Amazing PataJjali, lakSaNa, and vyAkaraNa

Jean-Luc Chevillard jlc at
Fri Apr 11 13:30:36 UTC 1997

At 08:27 09/04/1997 BST, S. Palaniappan wrote:

>Scholars of Sanskrit grammar may not be aware of this. But PataJjali plays a
>pivotal role in dating the Tamil literature. Based on the use of the word
>'ilakkaNam' by tolkAppiyar and an explanation for the location of the word
>with semantic significance when two words form a compound, a Tamil scholar by
>name Vaiyapuri Pillai and following him Kamil Zvelebil date tolkAppiyar after
>PataJjali. (Apparently, PataJjali was the one to introduce the word "lakSaNa"
>in the sense of grammar and he was the one who introduced the classification
>of compounds into pUrvapadArtha, uttarapadArtha, anyapadArtha, and
>ubhayapadArtha. Vaiyapuri Pillai, in his discussion however, quotes Katyayana
>as saying "lakSya lakSane vyakaraNam" for which vArttika PataJjali is
>supposed to say "sabdo lakSya sUtram lakSaNam"!) Since the language of the
>Classical Tamil texts is supposed to be close to what is described by
>tolkAppiyam, Zvelebil says that there could hardly have been a wide gap of
>time between the two. 
>Vaiyapuri Pillai and Zvelebil, when they saw similar expressions in
>tolkAppiyam and mahAbhASya, they did not consider the possibility that both
>could be drawing on a common tradition. They simply assumed that Tamil
>borrowed from Sanskrit. ............

Since you mention Vaiyapuri Pillai,
you should also say that the date he proposes
for _tolkAppiyam_ is the second half of the 5th century A.D.
(see his _History of Tamil Language and Literature_, P.48,
 second revised edition, 1988, NCBH, Madras)
which is 600 years later than pataJjali
whereas Zvelebil tries to explain that there is an original
version of _tolkAppiyam_ which is pre-cangam
and a final editing and redaction which took place
in the 5th Cent. A.D.
(see _The Smile of Murugan_, 1973, Leiden, E.J. Brill, P.143-146,
where he gives his "first conclusion" and his "second,
but not [...]final conclusion" on the date of _tolkAppiyam_)


-- Jean-Luc Chevillard

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