[INDOLOGY] Lexicographic order / sentence boundaries

Roland Steiner steiner at staff.uni-marburg.de
Thu Nov 3 14:10:36 UTC 2016

> Dr Dimitrov may have pointed out recently the debt of MW to PW, but  
> this is not new; a paper from long ago has been cited on this list  
> before, in which the exact situation is investigated in detail:  
> https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/lexi.1988.4.issue-1/9783110244083.145/9783110244083.145.xml

No doubt, Dr Dimitrov did not point to anything new, which, as far as  
I see, neither he nor anyone else has claimed, though. The point is  
rather that Monier-Williams's factual dependance on Böhtlingk's (and  
Roth's) dictionaries is not generally known among indologists, as it  
seems, or, it is ignored or considered irrelevant, or it is even  
disputed, in the latter case usually under reference to Zgusta's 1988  
paper, which seems to be taken as the final word in this matter.  
However, a closer look at his article shows that this is far from  
being correct, for the paper actually suffers from serious flaws. I  
shall not elaborate on that here, but I do intend to speak about the  
same issue on the "33. Deutscher Orientalistentag" (DOT) in Jena in  
September 2017 (http://www.dot2017.de/).

As Prof. Slaje already mentioned today, a relevant article by Agnes  
Stache-Weiske appeared recently which is worth reading ("Man muß  
zuweilen Insekten mit Kanonen schießen." Max Müllers Rolle im Streit  
zwischen Böhtlingk und Monier-Williams, in:  "In ihrer rechten Hand  
hielt sie ein Messer mit Glöckchen ... ". "In her right hand she held  
a silver knife with small bells ...". Studien zur indischen Kultur und  
Literatur. Studies in Indian Culture and Literature. Herausgegeben von  
/ Edited by Anna Aurelia Esposito, Heike 0berlin, B. A. Viveka Rai,  
Karin Juliana Steiner. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2015, pp. 323-336.

In this article Stache-Weiske quotes, among other interesting  
documents, a letter by Ernst Leumann to Otto Böhtlingk (dated  
21.9.1883). Leumann has been Monier-Williams's first collaborator and  
longtime assistant (cp. MW's title page: "With the collaboration of E.  
Leumann, C. Cappeller"). The passage quoted by Stache-Weiske (pp. 313  
f.) says:

"Es ist nicht ohne ziemliche Beklemmung, daß ich Ihnen den eben erst  
abgedruckten ersten Bogen des neuen Wörterbuchs zukommen laße. [...]  
in der Meinung, daß Sie ein erstes Recht darauf haben zu erfahren, wie  
man sich bestrebt Ihr Wörterbuch in England & Indien nutzbar zu  
machen, und thue es nicht bloß im Gefühl der größten Dankbarkeit  
sondern wirklich auch der tiefsten Pflicht, wie sie eben nur die  
Abhängigkeit von einem so immensen Werke wie das Ihrige einflößen kann.“

("It is not without a strong feeling of trepidation that I send you  
the first sheet of the new dictionary [i.e. MW] printed just now [...]  
in the opinion that you have the first right to learn how one  
endeavours to make usable your dictionary in England and India. And  
this I do not only with a feeling of most sincere gratitude, but also  
of most profound duty really which can be instilled only by the  
dependance on such an immense work like yours.")

Best, Roland Steiner

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