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May 22, 2012 / A

The ten verb classes (according to Panini)

For fun, here is how Panini defines the ten Sanskrit verb classes.

Verb classes matter when adding the so-called सार्वधातुक suffixes, which are usually marked with indicatory श्. By 1.2.4 सार्वधातुकमपित्, these suffixes do not strengthen the vowel in the preceding term, unless the suffix is marked with पित्.

The rules are defined through the device of उत्सर्ग-अपवाद. The उत्सर्ग is a general rule that states what commonly occurs, and the अपवाद is a prohibition that applies to a more specific case. So if I say “Fruits are round, but bananas are long,” the उत्सर्ग is that fruits are round and the अपवाद is that bananas are long.

भ्वादिगण (Class 1)

The largest class of all, home to the most common Sanskrit roots and verbs. भू (भवति) and गम् (गच्छति) are some of its members. This class follows the general rule:

3.1.68 कर्तरि शप् .
शप् is added after a root when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix.

This is an उत्सर्ग statement counteracted by various अपवाद rules. अपवाद rules can occur anywhere in the text, but they’re usually stated near the उत्सर्ग.

Since शप् has indicatory प्, it causes the vowel in the term before it to strengthen. Thus we get भवति, not *भुवति.

अदादिगण (Class 2)

A smaller class with many fun and common roots, like अद् (अत्ति) and विद् (वेत्ति, or वेद by a special rule).

2.4.72 अदिप्रभृतिभ्यः शपः
शप् (is deleted by लुक्) after roots in the अद् group.

जुहोत्यादिगण (Class 3)

Like class 2, this class doesn’t have an augment or extra sound (like अ, ना, न, ओ, or नो). Instead it reduplicates; part of the root is doubled. Some common roots are हु (जुहोति) and भी (बिभर्ति).

2.4.75 जुहोत्यादिभ्यः श्लुः
श्लु replaces शप् after roots in the हु group.

By 1.1.56 (स्थानिवदादेशोऽनल्विधौ), a replacement usually retains the indicatory letters of what it replaces. But I don’t think that happens here, because of 1.1.63 (न लुमताङ्गस्य). Here, श्लु is a “लु” term, which causes deletions of various kinds. When these terms delete something that forms part of a verb or noun stem, those terms are gone for good. But I’m not sure about this; I’ll need to check on it later on.

As stated elsewhere in the text (somewhere in book 7, I think), श्लु causes reduplication.

Incidentally, I don’t know why this isn’t called the ह्वादिगण.

दिवादिगण (Class 4)

3.1.69 दिवादिभ्यः श्यन्
श्यन् is added after a root in the दिव् group (when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix).

श्यन् does not have indicatory प्; it does not cause the vowel in front of it to strengthen. न् is used to determine accent.

स्वादिगण (Class 5)

3.1.73 स्वादिभ्यः श्नुः
श्नु is added after a root in the सु group (when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix).

श्नु does not have indicatory प्; it does not cause the vowel in front of it to strengthen.

The next rule [3.1.74 श्रुवः शृ च] states an exception for श्रु. But I find this odd. There are so many exceptions in class 1; why aren’t they here? My guess is that the text discusses them elsewhere.

तुदादिगण (Class 6)

3.1.77 तुदादिभ्यः शः
श is added after a root in the तुद् group (when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix).

श does not have indicatory प्; it does not cause the vowel in front of it to strengthen.

रुधादिगण (Class 7)

3.1.78 रुधादिभ्यः श्नम्
श्नम् is added after a root in the तुद् group (when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix).

श्नम् does not have indicatory प्; it does not cause the vowel in front of it to strengthen. By 1.1.47 (मिदचोऽन्त्यात्परः), न is inserted right after the last vowel in the root. Thus we get forms like रुणद्धि “he obstructs.”

तनादिगण (Class 8)

The smallest class of all, only two of its roots are common: तन् (तनुँ विस्तारे “in the sense of expansion”)and कृ (डुकृञ् करणे “in the sense of doing”). It gives us roots like तनोति and करोति, although कृणोति (class 5) is an older version.

3.1.79 तनादिकृञ्भ्य उः
उ is added after a root in the तन् group (when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix). Likewise after कृ (डुकृञ्) .

I don’t yet know why उः was used instead of शुः . I’m also not totally sure why कृ, which is a member of the तन् group, is stated in the first place. According to Rama Nath Sharma, who defers to Bhattoji Dikshita, कृ is stated separately to show that when a rule is applied to the तन् class, it does not apply to कृ. Maybe I’ll see evidence of this later on.

क्र्यादिगण (Class 9)

3.1.81 क्र्यादिभ्यः श्ना
श्ना is added after a root in the क्री group (when it is followed by a सार्वधातुक suffix).

श्ना does not have indicatory प्, it does not cause the vowel in front of it to strengthen. I assume that the rules for using नी instead will be described later. (Recall that we have both क्रीणाति and क्रीणीते.)

चुरादिगण (Class 10)

I haven’t seen a statement applied to this class yet. But given its kinship with causative and certain denominative (णिच् and णिञ् , or णि for both) verbs, I can hazard a guess. I imagine that Panini adds इ after these roots somewhere and that the normal कर्तरि शप् rule applies.

I think that using a suffix like शयप् (अय with श् for सार्वधातुक status and प् to allow root strengthening) wouldn’t quite work. प् also indicates accent (3.1.4 अनुदात्तौ सुप्पितौ), and it’s not especially clear where the accent should apply in अय. And supposing there is a rule to specify where the accent should be, this might not be correct for class 10 verbs. I suppose I’ll have to wait and see what Panini does.

When I wrote the above, I totally ignored the rule that solves my problems:

3.1.25 सत्यापपाशरूपवीणातूलश्लोकसेनालोमत्वचवर्मवर्णचूर्णचुरादिभ्यो णिच्
णिच् is added after … and the roots in the चुर् group.

Then कर्तरि शप् applies normally. This strengthens the इ vowel to ए, which combines with अ due to sandhi. This gives us forms like चोरयति and चिन्तयति.

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One Comment

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  1. hnbhat / Jul 18 2012 5:15 pm

    णिच् is added after … and the roots in the चुर् group.
    Then कर्तरि शप् applies normally. This strengthens the इ vowel to ए, which combines with अ due to sandhi. This gives us forms like चोरयति and चिन्तयति.

    The difference between other groups and this is that for the others, the suffix prescribed by कर्तरि शप् (पा०सू० ३/१/६८) in active voice generally to all the verbs in common, is modified by the later rules belonging to different groups. Hence up to 9th Gana, according to you, they are governed by this rule modified accordingly. And, for the चुरादि group, the suffix णिच् is added to form another modify the verb in causative or without change in the meaning, and form again as चोरि another verb. Now again, the general rule कर्तरि “शप्” is applied to conjugate it following certain rules applicable to multiple syllable धातु-s. in general.

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