`Conversational Sanskrit' vs `Real Sanskrit'

zydenbos at flevoland.xs4all.nl zydenbos at flevoland.xs4all.nl
Sat Apr 12 16:21:24 UTC 1997

Replies to msg 11 Apr 97: indology at liverpool.ac.uk
(vidynath at math.ohio-state.edu)

 voe> From: Vidhyanath Rao <vidynath at math.ohio-state.edu>
 voe> Subject: `Conversational Sanskrit' vs `Real Sanskrit'

>the aorist has been thrown out (as too complicated and cumbersome),
>and the past tense is usally expressed using nominalized verbs
>(e.g., past passive and active participles in -ta and -tavant),
>rather than imperfect or perfect finite conjugated verbs.

 voe> The only thing different about S. B. Sanskrit is the
 voe> relative
 voe> popularity of -tavant. I guess South Indians do not like
 voe> ergative
 voe> constructions :-)

It is possible (or likely?) that a parallel, though certainly not cognate,
construction in the Dravidian languages has contributed to the popularity of
-tavant, namely the combination of a relative participle with a pronominal
ending. E.g.: Kannada maa.dida-, or Tamil ceyta-, is the past relative
participle which means "having done" or "which / who did" (I am now slightly
simplifying the matter), and Ka. maa.didavanu, Ta. ceytava_n, with the suffixes
-vanu and -va_n, mean "he who did", which would be suitably translated into
Sanskrit as k.rtavaan.

Robert Zydenbos
Internet: zydenbos at flevoland.xs4all.nl

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