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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.


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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:

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

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Last updated: Oct 13 '18