The Lalitavistara is one of the most influential hagiographies of the Buddha. It has been known in Sanskrit since the early days of modern studies of Buddhism, but was long available only in inadequate editions. That has now changed with the publication of the edition of K. Hokazono, now complete in three volumes. The present paper discusses something of the history of the study of the text, Hokazono’s edition, and another recent book by G. Ducoeur that deals with the text, as well as touching on a contribution by Xi He on the poetics of the text. It includes a concordance of a recent translation from Tibetan published by the 84000 project, aligning its sections with the Sanskrit editions of Lefmann and Hokazono.
Mandarin Chinese allows implicit, non-canonical, and quantity-objects. The first type is seen in Wǒ zhǎo-guò-le ‘Lit.: I looked for’, which means ‘I have looked for some entity that is known to the interlocutors’. The second type is seen in Lìlì qiē-le nà bǎ dà dāo ‘Lit.: Lili cut that big knife’, which means that Lili cut something with that big knife. The third type is seen in zǒu-le yī lǐ ‘walked one mile’. From the perspective of the interaction of yòu ‘again’ with different kinds of objects, this paper shows that while implicit objects and quantity-objects behave like explicit canonical objects, non-canonical objects do not behave like canonical ones. This paper provides new evidence to support Zhang Niina Ning’s (2018, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 36: 1395–1437) claim that a non-canonical object restricts the meaning of the verb, rather than saturates any argument of the verb. It also supports the internal argument analysis of post-verbal quantity expressions.
Rhyming patterns play a crucial role in the phonological reconstruction of earlier stages of Chinese. The past few years have seen the emergence of the use of graphs to model rhyming patterns, notably with List’s (2016) proposal to use graph community detection as a way to go beyond the limits of the link-and-bind method and test new hypotheses regarding phonological reconstruction. List’s approach requires the existence of a rhyme-annotated corpus; such corpora are rare and prohibitively expensive to produce. The present paper solves this problem by introducing several strategies to automate annotation. Among others, the main contribution is the use of graph community detection itself to build an automatic annotator. This annotator requires no previous annotation, no knowledge of phonology, and automatically adapts to corpora of different periods by learning their rhyme categories. Through a series of case studies, we demonstrate the viability of the approach in quickly annotating hundreds of thousands of poems with high accuracy.
This paper looks at the history of Tosu using 'forward reconstruction'. It concludes that Proto-Ersuic changed *-im to *-am already before its breakup as a unity, but the ‘brightening’ of *-a- to -i- took place independently in Tosu and Lizu-Ersu. In Tosu this brightening did not target labial (or velar) initial words lacking an inherited medial *-j-. A number of changes in the history of Tosu probably preceded brightening, namely *-um, *-ak > -o and *-u, *-it, *-at, *-ra > -e. In contrast, the change *-e- > -i- in Tosu, of unclear conditioning, appears to be quite late. A dissimilation *CeCe > CeCa is potentially also a recent change.
This paper argues that Tocharian B koṣko, koṣkīye does not mean ‘hut’, as was taken for granted, but ‘pit, hole’; and that it is not an inherited Indo-European word, but an Iranian loanword in Tocharian B. Although the possibility of a borrowing from an unknown Middle Iranian language cannot be excluded, an unattested (Pre-)Bactrian form *kōškā is demonstrated to be the most likely source of this loanword.
The study first introduces a hitherto completely unstudied anonymous work, for which I reconstruct the title *Saddharmaparikathā. This substantial text is a Buddhist homiletician’s guidebook with sample sermons in Sanskrit on a rich variety of topics. I argue that it dates from the 5th century and that it was possibly authored in a Saṃmatīya environment. I first discuss the unique manuscript transmitting the text, the structure and contents of the work, what information it can provide for the tradition of preaching and its importance for Buddhist studies. In the second half, I provide a sample chapter ‘On Grief’ with an annotated translation.
There has been some progress in the reconstruction of Proto-Kuki-Chin (PKC), but, due to the previous lack of data from languages reflecting all the Kuki-Chin sub-groups, the available reconstructions merit fresh consideration. On the basis of new data of Kuki-Chin (KC) languages, this paper proposes revisions to some of the reconstructions put forward by VanBik (2009). This paper particularly discusses PKC numerals in detail, especially the reconstruction of the numerals with prefixes.
Commencing from a critical reading of two recent publications on the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa and the Devīmāhātmya, this article argues that, contrary to what is maintained by the author of the two books under review, what is ailing Purāṇic studies is not a reliance on traditional modes of textual criticism, but a misunderstanding about its utility for accessing the dynamic history of Purāṇic text corpora.
The past decade has seen the appearance of a number of Chinese publications relevant to the readership of the Indo-Iranian Journal. This article briefly introduces some of those publications, dealing mostly with Buddhist sources, primarily in Sanskrit, Khotanese and Middle Indic.
In March 1971, B.R. Gopal discovered a partially buried pillar with visible inscribed writing in the village of Guḍnāpur in Karnataka. The monument has since become known as the Guḍnāpur Pillar Inscription of Ravivarman (ca. 465–500 CE) after the ruler of the early Kadamba kingdom who commissioned it. The inscription preserves a compelling historical record that details the intersections of religious and political performance at the Kadamba court as centered around a temple to Kāma constructed within the confines of the royal residence at Vaijayantī (Banavasi), and the distribution of agrarian lands to support its maintenance. This study presents a new translation and analysis of the text and a discussion of the pillar as a ‘text-monument’ that was both embedded within and constitutive of landscapes: physical and built as well as rhetorical and imagined. By presenting the Guḍnāpur inscription as a text-monument situated within multiple landscapes, the article reveals how documentary, donative, religious, and agrarian practices supported state-making in an early South Indian kingdom.