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Re: [Pali] Compound question

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  • rett
    Hi Alan, Here s an attempt to answer your question about classifying compounds. If anything isn t clear I don t mind expanding on it and as always I m always
    Message 1 of 31 , Sep 3, 2005
      Hi Alan,

      Here's an attempt to answer your question about classifying compounds. If anything isn't clear I don't mind expanding on it and as always I'm always thankful if anyone points out my errors.

      A very concise and clear source is the section on composition in Jan Gonda's _A Concise Elementary Grammar of the Sanskrit Language_'. Even if you've only studied Pali, it should be comprehensible (bahuvriihi = bahubbiihi, tatpuru.sa = tappurisa etc)

      >
      >
      >From what I currently understand, a tappurisa acts as a noun and a
      >bahubbiihi as an adjective.

      This isn't the key distinction to make. A tappurisa can function as both a noun or an adjective, depending on whether the final member is a noun or an adjective. "Mud-smeared" is an adjectival tappurisa "smeared _by_ mud". It's the oblique case relation (in this case instrumental) between the elements that makes it a tappurisa as opposed to a kammadhaaraya.

      A bahubbiihi always ends with a noun, but the referent of the compound is some other thing than that noun. If I say to someone 'hey big-nose!', I actually mean 'hey person with a big nose'. If I say 'hey baby-face' I mean 'hey person with the face of a baby'. The person is the referent, not the nose or face, hence bahubbiihis are said to have exocentric reference. Despite being formally nouns, they refer to and qualify something else. This is why we could say that they act as adjectives. These examples are borrowed with thanks from Mats L.

      Hence a compound that internally is a tappurisa (baby-face) could function as a bahubbihi in the context of its sentence. The same goes for a kammadhaaraya (big-nose). It makes perfect sense, for example, to speak of a bahubbiihi with the internal structure of a tappurisa or a kammadhaaraya.


      > My gloss of the meaning of
      >"dhammaanudhammappa.tipanno " is the following:
      >
      >`dhammaanudhamma[m-a] the Dhamma in its fullness
      >
      >ppa.tipanno [pa.ti+pad III/pp/nom/m/sg] practicing/entering upon
      >
      >dhammaanudhammappa.tipanno[compound] entering upon the complete [path of
      >the] Dhamma.
      >
      >This seems to me to be an adjective referring to the bhikkhu who can be said
      >to be doing this.

      Yes it is, but as mentioned above, a tappurisa can be an adjective. Precisely because the final member, pa.tipanno, functions adjectivally it is not a bahubbiihi.

      Another way to look at it is that you could use pa.tipanno as a standalone adjective describing the monk. bhikkhu pa.tipanno. You can't do this with bahubbiihis. Take the bahubbihi 'kuu.tadanta' 'crooked-tooth' as an example.

      Braahma.no kuu.tadanto. "The brahmin _has_ a crooked tooth" or "the crooked toothed brahmin". This works.

      Braahma.no danto. *"the brahmin has a tooth". Doesn't work. Instead it just collapses into a nominal sentence "the brahmin _is_ a tooth". A noun can only have exocentric reference as part of a compound.

      >Thus, my gloss of the compound must be wrong.

      Your gloss is correct as far as I can see, but you were thrown off by not knowing that Tappurisas can be adjectives.

      best regards,

      /Rett
    • Nina van Gorkom
      Dear Yong Peng, thank you, that is very clear. Nina.
      Message 31 of 31 , Sep 10, 2005
        Dear Yong Peng,
        thank you, that is very clear.
        Nina.
        op 10-09-2005 11:03 schreef Ong Yong Peng op yongpeng.ong@...:
        > according to Warder's, the Pali grammarians did not include
        > adjectives are part of speech. Rather, adjectives are treated as
        > nouns that can be declined in any gender. In other words, in Pali,
        > adjectives are simply nouns without a fixed gender.
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