Nasals, gemination and dandas

Ulrich T. Kragh utkragh at HUM.KU.DK
Mon Sep 9 12:25:25 UTC 2002

Dear members,
I am working on a critical edition of the 17th chapter of Prasannapada
Madhyamakavrtti by Candrakirti (7th century) as part of my Ph.D.
dissertation. I am using five Sanskrit manuscripts of Nepalese origin, some
of which are written in Nevari-script, while others are written in
Devanagari. A further ten manuscripts have been eliminated as apographs. I
am noticing certain differences in the scribal habits with regard to three

(1) the oldest ms (13th century) tends to use homorganic nasals, where the
later mss (18-19th century) tend to use anusvara;

(2) gemination, i.e., doubling of consonants after repha (the letter r) such
as karmma or dharmma instead of karma or dharma respectively (cf. Whitney's
grammar, § 228), occurs randomly in both the oldest and later mss, often
without agreement and completely inconsistently. It seems that gemination
may occassionally have been added by the scribe without regard to his
original, although this would contradict the natural presumption that the
scribe generally tend to omit gemination rather than to add it.

(3) While the oldest ms tends to use ekadanda (single danda) in most
instances though not always, the later mss tend to use dvidanda (double
dandas) in most cases.

I would like to know whether there exists any studies on any of these
points, which may either support or contradict my findings and which may
perhaps also clarify the scribal habits in question. If any of you have made
similar or dissimilar observations in the course text-critical work or
reading of manuscripts that may add to my understanding, I am also
interested in hearing your opinions.

Ulrich T. Kragh
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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