formation of the name mahaasaamghika

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Wed Nov 26 14:23:43 UTC 2003

I'm sorry to say that the discussion strikes me
as much ado about not very much.

First, there are other examples of the same phenomenon
in Sanskrit, e.g., mahaaraajika- as the name for a class of gods

Second, this is hardly exceptional: as is clearly stated in Kale, A Higher
Sanskrit Grammar, p. 195 (para. 337.c), on taddhita affixes:

"In the case of derivatives from compound words sometimes
the initial vowel of the second word takes its V.rddhi
substitute, and sometimes the V.rddhi is double..."

mahaasaamghika, therefore, exemplifies a form of derviation
well-known in Sanskrit. It is, however, true that Renou (Grammaire
Sanscrite, para. 142C) insists that "l'initiale du premier
membre..est frappe'e de la v.rddhi, si la de'rivation vaut
pour l'ensemble du compose'..." but he gives no evidence
that this is any more than an ad hoc supposition, based on
the examples he happened to have in mind. (And in the appended
para. (b) he in any case grants that there are exceptions to his rule.)


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