LINGUIST List 12.1204

Wed May 2 2001

Review: Tulpule & Feldhaus, Dictionary Old Marathi

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  1. Elena Bashir, Review of Tulpule, S.G. and Anne Feldhaus, A Dictionary of Old Marathi

Message 1: Review of Tulpule, S.G. and Anne Feldhaus, A Dictionary of Old Marathi

Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 15:52:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: Elena Bashir <>
Subject: Review of Tulpule, S.G. and Anne Feldhaus, A Dictionary of Old Marathi

 Tulpule, S. G. and Anne Feldhaus (2000) A Dictionary of Old
 Marathi, Oxford University Press, South Asia Research
 Series, ISBN 0-19-512600-9. 807 pp. + xlviii

 Elena Bashir, Department of South Asian Languages and
 Civilizations, The University of Chicago

 The Old Marathi (Central Indo-Aryan) stage extended from the
 eighth century (CE) through the middle of the fourteenth
 century (CE); however its literary output dates mainly from
 the last seventy-five years of this period. Old Marathi is
 distinguished from the Maharashtri Prakrit and ApabhraM$a
 stages which preceded it, and from the Middle Marathi (ca.
 1350-1800) stage which followed. According to the authors
 of the dictionary, based on the sources available, there
 seems to have been relatively little dialect variation in
 Old Marathi (xxiv-xxv).

 The principal editor of the dictionary, Shankar Gopal
 Tulpule (1914-1994), was a pre-eminent scholar of Marathi
 and the author of numerous works on Marathi literature and
 language, particularly religious texts. The second editor,
 Anne Feldhaus, has authored books on Marathi culture and
 translated several texts from Marathi.

 This dictionary is designed to be used by both scholars and
 speakers of modern Marathi who want to read Old Marathi
 texts. It contains approximately 26,000 [my estimate]
 entries based on approximately 18,000 files [according to
 the editors], which are drawn from a corpus of both
 inscriptional (stone and copper plate) and literary sources,
 mostly poetry. According to the authors, it covers "all
 known inscriptions and literary sources from the Old Marathi
 period (xiv)." The introduction includes discussion of the
 texts of the source materials, and a complete list of the
 sources used for the dictionary (xxxv-xxxviii). The
 dictionary under review was envisaged by the principal
 editor as one step toward the eventual compilation of a
 dictionary of Marathi on historical principles.

 The authors have excluded most words, including Sanskrit
 tatsamas which are the same in Modern Marathi as in Old
 Marathi, and refer the reader to *Molesworth's Marathi-
 English Dictionary* (1831, 1857) or *MahaaraaSTra $abdako$a*
 (1932-1950) for such words. They have, however, included a
 few basic words common to Old Marathi and modern Marathi to
 show the continuity of their usage (xiv). Also included are
 some words common to Old and modern Marathi which show
 orthographical variation in Old Marathi.

 The structure of an entry is as follows.
 - Entry word (in Devanagari, boldface type)
 - Transliteration of the entry word using standard Indo-
 Aryanist notation (in parentheses)
 - Abbreviation indicating the grammatical category of the
 entry word. Nouns are labeled for gender - masculine,
 feminine, or neuter; pronouns for gender, person, number and
 type (e.g. demonstrative); and verbs as transitive,
 intransitive, passive, or causative. Adjectives are
 identified by number or gender if they are attested in only
 one form.
 - Etymology, indicated for those words the origin of which
 is fairly certain (in square brackets). In some cases, this
 information includes both the language and the relevant
 words from that language; in others the language only.
 Cross references to Turner's *Comparative Dictionary of the
 Indo-Aryan Languages* are not given.
 - Attested meanings of the word in Old Marathi. Meanings
 are given both in modern Marathi and in English. Meanings
 are numbered, in logical rather than chronological order,
 and metaphorical usages are so indicated.
 - Sometimes, indications of technical, or exclusive
 regional senses.
 - Citations from sources illustrating the use of the word
 in the specific meaning, and naming the source and location
 of the citation. Multiple citations are arranged with
 inscriptional citations preceding literary examples,
 otherwise in chronological order. Citations are selected to
 include the earliest occurrence of a word in Old Marathi,
 and for verbs, to illustrate as many different forms of the
 verb as possible. Verb forms are not, however, analyzed,
 i.e. not specified with regard to categories such as tense
 or aspect. Citations are given in the original Old Marathi,
 without translation into modern Marathi or English.

 Idioms are treated as sub-entries under one of the words
 contained, usually the verb.

 Since during the Old Marathi period, there was no
 standardized spelling, orthographical variation is the rule
 rather than the exception. Specific types of orthographic
 variation are discussed, along with the treatment they are
 given in the dictionary, In general, each spelling variant
 is given a separate entry word with cross references to
 other variants.

 The introduction to the dictionary includes a list of types
 of previous lexicographical work on Marathi and Old Marathi.
 Importantly, it includes discussion of each of these source
 types, with critical commentary on them. There are sections
 on the origin and development of Marathi and on the elements
 of the Old Marathi lexicon.

 Given that this is the first dictionary of its nature and
 scope for Old Marathi, and the completeness and
 meticulousness of the scholarship, this dictionary will
 certainly become a standard reference work, with a place in
 every major reference collection and in the personal
 libraries of scholars of South Asian languages. In
 conjunction with Master's *A Grammar of Old Marathi*, It
 will greatly facilitate historical studies of Indo-Aryan
 languages, particularly historical lexicology.

 References cited

 Daate, Ya$vant RaamkRSNa, CintaamaN Gane$ Larve, Aabaa
 Caandorkar, and CintaamaN $ankar Daataar. *MahaaraaSTra
 $abdako$a*. 7 volumes plus supplement. PuNeM:
 MahaaraaSTra Ko$amaNDaLa Limited, 1932-1950.

 Master, Alfred. 1964. *A Grammar of Old Marathi*. Oxford:
 Oxford University Press.

 Molesworth, J.T., assisted by George and Thomas Candy. *A
 Dictionary, MaraaThii and English. Second edition, Bombay:
 Bombay Education Society, 1857; corrected reprint, Poona:
 Shubhada-Saraswat, 1975.

 Turner, Ralph Lilley. 1966. A Comparative Dictionary of the
 Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 Biographical sketch of reviewer: Elena Bashir

 Elena Bashir has her Ph.D. in Linguistics from The
 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1988). Her dissertation,
 "Topics in Kalasha Syntax: An Areal and Typological
 Perspective" is based on field work on Kalasha, a Northwest
 Indo-Aryan ("Dardic") language spoken in Chitral District of
 Pakistan. That work has led into ongoing involvement with
 the languages of Pakistan including Bashir's current work on
 Khowar. She is currently teaching Urdu at the University of

 Note to readers: In the Marathi words in the titles of
 books and authors' names, upper case letters represent
 retroflex consonants, except when they stand as the first
 letter of a proper name; <$> represents the voiceless
 palatal sibilant; long vowels are represented by geminating
 the vowel letter, e.g. <aa> = 'long a'.
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