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July 25, 2013 / A


In the Ashtadhyayi, complete words are called पद (1.4.14). The “stem” of a पद, which is combined with a suffix (or perhaps multiple), is called an अङ्ग (1.4.13). These suffixes are called प्रत्यय (3.1.1-2). A प्रत्यय that creates a noun is in the set of affixes called सुप् and is itself called सुप् for short (4.1.2). The first five सुप् affixes are called सर्वनामस्थान (1.1.42-43). And an अङ्ग followed by a सुप् affix that is not सर्वनामस्थान, if the affix starts with either य् or a vowel, is called भ (1.4.18).

Such are the many layers of designations in the Ashtadhyayi. More plainly, a term is called भ if it is followed by a noun suffix that starts with either a vowel or य्. These affixes cause a variety of substitutions and base changes, which usually manifest as the “strong” and “weak” stems of many Sanskrit declensions.

The scope of भ is primarily the back third of 6.4:

6.4.129 भस्य
Of a भ term, …

But it is mentioned earlier, at the beginning of the असिद्धवत् section:

6.4.22 असिद्धवद् अत्राभात्
The rules from here (अत्र) to 6.4.129 भस्य (आ भात्) are treated as if they were असिद्ध.

And although many of the rules in the section are fairly esoteric, there are also a few that directly speak to some of the things students observe when they start to learn Sanskrit. For example:

6.4.134 अल्लोपो ऽनः (अत्-लोपः अनः)
The अ of the final अन् of a भ term is deleted,
6.4.137 न संयोगाद् वमान्तात्
unless the अन् follows a conjunct ending in व् or म्.

6.4.134 explains forms like राज्ञः and राज्ञे, and 6.4.137 explains forms like आत्मने or पर्वणा.


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