Remnants of Words in Indian Grammar

APA Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies 18 (1):39-42 (2018)
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This paper in an elementary level expresses the inevitable relation between the word and meaning from the prominent Indian philosophical trends by giving stress on Vyakti-śakti-vāda and Jāti-śakti-vāda, the two contender doctrines. The first one puts emphasis on the semantic value of a predicate whereas the latter draws attention to the generic uses of nouns. The second part of the writing underpins Navya Nyāya and Kumārila’s positions on the word-meaning reliance and the debate initiate when we look back to the question whether the word-meaning relation sounds conventional or eternal. I propose a position (śabda-vivarta-vāda) on these issues derived from the works of Patan᷈jali and Bhartṛharị, two grammarians of classical Indian tradition. They defend eternal verbum as the material cause of the word and objects. This doctrine advocates uniforism by giving up bifurcation between the word and the world.

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Sanjit Chakraborty
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata


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