A Short Note on the Hindi Honorificum -ji.
This paper's objective is to point out problems inherent in widely accepted etymologies of the hindi honorific particle -ji. Bloch and Turner connect the particle with imperatives formed from Sanskrit roots 'vji' and 'vjiv'. However, lexical-syntactic equivalents for hindi phrases such as 'suniye ji', which would have to be formed by adding imperative forms 'jaya/jivatu' to other imperative forms, do not seem to exist in either Sanskrit or Prakrits. In Bhasa's 'Svapna-vasavadatta', the equivalent phrases contain 'arya-'. This paper's conclusions indicate that, when dealing with well documented phases of linguistic development (as is the case with the Indian textual tradition), it is imperative to check whether the hypothetical protoform and its consecutive phonetic continuations build similar and fully meaningful collocations in similar contexts. Further studies must be done in order to ascertain how 'arya-' was treated as an onomastic suffix in inscriptional Prakrits.
CEJSH db identifier