Etymology of honorific particle jI

Artur Karp karp at UW.EDU.PL
Thu Jun 23 12:56:00 EDT 2005


At 18:35 2005-06-23, you wrote:

>I thought that Prof. Kapstein's earlier suggestion made some
>good semantic sense, and the Nepali parallel was helpful;
>nevertheless,  I had long thought that jii was derived from
>skt. aarya.  Such at least is the suggestion of Nehru's
>Discovery of India, where Pandit-ji [sic!] in a footnote
>somewhere so derives it on the authority of some Indologist
>(I don't have a copy of the book to hand, so I can't give
>the reference for the moment.)

Dear Whitney-ji and all interested,

I don't remember that fragment in Nehru's Discovery. But I do 
remember  ajja/jje used in Epigraphia Indica as honorific particle AFTER 
the names of donors. Makes better sense than "may-you-live". Now, in 
Sanskrit drama Arya is used often, exactly in the contexts where one expect 
modern jI. "Arya tathA" sounds quite familiar. And it makes, decidedly, 
better sense considering social realities.

Artur K.



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