Were Tocharian meters influenced by Indic meters, and if so, to what extent? Since the outset of Tocharian studies, the prevalent opinion has been that the Tocharian metrical tradition, which is shared by both Tocharian languages, is independent of the Indian tradition. In Sieg and Siegling's original formulation, "Die tocharische Metrik scheint selbständig dazustehen und nicht der indischen entlehnt zu sein" (1921:x).1 The supposed independence of the metrical form of Tocharian poetry may seem surprising given that the poetic texts are translations and adaptations of Buddhist Sanskrit originals. Furthermore, the Tocharian Buddhists did adopt the form of narration known as campū, in which prose and verse alternate.2 However, Tibetan shows that it is possible to retain and modify indigenous meters for the translation/adaptation of Sanskrit texts.
Copyright © 2016 Beech Stave Press. This chapter first appeared in Sahasram Ati Srajas: Indo-Iranian and Indo-European Studies in Honor of Stephanie W. Jamison.
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Gunkel, Dieter. "The Sanskrit Source of the Tocharian 4x25 -Syllable Meter." In Sahasram Ati Srajas: Indo-Iranian and Indo-European studies in honor of Stephanie W. Jamison, edited by Dieter Gunkel, Joshua Timothy Katz, Brent Harmon Vine, and Michael L. Weiss, 82-95. Ann Arbor: Beech Stave Press, 2016.