Summary – Section 4

Summary – Section 4 (Facts 42 to 47)

In this section we discuss Euphonics in our Mother Tongue

Fact 42 – In Sanskrit, like in other languages, when two morphemes, two stems or two words come together internally in a word or externally in a sentence, sound changes occur at the boundaries to make the combined entity sound euphonic (= agreeable sound). This sound change is called sandhi (saṃdhi). In English we say a boy, but an apple. This is an example of an external sandhi.

There are three kinds of boundaries (classed into two types) where these euphonic rules or sandhi rules apply. 

There are some euphonic rules for the last sound of words standing alone also.

Fact 43 – In this “fact” we will look at permitted finals. Only one consonant is permitted after the last vowel of a word (standing by itself) and this is restricted to a certain narrow set of consonants. Any other consonant occurring at the end of a word is variously altered to a permitted one or dropped altogether.

Fact 44 – As a general rule hiatus is not permitted. That is, all syllables, except the one at the beginning of a sentence or at the beginning of a word or phrase not forming part of a sentence, must start with one or more consonants. (It was different in Vedic Sanskrit, where hiatus was allowed freely). To avoid hiatus, two vowels coming next to each other are fused

together into one sound, one of them changed to a semivowel, or a semivowel is introduced between them.

Fact 45 – The whole area of consonant sandhis is very complicated and there are many exceptions to any rule we can make. So, we will not go into too many details in the area of consonant combinations but only state some of the more important rules.

Fact 46 – We discuss the important area of visarga sandhis, or sandhis that involve the visarga (which is only a replacement for final r or s).

Fact 47 – In Sanskrit, especially in Classical Sanskrit, sandhi rules are very rigorously applied and written down. So, the first thing we have to do when analysing a sentence is to resolve the (external) sandhis and get original words. There will be ambiguity in resolving many of the sandhis as many combinations yield the same final form in sandhi. We discuss how we can understand these ambiguities.

Click on the links below to visit the other summary pages


Summary – Section 1

Summary – Section 2

Summary – Section 3

Summary – Section 4

Summary – Section 5 (1)

Summary – Section 5 (2)

Summary – Section 6

Summary – Section 7

Summary – Section 8 (1)

Summary – Section 8 (2)

Summary – Section 9