This paper has two purposes. The first is to provide an accurate definition and history of the origin of the Sanskrit term akṣayanīvī. The standard scholarly translation of this term, which is encountered almost exclusively in inscriptions, is “permanent endowment” and has been established since the mid-19th century. It will be shown that the usual translations of both members of the compound—akṣaya as “permanent” and nīvī as “endowment”—are at the least misleading. This will be accomplished through a discussion of the occurrences of the terms in the Adhyakṣapracāra “Activities of Superintendents” (Book II of the Kauṭilya Arthaśāstra), with a particular focus on KA 2.6.27 which contains an explicit definition of nīvī. The second purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the Adhyakṣapracāra, the largest and most perplexing chapter of the KA, utilizes a technical vocabulary which points to a specific context of production. This will be done through an examination of a series of fiscal and administrative technical terms which occur in the Adhyakṣapracāra and which emerge in the Indian epigraphic record at around the time period and geographic region commonly given for the composition of the text (ca. 1st c. BCE—1st c. CE Western Maharashtra/Southern Gujarat).
This paper provides a new interpretation of a type of etymological explanation (T) characteristic of Yāska’s Nirukta. The proposed interpretation sheds light on Yāska’s distinctive ideas on the relation between semantics and etymology. Exemplified by the occurrence meghaḥ … mehati iti sataḥ, T conveys the following information: the noun to be explained is a name (nāman-) that denotes a certain thing (sattva-) as characterized by a certain action. In the example, the noun meghaḥ is a name that denotes the thing cloud as emitting rain-water (mehati). T operates with two ideas intersecting semantics and etymology: (1) names denote things in relation to the latter’s association with a name-giving action; (2) one thing can receive various names in relation to various name-giving actions. While (1) underlies Yāska’s etymologies in general, (2) informs T as well as the structural organization of noun groups in the Nighaṇṭu ‘Thesaurus’, the word-list constituting the root-text commented upon in the Nirukta. Recognition that (2) underlies both T and the Nighaṇṭu noun groups is consistent with the observation that most nouns explained with T occur in the Nighaṇṭu.
This study proposes a new understanding of the semantics behind Sanskrit śigru-, which Lubotsky (2002) suggested is a loanword from Scythian related to Old Persian *θigra(ka)- and Modern Persian sīr “garlic.” Although śigru- has been assumed to refer to Moringa oleifera Lam. “drumstick tree,” Meulenbeld (2009=2018) has shown that in Āyurvedic literature it is not exclusively used to denote moringa, but must have referred to various pungent, pro-pitta plants. Lubotsky proposed that what links śigru- (as moringa) to Iranian words for garlic is the idea of a sharp shape. However, given Meulenbeld’s conclusions, enhanced by the survey of śigru- in non-Āyurvedic literature undertaken here, the author proposes that the connection is sharp taste rather than shape. The pungent connection is supported by the fact that Dharma texts forbid eating śigru- along with garlic and onions, as well as by semantic developments of the Sanskrit root tij-. Finally, the survey allows for some cultural explanations of the traditional garlic-and-onion prohibition.
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.
Cet article esquisse la description morphologique du verbe simple en kulung (kiranti, tibéto-birman), à l’ exclusion des formations réfléchies et composées. Comme l’ ensemble des langues kiranties, le kulung se signale par une morphologie verbale non triviale associant polysynthèse, indexation biactantielle et allormorphie radicale. La description de la morphologie affixale clarifie et complète celle qu’ en donne Tolsma (2006). La description de l’ allomorphie radicale fait appel à la notion d’ espace thématique telle qu’ explicitée dans les travaux de Boyé & Bonami (2003) et Bonami (2014). L’ ensemble des modifications apportées à la description de Tolsma (2006) repose à la fois sur une analyse des contradictions internes de l’ ouvrage, et sur l’ analyse d’ un corpus opportuniste de 150 000 mots.
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.