What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

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Dhammasissa
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What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Dhammasissa »

Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

(Exercise A #15, from lesson viii of Nārada's "An Elementary Pali Course")
First of all, I was confused by the lack of a nominative, but now believe that the nominative 'te' or even "gahapatī/īni" is implied--correct? But this does raise a question for me: is it possible to construct a sentence in Pāḷi with a subject *not* in the nominative?

Now, connected to this, in the second part of the sentence, it seems to me that 'saddhaŋ' is the subject of 'uppajji,' so why is 'saddhā' in the accusative? Is it because "(gahapatī) Dhammaŋ sutvā" is the subject that arose faith in/for gahapatīnaŋ? I'm guessing that this is the case and that 'uppajjati' takes the singular conjugation since 'Dhammaŋ sutvā' was a singular occurrence.

Am I understanding this correctly, or at least getting close?
Sylvester
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Sylvester »

Dhammasissa wrote:
Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

(Exercise A #15, from lesson viii of Nārada's "An Elementary Pali Course")
First of all, I was confused by the lack of a nominative, but now believe that the nominative 'te' or even "gahapatī/īni" is implied--correct? But this does raise a question for me: is it possible to construct a sentence in Pāḷi with a subject *not* in the nominative?

Now, connected to this, in the second part of the sentence, it seems to me that 'saddhaŋ' is the subject of 'uppajji,' so why is 'saddhā' in the accusative? Is it because "(gahapatī) Dhammaŋ sutvā" is the subject that arose faith in/for gahapatīnaŋ? I'm guessing that this is the case and that 'uppajjati' takes the singular conjugation since 'Dhammaŋ sutvā' was a singular occurrence.

Am I understanding this correctly, or at least getting close?
Hi!

If you have a copy of Warder, check out his entry on gerunds/absolutives at p.48. The absolutive in your passage is sutvā. Warder's explanation will point you towards the subject of the sentence, simply by helping you locate for it in the subordinate clause "dhammaṃ sutvā". Once that is done, it will be easy to figure out how to treat the 3 nouns (Buddha, saddha and gahapati) in the main clause.
Reductor
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Reductor »

Dhammasissa wrote:
Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

(Exercise A #15, from lesson viii of Nārada's "An Elementary Pali Course")
First of all, I was confused by the lack of a nominative, but now believe that the nominative 'te' or even "gahapatī/īni" is implied--correct? But this does raise a question for me: is it possible to construct a sentence in Pāḷi with a subject *not* in the nominative?

Now, connected to this, in the second part of the sentence, it seems to me that 'saddhaŋ' is the subject of 'uppajji,' so why is 'saddhā' in the accusative? Is it because "(gahapatī) Dhammaŋ sutvā" is the subject that arose faith in/for gahapatīnaŋ? I'm guessing that this is the case and that 'uppajjati' takes the singular conjugation since 'Dhammaŋ sutvā' was a singular occurrence.

Am I understanding this correctly, or at least getting close?
Yes, there are passive sentences in pali where the subject is not nominative. But that's all I know for sure, as I don't have a grammar, and Warder has that stuff scattered to and fro. But as an example from Warder page 42, we have mayaṃ ime sattā nimmitā "by me these beings were created" where the patient or object is in the nominative case. So be alert to that. I do think we're seeing here a kind of passive sentence, although I'm not sure why saddhā is accusative either. The gerund (here sutvā) usually takes the same subject, which is called 'agent' in Warder and is not always nominative. So here the householders are the ones who have heard the dhamma. Then I'd read it as "having heard dhamma, confidence in the buddha arose for the householders". Unless I had some reason to think otherwise, this is what I'd go with. In fact, this lack of context is one reason I disliked trying to read single sentences - at least when they're couched by other sentences, you can get a feeling for which possible meanings would be most sensible.

EDIT: I see Sylvester came by. From page 48 "The agent of the gerund is the same as that of the main action" and " Each clause (gerund) may have its own patient (object)" which may be in the accusative.

EDIT 2: agent and patient are not perfectly analogous to subject and object. Hopefully I have not again muddled things by treating them as if they were. To quote again from Warder page 14 note 2: "Logical terms such as 'subject' and 'predicate' are as a rule to be eschewed in linguistic analysis. Their use in traditional European grammar is unscientific and misleading, what is needed being terms suited to the descriptions of a natural language, not of a few artificial propositions in traditional European logic. Sometimes we can make a rough use of these words in our descriptions, though not of their traditional definitions. It may be noted as a general rule that in Pali a 'predicate', like an attribute or epithet, goes in the same case as its 'subject'. In grammar we may distinguish 'nexus' (cf. 'predicate') and 'junction' (adjective and noun)."
Last edited by Reductor on Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
Buddha Vacana
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Buddha Vacana »

The subject is saddhaŋ (saddhaŋ uppajji = conviction arose), whatever the grammatical explanation for it being in the accusative may be
Sylvester
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Sylvester »

Reductor wrote:[ Then I'd read it as "having heard dhamma, confidence in the buddha arose for the householders".
I'm much inclined to agree with you, and take the householders as the subject.

There is a very similar syntactic construction in DN 16 -
Atha kho bhagavato vassūpagatassa kharo ābādho uppajji

Then while dwelling for the Rains Retreat, a heavy affliction arose for the Gracious One

https://suttacentral.net/en/dn16
I take vassūpagatassa (genitive of vassūpagata) as part of a genitive absolute construction, with the noun suppressed, giving "(the Blessed One) having arrived for the rains retreat". (see Wijesekara at p.199 for the general absence of noun in the genitive absolute) Bhagavato is of course dative.

The noun in the subordinate clause being the suppressed bhagavant, I would as such treat the dative bhagavato in the main clause to be the subject of the entire sentence.
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by SDC »

This thread is full of win!
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Buddha Vacana
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Buddha Vacana »

Sylvester wrote:
Reductor wrote:[ Then I'd read it as "having heard dhamma, confidence in the buddha arose for the householders".
I'm much inclined to agree with you, and take the householders as the subject.
In the above rendering, the subject is confidence, not householders. Gahapatīnaṃ is a dative (hence "for" the householders), although I would bet Bhikkhu Bodhi and ThanB would translate it as a locative, otherwise it sounds weird in English.
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Reductor »

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Sylvester wrote:
Reductor wrote:[ Then I'd read it as "having heard dhamma, confidence in the buddha arose for the householders".
I'm much inclined to agree with you, and take the householders as the subject.
In the above rendering, the subject is confidence, not householders. Gahapatīnaṃ is a dative (hence "for" the householders), although I would bet Bhikkhu Bodhi and ThanB would translate it as a locative, otherwise it sounds weird in English.
I do see what you mean, but if it were the subject then would it have also heard the dhamma? Perhaps this is why Warder uses agent and patient instead of subject and object? In this case, the argument is simple to make that the householders are the agents, as it is nonsensical that the faith heard anything. If they're the agents, then I would suggest uppajji could be seen to mean something like 'developed', which might explain why saddha is accusative.
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Buddha Vacana »

My understanding of these grammatical concepts is rather shallow, but it seems quite clear to me that the householders are the patients and not the agents.
So far as I understand, uppajjati, just like 'to arise', is an intransitive verb so it cannot normally be used with an object in the accusative case. So, in my opinion at least, the presence of saddham as an accusative remains to be explained anyway by other means.
Sylvester
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Sylvester »

Reductor wrote: EDIT 2: agent and patient are not perfectly analogous to subject and object. Hopefully I have not again muddled things by treating them as if they were. To quote again from Warder page 14 note 2: "Logical terms such as 'subject' and 'predicate' are as a rule to be eschewed in linguistic analysis. Their use in traditional European grammar is unscientific and misleading, what is needed being terms suited to the descriptions of a natural language, not of a few artificial propositions in traditional European logic. Sometimes we can make a rough use of these words in our descriptions, though not of their traditional definitions. It may be noted as a general rule that in Pali a 'predicate', like an attribute or epithet, goes in the same case as its 'subject'. In grammar we may distinguish 'nexus' (cf. 'predicate') and 'junction' (adjective and noun)."

I think this needs to be borne in mind, over and over again.

The traditional Western classification of subject-object-predicate was based on much earlier classical Term Logic, where the grammatical unit being parsed is a simple proposition structured merely as subject-predicate.

It completely fails to account for complex sentences comprised of a subordinate clause and a main clause, where the main clause is independent (ie can stand alone as a legible sentence). This led to the development of Constituency Grammar which attempted to preserve the S-P-O hierachy.

Warder's comment which you cite is likely to be prompted by modern linguistics which dumps the need for the classical S-P-O hierachy and is more informed by Dependency Grammar.

Some helpful Wiki entries which could explain why Warder has dumped the Subject-Object framework -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_logic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_(linguistics)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrase_structure_grammar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_grammar

If you google "dependency grammar", you might find Panini being cited as an ancient Indian precedent. We also have this comment from Wijesekara -
It may be remarked that none of these gives a comprehensive idea of the logical function of the object but rather tries to explain the connection between the agent and the object. This is due to the common characteristic of all Indian grammarians, [39] namely, dealing with syntax only from the point of view of the agent and not viewing the sentence as one whole psychological unit.

Syntax of the Cases in the Pali Nikayas, pp. 38 - 39
Buddha Vacana
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Buddha Vacana »

What if saddham in the accusative was just a mistake for saddho?
Dhammaṃ sutvā gahapatīnaṃ Buddhe saddhaṃ uppajji.
Dhamma / having heard / to householders / in Buddha / faith / arose
Lit: To the householders arose faith in the Buddha having heard the Dhamma.
After hearing the Dhamma, faith in the Buddha arose in the householders.
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Sylvester
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Sylvester »

Buddha Vacana wrote:What if saddham in the accusative was just a mistake for saddho?
Dhammaṃ sutvā gahapatīnaṃ Buddhe saddhaṃ uppajji.
Dhamma / having heard / to householders / in Buddha / faith / arose
Lit: To the householders arose faith in the Buddha having heard the Dhamma.
After hearing the Dhamma, faith in the Buddha arose in the householders.
Hi BV

Do you take this sentence as a passive construct?

If not, there's a tricky little device where saddhaṃ is not an accusative, but actually a nominative. But even then, why is the logical subject in the genitive?

All this analysis between the grammatical subject versus the logical subject is giving me a headache. Perhaps Warder was wise in suggesting we jettison the classical model.
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Dhammasissa »

Thank you everyone, and sorry for my delay =) Having read over all the responses, and doing a little research, I've come to a conclusion that makes sense and explains everything, at least as far as I can tell--love to hear if this makes sense to everyone else or if I'm missing something here.

So, given that, as quoted/mentioned above, Warder states that the “agent of the gerund is the same as that of the main action.” Upon reading a bit on the differences between agent and subject, and pondering this a bit, it seems to me that the subject of the entire sentence is “dhammaŋ sutvā,” a clause functioning as a subject, or a subject clause (as a lil googling helped me to discover, re: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/ ... bjclau.htm), thus it is “having heard the Dhamma” that “arose faith in the Buddha for the householders.” That said, the subject clause itself has the subject “gahapatayo.” The agent of the entire sentence would be the implied “gahapatayo.”

Thus, a way to translate it into English that maintains the grammatical categories, which I believe apply, would be, “Having heard the Dhamma arose faith in the Buddha for the householders.”

Admittedly, this is a clunky sentence in English, and if I were translating this I would definitely go with a different construction ... as I think about it, I can see a few possibilities and would have to hash out which would be best--I now have a much deeper respect for the art of translation just from this =D
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Assaji
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Re: What is the subject in: Dhammaŋ sutvā gahapatīnaŋ Buddhe saddhaŋ uppajji.

Post by Assaji »

Hi Dhammasisa,

You may find useful diagramming sentences:

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=14281

Buddhavacana - A Pali Reader, starting with page 11:

https://store.pariyatti.org/Buddhavacan ... _2596.html
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