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A Surplus of Meaning: The Intent of Irregularity in Vedic Poetry

This dissertation focuses on irregular patterns in Vedic Grammar and Poetry.

Werner Knobl
30 September 2009
Full text in Leiden University Repository

Grammatical as well as poetological studies of the Rgveda have almost exclusively concentrated on the regular patterns of Vedic Grammar and Poetry. As was to be expected, irregularity of any kind has always had a very difficult stand with scholars. Against the background of a highly regular prosodic and grammatical system, rare exceptions have been neglected, played down, or simply (dis)qualified as nonce formations, aberrations, abnormities, and even monstrosities. 

The further a formal excentricity deviates from the norm, the more likely it appears to me that this deviation is intended. And, not only is it to be accepted as intentional, it may convey a Surplus of Meaning that could not have been communicated in a regular way and by normal means of expression. 

All along the partly published (A. B. C. D.), partly unpublished (E. F.) articles that are united in this dissertation, I have enacted the role of a critically devoted advocate of the Vedic poet, taking sides with him or trying to do justice, in his apparent absence, to certain forms of irregularity. 

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