William Dwight Whitney.

A Sanskrit grammar : including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of Veda and Brahmana online

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through visarga as an intermediate stage. And the Hindu authorities
are considerably discordant with one another as to how far h is a
necessary substitute, and how far a permitted one, alternative with
a sibilant, before a following initial surd.

09. Before a surd guttural or labial, respectively, some of the
native authorities permit, while others require, conversion of final s
or r into the so-called jihv&muliya and upadhmSnl^a spirants. It
may be fairly questioned, perhaps, whether these two sounds are not
pure grammatical abstractions, devised (like the long }-vowel: 23 a)
In order to round out the alphabet to greater symmetry. At any
rate, both manuscripts and printed texts in general make no account
of them. Whatever individual character they may have must be,
it would seem, in the direction of the (German) cA- and /-sounds.
When written at all, they are wont to be transliterated by x ^^d ^•

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70—] II. System op Sounds. 24

^ 70. The I anusvSra, ±l oi ih, is a nasal sound lacking
that closure of the organs which is required to make a
nasal mute or contact-sound (36 j; in its utterance there is
nasal resonance along with some degree of openness of the

71. There \a discordance of opinion among both the Hindu phonetists
and their modern European successors respecting the real character of this
element; hence a little detail is necessary here with regard to its occurrence
and their views of it

a. Certain nasals in Sanskrit are of serrile character, always to be
assimilated to a following consonant, of whatever character that may be.
Such are final m in sentence-combination (218), the pennltimate nasal of
a root, and a nasal of increment (255) in general. If one of these nasals
stands before a contact-letter or mute, it becomes a nasal mute correspond-
ing to the latter — that is, a nasal utterance in the same position of the
mouth-organs which gives the succeeding mute. If, on the other hand, the
following consonant does not involve a contact (being a semivowel or spirant),
the nasal element is also without contact: it is a nasal utterance wi^
unclosed mouth-organs. The question is, now, whether this nasal utterance
becomes merely a nasal infection of the preceding vowel, turning it into a
nasal vowel (as in French on, 0it, uii, etc., by reason of a similar loss of
a nasal mute)} or whether it is an element of more individual character,
having place between the vowel and the consonant; or, once more, whether
it is sometimes the one thing and sometimes the other. The opinions of
the Pratigakhyas and Panini are briefly as foUows:

b. The Atharva-Pratl9akhya holds that the result is everywhere a
nasalized vowel, except when n or m is assimilated to a foUowing 1; in
that case, the n or m becomes a nasal 1: that it, the nasal utterance is
made in the 1-position, and has a perceptible 1-character.

O. The other Prati9akhyas teach a similar conversion into a nasal
counterpart to the semivowel, or a nasal semivowel, before y and 1 and v
(not before r also). In most of the other cases where the Atharva-Prati9akhya
acknowledges a nasal vowel — namely, before r and the spirants — the others
teach the intervention after the Towel of a distinct nasal element, called the
anuBv&ra afUr-tone.

d. Of the nature of this nasal afterpiece to the vowel no intelligibly
clear account is given. It is said (RPr.) to be either vowel or consonant;
it is declared (EPr., VPr.) to be made with the noso alone, or (TPr.) to be
nasal like the nasal mutes ; it is held by some (RPr.) to be the sou^t tone
of the nasal mutes; in its formation, as in that of vowel and spirant, there
is (RPr.) no contact As to its quantity, see further on.

e. There are, however, certain cases and classes of cases where these
other authorities also acknowledge a nasal vowel. So, especially, wherever

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25 Anusvara. [—78

a final n is treated (208-9) as if it were ns (its historically older form) ;
and also in a small number of specified words. They also mention the
doctrine of natal vowel instead of anusvftra as held by some (and TPr.
is uncertain and inconsistent in its choice between the one and the other).

ft In Panini, finally, the preyailing doctrine is that of anuBvftra
everywhere; and it is even allowed in many cases where the Prati9akhyas
prescribe only a nasal mute. But a nasal semivowel is also allowed instead
before a semivowel) and a nasal vowel is allowed in the cases (mentioned
above) where some of the Prati9akhyas require it by exception.

g. It is evidently a fair question whether this discordance and uncertainty
of the Hindu phonetists is owing to a real difference of utterance in different
classes of cases and in different localities, or whether to a different scholastic
analysis of what is really everywhere the same utterance. If anusv&ra
is a nasal element following the vowel, it cannot well be any thing but
either a prolongation of the same vowel-sound with nasality added, or a
nasalized bit of neutral-vowel sound (in the latter case, however, the altering
influence of an i or u-vowel on a following b ought to be prevented, which
is not the case: see 183).

72. The adsimilated nasal elementi whether viewed as nasalized
vowel, nasal semivowel, or independent anusv&ra, has the value of
something added, in making a heavy syllable, or length by position (79).

a. The Prati9akhyas (VPr., RPr.) give determinations of the quantity
of the antiav&ra combining with a short and with a long vowel respectively
to malce a long syllable.

78. a. Two different signs, i and ^, are found in the manuscripts,
indicating the nasal sound here treated of. Usually they are written
above the syllable, and there they seem most naturally to imply a
nasal affection of the vowel of the syllable, a nasal (anunfiaika) vowel.
Hence some texts (Sama- and Yajur-Vedas), when they mean a real
anuBv&ra, bring one of the signs down into the ordinary consonant-
place; but the usage is not general. As between the two signs,
some manuscripts employ, or tend to employ, the r where a nasalized
(anunftsika] vowel is to be recognized, and elsewhere the i; and this
distinction is consistently observed in many European printed texts;
and the former is called the anunftsika sign: but the two are doubt-
less originally and properly equivalent.

b. It is a very common custom of the manuscripts to write the
anuBV&ra-sign for any nasal following the vowel of a syllable, either
before another consonant or as final (not before a vowel), without
any reference to whether it is to be pronounced as nasal mute, nasal
semivowel, or anuavSra. Some printed texts follow this slovenly and
undesirable habit; but most write a nasal mute whenever it is to be
pronounced — excepting where it is an assimilated m (213).

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II. System op Sounds.


0. It is conyenient also in tranBliteration to distinguish the as-
similated m by a special sign, ih, from the anusvftra of more inde-
pendent origin, ft; and this method will be followed in the present work.

74. This is the whole system of sounds recognized by the written
character; for certain other transitional sounds, more or less widely
recognized in the theories of the Hindu phonetists, see below, 230.

75. The whole spoken alphabet, then, may be arranged
in the following manner, in order to show, so far as is
possible in a single scheme, the relations and important
classifications of its various members :


a, S

\»-n 8'i*



► Vowels


, i

T, T




A-ii M»

•T4 "Ol






























































































a. The figures set under the characters give the average per-
centage of frequency of each sound, found by counting the number
of times which it occurred in an aggregate of 10,000 sounds of con-
tinous text, in ten different passages, of 1,000 sounds each, selected
from different epochs of the literature: namely, two from the Rig-Yeda,
one from the Atharva-Veda, two from different Brahmanas, and one
each from Manu, Bhagavad-Gita, Qakuntala, Hitopade^a, and Yaaa-
vadatta (J.A.O.S., vol. X., p. cl).

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27 Quantity. [—79

III. Quantity of sounds and syllables.

76. The Hindu grammarians take the pains to define the
quantity of a consonant (without distinction among consonants
of different classes) as half that of a shoit vowel.

77. They also define the quantity of a long (dirgha)
vowel or diphthong as twice that of a shoxt (hrasva) vowel —
making no distinction in this respect between the gui^a-
and the v^ddhi-diphthongs.

78. Besides these two vowel-quantities, the Hindus
acknowledge a third, called pluta (literally stoimining\ or
protracted, and having three moras or three times the quantity
of a short vowel. A protracted vowel is marked by a follow-
ing figure 3: thus, ^^ S3.

a. The protracted vowels are practically of rare occurrence (in
BY., three cases; in AV., fifteen; in the Brahmana literature, decidedly
more frequent). They are used in cases of questioning, especially of
a balancing between two alternatives, and also of calling to a distance
or urgently. The protraction is of the last syllable in a word, or in
a whole phrase; and the protracted syllable has usually the acute tone,
in addition to any other accent the word may have; sometimeB it
takes also anusvfira, or is made nasal.

b. ExampleB are: adh&^L svid ftsiad up&ri Bvid ftsidt (RV.) was
it, foraooihj below f was it, forsooth, above f id&m bht!lya3 idasm fti
(AY.) saying, is this more, or is thatt &gna3i p&tniva3^ B6niam piba
(TS.) O Agni! thou with thy spouse! drink the soma,

o. A diphthong is protracted by prolongation of its first or a-element :
thus, e to ftsi, o to ft3u.

d. The sign of protraction it also sometimet written as the result of
accentual combination, when so-called kampa occurs: see below, 87 d.

79. For metrical purposes, syllables (not vowels) are
distinguished by the grammarians as heavy (guru) or light
(laghu). A syllable is heavy if its vowel is long, or short
and followed by more than one consonant ("long by po-
sition"^). Anusv&ra and visarga count as full consonants in

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79-—] II. System op Sounds, 28

making a heavy syllable. The last syllable of a pSda (pri-
mary division of a verse) is reckoned as either heavy or

a. The distinction in terms between the di£Ference of long and short in
TOwel-sound and that of heavy and light in syllable-construction is valuable,
and should be observed.

IV. Accent.

80. The phenomena of accent are, by the Hindu gram-
marians of all ages alike, described and treated as depend-
ing on a variation of tone or pitch; of any difference of
stress involved, they make no account.

81. The primary tones (svara) or accent-pitches are two:
a higher (ud&tta raised), or acute; and a lower (anud&tta
not raised), or. grave. A third (called svarita: a term of
doubtful meaning) is always of secondary origin, being (when
not enclitic: see below, 85) the result of actual combination
of an acute vowel and a following grave vowel into one
syllable. It is also uniformly defined as compound in pitch,
a union of higher and lower tone within the limits of a
single syllable. It is thus identical in physical character
with the Greek and Latin circumflex, and fully entitled to
be called by the same name.

82. Strictly, therefore, there is but one distinction of tone in the
Sanskrit accentual system, as described by the native grammarians
and marked in the written texts : the accented syllable is raised in tone
above the unaccented; while then further, in certain cases of the
fusion of an accented and an unaccented element into one syllable,
that syllable retains the compounded tone of both elements.

83. The Bvarita or circumflex is only rarely found on a pure long
vowel or diphthong, but almost always on a syllable in which a vowel,
short or long, is preceded by a y or v representing an originally acute
i- or u-vowel.

a. In transliteration, in this work, the udfttta or acute will be
marked with the ordinary sign of acnte, and the svarita or circumflex
(as being a downward slide of the voice forward) with what is usually
called the grave accent: thus, 4, acute, ya or va, circumflex.

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29 Accent. [—86

84. The Prati^akhyas distingaifih and name separately the circumflexed
tones arising by different processes of combination: thus, the circumflex is

a. Kf&ipra (quick), when an acute i- or u-vowel (short or long) is
converted Into y or v before a dissimilar Towel of grave tone : thus, vyilpta
from vi-apta, apsvknt&r from apsu antir.

b. Jfttya (native) or nitya (oum)j when the same combination lies
further back, in the make-up of a stem or form, and so is constant, or
belongs to the word in all circumstances of its occurrence : thus, kvk (from
kua), Bvhx (B^ar), nyak (nfak), badhnya (budhnfa), kanyli (kan£&),
oadyaB (nadl-aa), tanva (tanA-fi).

o. The words of both the above classes are in the Veda, in the great
majority of cases, to be read with restoration of the acute vowel as a separate
syllable: thus, apsu ant&r, euar, nadlas, etc. In some texts, part of
them are written correspondingly: thus, Buvar, tandv&, budhnfya.

d. Pra9lifta, when the acute and grave vowels are of such character
that they axe fused into a long vowel or diphthong (128 o) : thus, divi Va
(RV. AV. etc.), from divi iva; Budgfttft (TS.), from BU-udgStft; nfti 'vk
*9niyat (?B.), from n& ev& a^nly&t.

e. Abhinihita, when an Initial grave a is absorbed by a final acute
6 or 6 (185 a): thus, te 'bruvan, from t^ abruvan; sd 'bravit, from
b6 abravit.

85. But further, the Hindu grammarians agree in de-
claring the (naturally grave) syllable following an acute,
whether in the same or in another word, to be Bvarita or
circumflex — unless, indeed, it be itself followed by an
acute or circumflex; in which case it retains its grave
tone. This is called by European scholars the enclitic or
dependent circumflex.

a. Thus, in t^na and t6 oa, the syllable na and word ca are
regarded and marked as circumflex; but in ttoa t6 and t6 ca Bvkr
they are grave.

b. This seems to mean that the voice, which is borne up at the higher
pitch to the end of the acute syllable, does not ordinarily drop to grave
pitch by an instantaneous movement, but descends by a more or less per-
ceptible slide in the course of the following syllable. No Hindu authority
suggests the theory of a middle or intermediate tone for the enclitic, any
more than for the independent circumflex. For the most part, the two are
identified with one another, in treatment and designation. The enclitic
circumflex is likewise diylded into a number of sub-varieties, with different
names: they are of too little consequence to be worth reporting.

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86—] II. System of Sounds. 30

86. The essential difference of the two kinds ot circamflez is
shown clearly enough by these facts: 1. the independent circumflex
takes the place of the acute as the proper accent of a word, while
the enclitic is the mere shadow following an acute, and following it
in another word precisely as in the same word; 2. the independent
circumflex maintains its character in all situations, while the enclitic
before a following circumflex or acute loses its circumflex character,
and becomes grave; moreover, 3. in many of the systems of marking
accent (below, 88), the two are quite differently indicated.

87. The accentuation is marked in manuscripts only of the older
literature: namely, in the primary Vedic texts, or saihliit&s, in two
of the Brahmanas (Taittiriya and Qatapatha), in the TaittirTya-Aranyaka,
in certain passages of the Aitareya-Aranyaka, and in the Suparnadhyaya.
There are a number of methods of writing accent, more or less different
from one another: the one found in manuscripts of the Rig- Veda,
which is most widely known, and of which most of the others are
only slight modifications, is as follows.

a. The acute syllable is left unmarked; the circumflex, whether
independent or enclitic, has a short perpendicular stroke above; and
the grave next preceding an acute or (independent) circumflex has a
short horizontal stroke below. Thus,

qfn^ agnfm; sT^tf?T iuh6ti; fF^T tanv^; ^ kva.

b. But the introductory grave stroke below cannot be given if an
acute syllable is initial ; hence an unmarked syllable at the beginning
of a word is to be understood as acute; and hence also, if several
grave syllables precede an acute at the beginning of a sentence, they
must all alike have the grave sign. Thus,

^: Indra^i; ^ t6; ^fprftf kari(?yisi; HN^ilHI tuvijata.

c. All the grave syllables, however, which follow a marked cir-
cumflex are left unmarked, until the occurrence of another accented
syllable causes the one which precedes it to take the preparatory
stroke below. Thus,

g^!^ft^fH^ Budf ^ikaaaifadf k ;
but ^<i^n^^*4JJ Nln^BudtQikasaifadrg g&vftm.

d. If an independent circumflex be followed by an acute (or by
another independent circumflex), a figure 1 is set after the former
oircumflexed vowel if it be short, or a figure 3 if it be long, and the
signs of accent are applied as in the following examples:

t^L^critT: apsv kint&ll^ (from apsu ant&]|^);
|IUI^^(f^: rfiyds v&ni^ (from rftyo av&nih).

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31 Accent. [—89

The rationale of this mode of designation is not well understood; the
Pritl9akhyafl give no accoont of it. In the scholastic utterance of the syllahle
80 designated is made a peculiar quaver or roulade of the voicOf called
kampa or viluunpana.

e. The accent-marks are written with red ink in the manuscripts, being
added after the text is written, and perhaps often by another hand.

88 a. Nearly accordant with this, the Rig-Veda method of designating
accent, are the methods employed in the manuscripts of the Atharva-Yeda,
of the Yajasaneyi-Samhita, and of the Taittiriya-Samhita, Brahmana, and
Aranyaka. Their differences from it are of trifling importance, consisting
mainly in peculiar ways of marking the circumflex that precedes an acote
(87 d). In some manuscripts of the Atharva-Yeda, the accent-marks are
dots instead of strokes, and that for the circumflex is made within the
syllable instead of above it.

b. In most manuscripts of the Maitrayani-Samhita, the acute syllable
itself, besides its surroundings, is marked — namely, by a perpendlcnlar
stroke above the syllable (like that of the ordinary circumflex in the RY.
method). The independent circumflex has a hook beneath the syllable, and
the circumflex before an acute (87 d) is denoted simply by a figure 3,
standing before instead of after the circumflexed syllable.

O. The Qatapatha-Brahmana uses only a single accent-sign, the horizontal
stroke beneath the syllable (like the mark for grave in RY.). This is put
under an acute, or, if two or more acutes immediately follow one another,
only under the preceding syllable. To mark an independent oircamflex, it
is put under the preceding syllable. The method is an imperfect one, allow-
ing many ambiguities.

d. The Sama-Yeda method is the most intricate of all. It has a dozen
different signs, consisting of figures, or of figures and letters combined, all
placed above the syllables, and varying according both to the accentual character
of the syllable and to its surroundings. Its origin is obscure; if anything
more is indicated by it than by the other simpler systems, the fact has not
been demonstrated.

89. In this work, as everything given in the devanfigari characters
is also given in transliteration, it will in general be unnecessary to
mark the accent except in the transliterated form; where, however,
the case is otherwise, there will be adopted the method of marking
only the really accented syllables, the acute and the independent
ciroomflex: the latter by the usaal svarita-sign, the former by a small
u (for udatta) above the syllable : thus,

^ fndra, §& igne, T^ Bvar. ^pjg nady^is.

a. These being given, everything else which the Hindu theory recog-
nizes as dependent on and accompanying them can readily be understood
as implied.

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90—] II. System op Sounds. 32

90. The theory of the Sanskrit accent, as here given (a consistent and
intelligible body of phenomena), has been OYerlaid by the Hindu theorists,
especially of the PTati9akhyas, with a number of added features, of a much
more questionable character. Thus:

a. The unmarked grave syllables following a circumflex (either at the
end of a sentence, or till the near aproach of another acute) are declared
to have the same high tone with the (also unmarked) acute. They are
called praoaya or praoita (accumulated: because liable to occur in an
indefinite series of successive syllables).

b. The circumflex, whether independent or enclitic, is declared to begin
on a higher pitch than acute, and to descend to acute pitch in ordinary
cases: the concluding instant of it being brought down to grave pitch,
however, in the case of an independent circumflex which is immediately
followed by another ascent of the voice to higher pitch, in acute or inde-
pendent circumflex (a kampa syllable: 87 d).

o. Panini gives the ambiguous name of ek&(pniia.-(monoione) to the
praoita syllables, and says nothing of the uplifting of the circumflex to
a higher plane ; he teaches, however, a depression below the grave pitch for
the marked grave syllable before acute or circumflex, calling it sannatara
(otherwise anudfittatara).

91. The system of accentuation as marked in the Vedic texts appears
to have assumed in the traditional recitation of the Brahmanic schools
a peculiar and aitiflcial form, in which the designated syllables, grave and
circumflex (equally the enclitic and the independent circumflex), have acquired
a conspicuous value, while the undesignated, the acute, has sunk into in-

92. The Sanskrit accent taught in the native grammars and
represented by the accentuated texts is essentially a system of word-
accent only. No general attempt is made (any more than in the
Greek system) to define or mark a sentence-accent, the efiTect of the
emphasis and modulation of the sentence in modifying the independent
accent of indiyidual words. The only approach to it is seen in the
treatment of vocatives and personal verb-forms.

a. A vocative is usually without accent except at the beginning
of a sentence: for further details, see 314.

b. A personal verb-form is usually accentless in an independent
clause, except when standing at the beginning of the clause: for
further details, see 591 ff.

98. Certain other words also are, usually or always, without

a. The particles oa» vft, u, sma, iva, oid» avid, ha, and the Vedic
kam (or k&m), gha, bhala, samaha, Im, aim, are always without
accent; also yathft in RY. (sometimes also elsewhere) in the sense of iva,
at the end of a p&da or verse-division.

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33 Accent. [—96

b. Tbe s&me is troe of oerUiii prouoans and pronominal stems: mft,
me, n&n, naB» tva» te, vSm, vas (491 b), ena (600)» tva (508 b),
sama (518 o).

c. The cases of tlie pronominal stem a are sometimes accented and
sometimes accentless (502).

d. An accentless word is not allowed to stand at the beginning
of a sentence; also not of a p&da or primary division of a verse; a
p&da is, in all matters relating to accentaation, treated like an in-
dependent sentence.

94. Some words have more than a single accented syllable.
Such are:

a. Certain dual copulative compounds in the Veda (see 1255), as

Online LibraryWilliam Dwight WhitneyA Sanskrit grammar : including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of Veda and Brahmana → online text (page 5 of 59)