[INDOLOGY] Whitney and doubling of "ch"

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 23 07:41:50 UTC 2023

I am happy to receive confirmation in this way that my message has come through. Thanks Harry.

I may well be mistaken, in whole or in part, in my appreciation of the issue of spelling features that have been considered as somehow specifically Vedic over the past Indological scholarship. (I noted, as typical example, Allen's parenthetic and unquestioning "except in the RV" in the pages that were recently shared.) I feel pretty confident for the case of the Paippalādasaṁhitā but this text has had a predominantly written transmission over the past millennium or more and its transmission has not been controlled by normative texts like prātiśākhyas. The case of the RV and other Vedic texts with a strong oral tradition plus prātiśākhya may be different. As long as we don't have a representative sample of digitized manuscripts of the RV (and other texts) from a representative range of regional writing traditions, I suppose we will never know which of the ostensibly "special" spellings would survive in a critical edition that attempts to live up to today's standards and attempts to juggle the evidence of written and oral tradition in such a way as to render both visible to readers (and, why not, listeners).

Best wishes,

Arlo Griffiths

From: Harry Spier <vasishtha.spier at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2023 7:25 PM
To: Arlo Griffiths <arlogriffiths at hotmail.com>
Cc: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>; Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Whitney and doubling of "ch"

Thank you to all the learned voices for this delightful discussion of what I naively thought was a simple question. And thank you to Arlo Griffiths who gave a concrete example of the dangers of normalizing editions.  He wrote:
 . . . I imagine that, Max Müller and his successors in editing Vedic texts actually encountered the same spelling features in the mss. they used for editing the RV and other Vedic texts, as those that were found by other scholars working on classical Sanskrit texts from the same manuscript catchment areas, but that Vedic texts were edited with a lesser tendency to normalize manuscript spellings. And the result was that their editorial choices took a life of their own in subsequent Vedic scholarship as it got ever more detached in the course of the 20th century from the manuscript basis of the textual corpus to which this field of scholarship is devoted.

To my mind this gives further weight to Dominik Wujastyk's recommendation in a recent discussion about manuscript transcription standards to produce a diplomatic transcription along with  an edited/normalized transcription.

I think the problem with normalizing texts was brought up on this list over 25 years ago in a discussion abour critical editions.

Harry Spier
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