[INDOLOGY] Lexicographic order / sentence boundaries

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 14:23:58 UTC 2016

Dear Friends,
I am afraid that perhaps my intention has been misinterpreted: I do not
know Dr Dimitrov's relevant work, and did not know the paper by Dr
Stache-Weiske, and did not intend to imply that the Zgusta paper was the
final word, only that the reliance of MW on PW--whatever the details may
be--has been discussed.
I apologize that I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest, without
intending to do so.

On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 3:10 PM, Roland Steiner <steiner at staff.uni-marburg.de
> wrote:

> 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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J. Silk
Leiden University
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
2311 BZ Leiden
The Netherlands

copies of my publications may be found at

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