Etymology of honorific particle jI

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Jun 23 11:08:32 EDT 2005


It will seem less counter-intuitive if one
recalls not an imperative, but the Buddhist Skt expression
ayu.smant, "(long-)lived." used as an honorific
term of address throughout the Mahaayaana suutra
literature. The etymology seems sure when
one considers the Nepali form -jyuu, where the labial
of jiiv- is clearly preserved.

Matthew Kapstein



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