linguistics (was: Tamil words in English)

Bhadraiah Mallampalli Vaidix at AOL.COM
Sun Feb 22 12:04:37 UTC 1998

Dear Dr fosse
>> Dr Sharma wrote.
> >Furthermore, and curiously enough, does biology, management, engg.
> >etc prepare a person to contribute to 'humanities' as 'math-physics'
> >does not ?

> You wrote.
> I think think that math could contribute to the humanities, and does so. I
> used statistics in my thesis, and I know that others are using statistics
> treating certain linguistic problems. But the scope for math is limited. Not
> all problems that the humanities deal with are quantifiable and therefore
> have to be dealt with through other methods.

Othrs also raised questions on Sanskrit vs Vedic Sanskrit.

The fact is, whoever recorded the Vedas did not bother to name the language.
The word is "Sanskrit" clearly belongs to a later period.  The subject was
called Veda for obvious reasons:  Veda was supposed to be a repository of
knowledge known at that time.  This includes proven knowledge as well as
beliefs (that might one day become knowledge or otherwise) or superstitions or
other folk stories (including those of the IE tribes or Japanese).  The reason
for inclusion of the "unproven ideas" or other "folklore" in Veda (despite the
danger of Vedic knowledge being branded as substandard) is that an opinion
once lost is historically lost forever.

In I wrote..

The confidence of the Vedic Rsis is that they can approach the highest reality
from any(literally any) subject. They held the opinion that if the highest
reality can not be arrived at by following a lead from any subject, then that
subject falls under a different ruler other than Existence (which is an
impossibility)! Taking up that idea as a challenge, the Vedic Rsis approached
the subject with the confidence that all subjects converge into Existence, and
again originate from it.

That leads to a funny situation somewhat similar to that popular science
illustration (I don't remember who narrated it first) in which a person living
in a three dimentional world appears to possess supernatural power (by
appearing and disappearing) to a person living in a two dimensional world.
Likewise a person living close to Existence can mix and match subjects at
will, at times trying to derive grammar from sociology or trying to prove a
point on human anatomy using ritualistic prayers and so on. (Sounds like the
effect somA drinking had on indrA?) What better example can be given regarding
this, than the following passage from aitareya brAhmaNA!

"The Silent Praise is the eye of the yajJa. The exclamation being one is said
twice; therefore the eye being one is (manifested) twice."

My opinion is, there is no limit to use of any subject while trying to explain
any other subject.  The division among subjects is artificial and is limited
by our own minds.  I am not suggesting people should start mixing up subjects
at will without any logical basis, in fact there have been such attempts to
claim far reaching conclusions by "somehow" relating unrelated subjects.  I
think it is only to be limited by professional ethics; otherwise there is no

Bhadraiah Mallampalli

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