Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

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Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby Mkoll » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:24 pm

Friends,

When I read certain works, such as those by Venerable Bhikku Bodhi, I often come across confusing terms that I don't understand in the notes. I'm guessing they belong to a branch of scholarly discipline, though I don't know which. These are phrases like:

initial past participle, present indicative, independent substantive, initial relative, corresponding demonstrative, nominative plural, accusative absolute, neuter nominative, personalized form, qualified noun, homonymous, etc.





:jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:



What is this type of phraseology called? Can anyone recommend a book explaining these terms in a hard copy? Or a website?

Many thanks! :reading: :anjali:

James
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James
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Re: Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Hi Mkoll,

It sounds like you are referring to works about the Pali language (the language which the Theravada texts are preserved in, see: Pali: The Language of Theravada Buddhism), rather than a general work on the Dhamma. Those works will necessarily involve technical grammatical terms.

Can you give some references?

:anjali:
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Re: Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby Mkoll » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:17 pm

Hi Mike,

All of those phrases I listed are from the various notes sections of The Connected Discourses of the Buddha by Venerable Bhikku Bodhi. I don't see anywhere in the book where he explains the meaning of these terms. Here are some full sentences with the examples of the terms I am interested in underlined and bolded:

Spk offers no help, but I take panassa to be an aorist of panassati.

I think Ee is correct in retaining dittha; in Se and Be the word is taken as a past participle and is represented as neuter dittham, but here it seems to function idiomatically with the meaning "lucky" or "splendid".

Be and Ee have bhattassa, but bhattu is genitive of bhattar, the relavant noun here (not bhatta).

Spk glosses with tajjitam, sutajjitam, and says the meaning is sujitam, "well conquered," udu and sudu being mere indeclinables (nipatamatta).

Spk-pt lends further support to this reading by glossing bojjha with bodhito and explaining it as an ablative.

At this point, I think that these words come from grammar and linguistics. Is there any such book or author or resource where these enigmatic terms are clearly explained with examples? I sure didn't learn these kinds of words in school! :tongue:

:anjali:

James
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Re: Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby reflection » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:41 pm

I don't understand all these terms mainly because English is not my first language, but yes, these are grammatical terms. English is a language that doesn't have a lot of things many other languages do have. Like cases, I don't think modern English still uses them. Or word genders (of which neuter is one, neither masculine or feminine), they barely play a role. So if you only know English you will not really understand these things. I think you can only really understand these things if you learn a language which has cases and things like that. It'll take you a good while to grasp and even then it is often confusing for a language that is not much like your own - Pali in this case, but some may have seen it when studying Latin for example.

You could use a Wikipedia and see if that makes you understand it a bit more.

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Re: Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby cooran » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:01 pm

This might be of use -

The Pali Primer by Lily De Silva
http://www.vridhamma.org/Pali-Primar-Online

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Chris
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Re: Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:27 pm

Mkoll wrote:All of those phrases I listed are from the various notes sections of The Connected Discourses of the Buddha by Venerable Bhikku Bodhi. I don't see anywhere in the book where he explains the meaning of these terms. Here are some full sentences with the examples of the terms I am interested in underlined and bolded:

Spk offers no help, but I take panassa to be an aorist of panassati. ...

Thanks, I see what you mean now.

In his Preface BB states that he thought about having two separate sets of notes, one for clarification of doctrinal aspects, and one for Pali scholars, who would interested in the choices he made in translating some of the trick passages, which version of the Pali he used in cases where the PTS, Sri Lankan, Burmese, and Thai versions differed, and so on:
The different recensions of SN often have different readings (especially in the verses), and a small difference in a reading can entail a big difference in the meaning. Hence, to justify my rendering for readers who know Pāli I had to explicate my understanding of the text’s wording. At one point I had considered having two sets of notes for each part, one giving explanations of the suttas and other information of general interest, the other dealing with technical issues primarily aimed at specialists. But it proved too difficult to separate the notes so neatly into two classes, and therefore they are all grouped together. Though a substantial number of the notes will be of little interest to the general reader, I still encourage this type of reader to ferret out the notes concerned with meaning, for these provide helpful guidance to the interpretation of the texts.


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Re: Book on Scholarly Language and Word Terms

Postby Mkoll » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:33 pm

Thank you, friends. My query has been quenched. :twothumbsup:

:anjali:

James
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