Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Wed Dec 24 02:33:25 UTC 1997

>Do you know the derivation of the Sanskrit word 'antarikSa', which relates
>to astronomy?
>Thank you for your help.
>Chris Beetle

        To my knowledge, 'antarikSa' has nothing to do with astronomy,
being just the intermediate space between earth and heaven, currently the
atmosphere and usually without any star (je croise les doigts).
        The interpretation given by Mayrhofer (KEWA, sv) is simple and
antar : within, between (cp. Lat. inter)
IkS- , IkSate : to see
        the idea being the transparence (in ancient theories of the vision,
the light comes from the eye).

        The difficulty of the long I in the verb is fallacious: the i in
antarikSa is the degree zero of a simple laryngeal, IkSate being a
reduplicated form from a well known (but difficult) root beginning with a
laryngeal (in Indian terms, alternance i/A). You can found it in Skr. akSi
: eye and in numerous Eurindian languages, including Lat. oculus and Engl.
        I have no time to give a more precise explanation, but you can
compare with the two Sanskrit verbs : ajati / Ijati.
        Hoping that was sufficient,

Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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