[INDOLOGY] In Pāṇini We Trust: Discovering the Algorithm for Rule Conflict Resolution in the Aṣṭādhyāyī by Rishi Rajpopat

Nagaraj Paturi nagarajpaturi at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 04:41:45 UTC 2022


Rajpopat, R. (2021). In Pāṇini We Trust: Discovering the Algorithm for Rule
Conflict Resolution in the Aṣṭādhyāyī (Doctoral thesis).
If two rules are simultaneously applicable at a given step in a Pāṇinian
derivation, which of the two should be applied? Put differently, in the
event of a ‘conflict’ between the two rules, which rule wins? In the
Aṣṭādhyāyī, Pāṇini has taught only one metarule, namely, 1.4.2 vipratiṣedhe
paraṁ kāryam, to address this problem. Traditional scholars interpret it as
follows: ‘in the event of a conflict between two rules of equal strength,
the rule that comes later in the serial order of the Aṣṭādhyāyī, wins.’
Pāṇinīyas claim that if one rule is nitya, and its simultaneously
applicable counterpart is anitya, or if one is antaraṅga and the other
bahiraṅga, or if one is an apavāda (exception) and the other the utsarga
(general rule), then the two rules are not equally strong and consequently,
we cannot use 1.4.2 to resolve the conflict between them. The nitya,
antaraṅga and apavāda rules are stronger than their respective counterparts
and thus win against them. But this system of conflict resolution is far
from perfect: the tradition has had to write numerous additional metarules
to account for umpteen exceptions. In this thesis, I propose my own
solution to the problem of rule conflict which I have developed by relying
exclusively on Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī. I replace the aforementioned
traditional categories of rule conflict with a new classification, based on
whether the two rules are applicable to the same operand (Same Operand
Interaction, SOI), or to two different operands (Different Operand
Interaction, DOI). I argue that, in case of SOI, the more specific i.e.,
the ‘exception’ rule, wins. Additionally, I develop a systematic method for
the identification of the ‘more specific’ rule – based on Pāṇini’s style of
rule composition. I also argue that, in order to deal with DOI, Pāṇini has
composed 1.4.2, which I interpret as follows: ‘in case of DOI
(vipratiṣedha), the right-hand side (para) operation (kārya) prevails.’ I
support my conclusions with both textual and derivational evidence. I also
discuss my interpretation of certain metarules teaching substitution and
augmentation, the concept of aṅga, and the asiddha and asiddhavat rules and
expound on not only their interaction with 1.4.2 but also their influence
on the overall functioning of the Pāṇinian machine.

Nagaraj Paturi

Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.

Senior Director, IndicA
BoS, MIT School of Vedic Sciences, Pune, Maharashtra
BoS Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Ramtek, Maharashtra
BoS Veda Vijnana Gurukula, Bengaluru.
Member, Advisory Council, Veda Vijnana Shodha Samsthanam, Bengaluru
BoS Rashtram School of Public Leadership
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Studies in Public Leadership
Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies,
FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.
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