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System of Classical Tibetan Grammar - ebook/pdf
System of Classical Tibetan Grammar - ebook/pdf
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Książka zawiera tekst tybetański oraz przekład na język angielski dwóch fundamentalnych traktatów kodyfikujących zasady gramatyki tybetańskiej autorstwa Thon mi Sambhoty oraz prezentacje wybranych zagadnień gramatycznych. Autor podejmuje dyskusję z autorami komentarzy tybetańskich, a także z opiniami uczonych Zachodu; jest to nowatorska i oryginalna praca w skali światowej.

Autor, dr Thupten Kunga Chashab jest absolwentem Instytutu Dialektyki Buddyjskiej w Dharamsali, obecnie zatrudnionym w Instytucie Orientalistycznym Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, posiada tytuł doktora uzyskany na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.

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Thupten Kunga Chashab System of Classical Tibetan Grammar (SUM CU PA and RTAGS KYI JUG PA) According to Si tu zhal lung ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== System of Classical Tibetan Grammar (SUM CU PA and RTAGS KYI ’JUG PA) ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Thupten Kunga Chashab System of Classical Tibetan Grammar (SUM CU PA and RTAGS KYI ’JUG PA) According to Dharmabhadra’s , (1806) (Introduction, Text and Annotated Translation) Si tu Zhal lung ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Recenzenci Stanis³aw Godziñski Alfred F. Majewicz Marek Mejor Redaktor prowadz¹cy Maria Szewczyk Konsultacja naukowa Marek Mejor Korektor Janina Tyszkiewicz Sk³ad i ³amanie Krzysztof Biesaga Wydano z pomoc¹ finansow¹ Instytutu Orientalistycznego Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego © Copyright by Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Warszawa 2008 ISBN 978-83-235-2834-0 (PDF) Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 00-497 Warszawa, ul. Nowy Œwiat 4 http://www.wuw.pl; e-mail: wuw@uw.edu.pl Dzia³ Handlowy WUW: tel. (0 48) 22 55 31 333; e-mail: dz.handlowy@uw.edu.pl Ksiêgarnia internetowa: http://www.wuw.pl/ksiegarnia Wydanie I ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acknowledgment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part 1. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. Objectives and approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Classical Tibetan Grammar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. The author Thon mi Sambho­a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. Number of grammar treatises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. Authenticity of two grammar texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. Development of classical Tibetan grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. Classical Tibetan grammar in modern Tibetan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8. Si tu Zhal lung and its sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part 2. Explanatory remarks on specified topics from Si tu Zhal lung . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. Paying homage before translation (’Gyur phyag) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Two secondary suffix letters sa and da. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. The second and the fourth case (rnam dbye gnyis pa dang bzhi pa) . . 4. What kind of verb should be joined after the third case, instrumental (rnam dbye gsum pa). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. The function of the particles la and na . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. The word dang . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. The word ming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8. Action on self and action on object (byed tshig and bya tshig) in Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. The way of joining nominal endings explained in Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . 10.Some minor differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part 3. A brief biography of Dharmabhadra, author of Si tu Zhal lung . . . . . . . . . Part 4. Si tu Zhal lung, commentary on Sum cu pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. English translation of the root text Sum cu pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 9 11 13 13 17 20 23 25 31 39 42 45 45 47 49 52 59 60 61 64 73 77 80 84 84 ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 6 2. Transliteration of the root text Sum cu pa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. [SCP 1] English translation of the text Si tu Zhal lung, commentary on Sum cu pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 93 4. [SCP 1] Transliteration of Si tu Zhal lung, first part, commentary on Sum cu pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Part 5. Si tu Zhal lung, commentary on Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. English translation of root text Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Transliteration of the root text Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. [TKJ 1] English translation of text Si tu Zhal lung, second part, 154 154 159 commentary on Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 4. [II] Transliteration of Si tu Zhal lung, second part, commentary on Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 Appendix 1. sGra’i bstan bcos mKhas pa’i kha rgyan “Grammatical treatise, Ornament of Wise” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. An early treatise on Tibetan grammar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contents of the text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comparison with Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi ’jug pa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meaning of sa mtha’ can . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insertion of the case particle after the secondary suffix da. . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Translation of text mKhas pa’i kha rgyan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. Transliteration of text mKhas pa’i kha rgyan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 2. Smra sgo mtshon cha (The sword [opening] of the gate of speech) and its role in Tibetan grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Its authenticity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Role of Smra sgo in Tibetan grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comparison with Tibetan grammar commentaries and some analysis. . . Appendix 3. Outlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glossary of Tibetan grammatical terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dictionaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 234 236 237 239 241 244 245 251 262 263 267 268 276 284 289 292 294 ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Preface Dr Thupten Kunga Chashab graduated from the Institute of Bud- dhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India. He came to Warsaw in October 1994, at the invitation of Polish orientalists who addressed His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama during His first visit to Poland in 1993 with the re- quest to depute a Tibetan lecturer. At present Dr. Thupten Kunga Chashab holds the position of lecturer in Tibetan at the Oriental Insti- tute, Warsaw University; he also teaches Tibetan at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznañ. Dr. Thupten Kunga Chashab is one of the very few Tibetan refugees who obtained academic degrees at European universities. In 2001 he got his M.Phil. at the Oslo University* where he studied under supervision of Professor Per Kvaerne, within the framework of a special academic program for Tibetans. After his return to Poland in 2003, Thupten Kunga Chashab obtained a Ph.D. degree at the Warsaw University where he presented his dissertation „System of Classical Tibetan Gram- mar based on Dngul chu Dharmabhadra’s Treatise Si tu’i zhal lung (1806)”, which has been prepared under the supervision of the under- signed. The present work is a revised version of his doctoral dissertation. It contains an introduction on the beginnings and development of Tibetan grammar and a discussion of some knotty points of Tibetan grammar, an edition and annotated English translation of Dharmabhadra’s commen- tary Si tu’i zhal lun from 1806, together with the transliterated and trans- lated Tibetan root grammar texts of Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi ’jug pa, as parts of the main work, as well as the appendices and a glossary of gram- matical terms. The work of Dr. Thupten Kunga Chashab is a valuable contribution to the study of Tibetan grammar, presented from the standpoint of tradi- * The Lives of Dngul Chu Yab Sras; including a study of religious expenditure and Ti- betan monetary system in the 19th century, M. Phil. Thesis, University of Oslo, 2001. Published as an article: “A Study of Religious Expenditure in Tibet in the 19th Century Based on the Biography of Dharmabhadra”, Acta Orientalia 63:2002, pp. 175-206. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 8 Preface tional Tibetan learning. For the first time, a full translation of Dngul chu Dharmabhadra’s Si tu ‘i Zhal lung, one of the most important commen- taries in the long tradition of Tibetan grammar, is now available in a Eu- ropean language. I am convinced that the present work will provide a stimulus to the further, more comprehensive research on traditional Ti- betan grammar. Warsaw, November 2006 Marek Mejor ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Acknowledgment It would not be possible for me to complete this work without the help I received from many people. Hence, at first I would like to pay homage and express my gratitude to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Without His support, as a Tibetan, I would not have achieved what I have accomplished. Indeed, every Tibetan who made his career or achieved success and prestige in exile is, in one way or another, related with the effort His Holiness put in the cause of Tibet and Tibetan people for the last half of a century. Owing to various people and institutions from whom I received help in completing my Ph. D. studies, I was able to compile this piece of work on Tibetan grammar. My constant writing and correcting the text was not sufficient to bring out a book. Thus, I gratefully thank to Prof. Dr. Marek Mejor, my Ph.D. supervisor, Dr. Agata Bareja-Starzyñska, head of the Department of Turcology and Central Asian Studies of the Orien- tal Institute of Warsaw University; no need to mention University itself, for providing me support through the course of my academic career and especially for publishing this book. My thanks also go to the members of the section of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies, Prof. Stanis³aw Go- dziñski, Dr. J. Tulisow, the late Prof. S. Ka³u¿yñski, Dr. J. Rogala and others. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Prof. Per Kvaerne from the University of Oslo for his excellent guidancing to enhancing my knowledge in modern scientific methodology and the support he provided while doing my M.Phil. in Tibetan studies in Norway; to my friends and people who were involved in this program and helped very much to complete my work there. I am indebted to Prof. Klaus Sagaster, Prof. Peter Schwieger and Ven Dagyab Rinpoche (all from Bonn University), as well as Kalsang Yeshi (Ph.D. candidate) Oxford University, for their suggestions, ad- vice and help during my studies and research. I would like to thank the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala and its late director Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, as well as pres- ent staff members. Additionally, I wish to thank the Institute of Compar- ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 10 Acknowledgment ative Research in Human Culture, (Norway) and the Norwegian Quota programme, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, (Warsaw) and other directly or indirectly related friends, institutions and organizations who helped me at the educational, humanitarian and financial level. I am very grateful to the Rector of Warsaw University for financing the publication of this piece of my contribution to Tibetan literature, and to the Warsaw University Press for bringing out my materials in a book form. Further thanks go to Mr. Tim Clapham and Mr. Philip Earl Steele (University of Warsaw) for their patience in going through the text and proofreading. Finally, I wish to thank my two sisters, Yangzom and Dawa Buthri, and their families for giving me an opportunity to continue my studies abroad and their unshaken patience in taking care of our Aunty Choezom. Taking this occasion, I would like to extend my thanks espe- cially to Mr. Phunkhang bu Dhondup, the husband of my elder sister and his family for their long-standing encouragement and understanding. Without them I would not be writing this acknowledgment today. Thupten Kunga Chashab ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Abbreviations DMG SGRA INABA I.O. = Brda sprod blo gsal dga’ ston = Sgra la ’jug pa = Inaba Suju = Dunhuang documents from India Office Library, KLR KZR MKH MPHZ P P.T. RINB SSMC SK SCP STG THZA TKJ YIG ZHAL London = Dkar lebs sum rtags dka’ ’grel = Bod kyi brda sprod pa’i khrid rgyun rab gsal me long = mKhas pa’i kha rgyan = Mkhas pa’i mgul rgyan mu tig ’phreng mdzes = Peking edition Tanjur = Dunhuang document from Bibliothque Nationale, Paris = Rin chen bang mdzod = Smra sgo mtshon cha = Sa skya bka’ ’bum = Sum cu pa = Gser tog sum rtags Ngo mtshar ’phrul gyi lde mig = Thon ma’i zhal lung (by Tshe tan zhabs drung) = Rtags kyi ’jug pa = Yi ge’i sbyor ba = Si tu Zhal lung (published by Tibetan Printing Press Dharamsala) ZHAL(M) = Situ Zhal lung (manuscript) ZLS = Zha lu sum rtags ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Part 1. Introduction 1. Objectives and approach The present book is a revised version of my Ph.D. dissertation. It consists of five parts, three appendices1 and a glossary. The introductory chapter consists of a general overview of classical Tibetan grammar which has its basis in two known root texts, Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi ’jug pa: a brief history, its authorship, its development and its place in the modern Tibetan language. In explanatory remarks I have tried to present a number of points which have not been widely examined by modern Ti- betan and Western scholars, raising for discussion certain problems the Tibetans themselves face in their grammar. This discussion is not only a discusssion of the problem of the commentaries examined but is, in a wider seense, an examination of the general problems of classical Ti- betan grammar. I have tried my best to offer to readers some ideas and a new ap- proach on the points which I have discussed. One should, however, keep in mind that the discussions carried out here are presented from the point of view of traditional Tibetan grammar, and not from the point of view of European linguistics. 1 My papers on Mkhas pa’i kha rgyan, which is found in the appendix, and on the func- tion of particles la, na and the insertion of the instrumental case in Part 2 (explanatory re- marks), were presented at the 10th Seminar of Tibetan Studies in Oxford and that Tuebingen University (B114 research project), respectively. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 14 Part 1. Introduction According to my knowledge it is rare for foreign Tibetologists to work on classical Tibetan grammar as a whole. From the end of the nine- teenth century to the present most of the presentations and contributions made by foreign scholars in the field of Tibetan grammar have consisted of excerpts of one grammar commentary or another2. It seems that Inaba Shoju worked on both parts of the Tibetan grammar tradition Sum cu pa (SCP) and Rtags kyi ’jug pa (TKJ) in 1954 and later in 19863. Since his work is in Japanese, it was not accessible to me, except for his edition of Si tu Zhal lung. Thus, my primary approach in this work is to present a complete translation of the classical Tibetan grammar treatises, SCP and TKJ with its commentary Si tu Zhal lung written by Dharmabhadra, into English to provide an overview of Tibetan grammar for people who want to learn this grammar not in part but as a whole. While in translation I have tried to stay as close as possible to the original, this method can create incomprehensibilities. Therefore, when a word by word translation does not make any sense of the text, I focused on translating the meaning (don bsgyur). I have found this more reasonable than keeping a nonsensical literal translation. This method of translation was also suggested in sGra sbyor bam bo gnyis pa4 by the reviser (zhus chen) of the Tibetan lan- guage at the beginning of the ninth century. 2 Miller 1991:366: “Too often studies of specific questions in the Tibetan grammarians have been conducted by citing and translating bits-and-pieces of one commentary or an- other, rather than finding out what is available in the corpus as a whole.” 3 Miller 1991:365: “Especially notable in this respect has heen the contribution of Inaba Shoju, particularly his remarkable 1954 monograph on the Tibetan grammatical tradition as a whole (now to be used and cited in the revised and expanded edition of 1986).” 4 Ishikawa 1990:2: dharmma bsgyur ba la rgya gar gyi skad kyi go rims las mi bsnor bar bod kyi skad du bsgyur na don dang tshig tu ’brel zhing bde na ma bsnor bar sgyur cig / bsnor na bde zhing go ba bskyed pa zhig yod na / tshigs bcad la ni rtsa ba bzhi pa’am / drug pa pa’ang rung ste / tshigs su bcad pa gcig gi nang na gang bde ba bsnor zhing sgyur cig / ; “When one translates Dharma from the Indian language into Tibetan, if the meaning and combination of the word order suit [in Tibetan] as it is in the Indian language order, translate them according to that order. If it gives a better understanding by mixing the word order, whether shloka consists of four or six verses, translate it in more convenient way.” ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 1. Objectives and approach 15 Dharmabhadra’s commentary on the classical Tibetan grammar, Si tu Zhal lung (henceforth ZHAL), is used as the basis of my work be- cause of its popularity among Tibetan and Western scholars. One can find a complete translation and transliteration of the commentary on Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi ’jug pa from ZHAL in my work. I have used four different versions of ZHAL. They are: a. Zhal lung published by the Tibetan Cultural Printing Press, Dharamsala, 1986; b. Zhal lung from the collected works of Dngul chu Dharmabhadra, reproduced from a manuscript5 by Champa Oser, Delhi, 1973; c. Zhal lung edited by Inaba Sh¯ju in Chibetto-go koten bunp¯gaku, z¯hokan. H¯z¯kan, Kyoto 1986 (1st ed. 1954); d. Zhal lung edited by Sarat Chandra Das in An Introduction to the Grammar of the Tibetan Language, Motilal Banarsidass, 1983 (1st ed. 1915). Basing myself on the ZHAL, published by the Tibetan Cultural Printing Press, I compared it with three other versions. From among four different versions of the Tibetan text, the first two are close to the one published by the Tibetan Cultural Printing Press. The text of Zhal lung published by Das is in many places blurred, there are many missing or extra words by comparison with other commentaries. Comparative notes are given in the footnotes to the transliteration below (the com- pared texts are indicated by abbreviations). While translating ZHAL, I have compared its explanations with nine different grammar commentaries, ancient and modern. They are as follows: 1. Smra sgo mtshon cha by Paö¶ita Sm¨tij–Œnak´rti (early eleventh century)6, 2. Mkhas pa’i kha rgyan7 and 5 In my view this print resembles a reproduction of a block print rather than a reproduc- tion from a manuscript. 6 Cf. Verhagen 1994:47 n. 4; 141. 7 More about the author of this text will be said later in the appendix, including the translation of Mkhas pa’i kha rgyan. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 16 Part 1. Introduction 3. Yi ge’i sbyor ba by Sakya Paö¶ita Kun dga’ rgyal mtshan (1182-1251 /1252), 4. Bod kyi skad kyi gsung rab la ’jug tshul sum cu pa’i rnam ’grel by Zha lu lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po (1441-1527)8, 5. Bya ka ra na’i Rtags kyi ’jug pa rnam par gsal ba’i legs bshad by Zha lu lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po, 6. Mkhas pa’i mgul rgyan mu tig ’phreng mdzes by Si tu gtsug lag Chos kyi snang ba (var. Chos kyi ’byung gnas) (1699?-1774), 7. Ngo mtshar ’phrul gyi lde mig by Ser tog Blo bzang tshul khrims rgya mtsho (1845-1915), 8. Rin chen bang mdzod by Blo bzang rgya mtsho (1928-1997), 9. Thon mi’i zhal lung by Tshe tan zhabs drung (?-1985?). The differences in the explanation of Sum cu pa (SCP) and Rtags kyi ’jug pa (TKJ), which I have discerned between ZHAL and the other commentaries, are given in the footnotes to the translation with an Eng- lish translation. The texts inside square brackets [ ] intranslation and the footnotes are added by me. They are clarifications or remarks. To com- pare the English translation with the Tibetan text easily, one may check or compare the English translation and Tibetan transliteration by verse numbers. To get a general overview of ZHAL more easily I have pre- pared a table of outlines (sa bcad) of both SCP and TKJ. The outlines of SCP are presented here by dividing them into three groups: the first, SCP, general classification of letters; the second, the way of affixing particles; the third, conclusion with instruction. The outlines of TKJ are divided into four groups: the first, prefix gender markers; the second, suffix gender markers; the third, how suffix modifies the text; the fourth, why the suffixes should be joined. Moreover, I have compared not only earlier commentaries with ZHAL, I also present two earliest grammar commentaries Smra sgo mtshon cha (SSMC) and Mkhas pa’i kha rgyan (MKH) in detail in the appendix. Perhaps as a result of the popularity of MPHZ with its de- 8 In the grammar catalogue by Tse tan zhabs drung, Tillemans and Herforth (1989:30) did not give the title of commentary on SCP; I think Zha lu Chos skyong bzang po com- posed two commentaries on the Tibetan grammar. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 2. Classical Tibetan Grammar 17 tailed explanation of SCP and TKJ, the tradition of studying earlier com- mentaries is very rare and rather neglected. Thus, those two above-men- tioned commentaries are included in this work. Discussing at length the historical background of the author of SSMC, I analyzed his explanation of the selected grammatical particles, which are not used in the present Tibetan language. With a short introduction regarding the authorship of MKH, I translated and transliterated the text and tried to analyze a few points in MKH which are not commonly found in the later Tibetan grammar commentaries. I have included those remarks or opinions for further discussion. Interlinear glosses found in MKH are put as foot- -notes in transliteration. According to Mkhas pa’i mgul rgyan mu tig ’phreng mdzes (MPHZ) there are descriptions of the particles in SSMC, which cannot be accepted as they are explained. Grammatical terms are given in the glossary with English transla- tion and Tibetan transliteration according to the Tibetan alphabetical or- der of the root letter. Translation of the terms such as two different ver- bal forms in TKJ, action on the subject and the object (byed tshig and bya tshig), are referred to Agents and Actions in Classical Tibetan (Tillemans-Herforth 1989). English grammatical terms which I used here do not hold exactly the same meaning as in the English language. Note on transliteration Tibetan transliterations are made here according to the Wylie sys- tem which is the best known transliteration system among Tibetologists. The root letter of the first syllable of the Tibetan words in the glossary, abbreviations and the names of the authors in the bibliography are indi- cated with the capital letter. 2. Classical Tibetan Grammar It is important to explain briefly the history of classical Tibetan grammar and the authorship of its root texts. Here, I would just touch on the place of grammar in Tibetan literature; in Tibetan scholarship sci- ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 18 Part 1. Introduction ence (rig gnas) is classified into two main categories: greater science9 (rig gnas che ba) and minor science10 (rig gnas chung ba). Both sciences have five different branches of learning, and the grammar was regarded as one of the greater sciences. It is called the science of grammar (sgra rig pa). Generally in Tibetan tradition “learning sgra” means to learn Sanskrit grammar not Tibetan grammar. Therefore, whether or not we should include Sanskrit grammar in the science of grammar (sgra rig pa) remains an open question! The study of classical Tibetan was treated as an important field of Tibetan studies by great Tibetan teachers and translators for many centuries. It was, and still is, well taught in every Tibetan educational institution as basis of the Tibetan course. Therefore, it is important to know the grammar well if one wants to be regarded as an expert in Tibetan literature. For centuries, countless commentaries were composed by scholars; unfortunately, many valuable commentar- ies from the thirteenth and the fourteenth centuries are no longer avail- able. The remaining major commentaries on classical Tibetan grammar are documented by Tshe tan zhabs drung11. Further information was added by Tillemans and Herforth12. In their enriched catalogue the text Sum rtags kyi rnam bshad nor bu ke ta ka’i do shal was attributed to Dharmabhadra. In fact it was written by Ngag dbang dbyangs can dga’ ba. There are many undocumented minor commentaries written by indi- viduals. It is impossible to record all those commentaries. Although we have numerous detailed and brief commentaries on two root texts, the lack of a new systematic Tibetan grammar is obvious. Hence, in my opinion, general systematic grammar commentary is needed to set the rules of modern Tibetan. 9 sgra rig pa, tshad ma rig pa, gso ba rig pa, bzo rig pa, nang don rig pa, “science of grammar”, “science of logic”, “science of medicine”, “science of art”, “science of mind”. 10 snyan ngag, mngon brjod, sdeb sbyor, zlos gar, skar rtsis – ‘poetry’, ‘synonyms’, ‘prosody’, ‘drama’, ‘astrology’. 11 Tshe tan zhabs drung, 1989:190-195: Sum rtags kyi ’grel ba gsar rnying grags chen ’ga’ zhig / /. “Some old and new famous commentaries on the Classical Tibetan gram- mar”. 12 Tillemans and Herforth, 1989:29-35: “Tshe tan zhabs drung’s list of major com- mentaries on the Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi ’jug pa.” ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 2. Classical Tibetan Grammar 19 What we now call Classical Tibetan grammar has two parts, Sum cu pa (SCP) and Rtags kyi ’jug pa (TKJ). It is said by Tibetan historians that these two texts are all that remains of a total of eight grammar trea- tises composed by Thon mi Sambho­a. More details about the author will be explained later. The name Sum cu pa refers to the number of verses (shlo ka) in the text, and the name Rtags kyi ’jug pa refers to the meaning explained by the text. SCP describes the numbers of vowels, consonants, prefix letters, suffix letters, and functions of the cases and particles in Tibetan language. The essence of the SCP is a presentation of seven cases, their functions, dependent and independent particles as well as the functions and purpose of suffix letters. The last point is strongly stressed by the author at the end of the SCP under the heading gdams ngag brjod pas mjug bsdu ba, ‘concluding with the giving in- struction’. A particle which depends on the preceding suffix letter when inserted is called a dependent particle, and a particle which does not de- pend on the preceding suffix letter is called an independent particle. De- pendent particles are inserted according to the same gender group. The method of joining cases and particles after a word with the suffix letter and without suffix letter ’a are the same. The knowledge of SCP enables one to write correctly in Tibetan language. The second part TKJ explains the gender (rtags) classification of letters (yi ge) in general, of the gender classification of the prefix letters (sngon ’jug), of suffix letters (rjes ’jug), and of root letters (ming gzhi) and meaning of transitive and intransitive verbs. There are five genders in Tibetan grammar: masculine (pho), feminine (mo), neutral (ma ning), very feminine (shin tu mo), and ultimate feminine (mo gsham). Five genders are used to classify genders into four different kinds of letter groups: gender classification of letters in general; gender classification of the root letters; gender classification of the prefix letters; and gender classification of the suffix letters. However, the number of different gender letters in each classification is not the same. If a letter is mascu- line in suffix gender classification, it is not necessarily a masculine letter in the prefix or other gender classification. More importantly, in part two, TKJ explains the four different functions of the five prefix letters and ten suffix letters: to which letter they should be joined, by what let- ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 20 Part 1. Introduction ter, and how and for what purpose they should be joined. This is the core of TKJ. There is also an explanation regarding the formation of the verbs in three tenses, and by which and how nominal endings should be taken by the previous word or a suffix letter. 3. The author Thon mi Sambho­a It is traditionally believed by Tibetan historians that Thon mi Sambho a, a minister of king Srong btsan sgam po (617-650 or 680?), composed eight different grammatical treatises in the first half of the seventh century13. The date of Thon mi’s mission to India and the com- pletion of two grammar texts is uncertain. In Tibetan annals such as Bu ston chos ’byung (by Bu ston rin chen grub, 1290-1364), Deb ther dmar po (by Tshal pa kun dga’ rdo rje, 1309-1364), Rgyal rab gsal ba’i me long (by bSod nams rgyal mtshan, 1312-1375), and Chos ’byung mkhas pa’i dga’ ston (by dPa’ bo gtsug lag ’phreng ba, 1504-1566) we cannot find information on when he exactly traveled to India and the date of his return to Tibet. Tse tan zhabs drung assumed that Thon mi started his mission to India in 633 A.D and returned to Tibet in 640 A.D14. If Tse tan zhabs drung is right, then Thon mi composed Tibetan grammar and invented Tibetan script after the arrival of the Nepalese princess and be- fore the Chinese princess Wencheng arrived in Tibet as a bride of king Srong btsan sgam po. Shakabpa also agrees with this idea15. What we can find in Tibetan annals is to which place Thon mi traveled in India, from whom he learned Sanskrit grammar and how long he stayed in In- dia. Although earlier Tibetan historians agree on Thon mi’s mission to India and his invention and composition of Tibetan script and grammar, 13 Dpa’ bo gtsug lag phreng ba, 1986, I:180.15: Thon mi rdo rje’i sgra mdo dang / sum rtags la sogs brda sprod kyi / bstan bcos brgyad kyang mdzad par grags / “It is said that Thon mi composed eight grammar treatises including grammar text called Vajra (Rdo rje) grammar treatise and Sum rtags”. 14 Tse tan zhabs drung, 1989:8-9. 15 Shakabpa, 1976, I:147-148. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 3. The author Thon mi Sambho­a 21 their explanations regarding his mission and from whom he learned Sanskrit grammar differ significantly. Very often information lacks pre- cision. For example, to what part of India had Thon mi been traveling. It is said by Bsod nams rgyal mtshan and Gtsug lag phreng ba, without giving an exact name of the place, that he traveled to rgya gar lho phyogs, ‘South India’ and lho phyogs, ‘South’16. What do those two scholars mean by ‘South India’ and ‘South’? Do they mean ‘South In- dia’ in its modern sense? I have never seen a document saying that Thon mi went to the present day ‘South India’. If they meant that Thon mi traveled to India, south of Tibet, then it is an obvious syntactical mistake by the two authors. In Thon mi’i zhal lung we can find a well analyzed discussion about his teacher and their names. The author of Thon mi’i zhal lung assumed that Lha rig pa’i seng ge and Li bi ka ra are the names of a single person17. Laufer in his article on the origin of Tibetan writing18 also examined Thon mi’s mission to India and the invention of Tibetan script. If Thon mi invented Tibetan script based on Indian script and com- posed Tibetan grammar after learning Sanskrit grammar, then what are the influences of Sanskrit grammar on the Tibetan language? Regarding script, Tibetan historians agree on the general idea of the invention of Tibetan script based on Indian script, but what kind of Indian script he used as the base of Tibetan script is uncertain. We find different ac- 16 Bsod nams rgyal mtshan, fol. 75b-76a: Thos mi sambhadra zhes pa yid gzhungs pa / dbang po rno ba / yon tan du ma dang ldan pa cig yod pa la / gser mang po bskur nas / rgya gar du yi ge slob du tang ngo / der blon pos rgya gar lho phyogs su phyin te // “There was a [men] called Thon mi Sambhadra, very reliable, intelligent and having many good qualities. He was sent to India with lots of gold to learn letter (yi ge). Then minister [Thon mi] went to South India.” Dpa’ bo gtsug lag ’phreng ba, 1986, I:178: Thon gyi lug ra kha nas thon mi a nu ra ka ta’i bu thon mi sambhodra bya ba’i mi chung blo gsal ba zhig la gser phye bre gang bskur ste tang skad // de yis rgya gar kun myul lho phyogs la phyin // “It is said so that a small and very intelligent man called Thon mi Sambhodra, a son of Thon mi A nu ra ka ta from Lug ra kha of Thon, was given one Bre of powder gold. He wandered all over India and went to South”. 17 Tshe tan zhabs drung, 1989:7-8. 18 Laufer 1917. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 22 Part 1. Introduction counts by different historians, i.e. Kashmirian script19, Devanagari script and the most commonly accepted by Tibetans, the Vardula script, as the origin of dbu med script, and the Lantsha script as the origin of dbu can. But Dge ’dun chos ’phel said in his Deb ther dkar po that Thon mi traveled to India during the reign of a Gupta king in which case Thon mi may have invented the Tibetan script based on the Gupta script. He also confirmed that the Gupta script which he witnessed in India, written on copper slate, at first sight looked exactly like Tibetan20. What kind of Sanskrit grammar elements Thon mi borrowed in Ti- betan grammar is explained and analysed by Tibetan and Western schol- ars. Si tu paöchen clearly expressed the influence of Sanskrit grammar on the Tibetan language in his commentary. He said: don thob kyi dbang gis don rjod par byed pa’i skad rigs thams cad la rnam dbye de rnams med pa mi srid pas mkhan po ’dis bod kyi dkad la’ang legs sbyar dang bstun nas rnam dbye de rnams kyi ’jug pa gsal bar mdzad pa yin no // 21 “In fact, it is impossible not to have the cases in each and every lan- guage which explain meaning. Therefore, teacher (mkhan po) has clearly explained the functions of cases in the Tibetan language according to San- skrit.” A few times Si tu paöchen referred and compared Tibetan to San- skrit grammar in his commentary on SCP when explaining cases like ‘action toward object’, ‘second case’ and ‘including particle’,22 etc. Dharmabhadra also referred to CŒndravyŒkaraöa when explaining the possessive particle23. If both scholars refer to Sanskrit grammar regard- 19 Bu ston rin chen grub, 1988, p.182: Bod kyi skad dang bstun nas gsal byed sum cu tham pa dang âli bzhir bsdus te gzugs kha che’i yi ge bstun nas lha sa’i sku mkhar ma rur bcos nas…/ “According to the Tibetan language he [Thon mi] invented thirty conso- nants and four âlis based on Kashmirian script (kha che’i yi ge) at Sku mkhar ma rur”. In modern Tibetan language the word ‘kha che’ denotes Musilm rather than Kashmir. 20 Dge ’dun chos ’phel, 1976:132.12: de nas (des na) bod yig gang yang dper bcad pa’i phyi mo de yang gupta’i yi ge ’di yin nam snyam // “Therefore, it seems that Gupta letter was the root source of invention of all kinds of Tibetan letters”. 21 Si tu paöchen, 1987:326-327. 22 Si tu paöchen, 1987:30, 61. 23 Mkhas mchog Dngul chu yab sras, 1986:26. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 4. Number of grammar treatises 23 ing cases and some particles, do they have any references to Sanskrit grammar in TKJ? In Si tu paöchen’s TKJ commentary there is no refer- ence to Sanskrit regarding gender classification and four functions of five prefix letters. But he makes some comparisons between Tibetan cases with Sanskrit while explaining how to draw case endings by suffix letters. There is no reference or comparison at all made by Dharmabhadra in his TKJ commentary. However, modern scholars have shown that the style and structure of Tibetan grammar was mod- eled on Sanskrit grammar. Hence, we can find many techniques and terms similar to Sanskrit grammar in SCP. Verhagen, one of the promi- nent scholars of both Sanskrit and Tibetan grammar, said: Structure, devices and techniques found in Indic vyŒkaraöa strongly influenced grammatical science in Tibet; they often served as models for the description of linguistic phenomena as found in the traditions of indige- nous Tibetan grammar24. More about the influence of Sanskrit vyŒkaraöa in Tibetan grammar can be found in the book Tibetan Literature25. 4. Number of grammar treatises Of the eight grammar treatises composed by Thon mi six were sup- posed to have disappeared during the religious persecutions at the be- ginning of the ninth century; only SCP and TKJ remain. But when we read Dpa’a bo gtsug lag ’phreng ba’s history of religion, he gives us an impression that he is not sure about the composition of eight grammar treatises by Thon mi. He says: “It is said that Thon mi composed a Mdo 24 Cabezon-Jackson, 1996:423. 25 Cabezon-Jackson, 1996:422-437 (“Influence of Indic VyŒkarana in Tibetan Indige- nous Grammar”). ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 24 Part 1. Introduction rje’i sgra mdo and eight grammar treatises”26. Among the six lost trea- tises, titles for two of them Mun pa’i sgron me and Klu dbang mgul rgyan were suggested by Inaba and Miller27. They said that the Mun pa’i sgron me is a method for reading the Indian language. Zha lu lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po also suggested this. Maybe Tucci, who was the source of information for the two mentioned modern scholars, also re- ferred to Chos skyong bzang po28. Dkar leb drung yig (1858-?)29 ex- plains little about Klu dbang mgul rgyan. He said, in Klu dbang mgul rgyan there were some questions, answers (dris lan), and practical ex- amples (lag ’khrid), but it was not composed as a treatise and was among the six grammar treatises which were supposed to have disap- peared during the reign of Glang dar ma (838-842)30. Moreover, he said, 26 Dpa’ bo gtsug lag ’phreng ba, 1986, 1:180.15: Thon mi mdo rje’i sgra mdo dang // sum rtags la sogs brda sprod kyi // bstan bcos brgyad yang mdzad ces grags // “It is said so that Thon mi composed Mdo rje’i sgra mdo and eight grammar treatises, Sum rtags and others”. 27 Miller, 1976:86-87: “Inaba quotes in Japanese translation the commentary to the SCP by Dharmabhadra (1441-1526), the Tohoku zogai mokuroku no.7071, citing pp.2a-b, as follows (in my English translation): ‘The Mun pa’i sgron me, which Thon mi’s said to have written, was probably written by Thon mi, but it is a method for reading the language of India, and it is not something which deals with the Tibetan language.’ Apart from this notice, nothing is known of this work; the title did not come to my atten- tion in 1963, and should now be added to Miller 1963, p.486, note 10 [= p.2 above], alongside the notice of the Klu dbang mgul rgyan (on which cf. Inaba, pp.25-26; he is basing himself on the same notice in Tucci which was my earlier source, and is able to add nothing about this text, of which once again only the name is known)”. 28 Mkha’ ’gro tshe ring, 1997:3: Thon mis mdzad par grags pa’i Mun pa’i sgron me ni Thon mis mdzad srid na’ang / rgya gar gyi skad klog tshul yin gyi / bod kyi skad la ’jug pa min no // “It is possible that Mun pa’i sgron me could have been written by Thon mi as was said, but it is about the method for reading the Indian language and does not fit with the Tibetan language”. 29 He was a secretary of the monastery called Dkar lob in South Western Tibet, and wrote a few commentaries on Tibetan grammar as well as a few articles on ‘answers to the objections’ (dgag lan). 30 Mkhang dkar tshul khrims skal bzang, 1985, pp103-110. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 5. Authenticity of two grammar texts 25 no one had seen or heard of this text31. What those six texts were like and whether they really existed or not is an open question. 5. Authenticity of two grammar texts Esssentially, Tibetan historians and grammarians have never ques- tioned the authorship of the two texts and they are reluctant to accept that someone other than Thon mi composed the two grammar treatises32. It was only when foreign scholars took an interest in Tibetan literature in general and particularly in Tibetan grammar, that the question of its au- thorship was raised. Among them the Hungarian Tibetologist Geza Uray was the one who first suggested that SCP and TKJ might have been 31 Dkar lebs drung yig Pad ma rdo rje, 1992:292: sngon dus thu mis klu mgul du // dres lan mchan bu kha ’thor dang // lag ’khrid mngon sum btab pa las // rnam bshad brtsams pa med ces grags // ’ga’ res thu mis rnam bshad de // nubs pa’i bstan bcos drug khongs te // dar ma yan la yod ’dod kyang // sus kyang dpe rgyun mthong thos med // “In ancient time, Klu mgul was taught in a practical way (lag ’khrid), and it contains a few answers to questions. It is said that it was not composed as a treatise. Some people believe that it is among the six grammar texts which disappeared, believed to have existed before Glang dar ma, but no one has seen or heard of this text”. 32 Pad ma rgyal mtshan, 2000:45.16: deng sang phyi’i mkhas pa ’ga’ zhig dang de’i rgyu mtshan la mkhas par mthong mkhan bod pa ’ga’ zhig gis kyang sum rtags rtsa ba Thon mis brtsams pa ma yin te phrad sogs sbyor tshul sngon gyi yig rnying dang sum rtags rtsa ba nas bshad pa mi mthun pas bkas bcad skabs Ska Cog sogs kyis brtsams par yang ’dod pa sogs rgyu mtshan rnams kho bos blta dus gnyid lab byas pa lta bu zhig las bod kyi sum rtags rtsa ba’i bstan tshul yang dag ma shes pas nongs nas de ltar grags skam la re bas bshad pa’i tshig skam zhig tu snang / “In recent times several Western scholars and their Tibetan followers have argued that Sum rtags was not composed by Thon mi. It was composed by sKa ba dpal rtsegs and Cog ro klu yi rgyal mtshan during the language revision in Tibet. Hence, the way of inserting particles found in the ancient documents and what is explained in Sum rtags do not agree. When I look at their argu- ment, it is like people who talk in their sleep. They did not understand the real meaning of the root text Sum rtags. In fact, those things are to increase their own fame. Therefore, it is just a barren word”.Also see: Bod yig brda chad tshad ldan du sgyur ba’i las don u lhan (ed), 1999:17,40 (articles by Dmu dge bsam gtan and Dung dkar Blo bzang ’phrin las). ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 26 Part 1. Introduction compiled later than is explained in Tibetan histories. He also gave two hypothetical possibilities for the authorship of SCP and TKJ and the Ti- betan script, viz. either Thon mi reformed the Tibetan alphabet and sys- temized its grammar or Thon mi invented only Tibetan script and the composition of grammar work was carried out by someone else later33. As a result of historical findings, such as the lack of mention of Thon mi as the inventor of Tibetan script and grammar in the Dunhuang docu- ments, and that Bu ston rin chen grub was the first Tibetan historian who attributed the two grammatical texts to Thon mi, modern scholars are not sure about the authorship of the two texts.34 It is worth mentioning here that, in fact, in the Lde’u chos ’byung, a Tibetan historical work written in the middle of the thirteenth century35 by Lde’u Jo sras, i.e. earlier than Bu ston’s history of religion, it is ex- plained that Thon mi invented the Tibetan script. Perhaps this text was not readily available outside Tibet in the early 1970s for modern Tibetologists when they were at the height of discussion about the au- thorship of the two grammar text. Moreover, as I understand the follow- ing text from Lde’u chos ’byung at the very least, Thon mi invented some rules like the tsheg and shad system in Tibetan literary language. Lde’u Jo sras presented Thon mi among a group of wise people, but not as a minister of the king. Lde’u Jo sras stated: gsum du ’dzangs pa mthon mi bsam po tra // ka ka ki ki ku ku zhabs khyud byas / ra ra ri ri gtsang gi yig ma ro // shad kyis bar bcad tshag gis smra bar byed / / 33 Miller 1976:2: “The only significant exception has been Uray Geza, who concluded his study of the Tibetan script and its development by saying, ‘‘we must conclude that the Sum rtags was compiled at later date than the introduction of writing”. 34 Miller 1976:2: “The association of Thon-mi Sambhota with SCP and RKHP first is observed in Tibet in the ecclesiastical history of Bu ston (1290-1364)”. 35 Martin 1997:44 n.55: “Lde’u Jo-sras, Chos ’byung chen mo Bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan Lde’u Jo sras kyis mdzad pa, (cover title: Lde’u Chos ’byung), Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang (Lhasa, 1987). This is the shorter version of the same history. Accord- ing to L. van der Kuijp (in the article cited below), this version is earlier, perhaps mid-13th century”. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 5. Authenticity of two grammar texts 27 de’i gong na bod la yig ge med // 36 “The third wise person is Mthon mi Bsampotra. ka ka ki ki ku ku were joined (byas) with zhabs khyu (‘u’). ra ra ri ri (gtsang gi yig ma mo)37. Sep- arated by shad and expressed by tshag. Before that Tibet did not have let- ters.” Again he said: rgya’i mkhas pa li byin la bod phrug thon mi ’bring to mi a nus yi ge bslabs nas / ka smad sum bcur sgrigs / 38 “A Tibetan boy, ’Bring to mi a nu, learnt letters from the Indian (rgya) scholar called Li byin and compiled thirty consonants (ka smad).” Lde’u Jo sras mentioned here two different names, Mthon mi and ’Bring to mi a nu, as the men who invented Tibetan letters and consonants. This may represent two different names of a single person, or they were the names of two different people. For that matter, the name of the author of the Tibetan grammar and the person whom we consider the inventor of Tibetan letters are not always the same in later Tibetan literature. We can find spelling variations in the first word “Thon mi”: Mthon mi, ’Thon mi, Thon mi, Thu mi, Thos mi; and the second part of the name is recorded as either Sambho a or A nu39. Zha lu lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po (1441-1527) did not have any doubt regarding the authorship of SCP and TKJ, but in the colophon of his treatise Bod kyi brda’i bstan bcos legs par bshad pa rin po che’i za ma tog he stated: kho bos mkhan po thon mi gzhung // sum cu pa dang rtags ’jug gi / / don yang legs par gtan la phab // 40 “I also duly established the meaning of Sum cu pa and Rtags ’jug – a trea- tise of the scholar Thon mi.” 36 Chos ’dzoms (ed.) lDe’u chos ’byung, 1987. 37 It is difficult to translate and explain what it exactly means. 38 Chos ’dzoms (ed.) lDe’u chos ’byung, 1987, p. 114.15, p. 117.10. 39 Miller 1976:3-4. 40 Zha lu Chos skyong bzang po 1992, fol. 62b3. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 28 Part 1. Introduction From the above verses it seems to me that Zha lu lo tsa ba had also done some revisions on SCP and TKJ. Thus, as the verses were trans- lated above, I would understand that he established or finalized the meaning Sum cu pa and Rtags ’jug. But if SCP and TKJ had been com- posed several centuries before him, then what are the meanings of SCP and TKJ he established (gtan la phab) in hisZa ma tog? It is also possi- ble that the expression gtan la phab means ‘he explained’, because the meaning carried by a word very much depends upon the motivation of the one who says it. It is true that the earliest available Tibetan grammar works, Smra sgo mtshon cha and the grammar texts attributed to Sakya paö¶ita never mentioned anyone called Thon mi nor anyone else as a founder of Ti- betan grammar. Instead, without mentioning the specific name of the person, Sakya paö¶ita in his Mkhas pa ’jug pa’i sgo, when he explained the long and short (ring thung) sound differences in Tibetan language, said: bod kyi rgan po rnams kyi ma mdzad do Ð ‘not composed by old Tibetans’41, and in his Byis pa bde blag tu ’jug pa’i rnam bshad, in con- nection with the articulation of the letters, he said: sngon gyi rgan po dag gis sbyar ba’i yi ge’i mdo zhes bya ba las / kho bos bshad pa’i bstan bcos ’di dang ’byung gnas mi ’dra pa yod Ð ‘what I explained in this treatise and the Grammar Sutra (Yi ge’i mdo) composed by old Tibetans do not agree on articulation’42. Therefore, it is hinted that before Sakya 41 Ngag dbang blo bzang and Mgon po rgyal mtshan (eds.), 1981, p. 23.15: de’i stobs kyi rnam dbye tshig gis bsgrub pa’i tshul bod kyi rgan po rnams kyis ma mdzad do // “Because of that, the way of establishing case by words was not composed by old Tibet- ans”. Ibid. p. 26: bod la’ang ring thung dang drag zhan la sogs pa’i sgra / kha ba kha ba sang sang zhes bya ba lta bu don la yod kyang de dag di rtags rgan po rnams kyis ma mdzad de / skabs dang don gyis go dgos so // “In fact, Tibetan [language] also has a long and short sounds, strong and weak sounds, for example, kha ba kha ba and sang sang, but those markers were not composed by old Tibetans”. 42 Bsod nams rgya mtsho (ed.), SK, vol. Tha, fol. 242bl4: sngon gyi rgan po dag gis sbyar ba’i yi ge’i mdo zhes bya ba las / kho bos bshad pa’i bstan bcos ’di dang ’byung gnas mi ’dra ba yod / mi ’dra gnyis po gang bden na / rang gi kha lce yid la dris / “The ar- ticulation of letters explained in the Grammar Sutra composed by old Tibetans and what I said in this treatise are different. If one has to know what is right and what is wrong just ask one’s own mouth, tongue, and mind”. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== 5. Authenticity of two grammar texts 29 paö¶ita, without mentioning Smra sgo mtshon cha, there were at least one or two Tibetan grammar commentaries composed by Tibetans themselves. I think that Sakya paö¶ita would not have called his scholar ancestors, like Bsod nams rtse mo and others, by the name bod kyi rgan po Ð ‘old Tibetan’. If there were a grammar text composed by ‘old Tibet- ans’, as was said by Sakya paö¶ita, then the question arises, who com- posed it and what were those texts? But Pad ma rgyal mtshan43 is not certain if any Tibetan grammar work had been done before Sakya paö¶ita44. Moreover, the catalogue of works on Tibetan grammar pre- pared by Tshe tan zhabs drung does not mention any Tibetan grammar commentary before Sakya paö¶ita45. In conclusion, both ideas, i.e. that Thon mi was the author of SCP and TKJ or that he was not the author of those two texts, seem rather to have been devised by later grammarians, who did not have any reliable evidence to prove their positions. Most probably, questions like the number of Tibetan grammar treatises and authorship will not be solved. It may be a sound reason for the argument that Thon mi prepared the ba- sic framework of Tibetan grammar, like the classification of vowels, prefix letters, suffix letters, cases, and particles, and sometime later im- proved and systematized the rules and put into proper verse the version which we call now Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi ’jug pa. Thus, in the earliest Tibetan chronicles from the eighth and the ninth centuries, those found in the Dunhuang caves, one could find different ways of inserting prefix 43 Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi. 44 Pad ma rgyal mtshan 2000:65.16: sum rtags kyi ’grel ba thog ma dus rabs bcu gnyis pa’i mjug dang bcu gsum pa’i ’go nas byung ba yin / “Commentary on Sum cu pa and rTags kyi ’jug pa appeared between end of the twelth century and the beginning of the thirteenth century”. Ibid. p. 200.1: dus rabs bdun par Thon mis sum rtags brtsams kyang rjes su mkhas pa rnams kyis phyag ’chang ba’i lo rgyus dang mthong rgyu dus rabs bcu gnyis bar gsal kha med pa dang / “Although Thon mi composed Tibetan grammar (sum rtags) in the seventh century, we do not have any clear historical evidence that any scholars worked on Tibetan grammar from the seventh century till the twelfth century”. 45 Tshe tan zhabs drung 1989:190-199. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw==
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System of Classical Tibetan Grammar
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