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Publisher Description

An updating of Grassmann's Worterbuch zum Rigveda has long been a major desideratum of Vedic studies. In an age of specialization it is hard for us to imagine that a mathematician ("Grassmann's algebra") should have been the unique author of the sole specialized dictionary of one of the world's most challenging texts. Grassmann's dictionary has stood for over 130 years as an indispensable tool for all who are engaged in the serious study of the Rigveda. Its value resides not merely in its enregistration of all the lexical items and (with the exception of a few exceedingly common words) its exhaustive listing of their occurrences in the Rigveda, but also in the fact that it frequently includes grammatical contexts (e.g., head nouns modified by adjectives; subjects, objects, and often other adjuncts going with verbs). Naturally, however, in its definitions and etymologies it reflects the state of knowledge of Indology and Indo-European linguistics circa 1872. Both these areas of inquiry have been advanced significantly in the century and a third that has elapsed since then. The two volumes of Oldenberg's Rgveda. Textkritische and exegetische Noten appeared in 1909 and 1912. Already by 1923 Geldner had completed a draft of his Rigveda translation (published 1951). to this day the most reliable scholarly translation that we possess. (1) Renou's Etudes vediques et panineennes appeared between 1955 and 1969 (with only a very incomplete treatment of the Indra hymns, owing to Renou's premature death). The second edition of Elizarenkova's complete translation of the Rigveda, little known in the West, was published in 1999 and is used and cited in the work under review. The first volumes of Wackernagel's Altindische Grammatik appeared in 1896 and its final volume (with Albert Debrunner) in 1930, without, alas, a treatment of the verb. Mayrhofer's Kurzgefasstes etymologisches Worterbuch des Altindischen appeared between 1956 and 1976, followed by the Vedic section of his updated Etymologisches Worterbuch des Altindoarischen between 1986 and 1996. In the meantime, scholars such as Thieme and Kuiper had begun their lifelong engagement with the Rigvedic lexicon; and beginning with Narten's study of the sigmatic aorist (1964) and continuing to the present day, a veritable flood of studies of numerous categories of the Rigvedic verb have appeared (e.g., Hoffmann 1967, Jamison 1983, Goto 1987, Schaefer 1994, Kummel 1996, 2000, Kulikov 2001, Heenen 2006) as well as of an important class of nominal compounds (Scarlata 1999). In the area of syntax, the rise of generative grammar in all its diverse forms has led to greater sophistication in our understanding and description of syntactic and semantic phenomena. What better time, then, to renew Grassmann? This task has now been taken on by Thomas Krisch and his research team at the University of Salzburg. The first volume of the trendily titled Rivelex treats all words beginning with a-, said by the author to encompass one-eighth of the words of the Rigveda. Accompanying the book is a CD-ROM abridged version, shorn of etymologies and notes. Work on the second volume, which will cover words beginning with the remaining vowels, is now underway.

GENRE
Non-Fiction
RELEASED
2008
April 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
19
Pages
PUBLISHER
American Oriental Society
SIZE
194.8
KB

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