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The Meaning of Nouns: Semantic Theory in Classical and Medieval India

Madhav M. Deshpande (Translator)
Synopsis Kaundabhatta's Vaiyakarana-bhusana is a massive work on semantic theory written in India in the 17th century.  Kaundabhatta belonged to the tradition of Sanskrit grammar and in this work he consolidated the philosophy of language developed in the Paninian tradition of Sanskrit grammar.  His work takes account of the philosophical debate which occurred in classical and medieval India among the philosophers and grammarians from about 500 BC. To the 17th century AD and primarily represents this debate between the traditions of Sanskrit grammar, Mimamsa, and Nyaya-Vaisesika.  It discusses ontological, epistemological, and exegetical issues concerning the notion of meaning as it relates to the various components of language.  The present book is a heavily annotated translation of the Namarthanirnaya section of Kaundabhatta's Vaiyakarana-bhusana, with an extensive introduction. While there are several books that discuss Indian semantic theories in general terms, this book belongs to a small class of intensive, focused studies of densely written philosophical texts which examine each argument in its historical and philosophical context.  It is of interest to all students of philosophy of language in general, and to students of Indian philosophy in particular.
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About the author

Madhav M. Deshpande

Madhav M. Deshpande is Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, where he has been on the faculty since 1972 teaching all levels of Sanskrit as well as Pali, Prakrit and Hinduism.  His research relates to the fields of Paninian, historical, and socio-linguistics, as well as the cultural and linguistic history of India.  Besides his research publications Aryan and Non-Aryan in India; Kaundabhatta on the Philosophy of Nominal Meaning; and Evolution of Syntactic Theory in Sanskrit Grammar, Professor Deshpande has participated in Sastric and literary debates and has also published Sanskrit poems and plays.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Meaning of Nouns: Semantic Theory in Classical and Medieval India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.10.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124604312
length x+296p., Bibliography; Index; 24cm.