical to one of the Buddha's
      foremost disciples, Mahaakaccaayana. There's quite a bit of
      information about him, and a basic description of the grammar at:

      http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/ka/kaccaayana.htm

      (follow especially the links to kaccaayanavyakarana and mahaakaccaayana)

      An alternative explanation is that the work is of later date but has
      been ascribed to Mahaakaccaayana as a sign of respect and to give the
      work status and authority. This sort of thing is quite common in
      ancient Indian literature. What is clear is that Kc is closely
      related to the Kaatantra school of Sanskrit grammar, which is a
      school that competed with the Paniniyans.

      As for the significance of the work, I believe that Kc has been of
      great significance for the teaching and preservation of Pali. It has
      founded a school, including such works as the Mahaaruupasiddhi, the
      Mukkhamattadiipanii and the simplified beginners' book, the
      Baalaavataara, all of which I believe have been read and studied in
      Theravada countries since they were written. Kc also is one of the
      sources of the Saddaniiti, which is by far the most comprehensive
      traditional Pali grammar. These works were studied by pioneers of
      Pali studies in the west, until they were more or less replaced by
      western grammars. They now appear to be coming back into fashion in
      the west after having been neglected for some decades. Duroiselle's
      grammar is one example of a relatively early western grammar which is
      strongly based on the Kc tradition. And Warder has used the
      Saddaniiti extensively in his _Introduction to Pali_. Saddaniiti is
      extensively quoted in Cone's excellent new _A Dictionary of Pali_.

      Kc is divided into eight books (kappa) some of which are further
      divided into chapters (ka.n.da). They are:

      I. Sandhikappo (5 chapters) - euphonic combination
      II. Naamakappa (5 chapters) - formation of nouns
      III. Kaarakakappa - use of nominal cases (nominative, accusative etc)
      IV. Samaasakappa - on compounds
      V. Taddhitakappa - on secondary affixes (such as deriving words with
      suffixes from already formed words)
      VI. Aakhyaatakappa (4 chapters) - finite verbs, including use of
      tenses and moods
      VII. Kibbidhaanakappa (5 chapters) - on primary suffixes, (forming
      stems directly from roots, etc)
      VIII. U.naadikappo - additional suffixes, beginning with "u.n"

      Now here I am guessing, but I believe that the Kc to some degree uses
      a derivational system, where the final form of a word, would be the
      result of the application of rules from various chapters. So rules
      'feed into' each other.

      For example, you might start with a root taken from a dictionary of
      roots. Run it through chapter VII and you get a verb stem. Run that
      through chapter VI and you have a finished finite verb. Or,back up a
      step and take the stem to chapter V. There you can turn it into a
      participle or a noun-stem or an infinite verb form. Run a noun stem
      through chapters III and II, and you can end up with an inflected
      noun ready to go into a sentence. Run a noun stem back through
      chapter V and you could get an abstract noun. Or you could even turn
      it back into a denominative verb, and keep going around in circles
      forever. Or you could first run it through chapter IV, making a
      compound, and THEN run it through chapter III. Along the way, rules
      from chapter I (sandhi) might very well come into play.

      Doesn't that sound fun?

      These are the sorts of employments of the rules that I hope in the
      long run to learn about in these studies of Kc. What I've written
      above is really a bunch of guesses about how it *might* work. Finding
      out how it really does work is the long term goal of my studies. But
      first things first, the reading and interpretation of the basic rules
      themselves. I find this valuable in itself because it's another side
      of the Pali language, and can aid us in reading commentarial
      literature. There are also many edifying examples drawn from the
      canonical literature along the way.

      Hope this helps

      /Rett
    • Nina van Gorkom
      Hi Rett, Thank you, this is very clear, with all the word lists. I especially like the last example by Aggava.msa, giving three varieties of niggahiita in one
      Message 38 of 38 , Dec 28, 2004
        Hi Rett,
        Thank you, this is very clear, with all the word lists. I especially like
        the last example by Aggava.msa, giving three varieties of niggahiita in one
        sentence.
        Nina.
        op 28-12-2004 12:53 schreef rett op rett@...:

        >
        > Exploring Traditional Pali Grammar 5
        > Kaccaayana suttas 7 and 8, and sutta 8 from Saddaniiti, by way of comparison.
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.