The Journal of Indo-European Studies
Monograph Series

A Descriptive Grammar of Buddhist Sanskrit – The Language of the Textual Tradition of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottoravādins
General Introduction Sound Patterns Sandhi Patterns

Monograph No. 64 by Boris Oguibénine


This book is the first detailed description of the phonetics of Buddhist Sanskrit as shown in the textual tradition of the Buddhist sect known as Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottoravādins. The texts use the language which undoubtedly bears the marks of Middle Indian influence, mostly of Pāli. However, as widely recognized, this language is not identical with Pāli or any other Middle Indian dialect. F. Edgerton's pioneer grammar of this language (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953), which he called "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit” allows only a limited space to its phonetics. The present book contains an analysis of the phonetic evidence of all available texts of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottoravādins, necessarily including data from evidence published after Edgerton's demise.

Special emphasis is made on the fact that this language does not owe its shape to either Middle Indian dialect, but is a language on its own, with its own special structural constraints and features. Particularly, to account for its mixed nature, all occurrences of sound and their sequences are thoroughly examined with a special attention to the alternations taking place within the texts and their layers, probably pointing to the language habits of the speakers of different Middle Indian dialects, which contributed to the production of the textual tradition that stood in the midway between Hinayāna’s and Mahāyāna’s texts.

The intricate problem of sandi patterns is also given much attention as it is generally believed that these patterns were subject to no constraints whatsoever.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS; OTHER ABBREVIATIONS; INTRODUCTION; THE TEXTUAL TRADITION OF THE MAHĀSĀṂGHIKA-LOKOTTORAVĀDINS; INVENTORY OF SOUNDS; ORTHOGRAPHY AND LANGUAGE; WORD PHONETICS AND WORD STRUCTURE: Initial Vowels and Diphthongs; Initial Semivowels; Word-Medial Vowels and Diphthongs; Final Vowels and Diphthongs; Vowel Sequences; Vowels and Semivowels Combined; Semivowels Geminated; Monophtongized (Contracted) Sequences; Initial Consonants; Consonants and Semivowels in Other Positions; DISTRIBUTION OF THE SOUND GROUPS: Consonant Clusters. Sound Groups Including Semivowels; Syllable and Syllabification; Word Final; SOUND ALTERNATIONS IN JUNCTURES (SANDHI): EXTERNAL SANDHI: Final Oral Stops; Final –M; Final –N; Word Categories and Sandhi; Sandhi Determined by Specific Phonetic Features; Full-Fledged Words; Particular Cases; The so-called “hiatus-bridgers”; BOUND EXPRESSIONS, GRAMMATICAL VARIABILITY AND SANDHI; SANDHI IN THE COMPOUNDS; INTERNAL SANDHI; SANDHI AT SENTENCE BOUNDARY; VOWEL GRADATIONS; INDEX LOCORUM; BIBLIOGRAPHY

ISBN 978- 0998366906
ISBN 978- 0998366913
2016, Pages 484
Hardcover: $105.00
Paperback: $70.00

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