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Wet fire, not water - Sanskrit phonologists' principle

asked 2018-10-13 19:54:00 -0500

omccreary gravatar image

I recently attended a lecture on phonology, where the professor discussed how to solve phonological problems, identify allophones, derive phonological rules, etc.

She made reference to a principle articulated by a Sanskrit phonologist, something like: phonological rules should be formulated so that they wet fire, not water. Or maybe it was vice versa. I think the idea was that a rule should be written as generally and simply as possible, so that it can be applied to a broad class of sounds, but has no effect when it's not applicable.

Can anyone point me toward where this principle is outlined?I haven't been able to find it by Googling.

Thanks.

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answered 2018-10-13 21:50:25 -0500

Perhaps you are referring to Panini's version of Occam's Razor. It is discussed here:

https://web.stanford.edu/~kiparsky/Pa...

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Asked: 2018-10-13 19:54:00 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 13