Indian Theories Of Meaning

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Item Code: IDF857
Publisher: The Adyar Library and Research Centre
Language: English
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 8185141363
Pages: 366
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.7" X 5.7"
Weight 660 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket:

Indian theories of Meaning doctoral thesis, London University was prepared under the guidance of Prof. John Brough and first published in 1963. When Dr. Raja started his work meaning had been put under taboo in the field of linguistics b Bloomfield. Chomsky has now made syntax and semantics important parts in linguistics. Dr. Raja did not accept Wittgenstein's view about the need to keep quiet on hat cannot bee stated clearly. A philosophy of language which would eliminate whole areas of human culture as meaningless has little significance for humanity.

Preface To The First Edition

The Purpose of this work is to bring out in a systematic form the linguistically relevant views on the different aspects of meaning given by the various schools of thought in ancient India. Ever since the discovery of the Sanskrit language by European scholars at the end of the eighteenth century which inaugurated the science of linguistics, ancient Indian thought has continuously been exerting a stimulating and benign influence on modern linguistic studies. Bloomfield spoke about Panini's work as ' an indispensable model for the description of languages' and, as Professor M.B. Emeneau puts it, 'most of the specific features that are taken at the present day to distinguish an "American" school of linguistics from others are Bloomfieldian and many are Paninean'. Professor W. S. Allen, whose Phonetics in Ancient India gives a systematic account of Indian phonetic doctrines and their evaluation in the light of modern linguistic theories, points out that 'the link between ancient Indian and the modern western schools of linguistics is considerably closer in phonetics than in grammar '.1 So also in the field of semantics, which is the youngest branch of modern linguistics, an acquaintance with the ancient Indian theories is sure to be of help in clarifying many an intricate problem confronting the modern linguist and in stimulating further work in the field.

Regarding the importance of the Indian contribution to this field of linguistics, Professor Emeneau says: 'Certainly in one other slowly awakening department of linguistics, that concerned with meaning, the West still has something to learn from India. There grammarians, literary theoreticians and philosophers were all concerned with problems of meaning, and much was thought and written on the subject. Of this the West is for all practical linguistic purposes innocent. The Hindu treatises are in a difficult style, and few in the West will be qualified to deal with them, as Sanskritists, philosophers, and linguistic scholars. Yet the results are likely to be worth the effort.' Hence no apology is needed in making a modest attempt in this direction.

This study of mine owes its inspiration to the suggestion and encouragement of Professor John Brough of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, under whose direction and guidance I studied as a British Council Scholar for two years from 1952 to 1954. His stimulating papers and the weekly discussions I had with him helped me to steer this work to its completion. With his intimate knowledge of Sanskrit texts like the Vakyapadiya and the Dhvanyaloka and his penetrating insight, he could illuminate many a complicated issue on the subject. He also introduced me to the modern trends in western logic and philosophy regarding linguistic problems. I take this opportunity to acknowledge my warmest gratitude to him.

I am grateful to the late Professor J. R. Firth and his colleagues in the Linguistics Department of the School, especially Dr. W. S. Allen (now Professor at Cambridge) and Mr. R. H. Robins, for training me in modern linguistic methods. To Dr. David Friedman of the Indian Department of the School I am greatly indebted for clarifying many a problem in Indian philosophy and Buddhism. I must also pay my respect to the memory of the late Professor L. D. Barnett and the late Professor Betty Heimann who gave me encouragement and help. My thanks are also due to the authorities of the British Museum Library, the India Office Library and the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Above all' I must express my grateful thanks to the British Council whose generous award of a scholarship enabled me to go to the United Kingdom and study there for two years preparing this thesis.



  Preface to the Reprint v
  Preface to the Second Edition vii
  Preface to the First Edition xi
  Abbreviations xvii
1. Introduction: The Meaning of Meaning 1-15
  The Problem of Meaning 3
  Two Aproaches to the Study of Meaning 6
  The Basic Triangle and Indian Views 11
2. Abhidha: The Primary Meaning of a word 17-94
  Meaning, conventional or Natural 19
  How do We Learn the Meanings of Words 26
  Multiple Meaning: Homophones and Homonyms 32
  Contextual Factors 48
  Four classes of Words: Yaugika, Rudha, Yogarudha and Yaugidarudha 59
  Etymology versus Popular Usage 63
  The Primary Meaning of a Word: Different Views 69
  The Buddhist theory of Apoha 78
  Criticisms of the Theory of Apoha 86
3. Sphota: The Theory of Linguistic Symbols 95-148
  The Doctrine of Sphota 97
  Patanjali's Vie of the Sphota 100
  Other Earlier Views 109
  Bhartrhari's Discussion about the Nature of the Sphota 116
  How the Sphota is Comprehended 124
  Arguments against the Sphota Doctrine 132
  Classifications of the Sphota 136
  Misconceptions about the Sphota 140
  Bhartrhari's Philosophy of Language 146
4. Conditions of Knowing the Meaning of a Sentences: 149-187
  The Mimamsa Definition of a Sentence 151
  Akanksa 157
  Yogyata 164
  Samnidhi 166
  Elliptical Sentences 169
  Tatparyajnane 176
5. The Comprehension of the Meaning of a Sentence 189-227
  Relationship of Words in a Sentence: Bheda or samsarga 191
  Anvitabhidhana Theory of Verbal Comprehension 193
  Abhihitanvaya Theory of Verbal Comprehension 203
  Tatparya as a Separate Vrtti 213
  Bhartrhari'S Theory of Akhan Davakyasphota 224
6. Laksana or Metaphor 229-273
  Definition of Metaphor 231
  Conditions for a Metaphor 231
  The Normal and the Actual Meanings in a Transfer 233
  Gauni Vrtti or Qualitative Transfer 242
  A Buddhist View 245
  Classification of Laksana 256
  Incompatibility of the Primary Sense 258
  Nirudha- laksana or Faded Metaphor 262
  Motive Elements in Laksana 264
  Compound Words 267
  Bhartrhari's views on Laksana 270
7. Vyanjana or Suggestion 275-315
  Vyanjana 277
  Theory of Dlwani 283
  Criticisms against the Dhvani theory 289-302
  (a) Dhvani and Anumana 290
  (b) Dhvani and Arthapatti 293
  © Dhvani and Laksana 295
  (d) Dhvani and Abhidha 298
  (e) Dhvani and Tatpayavrtti 301
  (f) Dhvani and Vakrodti 302
  Classification of Dhvani 302
  Intonation 312
  Bibliography 317
  Index 355

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