Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quick note: Tantrarahasya on ellipsis and arthāpatti

Right now I'm in Hawaii for the East-West Philosophy Conference that starts in a few days. I am taking a break from my usual weekly schedule of Tantravārttika blogging in order to make a few comments on the Tantrarahasya of Rāmānujācārya.

Subsentential speech in Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman,
The Tantrarahasya is a Prābhākara introductory text dating to the sixteenth century which has not yet been translated in its entirety. Elisa Freschi has translated a portion which deals with the interpretation of injunctions in her Duty, Language, and Exegesis. Apart from that, and a summary by K. T. Pandurangi, the text is, unlike the Mānameyodaya, the Bhāṭṭa introductory text dating to around the same time, still available only to Sanskritists.

This is a shame, since the Tantarahasya, as far as I can tell, is the first Mīmāṃsā text to focus on a case of subsentential speech in its discussion of postulation, or arthāpatti. Earlier, the Prakaranapañcikā of Śālikanātha Miśra, in his discussion of vākyārtha, claims that elliptical insertion (adhyāhāra) is understood by arthāpatti. He defends the arthādyāhāra view, that what is understood through elliptical insertion is a meaning and not a word. However, the discussion is very general and does not give any linguistic examples.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bubble gum and joss paper: living in Singapore

If people in the United States know anything about Singapore, it's that gum is illegal here. In fact, it's so illegal that you will get caned for having it. At my going away party in Austin, I was given a farewell gift--an assortment of gum. Wrigley's, Trident, that pink foot-long bubble gum tape. Now, as it turns out, like a lot of things in Singapore, the actual bureaucracy involved is a bit different.