Semantic clustering technique in South Asian dictiona

s. kalyanaraman s._kalyanaraman at
Tue Feb 28 08:06:55 UTC 1995

     Mr. Jonathan Silk; I believe that this is very 'fruitful' 
     conversation. The question is excellent, in fact, 'important' in 
     further accepting the basic limitations of all etymological 
     excursions. I suppose all the participants are tracing the roots of 
     our civilization using language and other disciplines as the means. 
     Isn't indology, by definition, study of the South Asian (?Indic) 
     ancient civilization? Maybe, I am understanding it all wrong, 
     Jonathan; let a myriad contrary views flow from all directions and 
     enrich our common quest. Best regards. Dr. S. Kalyanaraman Madras Tel. 

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Semantic clustering technique in South Asian dictionary
Author:  indology at at INTERNET
Date:    28/02/1995 3:36 AM

While loath to get involved in this I fear largely fruitless conversation,
allow me to ask one question.  Dr. Kalyanaraman writes:

>     I believe, that it is not necessary to establish 'ancestry' for a word.
>     it is found across scores of languages spread across vast distances, and
>     authenticated in very, very ancient literary texts and epigraphs, it does
>     not really matter which phonetic variant came first, despite Mayrhoffer
>     Burrow/Emeneau disagreeing. What is more important are the 'images'
>     associated with or evoked by the phonemic variants of a language-family.

What exactly is meant here by "important"?  We need not launch into a long
discussion of etymology vs. usage, or invoke Bhart.rhari and so forth, I
think, if we clarify first and foremost what it is we are after.  What does
each participant in this discussion mean by "important"?  I suspect we will
discover that in the different answers to that question lie the fundamental
disagreements we have seen recently.

Jonathan Silk



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