Wednesday, June 29, 2011

pada: word or morpheme?

I think that pada might mean either `word' or `morpheme', if the latter can be conceived of as having an independent meaning, like in the case of the optative verbal ending.
For the historical background of this double meaning, see the following quote:

For Yāska the Vedic Saṃhitās are made of padas. It is not clear whether this refers to verse-quarters, words or whole verses. Pāṇini restricts the meaning of pada to `word' or word-component. pada may mean here `verb', but also `substantive' or `prefix'.

(``Für Yāska sind die vedischen Saṁhitās aus padas gemacht. Ob es sich hier um Vers-viertel, Worte oder ganze Verse handelt, ist nicht klar. Pāṇini (1.4.14) engt die Bedeutung von pada auf `Wort' oder auch Bestandteile von Worten ein. Pada kann hier sowohl Verb als auch Substantiv, aber auch Präfix bedeuten". (Lars Göhler 2011, p.69).


Jayarava said...

The journey of 'pada' is traced in:
Thompson, George. 1995 "From 'footstep' to 'word' in Sanskrit." Semiotica. 106 (1/2): 77-98.

It's years since I read it so I won't attempt a summary.

elisa freschi said...

Thanks a lot, Jayarava. I am now in Vienna and will try to locate it (unfortunately, it is not in the library for South Asian, Tibetological and Buddhist studies).

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