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Editors / Translators: David Holm and Yuanyao Meng
This is an annotated edition of a traditional song text, written in the Zhuang character script. The Brigands’ Song is part of a living tradition, sung antiphonally by two male and two female singers. The song is probably unique in presenting the experiences of ordinary men and women during wartime in pre-modern China. The narrative relates how the men are sent off to war, fighting as native troops on behalf of the Chinese imperial armies. The song dates from the Ming dynasty and touches on many topics of historical significance, such as the use of firearms and other operational details.
This is the first complete description of Poumai Naga (Poula), an understudied language spoken in Manipur in northeast India. Poumai Naga belongs to the Angami-Pochuri clade of the Trans-Himalayan family. The book comprises all aspects of the language, including phonology, lexicon, morphosyntax, syntax and discourse. This work employs the tone periodic table, an innovative method used for documenting tone languages. A bilingual lexicon and a collection of fully-analysed texts are provided in the appendices. This research work represents a substantial contribution to the field of comparative Trans-Himalayan linguistics.

Abstract

This article reviews the book Little Buddhas: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions. It first gives an overview of the contents, altogether nineteen articles discussing children and childhood in Buddhist texts and traditions. Subsequently, the concepts of kākuṭṭepaka pabbajjā and upāsaka pravrajyā, presented in one of the articles, are discussed in more detail.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Author: Guy St. Amant

Abstract

An examination of the early usage of the word śruti is needed to clarify how it came to refer to the Veda. This paper reveals that śruti did not assume this meaning as the result of a belief in the aural revelation of the Vedic hymns. The śrautasūtras use the word śruti to cite brāhmaṇa texts and to indicate “hearing” a unit of speech in a Vedic passage. The second of these meanings was probably the historically original one, and this paper argues that it emerged out of early attempts to theorize how people drew information from the Veda. Śruti was placed in contrast with other modes of textual engagement that were understood to go beyond the literal words of the text.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

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.

Open Access
In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

This paper argues that the second member of the Avestan compounded personal name Spitiiura- goes back to the Indo-Iranian word for ‘lamb’: Ved. úran-, Mod. Pers. barra. The name ‘having shining white lambs’ can be shown to have mythopoetic parallels in other Indo-European traditions. It is argued that the expected second member *-u̯r̥h 1 n-ó- formed from simplex *u̯r̥h 1 en- with a thematic suffix was analogically remodeled as *-u̯r̥h 1 - in pre-Indo-Iranian times: the model was provided by second members of compounds made from n-stems which lost the nasal due to the so-called “ašnō-rule”, e.g. Ved. víparva- made from *péru̯on- or YAv. ka-mərəda- made from *ml̥h 3 dhon-. Similar analogical remodeling is found in Ved. aṣṭavr̥ṣá- from vr̥ṣán- and many other cases. The compound further underwent a laryngeal loss by the so-called “νεογνός-rule” (cf. Ved. tuvigrá- ‘swallowing much’ < *-gwr̥h 3 -) and the resulting sequence *-u̯r̥o- was resyllabified as *-uro-. Therefore, Av. ºura- can represent a “compositional form” of PIE *u̯r̥h 1 en- ‘lamb’ and Bartholomae’s analysis of Spitiiura- as ‘having shining white lambs’ may still carry the day.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Editor / Translator: Paul Sidwell
Not only is May otherwise undescribed in writing, it is the only small Vietic language documented and analysed in such detail, and one of few endangered Austroasiatic languages described so thoroughly.
May is predominantly monosyllabic, yet retains traces of affixes and consonant clusters that reflect older disyllabic forms. It is tonal, and also manifests breathy phonation and vowel ongliding, yielding a remarkable complexity of syllable types. The lexicon, which is extensively documented, has a substantial archaic component. Consequently, the volume provides an invaluable resource for comparative historical and typological studies.
This book is an English translation of the 2018 Russian language monograph by Babaev and Samarina.

Abstract

The article amounts to a fully comprehensive study on the sentence final particle ěr 爾 in Classical Chinese. After an overview of the explanations of the functions of the particle in reference books, all relevant occurrences in the pre-Qín texts are analysed, and the results are compared with its usage in the documents of the Western Hàn era. The possible interpretations of its meaning(s) proposed by the author are subsequently put in relation to hypothetical etymological links based on the theory of Old Chinese morphology in Sagart’s vein.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Ian JOO

Abstract

In this paper, I will provide etymological explanations for the two Korean words for ‘grain’: ssal ‘uncooked grain’ and pap ‘cooked grain.’ The word ssal ‘uncooked grain’ is a loanword from Middle Chinese bu-sat ‘Bodhisattva,’ linking the Buddhist holy figure to the type of food that has a sacred status in Korean culture. The support for this claim comes from the fact that (i) grains were sometimes associated with the Buddha’s body in Korea, and (ii) certain dialects of Japanese have also referred to rice—undoubtedly the most favored type of grain—as bosatsu ‘Bodhisattva’ or buppō-sama ‘Lord Buddha Dharma.’ Moreover, pap ‘cooked grain’ is most likely derived from the baby-talk term for ‘food,’ because cross-linguistically, baby-talk terms for ‘food’ or ‘to eat’ tend to be similar to /papa/ or /mama/, some of which shifted into the adult-talk term for food or a common type of food.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Abstract

When a speaker encounters a word-formulation problem in interaction, she may use a placeholder to saturate the syntactic slot of the target expression in the unfolding sentence. Japanese exhibits the placeholder are, which is assumed to derive from the demonstrative are ‘that.’ Despite rich studies on placeholders, no serious attention has been paid to grammatical parallelism and differences between a placeholder and its original lexical counterpart. In this paper, we focus on the nominal placeholder are (and its predicative variants) and the demonstrative are ‘that,’ and propose the set of criteria which capture their parallelism and differences in non-discrete terms.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale