The order of words

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries
Post Reply
falloutrangerlol
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 5:37 pm

The order of words

Post by falloutrangerlol »

Hi all

I have been learning Pali with Dr. De Silva's Pali Primer. I have a question: when there are multiple clauses, for example, "from a village" + "with somebody", is there a certain order to place them? For example, from the exercises in the book:

Merchants come from the island to the monastery with lay devotees.
The answer given is: Vaa.nijaa upaasakehi saha diipasmaa vihaara.m aagacchanti
My answer is: Vaa.nijaa diipasmaa upaasakehi vihaara.m aagacchanti

The child falls from the rock with a friend.
The answer given is: Daarako mittena saha paasaa.nasmaa patati.
My answer is: Daarako paasaa.nasmaa sayaakena patati.

Is there any difference between the answer in the book, and my answer? In other words, is there any difference between "with somebody from somewhere" and "from somewhere with somebody"?

Thanks.
Reductor
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: The order of words

Post by Reductor »

Which lesson is this? I have a hard time figuring what you've written. Anyway, I'm not an expert, but the order of clauses is fluid in most cases, and the difference in meaning, when there is one, is not a grammatical one but a matter of emphasis - to draw attention of the listener to some specific part of the sentence in order to make a point. In English we reorder clauses often to have an effect on the listener/reader: "Susan found her father slumped at the bottom of the stairs" vs. "At the bottom of the stairs, slumped, Susan found her father."
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5676
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: The order of words

Post by Dhammanando »

falloutrangerlol wrote:I have been learning Pali with Dr. De Silva's Pali Primer. I have a question: when there are multiple clauses, for example, "from a village" + "with somebody", is there a certain order to place them?
Just a quibble, but what you've given above are not clauses, but adpositional phrases

As for the ordering of adpositional phrases, there aren't any strict semantic rules like, say, the time-manner-place of German and Dutch. Sometimes you'll find the phrases in any old order; other times they'll be ordered according to the waxing syllables rule, which is a principle of euphony that with single-word phrases, those with shorter syllables precede those with longer syllables.
falloutrangerlol wrote:Merchants come from the island to the monastery with lay devotees.
The answer given is: Vaa.nijaa upaasakehi saha diipasmaa vihaara.m aagacchanti
My answer is: Vaa.nijaa diipasmaa upaasakehi vihaara.m aagacchanti
Your answer's fine except for the omission of saha.
falloutrangerlol wrote:The child falls from the rock with a friend.
The answer given is: Daarako mittena saha paasaa.nasmaa patati.
My answer is: Daarako paasaa.nasmaa sayaakena patati.
The word order is fine, but:

sahāyakena saha
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
falloutrangerlol
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 5:37 pm

Re: The order of words

Post by falloutrangerlol »

Thanks Dhammanando. I "blame" Pali Primer for the omissions of "saha", since the book doesn't really say anything as to when saha should be and should not be used. "Saha" should be added when the word in front of means "with something", but not when it means "by something".
Post Reply