The Sanskrit Language
作者:Walter Harding Maurer
出版社:From:thesanskritlanguage.com

Lesson 5



Exercise Page 85

Exercises(PDF)

CORRECTION: There is an error in the book on Page 89, vocabulary listing for 'stay'. ‘तिष्टति’ should be ‘तिष्ठति’.

Verbal Roots

Present tense and imperfect tense verb forms are most easily formed from a verb stem. As explained in Lesson 2, the stem of a verb can be easily extracted from the present tense third-person singular form by removing the suffix 'ति', e.g. the stem of भवति is 'भव'. All other present tense and imperfect tense forms of the verb can then be formed by adding the appropriate suffix (and the prefix '' for the imperfect tense).

There is, however, a more fundamental form of the verb than its stem, called the verbal root or
धातु in Sanskrit. Verbal roots are actually the basis for all verb forms as well as most nouns in Sanskrit. Most Sanskrit dictionaries do not list verbs by their stem or present tense third-person singular form as in this book, but by their root. Therefore it is necessary to have some familiarity with roots and the processes by which they yield their stems. However it is not essential to completely memorize the derivation process.

Roots are divided into ten 
classes based on the process by which they yield their stem, i.e. all roots in one class yield stems in a similar way. These ten classes are again divided into two conjugations, based on the kind of stem they yield. Here, the first conjugation will be discussed, which includes classes 1, 4, 6, and 10, which all yield stems that end in ''.

Class 6 roots yield their stems by simply adding '' to the root, e.g. तुद् + अ = तुद. Class 4 roots yield their stems by adding '' to the root, e.g. तुष् + य = तुष्य. Class 1 and 10 roots yield their stems by adding '' or 'अय' respectively, but the root itself also undergoes additional changes called गुण and वृद्धि. Thus by adding , , or अय to the root, all the resulting stems end in .

गुण and वृद्धि

गुण and वृद्धि are the names for vowel 'grades' in Sanskrit. A vowel is said to 'undergo' गुण or वृद्धि when it is changed into its corresponding गुण or वृद्धि form. The गुण and वृद्धि forms corresponding to each vowel are tabulated at the bottom of Page 83. गुण and वृद्धि changes are not unique to the derivation of verb stems, but are also found in the derivation of nouns and in sandhi. Therefore it is useful to be acquainted with the गुण and वृद्धि letters corresponding to each vowel.

In the derivation of verb stems, the following
गुण and वृद्धि changes occur. Again, it is not important to remember the complete process of verb stem derivation, but only be familiar with the kinds of changes that occur.

Class 1:

  • गुण of      a vowel that is the last letter of the root, e.g. भू becomes      भो

  • गुण of      a short vowel that is the second-last letter of the root, e.g. बुध् becomes      बोध्


Class 10:

  • वृद्धि of      a vowel that is the last letter of the root, e.g. धृ becomes      धार्

  • वृद्धि of      the letter that is the second-last letter      of the root, e.g. क्षल् becomes क्षाल्

  • गुण of      any other vowel that is the second-last letter of the root, e.g. चुर् becomes      चोर्


After these changes to the root, is added to Class 1 roots, and अय is added to Class 10 roots. If the changed root ends in a vowel, the following additional sandhi can also take place:

  • becomes      अय् when followed by any vowel,      e.g. ने + अ = नय् + अ = नय

  • becomes      अव् when followed by any vowel,      e.g. भो + अ = भव् + अ = भव

TIP: In this book, every root will be listed with its present tense third-person singular form, so there will never be a need to derive a stem from its root. However, when looking up a verb in the vocabulary list after each exercise, it is useful to make note of the root and its stem and see the relationship between them. In this way, one can familiarize oneself with the many different forms of a root, e.g. present tense, gerund, infinitive, etc.