Jacob Baltuch jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE
Tue Dec 16 20:33:15 UTC 1997


I have (what else) other questions...

First look at these French examples, those of Dominique's

>PS: about 'yes-man', you can compare the funny French equivalent
>'beni-oui-oui', an Arabo-French chimera 'son of oui!oui!' (issued from the
>Maghreb colonization by the France, but today completely naturalized, the
>'beni' beeing understand 'blessed', 'simpleton').

and a few others

  le qu'en-dira-t-on
  une Marie-couche-toi-là
  le pourquoi/le comment (d'une chose)
  un bon tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras

It seems in Fr. any utterance can be thought of as an invariable noun when
used meta-linguistically as the name of the action of uttering it:
"Il commence a m'enerver avec ses je le ferai plus tard" (Doesn't that work
in English: "He's getting on my nerves with his I'll do it later"?)

Now George Thompson  writes:

>See RV 7.99.7:  va'SaT te viSNav Asa' A' kRNomi
>                O ViSNu, I do the vaSaT to you from out of my own mouth.
>This material is interesting because it shows us the verb kR- being used as
>a speech-act verb [verbum dicendi]. The context in which this material
>developed was a highly ritualized one, with well-defined ritual utterances
>[vyAhRtis] that were to be performed [kR-] at fixed occasions. Perhaps it
>casts interesting light on the term 'karman' as ritual performance.

_If_ in Sanskrit you can, like in French, consider the 1st member of those
kr compounds to stand for the name of the action of uttering it (thus one
could analyze "tvam" in tvamkR as "the _action_ of uttering tvam") then
you don't need any special meaning of kR, kR in its usual meaning of "perform"
seems to work doesn't it? So, is it sensible to analyze it this (my) way? Can
one say that in the Vedic example "vaSaT" is the "accusatif" of an invariable
noun which designates the action of uttering "vaSaT"? Of course things
would be different in composition with verbs meaning say, utter, cf
an example mentioned by Dominique, bhoovaadin. What is its precise meaning?
Also I'd be curious if bhooH can also enter in composition with kR as say
"bhooHkarooti"? I guess that would depend on "bhooH" having an affective
content, e.g. the "gurum tvamkarya" of Martin's examples implies a show of
disrespect or familiarity. Since "bhooH" seems pretty neutral I wouldn't
expect it to have a transitive kR compound but let me ask anyway.

Now I'm do not think that the Sanskrit usage is as free as the
French one. Those Sanskrit compounds _seem_ to be restricted to two cases:

(1) where the 1st member is a "sound" either ritual or onomatop.
    (those are the intransitive compounds, George Thompson is in
     this category -- except it is not a compound :) -- but you know
     what I mean. Note the construction is with the dative tee and
     not with the accusative tvaa)

(2) where the 1st member has some sort of affective content
    (those are the transitive compounds, Martin Gansten's example
    falls in this category)

In the first case the 1st member X would stand for the "action of uttering
X", in the second case the 1st member X would stand for the "action of
using X to address (someone)".

Now are these generalizations at all warranted? Of course they go
back to my question to which Martin gave one answer.

Btw I'm still waiting
for an answer about the existence or non-existence of _transitive_
?dhikkarooti? I'm curious about this because it falls sort of in between
the two categories above. Apparently you can say "dhik tvaam muurkha"
but that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking, can you say "tvaam dhikkarooti"?

In fact George's example is also interesting as it might also fall in between
depending what the precise meaning of "vaSaT" is. What exactly is the content
of "vaSaT"? Is Vishnu supposed to be honored by that utterance? Can such
compounds ever be transitive -- with tvaam/tvaa instead of tubhyam/tee?
Or are Vedic gods just too much above being really affected by the worshipper
uttering those sounds (at least in the same way a human "guru" is
affected by one calling him "tvam" at least to the point that he gets put
in the accusative)? In other words I'm curious what the
implication is of using a transitive vs an intransitive construction in
cases which admit both (in case there are such)

Re: impropriety of using "tvam". Martin was writing his example was
a rare testimony of that fact. Also Renou's grammar mentions that
Mhbh XIII 163 53 forbids "tvaMkaara" from inferior to superior.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list