Etymology of honorific particle jI

Artur Karp karp at UW.EDU.PL
Thu Jun 23 16:18:56 UTC 2005

At 17:08 2005-06-23, you wrote:

>It will seem less counter-intuitive if one
>recalls not an imperative, but the Buddhist Skt expression
>ayu.smant, "(long-)lived." used as an honorific
>term of address throughout the Mahaayaana suutra
>literature. The etymology seems sure when
>one considers the Nepali form -jyuu, where the labial
>of jiiv- is clearly preserved.
>Matthew Kapstein

Thanks for your comment. I'd say the use of the Pali/Buddhist Skt 
expressions Ayasmant/AyuSmant is contextually quite limited.JI, on the 
contrary, has a very wide field of usage. I would still like to see 
equivalents of modern Hindi usage in Sanskrit or Prakrit (even Apabhramsha) 
texts. Are there any attested? I just looked for 'jIva' in the text of 
Svapnavasavadatta and Abhijnanasakuntala and found it used for not more 
than 10 times, in one phrase: ciraM jIva/jIvatu.

Artur K.

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