Summary – Section 7 (Facts 80 to 86)
In this section we discuss Vedic Sanskrit
Fact 80 – The term Vedic Sanskrit refers to the metrical language of the Vedic hymns and the prose of the Brāhmaṇas and the Brāhmaṇa-like portions of the various recensions of the Yajur Veda and the Atharvaveda.
One of the key aspects in which Vedic Sanskrit differs from Classical Sanskrit is the use of
Accents. The ancient Sanskrit accent is described as being dependent on a variation of pitch or tone. The tones or pitches are called svara in Sanskrit. There are three tones or svaras on vowels. The udātta meaning ‘raised’, the anudātta meaning ‘not raised’ and the svarita meaning ‘sounded’. The udātta is a high tone or pitch, the anudātta is a low tone and the svarita is like a circumflex accent. It is a combination of a high tone and low tone (the
tone rises and then falls)
We look in detail at what these accents are and how they are marked in texts.
Fact 81 – We take the study of accents further and look at how accents behave in different situations – accents on single words, double accents, lack of accents and loss of accents. We also look at the behaviour of accents in various grammatical situations.
Fact 82 – We look at how accents behave in compound words.
Fact 83 – We look at the behaviour of accents on verbs and verb forms.
Fact 84 – We discuss the importance of accents in Vedic Sanskrit.
Fact 85 – From accents we move on to the conjugation systems in Vedic Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit was a more vibrant and active language as compared to Classical Sanskrit. We
look at the conjugational system of Vedic Sanskrit and see how it is different from Classical Sanskrit.
One of the main differences in the present system is the common use of the subjunctive mode in Vedic Sanskrit. This use has been lost in Classical Sanskrit. We look in detail at the subjunctive mode.
We also look at the perfect and aorist systems to note the differences between Vedic and Classical Sanskrit.
Fact 86 – We continue to look at some other differences between Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. We look at the differences in sandhis, pronouns and in particular at the infinitives. In Vedic Sanskrit, there was a big variety of infinitives while in Classical Sanskrit this variety was reduced to one single type ending.
We also look at the use of secondary conjugations in Vedic Sanskrit.
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