[INDOLOGY] Metrical inconsistencies and tradition

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 13:59:05 EDT 2020

I am extremely reticent to join a discussion of metrics with specialists,
but I might just dare to mention that in Buddhist texts the matter has been
much discussed, especially in light of the clear tendency to transfer
Middle Indic texts to Sanskrit, with the result that sometimes lines are
entirely rewritten while at other times it would appear, as Roland says,
that license is found. In a small paper on the so-called *Kāśyapaparivarta'*s
verses, I observed the following:  " in the KP there are, in the roughly
600 lines amenable to examination, 31 cases in which the cluster pr does
not make position, that is, in which a short vowel standing before the
cluster pr must be read as metrically short..." I also tabulated the cases
with other clusters.
The whole paper is available here:

Very best, Jonathan

On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 6:51 PM Roland Steiner via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Please excuse the silly typo (now corrected).
> > there are a few rare occurrences where we can apply the so-called *muta
> cum liquida* rule
> > In Sanskrit such an indulgence is rather rare and appears to be more
> > frequently applied in Prakrit poetry and "Epic" Sanskrit. In the latter
> > case several types of consonant clusters do not cause the preceding
> > syllable to be guru.
> By the way, Colebrooke already described the phenomenon in 1808:
> "By poetical license, a vowel may be short before certain conjuncts (viz.,
> *pra* and *hra*; as also *bra* and *kra*. [*...*]."
> (H. T. Colebrooke, "On Sanskrit and Prákrit Poetry", in: *Miscellaneous
> Essays*, Vol. 3, London 1873, p. 65)
> In his PhD thesis of 1988 Michael Balk noted the same metrical license for
> the *Udānavarga* (especially for the case of *pr*- and *br*-). See M.
> Balk: *Untersuchungen zum Udānavarga. Unter Berücksichtigung
> mittelindischer Parallelen und eines tibetischen Kommentars*. Marburg
> 2011 (Indica et Tibetica. 53), pp. 39-42.
> With best regards,
> 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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