This monograph owes its existence to certain puzzles in universal grammar and the theory of language which led the author to an investigation of word order in Sanskrit and its possible analyses and descriptions. Not unexpectedly, the raw material was found to be too vast for a first-hand treatment even to be attempted. Rather surprisingly, however, its inter- pretations by Indian and Western theorists and grammarians turned out to be so greatly at variance, that an analysis of these interpretations seemed rewarding. Accordingly, theoretical issues within the framework of generative grammar had to be faced anew, and alternative solutions suggested them- selves. In this connexion the Sanskrit grammarians proved not only in- spiring but positively helpful. This book may invite the accusation that it wilfully mixes disciplines. There were alternatives: one could try to write a history of the subject; or construct a merely formal edifice, leaving it to others to test its adequacy; or else one could make the notorious attempt to stick to the facts, which is not only unilluminating but also bound to fail. Any such self-imposed restrictions seemed to conflict with the original intent. And so it was decided not only to make available the results of the investigation into Sanskrit word order, but also to introduce a theory of universal grammar to account for these and other results.
Word Order in Sanskrit and Universal Grammar
av J. F. Staal
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