Nasals, gemination and dandas

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Mon Sep 9 12:48:42 UTC 2002

Dear Ulrich,

have you taken a look at Mahesh Raj Pant's introduction to his edition of 
JAtarUpa's commentary on the Amarakoza? (Delhi 2000: Motilal Banarsidass) 
Pant provides a meticulous description of the two (Nepalese) manuscripts he 
used, including the orthographic peculiarities you described, and going 
further beyond.

The variations you describe are well-known, I believe, both for Newari and 
other scripts, but as far as I know, it is not certain whether their 
distribution can be attributed to clear-cut patterns of historical 
development, so that e.g. gemination would generally be more frequent in 
earlier mss., and less frequent in later ones. However, I must admit that I 
am not really up-to-date in palaeographic discussions on these issues.

Unless you have already been in touch with her, I would suggest contacting 
Anne MacDonald in Vienna, who is critically editing the first chapter of 
the PrasannapadA, and who will no doubt have a well-informed opinion on 
these questions.

Best regards,

Birgit Kellner
Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
University of Vienna

--On Montag, 09. September 2002 14:25 +0200 "Ulrich T. Kragh" 
<utkragh at HUM.KU.DK> wrote:

> 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
> points:
> (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.
> Sincerely,
> Ulrich T. Kragh
> University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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