[INDOLOGY] Etymology of vetana 'wages'

Olivelle, J P jpo at austin.utexas.edu
Sat Aug 6 17:03:04 EDT 2016

Actually, Mayrhofer (3: 254) says “Vielleicht doch mit Mehendale” — and given the vid etymology. The change from -d- to -t- is viewed as a NW dialectical variation. He also refers to Kuiper (ZII 8, 263f) who appears to derive it from veto with the suffix -tana, as Mr. Misra states. There appears to be no consensus among historical linguists.


On Aug 6, 2016, at 3:29 PM, Nityanand Misra <nmisra at gmail.com<mailto:nmisra at gmail.com>> wrote:

On 6 August 2016 at 23:56, Donald R Davis <drdj at austin.utexas.edu<mailto:drdj at austin.utexas.edu>> wrote:
Dear Colleagues,

M.A. Mehendale, “Some Remarks of the Language of the Original Buddhist Canon,” Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute, Vol. 17, No. 3 (December 1955) suggests that the etymology of Skt. vetana ‘wages’ is "vedana ‘wealth, possessions’ from /vid ‘to find, to obtain, to give, etc.’ which is known since the Rgveda” (p167).

Would those of you with IE expertise kindly confirm this etymology, point me elsewhere, or share your thoughts on alternative etymologies?  I have not yet been able to check Mayrhofer.

Sounds dubious, for how the d of vid would change to t when followed by a vowel is beyond me. Here is the authentic traditional etymology:

vī gativyāptiprajanakāntyasanakhādaneṣu (DP 1048) → vīpatibhyāṃ tanan (US 3.150) → vī + tanan → halantyam (A 1.3.3), tasya lopaḥ (A 1.3.9) → vī + tana → sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ (A 7.3.84) → ve tana → vetana.

The Uṇādisūtra vīpatibhyāṃ tanan (US 3.150) ordains the suffix tanan (of which only tana remains) from the root vī gativyāptiprajanakāntyasanakhādaneṣu’ which is used in the meanings of gati (movement), vyāpti (pervading), prajana (conception), kānti (desire), asana (throwing), and khādana (eating). The rule sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ (A 7.3.84) results in the ‘vī’ → ve transformation to get ‘vetana’.

The word occurs in Amarakoṣa 2.10.38, and the various commentaries on it may be consulted. Both the Udghāṭana and Vyākhyāsudhā commentaries cite US 3.150 and explain the word as vīyate anena iti vetanam. The form vīyate is the passive (yaki, or karmaṇi) form of the root vī whose active (karttari) form is veti. The meaning of vīyate anena iti vetanam, consequently, is ‘that with which [something] is obtained is vetana’. Roots with the meaning ‘to go’ also have the meaning ‘to obtain’ as per the maxim ye gatyarthāste prāptyarthāḥ.

INDOLOGY mailing list
INDOLOGY at list.indology.info<mailto:INDOLOGY at list.indology.info>
indology-owner at list.indology.info (messages to the list's managing committee)
http://listinfo.indology.info (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology_list.indology.info/attachments/20160806/198b048c/attachment-0003.html>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list