DUBINSE at DUVM.EARN
Mon May 3 16:48:39 UTC 1993
My son, a PhD candidate in Information Science has posed this question.
I have sent him some textbook material on bahuvrihi compounds, but
none of these dealt with the derivation of the term "bahuvrihi" itself;
namely, why a term meaning "much-riced" or "having much rice" would
be used to denote an exocentric compound. Your help will be appreciated
since it will help me to maintain status with my son who outpaced me
intellectually when he was about 8 years old.
Do you have any idea why exocentric compounds are called "bahuvrihi"
compounds by Sanskrit grammarians? An exocentric compound is one that
lacks a "head." For example, a bootstrap (ignoring the semantic drift)
is a kind of strap and a truck driver a kind of driver. Those are
endocentric compounds. But a pickpocket is not a kind of pocket, nor
is a lazybones a kind of bone (or a kind of lazyness). These headless
compounds are exocentric. The word bahuvrihi means "(having) much rice"
and I was wondering how I could find out whether the word is itself
an exocentric compound. For example, if "muchrice" is used to denote
an affluent person, then it would be neither a kind of rice nor a kind
of muchness. Now that I've turned in my morphology final I am free to
discuss trivia like this (although I should be grading papers instead).
| Stephen Dubin VMD PhD |
| Biomedical Engineering and Science Institute |
| Drexel University, Philadelphia PA 19104 |
| Phone: 215-895-2219 Fax: 215-895-4983 |
| Email: dubinse at duvm.ocs.drexel.edu CIS: 76074,55 |
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