Friday, December 16, 2011

Vaikhari - the Third Level of Language

Vaikharī, the fully external level of language, is situated within the physical domains of phonetics and phonology. It is spoken by the speaker and heard by the hearer. At this level, we can use scientific instrumentation to measure language. Although prāṇa (breath) is only subtly present in the previous level (madhyamā) here it plays a predominant part. It is this physical function of breath along with all the associated restrictions imposed by physics and the articulatory process that ties speech to the linear order.   

sabdesvevasrita saktir visvasyasya nibandhant | 
yannetrah pratibhatmayam bhedarupah pratiyate ||

Vakyapadiya 1.118
“The power which resides in words is the sole cause of this universe. Led by that intuitive self, this appearance of division is recognised.” 

© MWright (2000, 2011)

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