etymology in the Sanskrit tradition

thompson at thompson at
Tue May 21 23:52:54 UTC 1996

Jan Houben wrote:

"On etymologies in India see recently: Max Deeg, Die altindische Etymologie
nach dem Verstaendnis Yaaska's und seiner Vorgaenger, Verlag J.H. Roell,
1995, who overemphasizes in my view <<magical>> aspects of the

Others have also emphasized the magical aspects of etymologies, in
particular Jan Gonda in his classic study, "The Etymologies in the Ancient
Indian BrAhmaNas" [reprinted in Selected Studies II], as well as T.
Elizarenkova in her recent book, "Language and Style of the Vedic RSis."  I
am curious to know what this "over-emphasis" consists of.

George Thompson

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