Introduction to the Course of Theoretical Linguistics
Last Updated: October 5, 2008
Comparative study of the Concept of the Word in
the Eastern and Western Thought. By Vladimir.
This study is an attempt to overview certain important aspects of linguistics and treatment of semantics in different linguistic traditions, especially Indian. It has a particular aim to present a possible solution for a new direction of research which may offer a new approach to semantics and to the metaphysical and psychological understanding of ourselves and the world in a more integral manner.
In this study we use different approaches: historical, psychological, philosophical and linguistic. It is important to understand the shift in the metaphysical paradigm, as well as linguistic and psychological views on men and the world.
In the first part we examine the Vedic paradigm of knowledge and linguistics with many important quotes and examples from the original texts. From the Vedic (archaic and magical) structure we move to the Vedantic intuitive approach with mythical structure and then to the Tantric approaches to knowledge and language. In between we examine major theories of language as presented by Yaska in his Nirukta (600 BC), Patanjali in his Mahabhashya (200 BC), Bhartrihari (400 AD) and the schools of Sphota which followed after.
In the second part we make an overview of the Western Thought starting from Hebrews and Greeks: Moses, Socrates, Aristotle, and ending with Chomsky and Katz in the fields of generative grammar.
In the third part there is a comparative overview of the levels of the Word as it is presented in Tantra with the Western approaches to language and semantics, which clearly shows on what level Western studies took place from the point of view of Tantra, and what definition of semantics they could get from those levels.
In the conclusion we present a new approach to the semantics on the basis of the transparent etymological system of Sanskrit language, which in itself can lead us to a new Science of language and especially semantics.
This study is the first draft and is to be seen as the beginning of a new approach to the Semantics and Linguistics, based on a more serious and deeper look into the nature of our Language.
A shift of paradigm from the Vedic to the Post-Vedic Epistemologies.
A shift of epistemological paradigm took place several times in the history of mankind. In the Vedic times, for instance, the Word as a faculty of Consciousness was perceived and referred to as creative and formative of thought, and only later as indicative of and completely dependent on it. This particular shift led eventually to the emergence of the theory of Sphota and Tantric theories of the Word and then eventually to the modern understanding of language. Greeks, for instance, did not have such a problem, for their civilization was mainly formed and started to be conscious of itself only after the time of great Mysteries; they were already grounded in a new perception of language, though some archaic statements, the memories of the past Mysteries, can still be found scattered here and there in the literature but nevertheless do not determine the overall understanding and approach to language.
In India the original perception of the Word was preserved by the Vedic tradition and developed fully, though already within a new mindset, by a number of schools of grammar in the post Vedic period, the most famous of which were Nirukta of Yaska, Ashtadhyayi of Panini, Mahabhashya of Patanjali, Vakyapadiya of Bhartrihari, Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta and others.
Tantras in this regard are to be mentioned separately here as a unique synthesis, for they have preserved and developed the ancient perception of the Word in a new fashion, using already rational mind, which by its nature radically differs from that of the Vedas. Thus we find in Tantra this interesting blend of deep prehistoric views on the Word (of archaic, magic and mythical structures) combined with modern rational way of symmetric classification, making up a rational system within or from the infra-rational or rather supra-rational framework. So, it was an attempt to rationally describe something, which had altogether another epistemology of the Vedic mind, where the Word was perceived as independent from the Mind.
Besides all this, Sanskrit was the only language which has preserved its own original and complete system of etymons, simple sound-ideas, and did not require any other language to explain its own derivations, for all the evidence was contained in its own basic system of roots, and referred to it alone. The Sanskrit vocabulary is based on the organic interrelation of meaning and sound, being regular throughout the system; therefore the meaning of the word was never mis-taken for the form of object it designated. The meaning of the word was inherent within the system of roots, sound-ideas, and could designate any object in a particular context, for it was revealing and referring to its own meaning and only reflecting it in the object, where the object was seen as a result molded by its meaning.
Sri Aurobindo explains the nature of Vedic perception of Language:
The Vedic Sanskrit ... abounds in a variety of forms and inflexions; it is fluid and vague, yet richly subtle in its use of cases and tenses. And on its psychological side it has not yet crystallized, is not entirely hardened into the rigid forms of intellectual precision. The word for the Vedic Rishi is still a living thing, a thing of power, creative, formative. It is not yet a conventional symbol for an idea, but itself the parent and former of ideas. It carries within it the memory of its roots, is still conscient of its own history.
Approaching the Veda with the rational mind without recognizing the difference in epistemological framework may lead, and often did lead, to many and even serious inaccuracies in the interpretation of the text in the West and even in India.
Sri Aurobindo recognized and defined the difference in approaches to knowledge, the shift of paradigm from the Vedic to the Vedantic and later metaphysical approach to Knowledge, how the Vedas have determined all other schools of Indian Philosophy, Darshanas, and eventually the manifestation of all Indian Civilisation:
The Veda is not logical, - says Sri Aurobindo - does not really confute anything; its method is experiential, intuitional; its principle is to receive all experiences, all perceptions of truth about the Brahman, and either to place them side by side in order of experience and occasional relation, as in the Sanhitas, or to arrange them in order of perception and fundamental relation, as in the Upanishads, putting each in its place, correcting misplacement and exaggeration, but not excluding, not destroying. Harmony, synthesis is the law of the Veda, not discord and a disjection of the members of truth in order to replace the many-sided reality of existence by a narrower logical symmetry. But the metaphysical philosophies are compelled by the law of their being to effect precisely this disjection. Veda can admit two propositions that are logically contradictory, so long as they are statements of fundamental experience and perception; it does not get rid of the contradiction by denying experience but seeks instead the higher truth in which the apparent contradiction is reconciled. Logic, by its very nature, is intolerant even of apparent contradiction; its method is verbal, ideative; it accepts words and thoughts as rigid and iron facts instead of what they really are, imperfect symbols and separate sidelights on truth.
Being and Non-being are ideas opposed to each other; therefore, in logic, one or the other must be excluded. (The language of the Sruti is remarkable, asat ekam ev?dvit?yam, Non-being one without a second, and shows that the old use of not-being differs from our idea of nothingness.) The One cannot be at the same time the Many; therefore, in logic, either the Many is an illusion, or Duality is the fundamental reality of things. Brahman is Nirguna, without qualities, beyond definition; therefore, to the rigid Advaitins, the Saguna Brahman, the Infinite Personality of God becomes a supreme myth of Maya, a basic and effective fact indeed, but basic and effective only in and of the grand cosmic illusion which It directs.
The battle is, finally a civil strife between Vedantist and Vedantist; temporarily victorious over rival schools, they turn to rend each other; but the strife is still mainly about fundamental perception. The great question now is the fundamental unity or difference between the supreme soul and the individual, or another, which would have astonished greatly the ancient Rishis, the question whether the world is false or real, - false, not only in its appearance to the senses, but per se, in itself, in its essence and its being. Thus has it come down to our own age, ever narrowing more and more, shorn of its victorious streams, awaiting its return to a wider flood and a more grandiose motion.
The Metaphysical shift of paradigm
(From the Vedic and Vedantic to the Sankhyaic epistemology).
The Vedantic approach to consciousness was a transition from the Vedic to the later metaphysical approaches of Sankhy? and Yoga.
Let us take a brief look into the Vedantic approach to Consciousness, which may help us to define the difference between the modern (Sankhyaic) and ancient (Vedic) episteme.
Brahman, according to the Taittiriya Upanishad 3.1.2, is described as annam pranam chakshush shrotram mano vacamiti, matter, breath, sight, hearing, mind, speech.
In Vedanta they also correspond to higher cognitive faculties of Consciousness, which were perceived by the Rishis as universal being reflected in the individual frame.
SEEING and HEARING, (Chakshuh-Shrotram), are mentioned constantly as a dvandva, pair, in the Vedic texts.
SEEING, DRISHTI, CAKSHUS, was seen by the Vedic Rishis as a faculty of consciousness which introduces a direct contact with what is being perceived. It can be translated in terms of a "direct evidence of the truth", (there is a Russian proverb: better to see once, than to hear a hundred times, which explains it quite well). Drishti in the Vedas is considered to be the ultimate faculty of Consciousness, as a revelation of the Truth. It is of direct and self-evident nature.
HEARING, SHRUTI, SHROTRAM, on the other hand, was seen as indirect evidence (like for instance an inspiration). Without this faculty we may not know the relation of the object we see with other objects we dont see. Its like we see a face, which tries to tell us something, but we cant hear it. We dont understand what it wants from us, because the intention is not always visible. So much so everything which is not yet manifest, realised, understood, is falling into this domain of Hearing, or indirect evidence of the Truth. It is of the nature of all-pervading Space, Spirit, connecting all into One Reality.
MANAS and VAK, was another constant dvandva in Vedanta.
MANAS, Mind, was perceived by the Vedic seers as the faculty of consciousness equal to Seeing and Hearing and not as the dominant principle, as it was understood later and especially in Sankhy? and Yoga. It was also considered to be equal to the Word-faculty, which later was completely subordinated and fully depending on it. In the Vedic paradigm MANAS was an active counterpart of the perceptive faculty of Seeing, rather than the sixth sense of the Sankhy?.
VAK, Speech, was considered to be an independent faculty of Consciousness, having its own power and character. It was seen as an expression or an active presentation of the All-pervading Spirit: Hearing. Brahman (lit. growing, expanding one) was referred to as Mantra in Rig Veda, and only later as a Spirit.
Thus, these four: chak?us, rotram, manas and v?k, according to Upanishads, constituted brahma chatu?p?d, Spirit on four legs through which Brahman was manifested in the world. PRANA very often symbolised the embodiment of Brahman itself, especially in the older Upanishads. It was also understood as the offspring of MANAS, as its father and VAK, as its mother (BrhUp). In this way the process of manifestation of the Spirit in matter was conceived, which made matter animated, annam (lit. "eatable"). Thus we have one more pair: PRANA-APANA, Breathing in and Breathing out, or PRANA- ANNA, Life and Matter (Prashna and Taittiriya Upanishads).
These three pairs are constantly mentioned in the Upanishads:
1) MANAS-VAC, (cp: Agni-Soma in Rig Veda);
2) CHAKSHUS-SHROTRAM, (cp: Nama-Rupa in Brahmanas)
3) PRANA-APANA, or PRANA-ANNAM (cp: Prashnopanishad)
Seeing and Hearing (Cakshus-Shrotram) are perceptive faculties, marked with (-), whereas Thinking and Speaking (Manas-Vak) are their active counterparts, marked with (+). These four are realised in the Manifestation of Life and Matter (Prana-Anna). Thinking and Seeing are related to Rupam, Form, as the expression of the aspect of Power, whereas Word and Hearing to Nama, Name, as the expression of the aspect of Knowledge. These two: Knowledge and Power are the constituents of the Supreme Consciousness known as Cit-Tapas, which is the source and origin of Nama and Rupa, constituting the phenomenon of consciousness in manifestation. It is by the Nama and Rupa that Brahman could enter its creation, according to the old Vedantic texts.
This paradigm radically differs from the one which started after with Sankhy?, classifying all the faculties of consciousness, treating them as the doors to the perception of the mind, manas, ego-sense, aha?k?ra, and higher intellect, buddhi. It is as if the universal and transcendental faculties of consciousness sight, hearing and word were submitted to the mind as their leader, surrendered to the mental perception. So from the time of Sankhy? the rational classification (which was known already in the Gita) started a new period of mental approach in every field of knowledge, ?stras.
The Sociological shift of paradigm.
Why should we then at all study ancient texts? Why should Hegel, Heidegger or Derrida refer constantly to Socrates and Aristotle? Is it only a historical reference or there is a need in it? To try to answer this question we should review some of the principles of the historical approach to the development of consciousness.
Jean Gebser in his The Ever-Present Origin, has discovered and defined the structures of consciousness for different developmental stages, naming them as archaic, magic, mythical, mental and integral. Every particular structure of consciousness has a particular perception of time and space. For instance, the mythic perception of time is that it is cyclic with the space being enclosed in it, whereas in the next developmental stage of the mental structure the time is seen as linear and space as a void, an empty space, in which everything can be located. Thus each developmental stage has its own perception of the individual and society.
Gebser discovered also that the awareness of the last integral stage is somehow present throughout all these structures of consciousness, for without it none of them could actually function and develop into the next one, and therefore the stage which has passed is still present, influencing the overall understanding.
Such a holistic view on the development of consciousness is of a great importance to us, for it can explain many difficult issues in the terms of social and personal psychology, and, especially, why and how these structures of consciousness still coexist within one individual consciousness. Why, for example, man, who seems to be completely rational, finds himself attracted to the magic or mythical issues and epistemologies. Actually the whole individual life of man is a symbolic representation of the development of these stages, starting from the embryonic life as archaic stage, and the childhood as magic and mythical to his adolescence as mythical and mental, and finally to his adulthood as mental and integral. So the phenomenon of consciousness cannot be fully described in terms of any of these structures separately, though they have in themselves this integral awareness.
So, going back to the magic or mythical beginning is important for us to build up a historical depth of our consciousness, to enlarge our own perception in order to have a glimpse of that integral awareness. It is always best to start from the beginning and to review the embryonic stages in order to know what it was and what it could become in the later stages of development.
Thus the study of ancient Greek Philosophy, for instance, is important for the Western scholar to recover his own beginnings of rationality. Ancient Greek philosophy was a transition from the mythical to the rational thinking: from Heraclites, Pythagoras and Socrates to Plato and finally to Aristotle. Aristotle can be considered as the beginning of a new developmental stage: rational mind in the West. This transition is full of original views, which are very conducive to the understanding of how reason functions and what was essential for it at the beginning and what is still essential for it now. It is a kind of embryology of the rational thinking. Therefore all modern philosophers go back to the study of Greek philosophy and thus build a deeper understanding of the functioning of their own mind.
If going back to the origins is so crucial for understanding of our present paradigm, in building up a holistic view in the mind or, in Gebserean terms, an integral stage of consciousness, then going back to the Vedic paradigm may be considered even more important, for it is a stage which preceded the great Indian and Greek civilizations, but was already unknown to the Greeks. This stage is hidden from us by the glory of the development and achievement of the later civilization. It can be studied but with a different approach than simply being rational, with an integral approach.
The rational mind unfortunately does not have such capacity. It is analyzing and judging the culture of another structure of consciousness without being even aware of what they actually represent, being not able to identify itself with their epistemological paradigm. The translations of the Rig Veda by the Western and even Indian scholars can clearly demonstrate this deficiency of the rational mind. The Rig Veda was and is still presented, if not barbarous compositions of a crude craftsmanship, as the text of superstitious Aryan tribes, who were invoking their imaginative gods as powers of Nature to help them in their battles for physical survival with the aboriginal robbers. And this impression is imposed on all Indian culture, since it always refers to the Veda. It goes so far as to belittle the most prominent and great thinkers and yogis of India even in modern times, such as Ramakrishna and Sri Aurobindo. The intolerant rational mind, whose depth of understanding is that of the Freudian perception, is trying to judge an integral awareness of Tantra and Veda! What can it know about them? It will see only its own projections and judge them in accordance with its own nature.
Therefore it is very important for us to define clearly the developmental stages where the paradigm of knowing was changed. Indian Spiritual tradition has fortunately preserved for us an uninterrupted history of these shifts of paradigm from the Veda to the Vedanta and then to the Gita, and then later to the Shastra and the Tantra.
Let us take a brief look at these shifts.
1) Veda (from 6000 BC) was not logical; it was not confuting anything, according to Sri Aurobindo. It was seeking the highest possible spiritual experience, seeking after the Truth. The experiences which seem contradictory to the mind unable to see deeper were put side by side regardless to their seeming contradictions, for the truth of their perception was recognized, which was sufficient for the purpose of the Veda: to recognize the Truth, there was no need to reconcile them for the satisfaction of the symmetrical thinking of the mind only.
2) Vedanta (fr. 2000 BC) is another great synthesis of knowledge, which, having recognized the validity of the Vedic experience, put it into the language more suitable for our mind. The great intuitions of the Vedic experience were put into order, the structure and the content of the text suggested the meaningful unfolding, but without scrutinizing it with a pure logical mind.
3) Gita (500 BC) is another great scripture, deconstructing the knowledge of the Veda and Vedanta and putting it into an intellectual, logical language of Sankhya and Yoga, which can be easily understood by the intellectual mind.
4) Tantra is another reformulation of the Vedic knowledge by the means of the rational mind. It is unique, in a way, for it is reviewing the Vedic paradigm, but within a rational mindset. This may explain many difficult places for its interpretation.
5) Shastra is based on pure scientific, rational mind, for instance, the treatises of Panini Ashtadhyayi, Yogasutras of Patanjali, Vakyapadiya of Bhartrihari, etc. etc.
There is one important element, we must mention here, which is binding all the stages and their shifts of paradigm, and that is Sanskrit. For all of them used a common language - Sanskrit.
Sanskrit is the language which pervaded all these developmental stages and made them coherent to each other over millennia. Such richness of Culture no other civilization on earth could even dream of! To have the same language for inquiry for over 5000-6000 years, where all the developmental stages were synthesized and finally presented in the consciousness of one nation, is unthought-of and cannot be easily understood by any, especially Western mentality with is scientific approach of over 200 years of history. It is not about the years, but about the depth of consciousness synthesizing different developmental stages within ones own collective and individual frame of consciousness.
The Linguistic shift of paradigm
The vast experiential approach to the studies of consciousness was the characteristic of the Vedic approach to knowledge. The Veda maintained that the Word was the creative power of the universe with the gods as its agents. The Word was perceived as an expression of the Supreme Consciousness in manifestation, creating all the creatures and their tongues as their self-expressions. Such was the beginning of our knowing. Rational mind cannot easily understand this view on the Word without penetrating deeper and deconstructing its own habitual structures of perception, allowing other structures to formulate their perceptions within the consciousness. Such ability requires a development of integral awareness.
In the Veda the Word was seen as a parent of Idea, rather than its expression. The sound value and the manner of expression within the consciousness of man, that is his emotional and substantive content of the voice and sound, were perceived as creative of and conducive to thought and feeling. The word was still connected with its own origin of sound. The meaning and its expression were still close to each other, or we can say that the meaning was inherent within or even was that very expression. The separation of artha from v?k was not yet fully realized, and the structure, which separates them, was not fully mentalised, there was a veil between the two but it was still transparent. The mind did not dominate it yet with is own structural meaning, fixing their division. It was still fluid, capable to maintain the variety of expressions and shades of its own meaning. Every root, or sound-meaning, had many other kindred etymons around it, supporting it in their flexible system capable to create kindred meanings, and, being applied in different context, could create different contextual meanings. In other words, the signifier was free from the signified, and could be applied to express or designate any object in its qualitative relations as an adjective. The word was not yet fixed or crystallized into the mental formation to designate a particular object or concept, the word as we know it now. The same word could be applied to any object or concept when it was appropriate to create that particular meaning-perception, that particular characteristic. The word was still alive, referring to is own system of meaning. The image, the lexeme, was not yet fixed by the usage of the mentalised structure of language. The word was still carrying in itself its own significance from its own source of sound-meaning.
When the need of rational expression of the mind started to dominate other and more intuitive approaches to knowledge, crystallizing them into the mental structures (?a? daranas), explanation starting from the times of Y?ska and P?nini, and we can clearly see this tendency fully realized in the Patanjalis approach, where he suggests that the meaning of the word has to learned in the market place and not from the learned linguist, then the emergence of a structural approach to the language is taking over and the theory of Sphota is being formulated. The uniqueness of this theory is that it is based on the Vedic perception of the Word as creative in its major character but utilizes the perception of the rational mind to structure it within the language. When these two approaches are maintained within one view they create that which we know as the theory of Sphota. To be able to conceive the two it was possible only on the basis of Sanskrit language, no other language would allow such a synthesis, for only Sanskrit has a transparent and complete etymological system and clear and subtle grammatical structure.
To make this point clear let us compare the lexical meaning of the word in Sanskrit and other languages. When we say in English a pen, the word itself does not say what it is or what it does; one should learn about it separately, remembering and applying a particular meaning of writing to it. Actually in such a language any word can designate any other meaning, as a symbol, or a token. So here the word is only indicative of the meaning, the signifier is only to point out the signified, chosen in a seemingly arbitrary way by the mind, or, as the modern linguistics would say, by the custom of language. When we say word pen in Sanskrit, it is lekhani, which is derived from the root likh/rikh meaning to scratch, to scrap, to scribe. So, the word lekhani is only a derivation, meaning scratching [thing] and therefore among other meanings scribing [thing]. It may also mean any other tool of action which involves scratching and not only writing.
If we take a look into the Sanskrit Dictionary, we will find that the words change their meanings gradually from word to word, page after page. It is as if meaning is floating with the sound. Similar picture we can find in the Latin and Greek Dictionaries, but already not so systematic and with many gaps in-between. When we look into English Dictionary we find that this regularity is not there anymore. The meaning is changing without any correspondence to the phonetic content of the word.
The difference between the contextual and proper meaning of the word is to be mentioned here, for a proper meaning of the word exceeds all the meanings which are known to us by usage of the word, in a context of our language. For instance, if we take word yoga in the Monnier Williams Dictionary we will find about 150 meanings.
Let us have a look into some of them:
- the act of yoking , joining , attaching , harnessing , putting to (of horses); a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance;
- employment, use, application, performance;
- a means, expedient, device, way, manner, method;
- a trick, stratagem, fraud, deceit;
- occasion, opportunity;
- any junction, union, combination, contact with; mixing of various materials, mixture;
- partaking of, possessing, connection, relation;
- putting together, arrangement, disposition, regular succession fitting together, fitness, propriety, suitability;
- exertion, endeavour, zeal, diligence, industry, care, attention;
- (in yoga system) application or concentration of the thoughts, abstract contemplation, meditation, (esp.) self-concentration, abstract meditation and mental abstraction;
- (in astr.) a constellation, asterism, the leading or principal star of a lunar asterism;
- (in arithm.) addition , sum , total;
- (in gram.) the connection of words together, syntactical dependence of a word, construction, a combined or concentrated grammatical rule or aphorism; the connection of a word with its root, original or etymological meaning.
- (in med.) a remedy, cure (SurS);
- (in military) equipping or arraying (of an army) MBh.
- fixing (of an arrow on the bow-string) ib.
We can clearly see that all these meanings are only applications of some original meaning of the word yoga in a particular context, creating thus a contextual meaning, which is recorded in the dictionary. What is then the original meaning of the word yoga? Does it have its own original meaning or it is only by the usage of language that it comes to signify so many different actions? And even more, is it exclusive or open list meanings?
If we examine how the word yoga is used in different milieus of language, such as arithmetic, linguistic, philosophical, psychological, medical, astrological etc., we will find that the central meaning of the word did not actually change, it was as if applied within that particular language as a kind of device, creating a new meaning and at the same time sustaining its own core meaning.
To recognize the core meaning of the word yoga we have to go to its root; it is derived from the root yuj, meaning to yoke, to unite, to use, among many other possible significances. But somehow it does not answer our quest, so we have to go deeper into the embryology of the roots. To understand it in its universal significance we have to find its parent-root from which it was derived, the root which is even simpler than monosyllabic yuj, and that is root yu, of which yu-j is only an extension. The root yu has two major meanings: to unite and to divide in different verbal classes. Now we are puzzled. Is it possible that we have to look even deeper, to perceive the simplest components of the root in order to know how it may have these two opposite meanings?
The simple root yu consists of two simple vowels, creative of a syllable: i and u. These are the simplest components and in Sanskrit language. The root i means to go, and the root u (av) means to mediate, to pervade, to grow, to occupy, etc. The first root has the significance of onepointedness in its motion or concentration, the latter the significance of duality.
So if draw a picture of the root yu it would resemble the picture of two in one.
On one end there is one-pointed-ness and on the other the duality. If we use the device looking from duality point of view towards the oneness we get the meaning of uniting two in one, and in the opposite direction dividing one into two.
Now, if it is true that the most elemental sound-roots such as i and u, have the significance of singularity and duality, it must be maintained in all other roots and simple words and their applications. It requires a study. (The brief of this study is in the section of Etymology, section 3).
This particular feature of Sanskrit we can call etymological transparency. It is because of this particular feature that Sanskrit language could sustain itself over millennia.
Now if we move towards the dissemination of this core meaning in the derivations, expanding it into the family of roots and words we will find the group roots yu-j, yu-nth, yu-dh, yu-p. The Monier Williams Dictionary gives us their significances:
yuj, to yoke or join or fasten or harness (horses or a chariot) RV, etc.;
yunth, to give or suffer pain Dh?tup. iii , 7.
yudh , 4. A1. to fight, wage war , oppose or (rarely) overcome in battle to fight with (instr.) or for (loc.) or against (acc.) RV. &c. &c. to oppose or overcome in war (acc.) MBh
yup cl. 4. P. to debar, obstruct, disturb, trouble, confuse, efface, remove, destroy RV. AV., etc.;
In all these roots, seen as derivations or extensions of the root yu, we can clearly identify the significance of union and separation with the variety of changes, which occur due to the significance of the extension element influencing the change of meaning.
There is even a deeper look into the oneness of sound and meaning. According to the Tantra all the sounds are seen as modulations of the one original sound a. These modulations are becoming significant through a particular effort in articulation. This significance is very subtle but it is regular. It requires a deeper look to be able to perceive it, but it is nevertheless crucial for a transparency and truthfulness of the whole etymological system of Sanskrit. It is this sensitiveness to sound and its meaning in articulation that makes Sanskrit a unique language, sustaining over millennia.
Though the shift of paradigm took place in the mind from the suprarational and infrarational to the rational, the word, the language remained the same, connecting all the developmental stages into one perception. It is this particular feature that makes Indian Civilisation unique.
Since Sanskrit preserved its system of etymons it can therefore bring the deepest perceptions from the past epistemologies into the modern one. This unique feature of Sanskrit makes all the difference in the building up integral consciousness in the individual. If it could become a national language it could liberate the whole nation.
Intro to Linguistics.doc