1. Shabdamaniidarpana (ಶಬ್ದಮಣಿದರ್ಪಣ)
4. 13th Century
is an ancient grammar in Kannada. It was written, approximately in 1260 by Keshiraja.
He follows the model propounded by Katantra Vyakarana of Sanskrit. It contains ten
parts including an introduction and a concluding section with a small lexicon. sandhi,
nAma, samAsa, taddhita, AkhyAta, DAtu, apBraMsha avyaya
are the remaining parts. They deal with grammatical categories such as the phonological
system, conjunction, compounding of words, nouns, verb roots, suffixation et al.
The All in all it contains 343 verses or 'SUtrs' as he calls them. Shabdamanidarpana
is composed in verse using Kandapadyas. But the author has written an explicatory
commentary in prose (Vrutti) for each of those poems.(SUtra). Of course later commentaries
written by Nittura Nanjaiah
and Linganaradhya have furthered the discussion. 'Aloka' a commentary written in the twentieth century by
H.S.Biligiri looks at this work from the perspective
of modern linguistics. ‘Shabdamanidarpana’
is perhaps the best work on the grammar of ancient Kannada. The author is at once
descriptive and rather critical about the changes that are taking place in the language
as it was in a period of tranasition from old Kannada
to medieval Kannada. He structures his grammar on the model of Sanskrit. However
he is aware of its limitations in absorbing the features that are native to Kannada.
Many a time his defences are thin and the real situation
emerges forcefully. Many changes that are forbidden by him in a
prescriptiva manner have taken place irrevocabally.
This dichotomy has resulted in a grammar that truly holds a mirror to the Kannada
language in a state of flux. His illustrations are chosen from varied sources and
many of them have a literary flavour. His taste and
his acquaintance with both the spoken and literary varieties of the
languaage are impeccable. Many of his illustrations (Prayoga)
are chosen from well known literary works even though he does not mention the original
sources. . Keshiraja is to be admired for the fact that he could come out of the
blinkers put by Sanskrit as early as the thiteenth century
and create a grammar of enduring merit.
7. Publishing History: Shabdamanidarpanam,
Ed. J.Garret, 1868, Mysore Government Press,
8. Refereces and Criticism:
1. Introductions to these editions by the respective editors and other scholars
2. Commentaries by Nittura Nanjaiah
and Linganaradhya included in these editions. 3. 'Shbdamanidarpanada Pathantaragalu
by D.K.Bheemasena Rao, 1951
4. ‘Aloka’, H.S.Biligiri,
197?, Akshara Prakashana,
Hegoodu. 5. Darpanadeepike,
9.Manuscripts: 1. Jaina Matha Mudabidri Shaka Varsha 1473 2. Shrvana Belagolada Manuscript 3. Manuscript used by D.K.Bheemasena Rao 4. Manuscripts used by L.Basavaraju
10. The mirror studded with precious gems held to words.