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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:15 am 
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According to indian pronunciation of J in the compound JNA it is pronounced as G or K. This is the modern and ancient pronunciation of jna, it is present in the words prajna and jnana. Jna is also the root in several european words like: know, gnosis, kennen (ger), känna (swe), etc... There are many good tutorials of sanskrit available, and thus you can cease to say for ex "Prashna Paramita" which really hurts one's ears.
N in JNA is like in the spanish word manana (morning).

Language is a living thing, and sanskrit pronunciation has developed into different forms in traditional buddhist countries. These developments have to be accepted, thus in China prajna is said buore, with a nonexistent R, etc...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:35 pm 
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http://www.scribd.com/doc/36110969/Wikn ... troductory

see 7.A.5

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:32 am 
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Sorry, the machine I'm using right now couldn't open the link you gave!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:23 pm 
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The word prashna means query, especially an astrological query about your future. There is Prashna marga, path of astrology, and Prashna padavi, horary astrology, etc..

Here is list of sanskrit words with a sound file for pronunciation, where you will find the word Jnana, knowledge.
http://www.sanskrit-sanscrito.com.ar/en/sanskrit_pronunciation/pronunciation2.html

The http://acharya.iitm.ac.in/sanskrit/lessons.php have sanskrit lessons with sound files, where you can find the pronunciation of the word Prajna, wisdom.

best wishes !

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:51 pm 
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I'm still not convinced. In your first post how can you say it was the ancient pronunciation? How can anyone know? Remember Sanskrit is a written language. The Pali for jnana is n~ana, and pronounced highly nasalised. If you listen to Divya Rao she pronounces the Sanskrit this way too. Whether is "sh" or "gy" gets lost in the nose.

There is also the issue of dialects. Europians pronounce "th" or "w" differently. Why would there have been / still be dialects? My teacher says there is a Kashmiri Sanskrit. So I don't think this is such an open and shut case. The value of Sanskrit is in the grammar in any case, less the lyricism.

maybay

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:10 pm 
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maybay wrote:
I'm still not convinced. In your first post how can you say it was the ancient pronunciation? How can anyone know? Remember Sanskrit is a written language. The Pali for jnana is n~ana, and pronounced highly nasalised. If you listen to Divya Rao she pronounces the Sanskrit this way too. Whether is "sh" or "gy" gets lost in the nose.

There is also the issue of dialects. Europians pronounce "th" or "w" differently. Why would there have been / still be dialects? My teacher says there is a Kashmiri Sanskrit. So I don't think this is such an open and shut case. The value of Sanskrit is in the grammar in any case, less the lyricism.

maybay


The pronunciation of jna is explained in the book Sanskrit Self Taught. Sanskrit has been a recited language for thousands of years, in that sense it has never ceased to be a pronounced language. I have discussed the Jna with a european who was a sadhu in India for a considerable length of time. He said that there is some variation in its pronunciation, for example the Bengali way of pronunciation, but normally it is very clearly said as I said before, that is his experience.

There is a professor of sanskrit in Europe who went to India after studying and teaching sanskrit for twenty or thirty years, and nobody understood what he said!! Perhaps this gives you some idea about the difficulties we are facing?

In Panini's rules there are rules about pronunciation, for example it says that long A is different than short A. Sanskrit Self Taught explains its meaning being that the long A is similar in sound to scandinavian or german Ä. You can hear this sometimes unmistakably clearly. They must be doing it unconsciously because there is no sign for Ä in sanskrit, or because of learning it through hearing.

We know it is the ancient pronunciation because JNA is root to many european words, like cognize, know, etc...

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:05 am 
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Why did you start this thread?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:25 pm 
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I was very glad when I found the sanskrit tutorials that now exist in the internet. They were not there ten years ago, and who knows how long will they be there ? I was especially glad when I found that there are sound files of sanskrit pronunciation attached, so I took up the old issue of correct pronunciation of Prajna & Jnana, as an example.
Also there is, for example in Zen circles, a habit of saying the name Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra in sanskrit, they even recite the whole Hridaya Sutra in sanskrit in some centres. I believe it would be useful to be able to say the word Prajna correctly. The correct pronunciation is easier and more natural than what they painstakingly say in Zen circles and else where.
I thought all of this is such a great pity, so why not say something about it ?

with best wishes !

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Actually, in North India jña is usually pronounced gya, not gnya. In Maharashtra it's dnya; in South India often gna. So it's misleading to suggest that gnya is generally agreed to be the correct pronunciation in India. You mention that Pāṇini has strict rules about pronounction, but in the Sanskrit grammatical tradition itself it's very clear that j + ñ is simply the combination of those two sounds. See, for example, Nageśa's 17th century commentary on the Siddhāntakaumudī's citation of a rule जञोर्ज्ञः "j+ñ =jñ":

Quote:
जञोर्ज्ञ इति। जञयोगे लोकवेदसिद्धतादृशध्वनेर्लिपिविशेषस्य चानुवादकमभियुक्तवचनं, न त्विदं वर्णान्तरं शिक्षादावपरिगणितत्वेन तत्सत्त्वे मानाभावात्। (Laghuśabdenduśekhara Vol. II p. 957)

'j+ñ =jñ.' This rule concerns the actual sound of the combination of j and ñ, known in both worldly and vedic usage, as well as its special written character. It is not, however, a separate phoneme, because [the grammarians] do not consider such a phoneme to exist, as it is not mentioned in any of the Śikṣās (the treatises on Sanskrit pronunciation).


You can't get a more explicit denial than that. Western comparative linguistics agrees: although the root jñā "to know" is a cognate of Greek γνω, the palatization of g—>j occurred in the pre-Indo-Aryan stage, and every Western description of Old Indo-Aryan phonology I've read also states that jña represents the palatal nasal following the voiced, aspirated stop of the same class (Masica, The Indo-Aryan Languages, 158–159).

Educated modern Hindi-speakers are also aware that the pronunciation gya is अशुद्ध "impure" and भ्रम "mistaken", see for example this discussion (in Hindi).

I pronounce jña as gya, and I agree that dznya sounds ugly, but gya is NOT the original pronunciation, and there's nothing wrong with people who prefer to follow a "restored pronunciation." If they do so correctly, there's also no danger of prajñā "wisdom" sounding the same as praśna "a question".


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:36 am 
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The palatalization of G into J was not universal it seems, because we have the words Gnosis and Knowledge, and because there are areas in India where they prononunce jña as gña. Which is a pronunciation taught in the Sanskrit tutorials I found in the Internet.
Translator Thomas Cleary is of the opinion that Jña is cognate with the words Gnosis and Knowledge.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Thomas Cleary's area of expertise is way on the other side of the Himalayas.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Aemilius wrote:
The palatalization of G into J was not universal it seems, because we have the words Gnosis and Knowledge, and because there are areas in India where they prononunce jña as gña. Which is a pronunciation taught in the Sanskrit tutorials I found in the Internet.
Translator Thomas Cleary is of the opinion that Jña is cognate with the words Gnosis and Knowledge.



Yup, every good Tibetan pronounces it 'Yeshe'! LOL :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:14 am 
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I agreed that "jñā" is related to "gnosis" and "knowledge", but somewhere in Sanskrit's evolution from Proto-Indo-European, velar stops were palatized before nasals.

This is a general feature of Sanskrit, not just the root jñā: Sanskrit jānu (knee) vs. Latin genū (and of course, English knee, German Knie, French genou, etc.), Sanskrit jana (a generation, a group born together, eventually meaning "a race", "a people") vs Latin genus (exact same meaning).

It's built into the structure of the Sanskrit language. None of the Śikṣās or Prātiśākhyas (the treatises on Vedic pronunciation) mention any regional variation in this. Not that I've read them all myself, but the quote by Nāgeśa Bhaṭṭa should be sufficient evidence—he was one of the greatest grammarians of the 17-18th ct. renaissance of Sanskrit learning.

I also stressed that there are many modern pronunciations, not just one: gya/gnya/dnya/gna. I have no problem with people using any of them. I say "gya", because all my teachers use "gya", it's easier to say, and I think it sounds more beautiful. The problem is claiming that "gnya" is the original, correct pronunciation. Traditional Sanskrit grammar and Western linguistics agree that this is false.

One thing I didn't mention is that gya/gnya/etc. are modern pronunciations of tatsama words (direct borrowings from Sanskrit into modern languages), not organic developments of Middle and Modern Indo-Aryan phonology, so you can't use them as evidence for ancient phonology. Tadbhava equivalents (natural descendants of Sanskrit words) are Pāli ñāṇa & Hindi jānanā "to know", which both indicate an original palatal.

It's equivalent to using the modern English pronunciation of genus species as "jeanus speeshees" to make claims about 5th ct. BC Roman phonology.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:32 am 
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Aemilius wrote:
The palatalization of G into J was not universal it seems, because we have the words Gnosis and Knowledge, and because there are areas in India where they prononunce jña as gña. Which is a pronunciation taught in the Sanskrit tutorials I found in the Internet.
Translator Thomas Cleary is of the opinion that Jña is cognate with the words Gnosis and Knowledge.


There are of course many cognates between the various modern and ancient Indo-European languages. However, among the elements that distinguish these languages are the distinct and general sound changes they underwent. One example of these sound changes resulted in the appearance of the cognate of gnō in the slavic language, zna, which can be seen in words such as znati, poznať, знать, all with a meaning of "to know".

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:23 pm 
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Thanks, Tantular, you really know your stuff. :)

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Huifeng wrote:
Thanks, Tantular, you really know your stuff. :)


Seconded :thumbsup:

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