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Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume


Edited By François Voegeli, Vincent Eltschinger, Danielle Feller, Maria Piera Candotti, Bogdan Diaconescu and Malhar Kulkarni

Johannes Bronkhorst, professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, from 1987 to 2011, undoubtedly belongs to the most talented and significant indologists of the last three decades. His abundant work testifies to an unparalleled range of interests from early Buddhism to grammar, mathematics to asceticism, philosophy to archaeology, and is characterized by the determination to challenge preconceived ideas, clichés and traditional (mis)constructs.
The present felicitation volume includes thirty-two essays by some of the finest scholars in the field of indology, which reflect Johannes Bronkhorst’s main scholarly contributions: Grammar, Philosophy, Vedic Studies, Buddhism and Jainism, Dharmaśāstra and Arthaśāstra, Epics and Purāṇas. It presents an almost complete spectrum of the intellectual and spiritual pursuits and speculations in Ancient India, and will be of inestimable value to the specialists of all fields of Indology. The volume also includes a presentation of Johannes Bronkhorst’s academic career and contribution to Indian Studies by Jan E.M. Houben, and an ongoing bibliography of his work.


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JOEL P. BRERETON On the Particle hí in the gveda When one has worked with the gveda for a time, a certain and perhaps unhealthy obsessiveness begins to take hold. This paper may be the re- sult of such obsession, for it is principally concerned with one particular construction in the gveda, namely, the function of the particle hí when used with an imperative. An example of such a passage is V 1.26.1ab vásiṣvā hí […] vástrāṇi […] sémáṃ no adhvaráṃ yaja. If for the mo- ment we ignore hí, we could translate: “Clothe yourself in your clothes. Perform this rite for us.” But what exactly does hí contribute? Is it horta- tive or emphasizing: “Surely clothe yourself”?1 Does it express some causal or temporal relationship? Or does it not inflect the meaning much at all? Before trying to answer this question, let me briefly review the more general use of hí in the gveda. In Vedic texts, the verb of a clause marked with hí is accented, as P āṇini also recognized (SPEYER 1896: §263). According to KLEIN’s analysis (1992: 91), gvedic verbal ac- centuation developed from two phonetic principles: salience or emphasis and heightened intonation. The latter signaled that a statement was in- complete, and on this basis, verbal accentuation in subordinate clauses became grammaticalized. The required accentuation of verbs in hí- clauses is therefore evidence that speakers understood the hí-clause to be subordinate or complementary or incomplete in some fashion.2 However,...

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