On 'patra/pattra' again!

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Sun Feb 14 15:22:53 UTC 1999

Hello folks,
        Any assertions that the word patra/pattra is derived from the root
pat need to be addressed in more specific terms.  This view is found in
the commentary of K.siirasvaamin on the Amarakoza (patati pattram).
Ultimately this etymology goes back to a generic U.naadisuutra :
sarvadhaatubhya.h .s.tran, which allows the addition of the affix -tra
after all roots.  The fact that this is an U.naadisuutra is significant.
It means that Panini himself treated these formations as underived
(avyutpanna), and that the U.naadisuutra-traditions (often ascribed to
Zaaka.taayana) offered these derivations.  With such differences on the
derivations of these words, the variation in doubling needs to be treated
with less emphasis on assured etymology, but on larger patterns of
Sanskrit pronunciation, reflected in optional rules of consonantal
doubling, as well as in preferences for doubling seen in manuscripts
coming from certain regions.
                                Madhav Deshpande

On Sat, 13 Feb 1999, John Smith wrote:

> On Sat, 13 Feb 1999, Rolf Koch wrote:
> > Because pattra indeed is based on patati "fly" the writing pattra is
> > wrong and not etymological correct.
> > patra is correct.
> I wish you would read what I write. This is getting boring, but I have to
> repeat what I said: pattra derives from the root pat- and the affix -tra,
> and the "tt" spelling is therefore etymologically correct. However, patra
> is very commonly used in its place.
> John Smith
> --
> Dr J. D. Smith                *  jds10 at cam.ac.uk
> Faculty of Oriental Studies   *  Tel. 01223 335140 (Switchboard 01223 335106)
> Sidgwick Avenue               *  Fax  01223 335110
> Cambridge CB3 9DA             *  http://bombay.oriental.cam.ac.uk/index.html

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list