Imágenes de páginas

pulling it to pieces again. No one, as far as I am aware, has ever asserted that at a given period of the world's history a certain race of men used such words as bhû, gam, or kar, till some one hit on the ingenious device of adding to bhủ the word ami, and, modifying bhů into bhava, burst upon his astonished countrymen with the newly-discovered word bhavâmi, I am. What has been asserted, and truly too, is that in Sanskrit we find a large number of words expressing the idea of “being," in which the consonantal sound bh is followed by various vowels and semivowels, which, according to phonetic laws, spring from the vowel û, and that as, for scientific purposes, some common generic term is required to enable us to include under one head all parts of the verb, we are justified in putting together these two constant unvarying elements, and so obtaining a neat technical expression bhủ, to which, as to a common factor, can be referred all the words expressive of “ being” in its relations of time, person, and condition. Analysis and arrangement of this sort is an essential part of every science, and the native grammarians had done this much work for us before European skill was brought to bear on the subject.

Verbal roots, then, are grammarians' tickets, by which actual spoken words are classified and arranged in groups for convenience of investigation. The roots in Sanskrit are mostly monosyllabic, consisting of a consonant followed by a vowel, as bhú, ya, ni, or of a vowel followed by a consonant, as ad, ish, ubh, or of a vowel between two consonants, as kar, gam, pat. Roots may also consist of a single vowel, as i, and in the place of a single consonant there may be a nexus, as grah, pinj, mlai. Those roots which have more than one syllable are usually of a secondary nature, being in some cases produced by reduplication, as jágar, in others made from nouns, as kumar.

Each verbal root presents six phases or grades of action : active, neuter, passive, causal, desiderative, intensive. All these are distinguished by certain modifications of the letters



of the root, and by certain prefixed and affixed syllables. Thus a bhủ, “to be," undergoes the following modifications :



Desiderative bubhûsha.

Intensive bobh ûya. The causal also is in some cases treated as primary stem, and gives rise to subsidiary forms; thus from påtaya "cause fall,” is made a passive pâtya, whence comes a desiderative causal pipâtayisha.

Each of these six phases may be conjugated throughout thirteen tenses, in each of which are nine forms representing the three persons of the singular, dual, and plural. It rarely happens in practice that any one verbal root exhibits the whole of these forms, but if we regard the general type, we may fairly say that a Sanskrit verb, as an individual entity, is an aggregate of seven hundred and two words, all agreeing in expressing modifications of the idea contained in the rootsyllable, which is the common inheritance of them all. Of the thirteen tenses, nine are conjugated according to certain rules which, with some exceptions, hold good for all verbs in the language, but the remaining four tenses are subject to rules by which they are divided into ten classes or conjugations. These four are the present, imperfect, imperative, and optative; and before we can determine what form a verbal root can take in any of these tenses, we must know what conjugation it belongs to.

1 Namely, 6 phases x 13 tenses x 9 persons = 702. But this is an extreme calculation, for the Subjunctive (Let) is only found in Vedic Sanskrit; and the two forms of the Perfect (Lit) may be regarded as variations of the same tense. Thus the number of tenses may be reduced to ten, viz. Present (Lat), Imperfect (Lan), Optative (Lin), Imperative (Lot), Perfect (Lit), Aorist (Lun), Future (Lệt), Conditional (Lạn), Second Future (Lut), Benedictive (âs'ir Lin). By this reckoning the number of forms would be 6 x 10 x 9 = 540.

Inasmuch also as the Sanskrit grammarians class the active and neuter phases together, we must find out which of these two phases any given verb employs, for the terminations of the tenses and persons are different. Some verbs employ both, but the majority are conjugated only in one of the two, and as there is no rule as to which of the two is to be used, the dictionary is our only guide. The active, or Parasmaipada, as it is called, stands to the neuter, or Âtmanepada, in the same relation as the active in Greek does to the middle voice, and the resemblance is the greater, in that the Âtmanepada, like the middle voice in Greek, uses the terminations of the passive.

Although each of the seven hundred and two words which make up the complete typical Sanskrit verb contains the common root-syllable, yet this syllable does not appear in the same form in each word, but is subject to certain euphonic and other influences which affect both the vowels and consonants composing it, and often materially alter its shape. Thus the verbal root KAR,“ do," appears in classical Sanskrit in the following forms:

1. & Kri, in 1 du. pf. Par. chakriva, 1 pl. id. chakrima, 2 s. pf. Atm. chakrishe, 1 du., 1 and 2 pl. id. chakrivahe, chakrimahe, chakridhve; in the whole of the 1 aor. Âtm., as akrishi, akrithân, akrita, etc.; in the pass. part. křitah, and gerund kritrâ, and in the benedictive Âtm., as krishishta, etc.

2. fah kri, in bened. Par., as kriyâsam, kriyah, kriyat, etc., and in the passive present, as kriye, kriyase, kriyate, etc.

3. ay kar, in pres. Par., as karomi, karoshi, karoti, and before all weak terminations. 4. 57 kur, in pres. Âtm., as kurve, kurushe, kurute, and T

, before strong terminations.

5. aTT kár, in pf. Par., as chakära, and 1 aor. Par., as akârsham, also in the causal, as kårayati.


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6. kr, in 2 and 3 pl. pf. Par., chakra, chakruh, and 1 and 3 s. pf. Atm. chakre.

In the same way the root ÇRU“ hear," appears in some parts of the verb as çri, in others as çru, çrů, çļiņ, and crâv. In the whole range of verbal roots there is perhaps not one which does not undergo more or less modification in the course of being conjugated.

Not only does the root-syllable present itself in various forms in the several tenses, but the terminations of the nine persons differ in each tense, and sometimes one tense will have two sets of terminations. Moreover, the endings of any given tense in one phase, differ from the corresponding ones of the same tense in another phase. Thus the terminations of the present tense are in the active phase Singular 1. ami. 2. si.

3. ti. Dual 1. avah. 2. thah. 3. tah. Plural 1. amah. 2. tha.

3. nti. But in the middle phase the same tense ends in Singular 1. i.

3. te. Dual 1. avahe. 2. ithe.

3. ite. Plural 1. amahe. 2. dhve. 3. nte.

2. se.

This slight outline will suffice to show how vast and intricate are the ramifications of the Sanskrit verb. The reader who has followed the steps by which the noun has been simplified, as shown in the second volume of this work, will not be surprised to find in the present volume how widely the modern verb differs from that of Sanskrit. It was impossible to reduce the verb to anything like the simplicity required by modern speakers without sacrificing by far the greater portion of the immense and unwieldy apparatus of ancient times.


§ 2. Owing to the want of a continuous succession of literary documents, such as exists in the case of the modern Romance languages of Europe, it is scarcely possible to trace step by step the changes which have occurred in the verb. It is necessary, however, to make the attempt, and to piece together such evidence as we have, because the modern verb is an undoubted descendant of the ancient one, though only a slight trait here and there recalls the features of its parent, and its structure in many points can only be rendered intelligible by tracing it back to the ancient stock whence it sprung.

The first steps in the direction of simplification occur in Sanskrit itself. Many of the elaborate forms cited by grammarians are of very rare occurrence in actual literature, and some of them seem almost to have been invented for the sake of uniformity. Three instances of this tendency in classical Sanskrit may here be noticed.

The perfect tense in Sanskrit, as in Greek, is usually formed by reduplication, so we have from v aq “burn,” pf. aata, V EU“see," pf. Et, just as neltw makes néoctra and Tpétro, Tét popa. But there are certain roots which cannot take reduplication, and these form their perfect by an analytical process. The root is formed into a sort of abstract substantive in the accusative case, and the perfect of an auxiliary verb is added to it. The verbs 2" be,” We “be," and a

“WE " “do,” are the auxiliaries principally employed for this purpose. Thus,

, / उंद् “wet,” makes pf. उंदा चकार, उंदा बभूव or उंदा आस.

, V चकास “ shine," “ "

चकासां चकार, etc. ✓ atua "explain," बोधयां चकार, etc.'

Another instance of the analytical formation is seen in the future tense made out of the agent of the verb with the present tense of the auxiliary H “be.” Thus from Vy “know,” comes the agent atfuat, which with the present of we makes

अस् s. 1. बोधितास्मि P. 1. बोधितास्मः

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2. alfratta 2. atfuate.

1 Max Müller's Sanskrit Grammar, p. 172.

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