[INDOLOGY] The term vakharī

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Sun Oct 24 00:59:31 UTC 2021

Hi Jim,

The older Vedic references to चत्वारि वाक् परिमिता पदानि have been
continuously reinterpreted. चत्वारि पदजातानि नामाख्यातोपसर्गनिपाता: is an
explanation that we see in pre-Bhartr̥hari sources. With Bhartr̥hari begins
the expansion into पश्यन्ती, मध्यमा and वैखरी to which परा gets added at
some point. You have raised an interesting question about the origin of the
word वैखरी, if it is a Sanskritized Prakrit word.  The Sanskrit verb
विकिरति seems to appear as बिखरना in Hindi and विखरणे in Marathi. I don't
know how far back in Prakrit this can be attested. But looking at the word
वैखरी, I would not be surprised if it has a Prakrit origin.


Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]

On Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 5:12 PM Jim Ryan via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Hi,
> I’m curious about the term Vaikharī for articulated speech. In the *Encyclopedia
> of Indian Philosophies *volume on the Grammarians, judging from the
> index, it seems this term was first used  by Bhartṛhari (at least in a
> grammatical context.) V. S. Apte cites the Mallinatha commentary on
> *Kumārasaṃbhava *for an authoritative reference of the word, but that is
> quite late (15th century.) Firstly, are there instances of this word used
> with any frequency before Bhartṛhari? Secondly, the lexicons give no good
> verbal root or root word for it. I note that the word *vaikṛtī *as
> “alteration” has a similar shape (and wouldn’t fit badly in the
> “articulated speech” category of Vāc), but I’m presuming that the word
>  vaikharī is not a Prakrit-derived form.  So… where and how do we get to
> this important term in language theory in India, which seems unrelated to
> any other common root or word?
> Jim Ryan
> Asian Philosophies and Cultures (Emeritus)
> California Institute of Integral Studies
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> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
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