Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective elevates historical morpho-syntax to a research priority in the field of Southeast Asian language history, transcending the traditional focus on phonology and lexicon. The volume contains eleven chapters covering a wide range of aspects of diachronic Austroasiatic syntax, most of which contain new hypotheses, and several address topics that have never been dealt with before in print, such as clause structure and word order in the proto-language, and reconstruction of Munda morphology successfully integrating it into Austroasiatic language history. Also included is a list of proto-AA grammatical words with evaluative and contextualizing comments.
The Kapphiṇābhyudaya is a mahākāvya composed by Śivasvāmin in 9th century Kashmir. It represents a high point of the development of its genre. Once a prominent work, its study in modern times, particularly that of its more difficult parts, suffered because of the lack of a commentary. Finally, in the 1980s a manuscript of a commentary was discovered in Tibet, copies of which are now kept at the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing. From these Ernst Steinkellner could prepare an ad hoc description in 2007. The present article’s chief contribution is an edition and annotated translation of the two short transcribed passages contained in Steinkellner’s description.
This article investigates the textual basis of the kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata, an observance first attested in the tenth chapter of the Śivadharmaśāstra. Given the great variety in readings of the versions contained in manuscripts that are of distinctly variegated geographical provenance and age, it is argued that at least during the 6th to 7th centuries—and even possibly later—the kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata had not yet developed a consistent form. The variable form of this particular vrata stands in stark contrast to its Vaiṣṇavite precursors that at the time of composition of the Śivadharmaśāstra had already developed into a standardized, canonical form. Hence, we argue, the regional variation of the manuscripts is indicative of a living, widespread Śaivite tradition that gives rise to different lines of transmission. Since the chief aim of this contribution is to display and study this variation, the kernel of this article consists of a ‘comparative edition’ of the tenth chapter of Śivadharmaśāstra, furnished with translation and philological commentary.
While the story of the Magadhan king Ajātaśatru’s seeking the Buddha’s advice on attacking the Vṛjis is well known and much studied, rather less known and little studied are stories of his war or conflict with the Vṛjis embedded in Indian Buddhist monastic law codes. This paper explores these lesser-known stories of Ajātaśatru’s warfare, primarily focusing on their function as narrative frames for monastic rules or exceptions (anāpatti) that have no necessary relation to war. It investigates the rationale behind Indian Buddhist jurists’ utilization of these stories to account for monastic legislation, and discusses the perceptions of war reflected therein. Moreover, the paper shows that Indian Buddhist jurists of different sects or schools do not seem to have shared the same stance on predicting warfare, some arguably more ambivalent than others, especially when a prediction proves wrong and is thus liable to shake the laity’s faith and/or harm the mutual trust between monks themselves.
In a recent article, Fellner & Hill (this volume) level a strong critique against what they view as the misguided prevailing methodology of historical-comparative reconstruction in the Sino-Tibetan (aka Trans-Himalayan) language family. The central focus of their criticism is the assembling of “word families” and the reconstruction of ST proto-forms exhibiting variation to account for those word families. In this response, I argue that the methodology is basically sound and is appropriate to the current state of our knowledge. At the same time, I dispute some of the assertions made by Fellner & Hill, which I believe are mischaracterizations of the methods and assumptions underlying the work of Sino-Tibetan scholars.
The replies to Fellner and Hill (this volume) present the practice of historical linguistics in the study of the Trans-Himalayan family as on the trail our Indo-European forbears blazed. The replies further present “word families” and “allofams” as beacons that light this path; we disagree. Our respondents overlook the different status of reconstructions in the two families. Research at the subgroup level that they point to as Neogrammarian implements a formalist approach to reconstruction, which, fine as far as it goes, lacks the sophistication of reconstructions in more mature disciplines. Not appreciating the different status of reconstruction in the two families, our respondents exaggerate the extent to which Indo-European evinces “word family”-like phenomena and present allofams as more synchronically plausible than they are.
It has been observed that Chinese resultative compounds display varied aspectual behaviors. Yong (1997) distinguishes between simple change resultatives, i.e. resultatives expressing instantaneous change, but allowing a process preliminary to the final change, and complex change resultatives, i.e. those allowing a gradual development of action. Starting from this distinction, this paper aims at providing a structural account of these resultative compounds, based on the constructionist framework put forth by Ramchand (2008), arguing that only simple change resultatives are characterized by having a result layer in their eventive structure. Complex change resultatives, in contrast, are characterized by having the result element in the complement position of the process projection, providing a scalar path. This allows a gradual change of state, and telicity emerges when the path is bounded. The paper also discusses the relation between complex change resultatives and degree achievements.
Fellner and Hill (this volume) argue that the recourse to the notion of word families has prevented scholars specializing in Sino-Tibetan comparative linguistics from working out regular sound correspondences. This paper disputes this evaluation of the state of the art in the field, and suggests that F&H’s appraisal is due to severe misunderstandings.
Linguists researching the Trans-Himalayan family do not have a self-perception as working outside the mainstream of historical linguistics, but ‘word families’ and ‘allofams’ are important elements in their thinking despite the absence of these terms in the wider discipline. A close examination of the practice of historical linguistics in Indo-European and Trans-Himalayan leads to the conclusion that those phenomena treated as word families admit superior analyses in more traditional terms.
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.
Located in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, the area of Badoh-Pathari is home to a rock shelter with a sculpted panel depicting seven mother goddesses. A weathered inscription next to the sculptures was reported as early as 1926. The inscription is dateable to the fifth century on the basis of its palaeography and the art-historical dating of the site. Though partly effaced beyond hope of decipherment, roughly half of the text can be read with confidence, while some of the rest may be restored conjecturally, and some speculatively. The epigraph pays homage to Rudra and Skanda in addition to the Mothers themselves, and is thus a key resource concerning mātṛ worship in the Gupta period. It mentions the otherwise unknown local ruler Jayatsena of Avamukta (a region also named in the Allahabad pillar inscription), and may refer to the reign of Kumāragupta (I).
The present article examines Somānanda’s understanding of the denotative capacity of speech (śabda) as presented in his Śivadṛṣṭi, āhnika four. Somānanda argues that this denotative capacity is innate in words because based in a real sāmānya or universal; that a permanent connection links śabda and its object (artha), not convention (saṃketa); and that the referent of speech is an object innately imbued with linguistic capacity in the form of an ever-present, innate sāmānya. Each of these positions is also supported by the Mīmāṃsā, and Somānanda, citing both Śabara and Kumārila, assents to their positions on these points on the understanding that they may only be accepted as philosophically sound if one presumes the existence of a Śaiva non-duality of all as Śiva-as-consciousness. These positions, in turn, are all deployed as arguments against those of the Buddhist Pramāṇa Theorists, whose views in each of these three areas Somānanda contests.
In an attempt to study the length distinction of high vowels in Sukhothai Thai, this research compares an analysis of the graphemic system and spelling variations found in the Sukhothai inscriptions with the phonemes in Proto-Southwestern Tai (PSWT) and donor languages of the loanwords. The result indicates that short and long high vowels in PSWT behave differently in phonemic-graphemic mapping. Short vowels are mapped with ⟨i⟩ and ⟨u⟩ whereas long vowels with ⟨ī⟩, ⟨ï̄⟩, and ⟨ū⟩. In addition, the existing spelling variations are limited to specific kinds of words, namely: open-syllable words, loanwords, and function words, all of which are susceptible to variation in spelling. These findings attest to the existence of length contrast in Sukhothai Thai.
This paper finds origins for the three Kra-Dai tones in the segmental endings of Proto-Southern Austronesian, the parent language of Kra-Dai and Malayo-Polynesian. The Kra-Dai A category originates in sonorant endings (vowels, semi-vowels, nasals, liquids) and in Proto-Austronesian *-H2, reconstructed by Tsuchida (1976); the B category in *-R and in *-X, a hitherto not reconstructed ending reflected as -h in Amis and in the Bisayan language Aklanon; the C category, in Proto-Austronesian *-H1, reconstructed by Tsuchida. The tonal outcomes of *-s and *-S are described. Kra-Dai sonorant endings in tone C are argued to come from hypothetical Austronesian prototypes in which a sonorant ending was followed by *-s, a suffix of unknown function. Although the present model does not require Kra-Dai to be a daughter of Proto-Austronesian, the building blocks for Kra-Dai tones are shown to be in place during the Formosan phase of Austronesian phonological history.
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.