'Fanciful' etymologies (was re. dating)

g.v.simson at easteur-orient.uio.no g.v.simson at easteur-orient.uio.no
Tue May 21 11:04:35 UTC 1996

Dear Indology members,
        I should like to draw your attention to the publications of Eivind
Kahrs (Univ. of Cambridge, U.K.), because he is one of those who have
studied the problem of YAska and Indian etymologies most thoroughly in
recent times:
        "YAska's use of kasmAt", Indo-Iranian Journal 25 (1983), 231-237;
         "YAska's nirukta: the quest for a new interpretation", Indologica
Taurinensia 12 (1984),
        "What is a tadbhava word",  Indo-Iranian Journal 35 (1992), 225-249.
Kahrs has also written his doctoral dissertation on the same topic:
        "Substitution and change. Foundations of traditional Indian
hermeneutics." (Oslo 1996).
This will be, I hope, be published in due course. In all these publications
Kahrs warns against taking Indian etymologies according to the western
model of history of language (the historical perspective is absent in
Panini's system). He suggests instead a substitutional model (based on the
use of the genitive for substitutional purposes in PA–ini's grammar).
        Best regards
                Georg v. Simson

>Followint this thread of discussion, may I raise a query on Yaska?
>Are there any works which explain WHY Yaska indulged in what appear to us
>today (at this distance in time) to be 'fanciful' etymologies?
>Niruktam was deemed to be a vEdAnga, an important part of the curriculum.
>Why would Yaska mislead with 'folk' or 'syllabic' extravaganzas?
>Thanks in advance.
>Regards, Kalyanaraman

Professor Georg von Simson
University of Oslo
Department of East European and Oriental Studies
Box 1030, Blindern
0315 Oslo, Norway

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