A few questions on Pāli grammar

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Sati1
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A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Sati1 »

Hello,

I was wondering if anybody on this forum could help me with a few recurrent questions about Pali grammar that I have not been able to find answers to in the textbook (AK Warder's "Introduction to Pali", now on chapter 20):

1."kaaye kaayanupassii viharati" as in Satipatthaana Sutta: what is the case or tense of "kaayanupassii"? I get that viharati is the verb, kaaye the noun in the ablative case, and anupassati also a verb. But what does the long "i" ending signify? I would have thought that anupassati would be put in the present participle, since one is contemplating the body continuously in the present.

2. "uppaada vaya dhammino" as in Mahaaparinibbaana Sutta: is "dhammino" here a "possessive adjective" in the genitive or dative (Warder p. 122)? If so, then what is its noun?

3. "-ato" ending for verbs, as in "tassa kaamasukham abhinandato" (SN 36:6; S iv p. 208 PTS). As with question 1, I would have expected a present participle (abhinandanto, abhinandam or abhinandamaano?).

4. Emphatics: is there a difference between kho, kira, vata, ha and khalu, or is it good enough to see them all equally as simple emphatics?

Many thanks in advance for your time, in the Dhamma,
Sati1

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.30, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)
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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Dhamma_Basti »

1. kāye is locative, not ablative. From my humble understanding passī should be the nominative of passin "possessing insight (poss. adjective)" so kāyanupassī works like an adjective to the nominative subject: having clear insight into the body.

2. since we need to qualify the sankharas in the plural, dhammino is a possessive adjective in the nominative plural sense. When you look at the whole verse this should become clear. The sankharas are uppādavayadhammino, having uppādavaya as their nature.

3. Indeed a tricky case.
To me that looks like the ablative tas-ending creeping in from the pronominal declension, as it happens in pali from time to time. The stem would be abhinanda ('rejoicing') and an ablative is intended here. At least Fahs grammar says this works with the nominative a-stems, so yes it is possible. In Sanskrit I saw similar constructions many times, but lately I have not touched much Pali so I might be wrong here,

4. Yes there is a big difference in their meaning and it is not to be negleted. Unfortunately only little scholary work has been done in the field of sanskrit/pali indeclinables, but you should have a look at the "apte students guide for sanskrit composition". There is a nice discussion of some of the main particles and their special use-cases. In this case there should not be a big difference between sanskrit and pali, so go ahead.

I wish you a lot of fun in further studying this language. :namaste:
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Sylvester
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Sylvester »

For #1, there was a longish discussion here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=15686" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

It appears that kāyānupassī viharati is not a periphastic construction as is normally translated (ie anupassī as the main verb, and viharati as an auxilliary, leading to the standard translation "dwells contemplating the body"). See BB's comments cited in the 2nd post of attached thread. Contra Ven Anandajoti's opinion in the 5th post of attached thread; he takes the grammatical allowance that there is periphrasis on the assumption that anupassī is functioning as a participle (using a Sanskrit grammar allowance) and viharati as a typical auxilliary verb.

This phenomenon of terminal -ī words functioning adnominally as substantive nouns is explained in posts 15 and 16. Take a look at SN 48.15 where there's no mistaking these words as substantive nouns -

antarā­pari­nib­bāyī - attainer of Nibbana in the interval
upahac­ca­pari­nib­bāyī - attainer of Nibbana upon landing
asaṅ­khā­ra­pari­nib­bāyī - attainer of Nibbana without exertion
etc etc

Alternatively, if anupassī can be shown to be a participle according to Pali grammar, there is still the allowance for participles to function as substantive nouns, bringing us back to BB's point.

Incidentally, I take kāye to be the locative of reference (with reference to the body) and not a spatial locative (in the body). I've not seen any explanation of the locative that can be used to justify the translation "as body".
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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Dhamma_Basti »

About anupassī:
No need to resort to Sanskrit Grammar here, Fahs has it (Chapter 7.2, Fahs Pali Grammatik, I give a short translation of the main point):
In the case of verbs such as viharati, carati, vicarati verbal adjectives ending in "in" ("anupassin“ in our example) can be used to express the main verb. (Call it a "periphrastic construction" if you like.)

So according to Fahs anupassin is not a form of a participle, wich makes sense to me. While it might carry the meaning of a participle, technically it's not.
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Sati1
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Sati1 »

Dhamma_Basti wrote:1. kāye is locative, not ablative. From my humble understanding passī should be the nominative of passin "possessing insight (poss. adjective)" so kāyanupassī works like an adjective to the nominative subject: having clear insight into the body.
Yes, that clarifies the question. There is also the adjective "anupassin", which means "viewing, observing, realising" (PTS Dict). As per p. 122 in Warder, the nominative would indeed be "anupassii".
2. since we need to qualify the sankharas in the plural, dhammino is a possessive adjective in the nominative plural sense. When you look at the whole verse this should become clear. The sankharas are uppādavayadhammino, having uppādavaya as their nature.
Yes, I wasn't aware that there was the adjective "dhammin", which means "having the nature or quality of...". So that makes the translation "sankharas are indeed impermanent, having the nature of arising and falling." Thank you!
3. Indeed a tricky case.
To me that looks like the ablative tas-ending creeping in from the pronominal declension, as it happens in pali from time to time. The stem would be abhinanda ('rejoicing') and an ablative is intended here. At least Fahs grammar says this works with the nominative a-stems, so yes it is possible. In Sanskrit I saw similar constructions many times, but lately I have not touched much Pali so I might be wrong here,
Yes, this could work with the ablative, and Warder also mentions the -ato ablative. It just seems strange to me that the expression here would be in the ablative case... Unless the kaamasukhaa "comes from" (ablative) the abhinandana (delighting in). That would make sense.
4. Yes there is a big difference in their meaning and it is not to be negleted. Unfortunately only little scholary work has been done in the field of sanskrit/pali indeclinables, but you should have a look at the "apte students guide for sanskrit composition". There is a nice discussion of some of the main particles and their special use-cases. In this case there should not be a big difference between sanskrit and pali, so go ahead.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find that book, and the online version has the Sanskrit text in Devenagari alphabet (which might be how Sanskrit is generally written?). I will have to wait to find another resource that clarifies the differences between the various indeclinables. It strikes me that not much work has been done on this, since such words are so commonly used in Pali (almost every sentence seems to have at least one indeclinable).
I wish you a lot of fun in further studying this language. :namaste:
Thank you, and thank you very much for your tips. This was very helpful!

Namaste,
Sati1

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.30, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)
Sylvester
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Sylvester »

Dhamma_Basti wrote:About anupassī:
No need to resort to Sanskrit Grammar here, Fahs has it (Chapter 7.2, Fahs Pali Grammatik, I give a short translation of the main point):
In the case of verbs such as viharati, carati, vicarati verbal adjectives ending in "in" ("anupassin“ in our example) can be used to express the main verb. (Call it a "periphrastic construction" if you like.)

So according to Fahs anupassin is not a form of a participle, wich makes sense to me. While it might carry the meaning of a participle, technically it's not.
Thanks DB. Could you expand a little on the bit above? What does Fahs mean by "to express the main verb"?

I see that the words ending in -in are also addressed in Geiger at §.95 where he lumps them under nominals (ie both adjectives and substantive nouns).

It does seem that when it is expressed with the -in terminus as a stem, it is defined as an adjective. But when the ending is in the nominative sg -ī, it becomes either a substantive noun or an adjective. Warder suggests that it may be rare to find such substantives (presumably he's referring to the DN), which I find odd, since we do get a healthy representation which could be read as substantives eg. brahmacārī, ārācārī, kālavādī, bhūtavādī, atthavādī, dhammavādī,vinayavādī.

For some strange reason, I can't seem to locate any usage of such -in stems in the suttas. Are such words merely lemma (ie dictionary/grammar entries)? Thanks.
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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Dhamma_Basti »

As far as I understand Fahs, the grammatical verb in this sentence is viharati, while the main action is represented by the adjective (anupassī in our case). viharati functions to express a durative/iterative aspect, but the main stress is on the adjective. So according to Fahs interpretation of this construction, the correct translation should be 'he remains contemplating the body [in the body]'. He found several similar uses of a verb + adjective ending in -in, so I am quite sure that this construction is a 'feature of the language'. Pali has quite some of these expressions that are difficult to come by by applying strict grammatical rules.
Quite possible that this are traces of the vedic language. I was checking on Edgertons Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit yesterday and he mentions a participle-form in the vedic language ending in -vin, which might be a hint into the right direction.

As to your question about the -in: you will never find any of this in the Sutta because the -in-Form is, as you rightly suggested, the lemma. In the nominative case, this has to be converted to -ī (and of course it remains an adjective, since we need to agree in case and number with the thing that we want to qualify). So there is no chance to ever find anupassin in the Sutta. :)

With best wishes,

Dhamma Basti
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Sylvester
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Sylvester »

Might you have any idea if Fahs (besides treating this nominal as participating in periphrasis with the viharati) considers that such -in nominals can be substantives as well? I could not find any examples of periphrasis in Geiger or Warder where the main action is either something other than a participle or an absolutive/gerund, which led to my earlier query if anupassin might not have been a verbal adjective/participle.

It would be interesting to see if he disagrees with Geiger and Warder's allowance for -in nominals to function as substantive nouns.
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Sati1
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by Sati1 »

Dear Sylvester and Dhamma_Basti,

Many thanks for the additional posts. This clarifies the question about anupassii and how that phrase it is constructed. I found the quote from Fahs particularly helpful (and was surprised to learn that Sanskrit can be used to learn about Pali grammar!).
Dhamma_Basti wrote: In the case of verbs such as viharati, carati, vicarati verbal adjectives ending in "in" ("anupassin“ in our example) can be used to express the main verb. (Call it a "periphrastic construction" if you like.)
Best wishes,
Sati1

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.30, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)
srkris
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Re: A few questions on Pāli grammar

Post by srkris »

As to your question about the -in: you will never find any of this in the Sutta because the -in-Form is, as you rightly suggested, the lemma. In the nominative case, this has to be converted to -ī (and of course it remains an adjective, since we need to agree in case and number with the thing that we want to qualify). So there is no chance to ever find anupassin in the Sutta. :)
In addition, as I understand it, no Pāli word can end in a consonant because the earliest scripts in which Pāli was written in, the script being an abugida was incapable of representing any word-final consonants (except ṃ). Maybe in speech anupassin would have been pronounced as such, but in writing it had to be represented as anupassī, with the last vowel lengthened, which iñcidentally coincides with the nominative form.
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