[INDOLOGY] The alphabet found in the Lalitavistara

Martin Joachim Kümmel martin-joachim.kuemmel at uni-jena.de
Fri Nov 1 05:19:50 EDT 2019

Dear Madhav and colleagues,

in NW Indo-Aryan, old kṣ developed into a new phoneme, a retroflex affricate ṭṣh, and I have long been wondering if this might be one factor relevant for the special status of this akṣara. Although lack of l might also have been an originally NW feature, I am not sure this would still be relevant at the time, and for the other peculiarities, I don’t see how they might be explained as NW.

All the best,

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Joachim Kümmel
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Philosophische Fakultät
Institut für Orientalistik, Indogermanistik, Ur-und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie
Seminar für Indogermanistik
Zwätzengasse 12, D-07743 Jena, Germany
Tel. +49-(0)3641-9443-81 Fax -82 Sekretariat -80
E-mail: martin-joachim.kuemmel at uni-jena.de<mailto:martin-joachim.kuemmel at uni-jena.de>
Homepage: http://www.oriindufa.uni-jena.de/k%C3%BCmmel_martin.html

Von: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info<mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> Im Auftrag von Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 31. Oktober 2019 18:25
An: Indology <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>; Bharatiya Vidvat parishad <bvparishat at googlegroups.com<mailto:bvparishat at googlegroups.com>>
Betreff: [INDOLOGY] The alphabet found in the Lalitavistara

Dear Colleagues,

     As I have been reading the Lipiśālāsandarśana-Parivarta of the Lalitavistara [p. 89, P. L. Vaidya edition], some interesting features of the alphabet popped up for me.  The Alphabet omits r̥ and l̥, but includes ai, au, and aḥ. Among the consonants, it adds kṣ at the end after h.  The version of this passage as given in the Bauddhāgamārthasaṅgraha [ed by P. L. Vaidya] also omits l, while it is included in the version of Lalitavistara edited by Vaidya himself.  I wonder if there are textual variants about this.  I don't know what this alphabet represents.  The omission of r̥ and l̥ goes along the phonologies of Prakrits, but the inclusion of ai, au, and aḥ goes in the direction of Sanskrit.  The addition of kṣ and the possible omission of l point to something else that I cannot figure out.  Any suggestions and references are welcome.

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
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