[INDOLOGY] Examples of very ambiguous devanagari Sanskrit sentences

Dipak Bhattacharya dipak.d2004 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 12:47:02 EST 2015

Dear Mr. Spier and other colleagues,
I spoke of the double avagraha as not noted by me in mss. The single one is
common there.
The avagraha was known to the padapaathakaara,Paa.nini and the
Rk-Praati;saakhya. These were orally composed; hence the avagraha was a
linguistic element that was uttered, at least orally indicated, but not a
mere written sign like the apostrophe in the Roman scripts. As as I
remember Renou remarked on its pronunciation. That might have been a
negative feature like a pause but an oral feature and by no means a written
sign alone. I must find out somehow Renou's remark.
Those who are aware of Renou's remark may kindly comment.

On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Harry Spier <hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com>

> Dipak Bhattacharya raises a point I've wondered about.
> 1) Why wasn't (until recently) avagraha used to resolve this kind of
> ambiguity.
> 2)  Is avagraha only a written sign or is it some kind of pause in spoken
> Sanskrit
> 3) How far back does avagraha go.  To Panini, pre-Panini, post-Panini ?
> Thanks,
> Harry Spier
> On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 12:02 AM, Dipak Bhattacharya <dipak.d2004 at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> As for the original question of Mr. Harry Spier in some publications an
>> avagraha is put to indicate a coalesced/elided अ and two for two such अs.
>> One has मयाsदेयम् for *mayā adeyam* and मयाssदेयम् for *mayā ādeyam*.
>> I did not see the latter in manuscripts.
>> Best
>> DB
>> On Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 10:45 PM, Harry Spier <hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com
>> > wrote:
>>> Dear list members,
>>> I need to show to some non-sanskritists that given a Sanskrit phrase in
>>> devanagari, that how you put in the word breaks in the transliteration can
>>> result in phrases with very different meanings.
>>> Can any of the list members give examples of short sentences in simple
>>> sanskrit in devanagari that when the words are split  differently in the
>>> transliteration give grammatically correct Sanskrit sentences but produce
>>> Sanskrit phrases with  "radically" different meanings.
>>> For my purposes simple Sanskrit sentences are better than more
>>> complicated Sanskrit from the literature.  And sentences that give very
>>> different meanings depending on how the words are broken up are better than
>>> more subtle differences.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Harry Spier
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