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Christina Willis Oko

A Grammar of Darma provides the first comprehensive description of this Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Uttarakhand, India. The analysis is informed by a functional-typological framework and draws on a corpus of data gathered through elicitation, observation and recordings of natural discourse. Every effort has been made to describe day-to-day language, so whenever possible, illustrative examples are taken from extemporaneous speech and contextualized. Sections of the grammar should appeal widely to scholars interested in South Asia’s languages and cultures, including discussions of the socio-cultural setting, the sound system, morphosyntactic, clause and discourse structure. The grammar’s interlinearized texts and glossary provide a trove of useful information for comparative linguists working on Tibeto-Burman languages and anyone interested in the world’s less-commonly spoken languages.

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Edited by Timotheus Adrianus Bodt

With Grammar of Duhumbi (Chugpa), Timotheus Adrianus (Tim) Bodt provides the first comprehensive description of any of the Western Kho-Bwa languages, a sub-group of eight linguistic varieties of the Kho-Bwa cluster (Tibeto-Burman).
Duhumbi is spoken by 600 people in the Chug valley in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh, India. The Duhumbi people, known to the outside world as Chugpa or Chug Monpa, belong to the Monpa Scheduled Tribe. Despite that affiliation, Duhumbi is not intelligible to speakers of any of the other Monpa languages except Khispi (Lishpa).
The volume Grammar of Duhumbi (Chugpa) describes all aspects of the language, including phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax and discourse. Moreover, it also contains links to additional resources freely accessible on-line.

Paolo Visigalli

Abstract

The essay demonstrates the longevity and pervasiveness of Indic and Indic-derived etymological analyses (nirvacana) across literary traditions, in Sanskrit, Pāli, and Chinese. To exemplify different indigenous approaches to etymology, the essay explores emic analyses of the word araṇya ‘wilderness’. It traces the analyses found in Chāndogya Upaniṣad (8.5) and in the works of the etymologists (Nirukta) and grammarians (vyākaraṇa; uṇādisūtra). It also considers Paramārtha’s nirvacana-inspired analysis of Chinese alianruo 阿練若 (araṇya), and identifies a similar analysis in Aggavaṃsa’s Saddanīti. The essay shows etymological analyses’ sophistication and variety of purposes.

Jonathan Silk and Peter Bisschop

Trans-Sectual Identity

Materials for the Study of the Praśnottararatnamālikā, a Hindu/Jaina/Buddhist Catechism (I)

Jonathan A. Silk and Péter-Dániel Szántó

Abstract

The Praśnottararatnamālikā is a small tract containing 62 questions, paired with their answers. It is extraordinary that this text has been transmitted within Hindu, Jaina and Buddhist traditions, in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Tibetan, variously attributed to different authors. The present study examines what is known of the text, which from early on drew the attention of modern scholars, and presents editions of its Sanskrit and Tibetan versions, along with a translation and annotations.

Editors’ Note

A Call for Reviews and Reviewers

Fire, the Greatest God (ātarš … mazišta yazata)

The Cult of the “Eternal” Fire in the Rituals in Avestan

Alberto Cantera

Abstract

The lack of evidence for the existence of fire temples in ancient Iran has been used as an argument for the absence of the concept of the “eternal fire” in the Avestan texts. However, a new analysis of the final section of the Long Liturgy shows that the fire was usually removed from the sacrificial area before the recitation of Yasna 62.7 and transported back to the “house of men” from which it had been taken. As such, the Long Liturgy partly appears as a functional equivalent of the bōy dādan ceremonies performed for the feeding of the fire at the fire temples in later times. This new reading of the final section of the liturgy is the result of a re-evaluation of the manuscripts, highlighting the shortcomings of previous editions of the Long Liturgy. Furthermore, the new interpretation approaches the Long Liturgy from a non Yasna-centric perspective, taking into account the Yasna as well as the Visperad (and other variants).