witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sun Aug 3 09:37:31 EDT 2008
it is Summer and the weekend now, so a lazy note of correction:
Colleagues have been referring, since 1990, to our 7-bit
transliteration for Sanskrit as Harvard-Kyoto (a A, i, I ..., etc.).
But the laws of language do not trump the (perceived) pre-eminence of
In compounds, the shorter member precedes the longer one. This is
Behaghel's 19th century 'law of growing members' (Gesetz der
Here we have a problem as both Kyoto and Harvard have two syllables.
(Something like the erstwhile Baltimore-Washington or Washington-
However, as Kyoto is metrically shorter (kyoo-to, 2+ 1) than Harvard
(har-vard, 2+ 2), and thus also has less letters, Kyoto takes
precedence. In addition, the system was devised at Kyoto in 1990.
In short, call it the "Kyoto-Harvard" system!
To be honest, it was based, to a large degree, on that created by
Andrea van Arkel at Leiden in 1984, when our department was the first
there to use a PC (together with Mathematics) for the input of the
Paippalada Samhita of the Atharvaveda.
Have a good Summer!
witzel at fas.harvard.edu
Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street
Cambridge MA 02138, USA
phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295 (voice & messages), 496 8570, fax 617 - 496
my direct line (also for messages) : 617- 496 2990
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