The distinction between technical and familiar verb forms

Does anybody know if we have a good understanding of the distinction between jargon and slang in pali grammar?

Can you give us a more specific example? Generally speaking, Pali uses quite regular forms. It’s a little like reading a textbook or something, you don’t expect to find a lot of colloquialisms, except in some unusual cases. Of course there would be more such in the everyday language, but that’s not what we have.

I don’t have a specific example as I’m not thinking of any particular sutta.
But I was reading this french grammar textbook the other day, and a passage caught my attention. They mentioned the addition of “neological verbs” and went on to describe them as either kind of technical (to sponsorize) or kind of familiar (to chill)

I’m realizing my question wasn’t exactly what I was trying to ask.

Basically, I’m wondering if our current understanding of pali (linguistically speaking) would allow us to determine if a verb is part of either of those categories. But I understand that we can assume most of the texts to be written in mostly formal language?

What would be some of those unusual cases you mentioned?

It would, if such a distinction existed. Our grammatical understanding of Pali is second to none, thanks to the astonishing perfection of Indic linguistic sciences. Problems in understanding typically come not from language but from context. I’m just not sure that our texts preseve the kind of distinction you’re talking about.


Some fun cases off the top of my head:

MN 21 Kakacūpama: (To a naughty maidservant:)

he je kāḷī!
What the hell, Kali!

MN 82 Raṭṭhapāla: (A distraught father when he finds out it is his son who came for alms to his house and received the thrown-away food)

atthi nāma, tāta raṭṭhapāla, ābhidosikaṃ kummāsaṃ pari­bhuñjis­sasi
But there is, dear Raṭṭhapāla … and you will be eating stale porridge!

Pācittiya 70: (to a naughty novice:)

cara pire, vinassa
Get out of here, get lost!

(The readings of pire are uncertain.)

This is perhaps the closest to your original question. The first verb is 2nd person singular imperative, and it uses the short form, cara rather than carahi. This kind of abbreviation is, of course in most languages a sign of informal, colloquial speech, and it may well be the case here too. But you’d want to study the usage carefully.

These passages are well known. There’s probably bunches of similar things in the Jātakas, but I’m not so familiar with them.

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