Moronval (2017), Vitalités chez les Néwar bouddhistes

Frédéric Moronval. 2017. Vitalités linguistique et religieuse chez les Néwar bouddhistes de la vallée de Kathmandu. Thèse de doctorat en Sciences du langage – linguistique, Normandie Université. Français. NNT: 2017NORMR055. <tel-01697607> [PDF]

From the English abstract: Newari, the indigenous language of the Kathmandu valley, is considered by the UNESCO as an endangered language, […] why and to which extent both the mother tongue and Buddhism are decreasing among Newars, and what, if any, is the causal relationship linking the evolution of these two cultural features. […] Continue reading “Moronval (2017), Vitalités chez les Néwar bouddhistes”

Bühnemann (2015), Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī (lumbinīyātrā)

Bühnemann, Gudrun. 2015. Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī ( lumbinīyātrā ): A Study of a Popular Theme in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature. Bhairawaha, Nepal: Lumbini International Research Institute. 108 pp. ISBN: 978-9937-2-9462-1

OCLC: 922971246. Vendor: amazon.com.

Buehnemann - Shakyamuni's Return Journey to Lumbini
Bühnemann (2015), Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī

Continue reading “Bühnemann (2015), Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī (lumbinīyātrā)”

Widdess, Dāphā: Sacred Singing in a South Asian City (2013)

Richard Widdess. Dāphā: Sacred Singing in a South Asian City. Music, Performance and Meaning in Bhaktapur, Nepal. SOAS Musicology Series. Ashgate, December 2013 [official site]. 378 pages (w/ “50 b&w illustrations, 50 music examples and 1 map”). ISBN 978-1-4094-6601-7.

From the blurb

Dāphā, or dāphā bhajan, is a genre of Hindu-Buddhist devotional singing, performed by male, non-professional musicians of the farmer and other castes belonging to the Newar ethnic group, in the towns and villages of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The songs, their texts, and their characteristic responsorial performance-style represent an extension of pan-South Asian traditions of rāga- and tāla-based devotional song, but at the same time embody distinctive characteristics of Newar culture.

Dapha musicians recording, Bhaktapur, 2012 (Source: BBC)

Yoshizaki: ‘Dr. Kulman, who taught Kawaguchi Ekai’ (2012)

Which of the nineteenth-century Kulamāna Vajrācāryas was the confrere of Ekai Kawaguchi (and of Sylvain Lévi,* et al)? Mr. Kazumi Yoshizaki digs into his Index of Personal Names in Newari Historical Materials (forthcoming) to find out:

吉崎 一美 (Yoshizaki, Kazumi). 「河口慧海に梵語文法を教授したクルマン博士」 (Dr. Kulman who Taught Sanskrit Grammar to Rev. Kawaguchi Ekai in Nepal). 『印度學佛教學研究』 第六十一巻第一号 (Journal of Indian and Buddhist studies vol.61 no.1), pp.508–504/(11)–(15), 2012-12-20. [PDF at CiNii]

* “Le vieux pandit Kulamâna, de Patan, gagne sa vie à enseigner des rudiments de catéchisme et à copier des manuscrits” (Lévi, Le Népal: étude historique d’un royaume hindou, 1905 II:27).

Dangol, Sana Guthi and the Newars (2010)

Niraj Dangol. ‘Sana Guthi and the Newars: impacts of modernization on traditional social organizations’. Universitetet i Tromsø: Mastergradsoppgave, 2010. [URI / PDF]

From the Abstract

“Guthi, the traditional social organization, can be classified into various categories according to their functionalities among which, Sana Guthi is regarded most popular and the important one. Among the various functions performed by the Sana Guthi, death rituals are regarded extremely important from religious as well as social point of view. […] In this study, two of such festivals conducted by Shree Bhairabnath Ta: Guthi of Panga have been studied in details.”

Dangol (2010:102)
Dangol (2010:102)

Saddharmarāja V., Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī (2011)

Vilasavajra-Saddharmaraja-NamamantrarthavalokiniPaṇḍita Kavirāja Saddharmarāja Bajrācārya Śāstrī (tr.) Ārya Mañjuśrī Nāmasaṅgīti: advayaparamārtha nāmasaṅgīti. Ācārya Vilāsavajra kṛta Nāmamantrārthaavalokinī Ārya Mañjuśrī Nāmasaṅgītiyāgu ṭīkāyā lidhaṃsāy, ṭippaṇī va bhāvārthasahita Nepālabhāṣāy saṅkṣipta anuvāda. Lalitapura: Rāmeśa Maharjana saparivāra, VS 2068 [2011 CE]. na+320 pp.

Simha, Tantrākhyāna (2009)

Tulasīlāla Siṃha. Tantrākhyāna: Ne saṃ. 638 yā mūlapāṭhayā sampādana, anuvāda va vivecanā. Yala: Nepālabhāṣā Kendrīya Vibhāga, Pāṭana Saṃyukta Kyāmpasa, 2009.

This is a transcription and translation into contemporary Newar of the earliest dated manuscript of the Tantrākhyāna(kathā) kept in Nepal. An older manuscript of this Newar Buddhist Pañcatantra remake — if we could call it that — ended up in the hands of Cecil Bendall and is kept in the United Kingdom, presumably unavailable to Mr. Siṃha.

Min Bahadur Shakya, 1951-2012

मीन बहादुर शाक्य जु
हिरण्यवर्णमहाविहार (क्वा बाहा) अवस्थित, यल
जन्म मिति— ने. सं. १०७१ (वि. सं. माघ ४, २००७)
दिवंगत मिति— ने. सं. ११३२ (वि. सं. आश्विन २, २०६९)

Nepalese Script in Unicode, 2: More on JTC1/WG2 N4184

Refer to: Anshuman Pandey, ‘N4184 Proposal to Encode the Newar Script in ISO/IEC 10646’, February 29, 2012 [PDF]. Previous discussion: here.

0. On the Name ‘Newar’

The name ‘Newar’ is preferable simply because most other options can be ruled out. ‘Nepalese’ is untenable, because it falsely implies a one-to-one relationship with the present-day nation-state, even though it is accurate within a certain (historically earlier) context. ‘Newari’ is a (now deprecated) name for the language – not the script, nor anything else; ‘Nevārī’ is quite meaningless, except to some Indologists.

The proposal, as I understand it, indeed deals with the Pracalita script, but has enough hooks to allow unification with proposals for other Newar scripts, such as Bhujiṅmola – hence ‘Newar’. (NB: It is not yet clear whether unification with Rañjanā – which is, strictly speaking, Indo-Nepalese, and which has a user base that includes many non-Newars, such as Tibetans – is feasible. In any case, much of the present and previous discussion about the Pracalita script is also applicable to Rañjanā.)

1. Additional Information On Glyph Names

11442 NEWAR FINAL ANUSVARA: Although this mark originates with the m-virāma mark used by East Indian scribes, in Nepal it has multivalent significance and in many contexts has nothing to do with nasalization (often being interchangeable with 1144B NEWAR GAP FILLER). Recommendation: Minimise phonetic/semantic description in favour of graphic description – maybe NEWAR SEMICOLON for want of a better term. Classify under Punctuation or Various Signs.

11443 NEWAR SIDDHI = शुभचिं (Shrestha NS 1132:21). There is no uniform name for this mark in Newar (esp. not the neologism bhiṃciṃ), nor is siddhi/añji recommended (not just because this designation is unknown in Nepal, but because usage may also vary; confusion with NEWAR OM is common). Recommendation: NEWAR AUSPICIOUSNESS MARK or similar.

11448 NEWAR COMMA = अर्धविराम (Shrestha NS 1132:24).

11449 NEWAR DOUBLE COMMA: I now think this mark can be represented with two adjacent NEWAR COMMAs. Its usual behaviour of stacking diagonally (see Fig.3) rather than horizontally should however be specified. Recommendation: Remove from the repertoire.

1144B NEWAR HIGH SPACING DOT = अल्पविराम (ibid.).

1144C NEWAR ABBREVIATION SIGN CIRCLE = संक्षेपीकरण यानाः च्वयातःगु थासय् थुगु चिं (ibid.).

1145A NEWAR FLOWER = स्वांथें ज्याःगु चिं (ibid.).

1145C NEWAR PLACEHOLDER MARK is the line-width equivalent of the NEWAR GAP FILLER (see below). Recommendation: Change name to NEWAR LINE FILLER MARK.

2. Morphology of the Gap Filler Mark

Following comments on earlier drafts of N4184, especially those of Kashinath Tamot, it should be clarified that the primary function of 1144B NEWAR GAP FILLER is not that of indicating a break in a word (as per the previous name SANDHI MARK), but rather of filling space up to the end of a line margin. (A hyphen indeed performs a space-filling operation as well as functioning as a word-breaking mark. However, I suggest that ‘hyphenation’ be dropped from the formal description of this mark to avoid confusion.)

The purpose of this mark has been obvious enough to specialists – recently see, e.g. Ishida (2011:ix), where it is called a ‘line-filler character’, Zeilenfüllzeichen. (In fact, this mark does not fill a line – this is the function of 1145C NEWAR PLACEHOLDER MARK; rather, it fills a space of less than one full glyph-width at the end of a margin, not necessarily the end of a line.) Nonetheless, it is easily seen that the mark could be confused with, e.g., a visarga, daṇḍa or similar. In earlier discussion on the proposal, its purpose has remained unclear to the user community, perhaps due to its unstable shape. Significantly, the NEWAR GAP FILLER MARK changes according to the width of the glyph. Its behaviour may be represented as follows:

Fig.1: Morphology of the Indo-Nepalese gap filler mark.

Variations in this mark may therefore be regarded as contextual alternatives, rather than separate code points. I suggest, as per the diagram, that no more than three variants need be represented; although the glyph could conceivably incorporate four or more variations (e.g., five vertically stacked dots, at 20% character width), this is probably excessive.

Recommendation: It may be implemented as one code point with contextual alternates, or 3 or more code points corresponding to each quantum of width.

3. Swash Forms

Several glyphs may be alternatively represented with swash forms, created by extending elements of the glyph into surrounding white space. These forms do not require dedicated representation in an encoded repertoire; however, they should be included in any full description of Indo-Newar scribal culture, and font designers might want to incorporate them. Swash forms are often contextually invoked: they are used at the top line of a block of text (upward extension), but may also be seen on the bottom line (downward extension), and even more rarely at the right and left margins, and within interlinear white space. An example:

Fig.2: Swash forms in MS University of Tokyo (Matsunami) 419, f.132r.

Characters routinely represented as swash forms include:

  • 11432 NEWAR VOWEL SIGN U, 11433 NEWAR VOWEL SIGN UU, 11439 NEWAR VOWEL SIGN AI, 1143B NEWAR VOWEL SIGN AU, (superscribed) 11428 NEWAR LETTER RA, 1143D NEWAR SIGN CANDRABINDU, 1143E NEWAR SIGN ANUSVARA – upward extension;
  • 11402 NEWAR LETTER I, 11403 NEWAR LETTER II, (subscribed) 11417 NEWAR LETTER NYA, 1141D NEWAR LETTER TA, 11423 NEWAR LETTER PHA, 11425 NEWAR LETTER BHA, 11429 NEWAR LETTER LA, 1142D NEWAR LETTER SA, 1142E NEWAR LETTER HA, 1143C NEWAR SIGN VIRAMA – downward extension.

4. Revisions To Standard Forms

The following changes to standard forms are recommended – see glyphs highlighted in Fig.3, in which all glyphs have been redrawn from scratch to accord with common scribal practice. The most widespread change is that the headstroke no longer extends past the right descender (which is inconsistent with almost all scribal practice). Standard forms for VOCALIC R, VOCALIC RR, GA, SHA, dependent VOWEL SIGN II, VOCALIC R, VOCALIC RR as well as *VOCALIC L, VOCALIC LL (these should certainly be specified and named) should be altered accordingly. DIGIT ONE should also be changed in order to avoid confusion with SIDDHI.

Fig. 3. Recommended changes to forms in N4184.

5. Some Remaining Questions

5.2 Letter-Numerals: “There are at least 27 such Newar ‘letter numerals’… It may be possible to unify Newar letter-numbers with corresponding Brahmi characters.” The issue here, as far as I can see, is: which letter-numeral conjuncts differ from non-numeral conjuncts of the same letters (all differences should be specified). To put it another way: which letter-numeral conjuncts uniquely signify letter numerals, if any? Perhaps our European colleagues, with their extensive access to funding, institutional support and manuscript sources, could clarify the matter. (Don’t worry, we won’t hold our breath.)

5.3 “Should editorial marks be encoded on a per script basis or would be it reasonable to unify such marks in a pan-Indic block?” (Pandey 2012:13). Out of our hands, but if they aren’t unified, they should be included in the Newar block.

[rev 0.1: 2012/06/19]