LGoehler at LGoehler at
Tue May 7 18:27:58 UTC 1996

Narayan S. Raja writes:

>I was under the impression that the
>systematic study of grammar/language is 
>considered an uncontroversial example
>of  Greek "borrowing" from India... or 
>am I mistaken?
not only Greek borrowing from India but 19th century Europe borrowing from
India. Greek and Latin writers were not able e.g. to distinguish a root or
stem and an ending in a word. So they had a grammar that is not comparable to
this of :PANini or to our contemporary grammar (that has Indian origins).
  What seems to be even more interesting is how far the "linguistic turn" in
 Western Philosophy can be traced back to Indian influences. One of the
pioneers of this "turn", Ferdinand de Saussure, in his doctoral thesis that
he wrote in Leipzig (L' employ du genitif absolu), displays a considerable
knowledge of Sanskrit and Indian Grammar. K. Kunjunni Raja compares his
signifiant-signifie (type and token) with the Indian
zabda-artha-relation. But there is one more point that Saussure introduced
into Western philosophy of language,  that he could easily have borrowed in
India: the synchronic view of language (abstraction from the historical
*diacronic* development of language which is implied theories as that
of zabdanityatA) that made structural approaches to language possible. Both
concepts formed cornerstones of the early theories of the
linguistic-turn-philosophers and exert influence up to the present. - I
wonder whether there is literature on the bhAratamUlatva of Saussure's

Lars Goehler

PS. By the way, within the list I propose to reduce the length of the >pUrva-
and >>pUrva-pUrvapakSa's to the reasonable extent, that can be somehow
justified by the respective 

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