Summary – Section 5(2)

Summary – Section 5(2) (Facts 63 to 76)

In this section we discuss The Structure of our Mother Tongue (2 of 2)

Fact 63 – In this fact, we discuss the perfect system and tense. In our Mother Tongue, there are three tenses to indicate past action. The imperfect laṅ, the aorist luṅ and the perfect liṭ. According to Sanskrit grammarians, the imperfect is used to denote past action done previous to the current day, the perfect is used to denote past action done previous to the current day but not witnessed by the speaker (parokṣe liṭ) while the aorist is used to denote an indefinite past time. In Classical Sanskrit, in practice, these three tenses seem to be used

interchangeably for any past action.

The main characteristic of the formation of the perfect stem is the reduplication of the root.

We also look at the periphrastic perfect.

Fact 64 – We look at aorists of which there are seven types.

Fact 65 – We look at the future systems and the conditional. We also look at the periphrastic perfect.

Fact 66 – We start looking at secondary conjugations. The main secondary conjugations are: the passive, the causative (ṇijanta), the intensive (yaṅanta), the desiderative (sannanta) and the denominative (nāmadhātu).

 In this fact we look at the causative which is the most commonly used secondary conjugation after the passive. We discuss two kinds of the causatives: intransitive – transitive pair  (where the transitive is like a causative) and transitive – causative pair.

We also discuss a tertiary conjugation like the passive of the causative.

Fact 67 – We discuss the secondary conjugations the intensive, the desiderative and the denominative.

Fact 68 – We look at verbal prefixes which are attached to verb roots to get verbs of different meanings. Verbal prefixes are common in many languages.

Fact 69 – We discuss the continuative which  indicates an action prior in time to the action of

the main verb of a sentence. A series of continuatives can be used where each continuative is prior in time to the one that immediately follows.

We note that there is no equivalent construction in English or other non-Indian Indo-European languages, but is common in Indian languages like Hindi and Tamil.

Fact 70 – In this fact we look at indeclinables. An indeclinable is a part of speech that always

remains the same and is not declined or changed as per its function as nouns or adjectives. Indeclinables are called avyaya by Sanskrit grammarians. The indeclinables are: Prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions and interjections.

Fact 71 – We start looking at how stems are formed in Sanskrit. The stem is the basic form of a word like a noun, or a verb, an adjective, a pronoun, a demonstrative or a numeral. Declensional and conjugational endings are added to these stems to indicate the function of the word in a sentence. Now, these stems themselves are made by adding affixes (including null affixes) to a root.  Here we are talking of the formation of the stems themselves rather than declined or conjugated words.

There are two types of suffixes that are added. Primary suffixes (kr̥t affixes) and

secondary suffixes (taddhita affixes). Primary suffixes are added directly to (maybe modified) roots while secondary suffixes are added to derivative stems (and also to pronominal stems and occasionally to particles).

In this fact we look at primary suffixes.

Fact 72 – Here we discuss secondary suffixes.

Fact 73 – We start looking at compound words. Compounding is a process of word formation in which two or more stems (nouns, adjectives, prepositions or adverbs) are joined together to form compound words which are then treated as if they are simple words with respect to construction and inflection. The meaning of the compound word may be similar to or different from the individual words in the compound. For example, take the word mūṣikaśāvaka

‘mouseling, baby mouse’ which is a compound of the words mūṣika ‘mouse’ and śāvaka ‘young one’. The word mūṣikaśāvaka is then declined like one word. Compounds are called samāsa by Sanskrit grammarians.

Compounds are all formed in generally the same way. The stem forms of the words (nouns, adjectives) or the whole preposition or adverb are put together applying the rules of sandhi. Only the last member of the compound is declined. A compound may, like a simple word, become a member in another compound and this in yet another and so on without any limit.

Sanskrit grammarians recognise four types of compounds – tatpuruṣa (including karmadhāraya), avyayībhāva, dvandva and bahuvrīhi.

Fact 74 – We will deal with dvandva (copulative) compounds here. In this, two or more nouns (and sometimes two or more adjectives) are connected as if by a conjunction like ‘and’.

These compounds fall into two classes: Itaretara and Samāhāra (composite).

Fact 75 – In this fact we discuss tatpuruṣa compounds in detail. Tatpuruṣa compounds fall into two distinct classes–dependent and descriptive compounds. 1. Compounds in which the prior member is a noun, pronoun or adjective used as a noun are called dependent

compounds. 2. Compounds in which the prior member is an adjective, adverb, or noun used like an adjective are called karmadhāraya or descriptive compounds.

Fact 76 – Here we discuss bahuvrīhi compounds. A bahuvrīhi compound takes a compound which has a noun as a final member and therefore functioning like a noun and uses it with the idea of possessing added, thus turning it into an adjective, which then qualifies another noun taking the gender, number and case of the noun it qualifies. No special suffixes or endings are required to convert the noun ending compound into an adjective.

We note that adverbially used accusative cases of bahuvrīhi adjective compounds, which have an indeclinable or particle as the prior member, are called avyayībhāva by Sanskrit grammarians and bahuvrīhi compounds (especially the ones used as nouns) having a numeral as the prior member are called dvigu by Sanskrit grammarians.

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