I am sorry for the long lecture that follows. Particularly because Sanskrit
philology is still fast changing and my ideas, written from India, may sound
outdated. Still I put it here just because I am interested in it for bread and
grammar is often outdated with older points of views like the disappearance of
m of –m ending roots like √gam in the
weak grade. This is the Pāṇinian norm. Even the concept of the thematic stem was
less developed than in Macdonell’s Vedic grammar.
Whitney is more useful - I should say the best like every work by him - as a
norm setting grammar than as a historical one. Macdonell’s is better but also
outdated as it has no idea of the laryngeal.
Sanskrit Language is more advanced and
really looks fresh as he has accepted the laryngeal theory and some other ideas
of Kurylowicz and even of Kuiper. But Burrow’s idea of the suffixal –i- in, say,
sthita is unacceptable. But he is not
more faulty than the strongest upholders of the laryngeal theory. In fact the common explanation of it (mainly
from the Leiden school) as the replacement of a consonant is itself
unsatisfactory and inconsistently upheld by some celebrities whom I need not
name. The contested idea of Schwebeablaut too will
be found not disapproved by Burrow.
I think that
the outline can be best known from Burrow (1973), the details (excepting of the
verb) from Wackernagel-Debrunner. For verb one should update Macdonell mainly with
help from Hoffmann and Narten and partly Kuiper for his general conception,
controversial and improved by Hoffmann, of morphophnology. I cannot tell about
Werba whose work I could not collect. But there is a great desideratum, among
many, in the study of adverbs, particularly the declensional ones.
on conventional study. Structural study of Sanskrit grammar, barring what is
incipient in Renou, is almost nil.
for a long lecture
Whitney certainly served as the first‐stop reference grammar in
the European contexts that I have worked in (in Germany, England
and Denmark). Wackernagel is just to bulky and expensive (and of
course incomplete) to always have by one’s side. And
Germany, the English original of Whitney’s second edition (1889),
readily available in Indian reprints, is the version commonly used
(rather than the German translation of the first edition).
Dr. Stefan Baums
Institute for Indian and Tibetan Studies
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
INDOLOGY mailing listINDOLOGY@list.indology.infohttp://listinfo.indology.info