Etymology of honorific particle jI

Artur Karp karp at UW.EDU.PL
Thu Jun 23 15:00:41 UTC 2005

At 15:59 2005-06-23, you wrote:

>Yes, it is accepted; and it has a beautiful counterpart in
>Urdu and Persian _jaan_, also meaning 'life' as well as
>being used as an honorific/term of endearment.  The Hindi
>(etc.) _jii_ might well be a calque of the Persian word.
>The root is also contained in Hindi _jii-naa_ 'to live'.

Thank you, Hans-jii

It's just that  I have personal difficulty with imagining someone repeating 
during one short conversation several times something like "may you live!", 
and then obtaining in answer a similar portion of "'may- you-live!"s. 
Persian calque? Possibly. But I have some buts, oops - doubts.

Is jiiva/jiivatu attested in some sanskrit (prakrit) texts in expressions 
equivalent to maataa-jii, pitaa-jii? Or achhaa-jii? Or with the meaning of 
"yes, right"? Or in phrases like pitaa-jii ne kahaa? "My 
father-may-you-live! said". Strange, if I may say. Sounds a bit incongruous.

How and by whom was this etymology accepted?


Artur Karp 

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