Kyoto-Harvard transliteration

Sanjay Kumar sanjay.kumar at MAIL.MCGILL.CA
Sun Aug 3 17:03:17 EDT 2008

According to Kaatyaayana and Patanjali and later Sanskrit grammarians such as Jayaaditya and KaiyaTa, the order of appearance of the four varnas in copulative compound is not indicative of "the notion worthy of most respect," as noted by Gérard Huet. It rather indicates the sequence as mentioned in the Vedas (see KaiyaTa's commentary on the Vaartika "varnaanaam aanupuurvyeNa" {Panini 2.2.34}). At least the (early) grammatical tradition does not presuppose hierarchy in this context.


McGill University 


From: Indology on behalf of Gérard Huet
Sent: Sun 8/3/2008 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: Kyoto-Harvard transliteration

Dear colleagues,

I was very interested to learn about Behaghel's law. I presume it is a 
general statement about the Indo-European family of
languages, which may be more or less verified for the various 
languages. Concerning Sanskrit, thanks to Ashok for providing the
reference, indeed justifying calling it this "Paa.nini-Behaghel" law. 
It is intriguing whether this "law" is merely a standardized
rhetorical device, or whether it is related to some information 
theoretic notion such as Huffman coding (
) since it is likely that shorter words are more frequent than longer 
Some relation with sandhi-splitting ease could also exist (specially 
in light of Paa.nini 2.2.32 and 33).

Of course the law concerns only copulative compounds (dvandva). The 
problem arises when listing several authors of a paper.
The usual rule (of Western academics) is that authors are given in 
alphabetical order, only in case of balanced authorship.
Otherwise the authors are put in decreasing order of their respective 
contribution, and this is a fairer law than any syntactic

Actually, vaarttikas recommend the fair law: first should be come the 
notion worthy of most respect, like in maatapitarau.
And of course braahma.nak.satriyavi.t"suudraa.h - brâhmans should 
always go first!

I hope you do not have problems with my transliteration scheme. I call 
it VH encoding. Velthuis is of course the primary author.
I merely restrict his code to lower case letters, using aa and not A 
etc. It would be unfair to call this the HV encoding because
of some obscure IE law ...


Le 3 août 08 à 16:01, Ashok Aklujkar a écrit :

> Dear Michael,
> Thanks for the clarification. Enjoyed your wit. Glad to note that 
> honesty
> continues to be important at my Alma Mater.
> In the spirit of your note and on the growing pattern illustrated by
> "Newton-Bhaaskara," "Einstein-Bose" etc. (or their reversals), may I 
> suggest
> thaat Behaghel's law should be referred to as "Paa.nini-Behaghel's 
> law"? See
> Paa.nini 2.2.34 (alpaactaram). Even your "metrically shorter" is 
> anticipated
> in a Vaarttika to this rule (laghv-ak.sara.m puurvam).
> Sorry for not following Kyoto-Harvard in the above, although I have 
> very
> fond memories of both places.
> Best.
> ashok

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