Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Contents:

Information:

  • Access
  • Open access
  • Cited by 2

Actions:

      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        Tibetan √lan ‘reply’
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        Tibetan √lan ‘reply’
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        Tibetan √lan ‘reply’
        Available formats
        ×
Export citation
Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Extract

Recognising the parallelism between the conjugation of a verb such as √lug ‘pour’ (pres. ldug, past blugs, fut. blug, imp. lhugs ‘pour’ and a verb such as √kru ‘wash’ (ḥkhrud, bkrus, bkru, khrus), Li Fang-Kuei suggests deriving the present stem ldug from a reconstruction *ḥlug (1933: 149). In this sub-case of Conrady's law, the change of *ḥl to ld- may be analyzed into the following changes: *ḥl > *ḥdl > *ḥld > ld (cf. Conrady 1896: 59, Li 1933: 149, Hill 2011: 446–447, Hill 2013: 193–195). This sound change obscures the synchronic relationship between verb forms beginning with ld- and other present formations, and the resultant synchronic opacity gives rise to analogical forms (e.g. the alternate present blug). Consequently, the dictionaries present a certain level of confusion about the paradigms of lateral initial verbs.

Recognising the parallelism between the conjugation of a verb such as √lug ‘pour’ (pres. ldug, past blugs, fut. blug, imp. lhugs ‘pour’ and a verb such as √kru ‘wash’ (ḥkhrud, bkrus, bkru, khrus), Li Fang-Kuei suggests deriving the present stem ldug from a reconstruction *ḥlug (1933: 149). In this sub-case of Conrady's law, the change of *ḥl to ld- may be analyzed into the following changes: *ḥl > *ḥdl > *ḥld > ld (cf. Conrady Reference Conrady1896: 59, Li Reference Li1933: 149, Hill Reference Hill2011: 446–447, Hill Reference Hill2013: 193–195). This sound change obscures the synchronic relationship between verb forms beginning with ld- and other present formations, and the resultant synchronic opacity gives rise to analogical forms (e.g. the alternate present blug). Consequently, the dictionaries present a certain level of confusion about the paradigms of lateral initial verbs.

In many cases enough of the traditional lexicographical sources present enough of the etymologically correct stems for the pattern to emerge despite the noise. For example, a root √lud ‘give to drink’ on the model of ḥkhrud, bkrus, bkru, khrus ‘wash’, should have the stems *ldud (< *ḥlud), *blud, *blud, *lud. Hill (Reference Hill2010: 159) presents the following paradigm for this verb on the basis of nine lexicographical sources; the digit following each stem is the number of lexica which report that form.

  • Pres. ldud (5), blud (4), lhud (1)

  • Past. bldud (1), blud (6), ldud (1)

  • Fut. ldud (3). blud (5)

  • Imp. ldud (3), blud (5), lhud (1)

Majority rule yields the paradigm ldud, blud, blud, blud, nearly what morphology predicts. The imperative lhud given in one source most closely matches the predicted *lud;Footnote 1 although majority rule in some cases yields the right answer, is not a reliable method. In other cases the traditional lexicographical sources unanimously divide a verb into two, where morphological analysis suggests that the stems originally belong to a single paradigm. Thus, the dictionaries offer ldad, bldad, bldad, ldod ‘chew’ and blad, blad, blad, blod ‘chew’ as distinct verbs, where the morphology suggests the single verb ldad, blad, blad, *lod ‘chew’.

The paradigms suggested by morphology are hypotheses; only in two cases have textual attestations confirmed the validity of such hypotheses.Footnote 2

Attestations from Old Tibetan and the Kanjur allow √lan ‘reply’ with the paradigm ldon, blan, glan, lon, to be added as a third member to the list of lateral initial verbs for which philological attestations confirm the expected morphological stems against the analysis of the dictionaries.

The dictionaries give ldon ‘return, answer, reply’ as an invariant verb (Hill Reference Hill2010: 160); they also give a verb with the confused paradigm pres. glan/glon, past glan, fut. glan/glon, imp. glan/glon ‘patch, answer’ (Hill Reference Hill2010: 39–40). Morphological analysis suggests that these stems are better arranged into one verb ldon, blan, glan, lon ‘answer’; appropriate attestations of all four stems are not difficult to find.Footnote 3

Examples (1) and (2) show ldon attested as a present stem.

  1. (1) mi rtsod-ciṅ dri-ba dris kyaṅ ñan-thos-kyi-theg-pas lan mi ldon-te/ ci-nas saṅs-rgyas-kyi ye-shes mṅon-par rdzogs-par ḥtshaṅ rgya-ba de lta-bur lan ldon-no/

    Although they asked questions and did not argue, the Śrāvakas do not reply, they reply (with the question) how to be perfectly liberated in the manifest wisdom of the Buddha (Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra, Derge Kanjur vol. 51, page 106a)

  2. (2) Kau-śi-ka-kyis Lhaḥi-bu-zla-ba ḥdi-ñid-la dris-śig-daṅ / ḥdi-ñid-kyis khyod-la lan ldon-no/

    O Kauśika, ask thou this very Devaputracandra and he will answer thee (Trayastriṃśat-parivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra Derge Kanjur vol. 63: page 141a)

In the first clause of example (1) the negation with mi ensures that ldon is either present or future; the context precludes a future reading (i.e. ‘to be replied’). In the second clause of example (1) and in example (2) the suffix -no rather than -to precludes the past and the context again weighs against the future.

Examples (3) and (4) show that glon is an alternate present stem to the verb ‘answer’.

  1. (3) don de-lta bas-na ṅas mdo-sde kun-las ṅaḥi ḥkhor-du gtogs-pa ni drin-la lan glon-no

    For that reason I answer the questions of my disciplines from all the sūtras (Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra, Derge Kanjur vol. 52, page 128a)

  2. (4) bu tsha pha-mas gsos-te / / phaṅs-paḥi rim-ḥgro myig-daṅ mtshuṅs-par byas-pa yaṅ / / rgas-paḥi bsel-daṅ lan glon-bar dgosu zad-de / / skyes-na slar lan glan-źiṅ chi nus-gyis bya-baḥi rigso / / dper-na / gchan-zan / mtshaḥ-daṅ bya-rgod-gyi bu yaṅ / / pha-maḥi drin-gyi lan glon-na / myiḥi bu lta-chi smos

    Children are nurtured by their parents and definitely obliged to honour them accordingly, repaying with care for the elderly. Given their birth, they shall have to repay and do what they can. If for example even the children of wild animals and birds repay the kindness of their parents, why speak of the children of humans? (Dialogue of two brothers, PT 1283, ll. 242–245, Imaeda et al. Reference Imaeda2007: 169)

In example (3) the suffix -no rather than -to again precludes the past and context weighs against the future. In example (4) no tell-tale syntactic sign assures that glon is a present, but the generic reading weights against the past (cf. Zeisler Reference Zeisler2004: 334–337) and the occurrence of glan as a future in the same passage, precludes that glon is the future. If glon is not the past or the future, then it must be the present.

Examples (5) and (6) show blan attested as a past stem.

  1. (5) byaṅ-chub-sems-dpaḥ gsar-du slob-pa chos-kyi yi-geḥi lugs-daṅ / tshul-khrims-kyi gzhuṅ ḥdrir ḥoṅs-pa-la brnyas-paḥi sems-daṅ / ṅan-sems-daṅ / le-loḥi sems-kyis gcig-pu gcig-pu-nas ḥdri-baḥi lan ma blan-na ltuṅ-baḥo//

    If with ill will, indolence, or scorn toward those who come to ask about the textual tradition of dharma and the code of conduct newly taught [by] Boddhisattvas, they do not answer the questions of each one, they will fall [into hell]. (Dharmamudrā, Derge Kanjur, vol. 66, page 83a)

  2. (6) de-nas ḥjam-dpal la-sogs-paḥi byaṅ-chub-sems-dpaḥi tshogs de dag-gis kyaṅ de bźin-du tshigs-su bcad-pa de-ñid-kyis lan blan-to/

    Then, the assembly of Boddhisattvas, Mañjuśrī etc., answered in verse like that (Mahābherīhāraka-parivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra, Derge Kanjur vol. 63, page 119b)

The use of the negation prefix ma (in example 5) and the use of the suffix -to (in example 6) ensure that blan is a past stem form.

Examples (7) and (8) show glan attested as a future stem.

  1. (7) khyed-kyis lan glan-źiṅ kha gdag-par ci gnaṅ źes

    Would you grant that [my parents] be avenged and [their enemies] vanquished? (Rama C, l. 8, cf. de Jong Reference de Jong1989: 97)

  2. (8)) skyes-na slar lan glan-źiṅ chi-nus-gyis bya-baḥi rigso / /

    Given their birth, [children] shall have to repay [their parents] and do what they can. (Dialogue of two brothers, PT 1283, ll. 243–244, Imaeda et al. Reference Imaeda2007: 169, cf. example 4)

In example (7) the coordination of glan with the future stem gdag (from the verb ḥdogs, btags, gdag, thogs ‘vanquish’)Footnote 4 ensures that glan is itself a future stem. In example (8) the coordination of glan with the future bya (from the verb byed, byas, bya, byos ‘do’) ensures that glan is itself a future stem.

Examples (9) and (10) show lon attested as an imperative stem.

  1. (9) tshe-daṅ-ldan-pa byams-pa gnas-brtan Rab-ḥbyor ḥdi skad-du byaṅ-chub sems-dpaḥ sems-dpaḥ chen-po byams-pa ḥdi don ḥdiḥi lan ldon-no źes zer-na tshe-daṅ-ldan-pa ma-pham-pa don ḥdi lan lon-cig !

    The venerable beloved monk Subhūti [said] this: “bodhisattva mahāsattva Maitreya, if you say you give answers regarding the intention, then give an answer re the intention, Invincible [Maitreya]!” (Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā, Derge Kanjur vol. 33, page 197a)

  2. (10) brtan-po gaṅ-daṅ gaṅ-dag rṅa-bo che-chen-poḥi mdo ñan-par ḥdod-nas lhags-pa de-da bdag-gi rṅa-bo che bsgrags-pa gsan-nas dri-ba deḥi lan lon-cig !

    Whosoever is steadfast, having come to hear the sūtra of the great drum, now, having heard the great beating of my drum, give answers to the questions! (Mahābherīhāraka-parivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra, Derge Kanjur vol. 63, page 119b)

The imperative suffix -cig suffixed to lon ensures that in both examples 9 and 10 this stem is an imperative.

These textual attestations demonstrate that paradigm of ‘answer’ is ldon ~ glon, blan, glan, lon ‘answer’ as morphological analysis suggests.Footnote 5 This case study shows that morphological analysis when confirmed by philological attestations, can bring order to the apparent chaos that the dictionaries sometimes present.

1 The voiceless imperatives lhugs (from √lug ‘pour’) and lhud from (√lud ‘give to drink’) in place of predicted *lug and *lud, commends the devoicing of laterals in the imperative to further study. This phenomenon is perhaps to be compared with voice alternating verbs of the type ḥgeṅs, bkaṅ, dgaṅ, khoṅ ‘fill’ (cf. Hill Reference Hill2014). However, the formation of the future of voice alternating verbs with g- rather than b- weighs against this comparison.

2 A similar correction to the paradigm of one rhotic initial verb is also available. The verb ‘to write’ has the traditional paradigm: ḥbri, bris, bri, bris, but the etymological paradigm is: ḥdri, bris, bri, ris (cf. Hill Reference Hill2005). Relying on the type of analysis offered here for ‘give to drink’, ‘chew’, and ‘understand’ Jacques posits four paradigms for verbs with rhotic initials, without philological confirmation: ḥdrid, brid, brid, *rid ‘deceive’, ḥdrud, brus, bru, *rus ‘dig’, ḥdreg, bregs, breg, *regs ‘shave’, ḥdrad, brad, brad, *rod ‘scratch’ (cf. Jacques Reference Jacques2010).

3 As Jäschke points out these verbs ‘answer’ are cognate to the noun lan ‘an answer’ (1881: 292, 543), guaranteeing that the root has a vowel ‘a’ and not a vowel ‘o’. The verb ‘answer’ often appears in a figura etymologica ‘answer an answer’ with this noun.

4 Hill (Reference Hill2010: 149) on the basis of slim evidence divides this verb from ḥdogs, btags, gdag, thogs ‘tie, fasten’, but the two are certainly to be identified etymologically.

5 Future research may explain the variation between the two forms of the present stem

References

Conrady, August (1896). Eine indochinesische Causativ-Denominativ-Bildung und ihr Zusammenhang mit den Tonaccenten. Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz.
Eimer, Helmut (1987). “Eine alttibetische Perfektbildung.” Indo-Iranian Journal 30, pp. 213214.
Hahn, Michael (1999). “Blags und Verwandtes (Miscellanea etymologica tibetica, VI).” Studia Tibetica et Mongolica (Festschrift Manfred Taube). Eds. Eimer, Helmut et al. Swisttal-Odendorf, Indica et Tibetica Verlag, pp. 123125.
Hill, Nathan W. (2005). “The verb ’bri ‘to write’ in Old Tibetan.” Journal of Asian and African Studies 68, pp. 177182.
Hill, Nathan W. (2010). A Lexicon of Tibetan Verb Stems as Reported by the Grammatical Tradition. Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Hill, Nathan W. (2011). “An Inventory of Tibetan Sound Laws.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (Third Series) 21.4, pp. 441457.
Hill, Nathan W. (2013). “Relative order of Tibetan sound changes affecting laterals.” Language and Linguistics 14.1, pp. 193209.
Hill, Nathan W. (2014). “A Note on Voicing Alternation in the Tibetan Verbal System.” Transactions of the Philological Society 112.1, pp. 14.
Jacques, Guillaume (2010). “Notes complémentaires sur les verbes à alternance ‘dr-/br en tibétain.” Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 19, pp. 2729.
Jäschke, Heinrich August (1881). A Tibetan-English dictionary. London: Unger Brothers.
de Jong, Jan Willem (1973). “Tibetan blag-pa and blags-pa.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 36.2, pp. 309312.
de Jong, Jan Willem (1989). The story of Rāma in Tibet: text and translation of the Tun-huang manuscripts. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner.
Li, Fang-Kuei (1933). “Certain Phonetic Influences of the Tibetan Prefixes upon the Root Initials.” Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica 6.2, pp. 135157.
Imaeda, Yoshiro, et al. (2007). Tibetan Documents from Dunhuang, kept at the bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Library. Tokyo: ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Zeisler, Bettina (2004). Relative tense and aspectual values in Tibetan languages: a comparative study. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.