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Date(s) - 18/11/2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Seminar Hall


Relevance of Vyañjanā in Contemporary Linguistic Studies
Professor H R Meera
NIAS, Bangalore.

The various śāstraic traditions of India, such as Vyākaraṇa, Nyāya, Mīmāṁsā and Alaṅkāra-śastra, have made a deep study of language. Different levels of meanings are commonly accepted by these śāstra-s, such as Abhidhā (Denotative Sense), Lakṣaṇā (Extended Sense), Vyañjanā (Suggested Sense) and Tātparya (Import). Of these, a specialised form of Vyañjanā viz. Dhvani (Poetic Suggestion) is studied in great depth in Alaṅkāra-śāstra (Poetics), but the generalised suggested sense, Vyañjanā, has not been explored in any great detail.

In contemporary linguistic studies, non-literal sense has been much studied and several theories have evolved to account for how a sense, other than the literal one, can emerge from our utterances. However, the framework that is used in the contemporary branches of language study, such as Cognitive Linguistics, and the one used in Alaṅkāra-śāstra for Vyañjanā – can be compared and contrasted to a great advantage. We have much to gain by scrutinizing the Vyañjanā framework from this perspective for various reasons. In this talk, we shall explore those applications.