prakrit realization in Grantham

Harunaga Isaacson harunaga at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Sat Apr 12 22:40:39 UTC 2003

This is not something which I have studied myself, so my knowledge is mainly
second-hand and probably out of date as well; but what Whitney Cox refers to
here has been discussed a number of times in secondary literature, though
mainly with regard to Malayalam rather than Grantha. (Malayalam is of course
reckoned  by some as a type of Grantha; I take it though that what Whitney Cox
refers to as Grantha is 'true' or Eastern Grantha.) The key question is indeed
whether those circles after the ak.sara in Prakrit are intended as indicating
gemination of the following consonant or not; the consensus, as far as I am
aware, is that they are. A special, often discussed, case, in which what
follows is not a consonant but a, is that of (using here .m to transcribe the
circle) where one expects ajja or ayya (for Sanskrit aarya).

You will already find something about this, I believe, in Pischel's Grammatik
der Prakrit-sprachen (which I do not have at hand as I write); one of the more
extensive early discussions is in P. Anujan Achan's introduction to his editio
princeps of the Bhagavadajjukiiyam (1925). Most recently (that I know of; I may
well have missed something newer though), with references to some earlier
literature, see Roland Steiner's Untersuchungen zu Har.sadeva's Naagaananda und
zum indischen Schauspiel (Swisttal-Odendork 1997, Indica et Tibetica 31), pp.
175--176 (only concerned with the special case of Among literature not
referred to by Steiner, it may be worth looking at K.R. Pisharoti's article
Sanskrit and Prakrit in the Arya Eluttu--a Note, in Bulletin of the School of
Oriental and African Studies 5 (1928--1930), pp. 307--310.

I hope that some of the list-members who work with Grantha manuscripts can be
more helpful.

Harunaga Isaacson

Quoting Whitney Cox <wmcox at UCHICAGO.EDU>:

> While transcribing some Grantha-script MSS of Mahe"svaraananda's
> Mahaarthama~njarii (in which the muula-text consists of gaathaa-s in
> Maahaaraa.s.trii Prakrit, with a chaayaa and autocommentary in Sanskrit),
> I've
> come across some seeming anomalies in the way the Prakrit text is written.
> In
> addition to the relatively large circles which follow the ak.sara and
> usually
> represent anusvaara in Grantha (and as is this particular scribe's practice
> in
> writing Sanskrit), there are rather small circles written immediately above
> the ak.sara.  Strangely, however, the large circles seem in the Prakrit to
> indicate gemination of the following consonant, while the small,
> superscribed
> circle represents nasalization.  This conclusion arises from comparing the
> ms.
> to the edition of Vrajavallabha Dvivedi (who reproduces the text of Ganapati
> Shastri).  Is this sort of a practice (i.e. two different,
> language-dependent
> ways of realizing anusvaara in the same text, realizing gemination through
> what is usually used for anusvaara) something one sees in Grantha or in
> other
> scripts?  Or, rather, should it be treated as two different ways of
> realizing
> anusvaara, and should the ms. be treated as a text with a very different,
> nasal-heavy, transmission of the Prakrit muula?  Any help would be
> appreciated,
> Whitney Cox

Harunaga Isaacson
South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
820 Williams Hall
36th and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

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