Elliot Stern emstern at NNI.COM
Thu Jul 9 22:37:48 UTC 1998

>Eliot Stern wrote
>>"na kazcid indraayudhaM darzyate" should be equivalent to "na kaJcid
>>indraayudham darzayati" "he does not show the rainbow to anybody".
>>"daaso bhaaraM haaryate" should be equivalent to the "daasaM (daasena vaa)
>>bhaaraM haarayati" "he  has the servant carry the luggage".
>>"raamaH pustakaM daapyate" should be equivalent to "raamaM pustakaM
>>daapayati" "he makes R. give the book".

*Oh dear, I have erred!* "raamaH pustakaM daapyate" should be equivalent to
"raameNa pustakam daapayati" "he makes R. give the book".

Likewise, when I said regarding Sandra's example "3) nalo raameNa pustakam

3) does not mean the same thing as 1) and 2). I believe it should be
paraphrased as "raamo nalaM pustakaM daapayati", and mean "R. makes N. give
a book"/"N. is made by R. to give a book" (N.B., if Apte explains an
utterance like this, I missed it. *So be cautioned that the source of this
interpretation (Elliot) is a lesser, and fallible, authority!* [how well I
know myself!])

I erred similarly. The correct paraphrase is "raamo nalena pustakaM
daapayati". My caution was well founded! Please excuse, and ignore the

Again, when I wrote,

"na kazcid indraayudhaM darzyate" should be equivalent to "na kaJcid
indraayudham darzayati" "he does not show the rainbow to anybody"

I should also have mentioned that one could as well say "na kaJcid
indraayudhaM darzyate" with the same meaning. If we translate word by word,
we might render the three utterances as follows:

"na kaJcid indraayudhaM darzayati" is "he does not show the rainbow to anybody"
"na kazcid indraayudhaM darzyate" is "no one is shown the rainbow"
"na kaJcid indraayudhaM darzyate" is "the rainbow is not shown to anyone".

But the commentators understand them as paraphrases of each other, and I
can still translate them all by "he does not show the rainbow to anybody".

>Finally back to Indology, after the English and German side-walk we took!
>I'm happy you (Eliot) took the trouble to take the commentaries into the
>discussion; they can provide another view.

Before today, I have made some reference to the commentaries indirectly,
via Apte's *The student's guide to Sanskrit composition*. Today, I have
made use George Cardona's *Panini* volume one (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass,
1988), especially pages 204-207, and commentaries to sutras he discusses.

>With the examples you gave, I start to doubt about {\dn rAma.h pustaka.m
>dApyate}. Although your first example, {\dn na ka"scid indrAyuDa.m
>dar"sayate} looks as if here the `nobody' is the subject, whereas it is
>the indirect object in the active version.

>So, in 1) there is IO to SU, but in 2) and maybe 3) this is not the case.
>Is it a possibility that the commentaries, who
>>... do not, by the way, make or notice
>>any semantic distinction between the active and passive voice expressions
>also fail to analyse the passive causative?

We need to separate these two matters. When I wrote about the equivalence
of active and passive voice expressions, I was recalling such articulations
as "Active and passive pairs (19)-(20), (21)-(22), and so on are equivalent
utterances in that they not only involve the same particular kaarakas
related to the same action in a like manner but also the same time
reference or modality" (G. Cardona *Panini* volume one, p. 173; the paired
examples (19)-(34) precede on pages 170-172) and others I heard while I was
his student. Neither Panini nor the commentators seem to differentiate the
semantics. Even if they felt any nuanced differentiation between active and
passives of pairs, they did not think it important enough to mention in the
description of the language. If we take the view that no nuancing or nearly
no nuancing of meaning was felt, it fits with, and might even help to
explain the eventual virtual triumph of passive constructions in Sanskrit
and MIA and NIA -- why bother with many verb forms, if you can say the same
things with only a few?

That said, let's go on to the passive causative analysis question. The
short answer is that they analysed it according to the paninian system. We
have no reason to believe that any of them was familiar with our
Graeco-Roman derived grammatical categories like subject, object and
indirect object, and they lived well before the generative grammar era.
BTW, while other indigenous systems of grammatical analyses of Sanskrit had
some currency in ancient India, what we know about them is fragmentary.

I do not mean to discourage you or anyone else from applying categories
like subject, object, indirect object, or from doing generative grammatical
analysis of Sanskrit. Only bear in mind that we need to walk those extra
miles through paninian scholarship to understand how the object language
works in our set of examples.

Elliot M. Stern
552 South 48th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-2029

telephone: 215 747 6204

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