gldnreef at primenet.com gldnreef at primenet.com
Sat Aug 9 16:28:46 UTC 1997

At 06:24 PM 8/8/97 +0100, Johannes Bronkhorst wrote:

>What do you mean by "revival of Indian grammar"? Which period are you
>talking about? Perhaps I have not correctly understood the aim of your
>research project.

Dear Sir:

        More generally, I am interested in the criticism of the native
Indian grammatical tradition by philologists in the C. IXX which culminated
in the radical empiricism of W.D. Whitney in the 1880's.  At that time his
masterful __Grammar__ was used by Indian students in school and university.
        A number of Indian scholars began to see that "grammar is not an
empirical study among the Hindus" (Bhandarkar) and began to write their own
Paninian, Sanskrit grammars in the English language. This coincides with
many other socio-religious revivalist efforts in the late C. IXX and early
C. XX. 
        I would like to concentrate my research on the heated debate over
the Dhaatupatha and the value, accuracy (and even veracity!) of nirukta in
specific and vyaakara.na in general.
        On a deeper level, I am interested in the philosophical strains
underneath these postures.  Whitney was a collegue of the pragmatist William
James and, I believe, Charles Pierce as well.  I wonder to what extent the
conflict between Whitney and Boethlingk, for example, embodies the
differences between Hegelian idealism and Anglo/American analytics.  On the
Indian side, what  underlies the opposition to a pragmatic approach when
there are certainly pragmatic elements to grammar (Panini: "lokavij~naanaat
siddhi")?  Is a word given more denotative power when it has an elabourate
etymology or is, with other words, decended from a verbal root?
        I hope this explaination elicits more responses.  Thanks very much
to Mr.s Aklujkar and Bronkhorst for what they have already provided.

Walker Trimble 

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