Etymology of honorific particle jI

Srinivasa Varakhedi nlpdept at YAHOO.CO.IN
Fri Jun 24 05:12:12 UTC 2005

Dear members,
Really it's an interesting issue. I would like to add here my two comments.
1. In india tradition there was a belief that one should not take the elders name, as calling by name will decrease younger's life-time. This belief might have made them to spell the word 'jIvatu' immediately after the elder's name spelt. Over the time of , the ending part might have been omitted.
2. Interestingly I found a unique expression as "Bhadram te" in Valmiki Ramayanam hundreds of times in different contexts. Some times this expression sounds odd. But, may this kind of expression was an habbit in conversation.

Artur Karp <karp at UW.EDU.PL> wrote:
At 18:43 2005-06-23, you wrote:

>But, Artur,
>why should one require a precedent in Skt, Pkt or even

Dear Matthew,

Here are two articles of my belief.

Words survive only when they can continue to be used in useful contexts.

When we look for the etymology of words, we try to establish their original 
forms, testing our hyptheses not only via phonetic/morphophonetic laws, but 
also, wherever it's possible - by checking the contexts in which the 
supposed protoforms used to be used.

And so - if jIva (or upAdhyAya) are thought to be the predecessors of 
modern jI, then they should have been used in similar contexts. But they 
are not.

Equivalences like:

zRNotv AryaH/o/A - suno jI
pravizatu AryaH/oA - baiTho jI

point to Arya; and they seem more convincing than impossible constructions 
like: pravizatu jIva/jIvatu.

Regards, ji

Artur K.

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