Different I-E book advice

Joseph P. McGowan mcgowan at TEETOT.ACUSD.EDU
Wed Jun 16 18:06:21 UTC 1999

On Wed, 16 Jun 1999, James E. Clapp wrote:

> was hoping to find a book that would make it easy for me to find
> relationships between English words and Sanskrit or Pali words through
> their common Indo-European roots.
> Is there a comprehensive work in English that could make tracing such
> English/Sanskrit/Pali correspondences fairly straightforward?  Failing
> that, how about a work in some other language (alas, I verstehe nicht
> German, but I might have to try), or a work in any language (English
> greatly preferred) that does for Sanskrit and Pali what Watkins's
> American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots does for English?

Classic basic information about Pali is contained in Franklin Edgerton's
_Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar & Dictionary_ (2 volumes, 1953;
reprinted by the prolific publishing house Motilal Banarsidass of Delhi in
1972 and several times subsequently).  Edgerton's `Buddhist hybrid
Sanskrit' = Pali.
        A standard one-volume grammar is Manfred Mayrhofer's _Handbuch des
Pali, mit Texten und Glossen_ (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1951).  Mayrhofer
is famous as the great Sanskrit etymologist whose magnum opus is the
4-volume _Kurzgefasstes etymologisches Woerterbuch des Altindischen_ (A
Concise Etymological Sanskrit Dictionary), also published by the
philologist's great friend Carl Winter Verlag of Heidelberg (1956-1980).
        Edgerton will give some sense of Sanskrit's subsequent development
(Prakrits, Pali, Aphabramhsa, etc.); his lexicon is also helpful in
tracing Sanskrit terms that made their way east (into Sino-Tibetan and
Austroasiatic languages).  As to IE roots (loans) into Thai, the earlier
loans will include many Sanskrit terms (Buddhism) as Thai also borrowed a
form of the devanagari script from India.  Thai used to be considered a
Sino-Tibetan language because of the many loans from Chinese.
        For some discussion of Indic > Dravidian > Austroasiatic loans try
a search on titles by Murray B. Emeneau, the foremost etymologist of
Dravidian languages.

> I think it extremely unlikely that anyone has traced Indo-European roots
> into Thai (which has substantial Indic vocabulary), but if so, I'd

-Joe McGowan

Dr. Joseph McGowan
Deprtment of English
University of San Diego

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