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July 24, 2013 / A

Unusual imperatives

As I go ever nearer to the sharp descent of chapter 6.4 and book 6, I’ve had the fortune to stumble across a piece of Sanskrit morphology that I had wondered about for some time: the many sound changes involved in “regular” verbs (सार्वधातुक), especially the imperatives:

  • पच (पच्)
  • सुनु (सु)
  • आप्नुहि (आप्)
  • धेहि (धा)
  • एधि (अस्)
  • कुरु (कृ)
  • लुनीहि (लु)

Relevant rules

6.4.101 हुझल्भ्यो हेर् धिः
After हु and roots ending in consonants, हि is replaced by धि.
6.4.104 चिणो लुक्
चिण् is deleted by लुक्, as are the following:
6.4.105 अतो हेः
हि after the vowel अ;
6.4.106 उतश् च प्रत्ययाद् असंयोगपूर्वात्
and the same after the vowel उ, if the vowel ends a suffix and is not preceded by a conjunct.
6.4.119 घ्वसोर् एद्धावभ्यासलोपश्च
The last part of the घु verbs and अस् is replaced by ए when followed by हि, and the अभ्यास is deleted as well.

6.4.101 explains the धि in एधि. (This is in the असिद्धवत् section of the Ashtadhyayi, so rules in this section — including the one that changes अस् to ए — are treated as if they didn’t take effect.) 6.4.105 explains पच. 6.4.106 explains सुनु and आप्नुहि. 6.4.119 explains धेहि and एधि.

कुरु and लुनीहि are explained by two other rules:

6.4.110 (करोतेः) अत उत् सार्वधातुके
The अ of the verb कृ is replaced with उ when followed by a सार्वधातुक affix with indicatory क् or ङ्.
6.4.113 ई हल्य् अघोः
The final आ of either श्ना or an अभ्यस्त is replaced with ई when followed by the same.

At the risk of boring the reader, I leave the discussion here. These rules — from about 6.4.101 to 6.4.128 — all account for a variety of interesting transformations.


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