Saturday, 22 September 2012
Sanskrit Grammar: Indeclinables
Words which do not change with the three genders, three numbers and all eight cases
are called अव्यय. व्यय (and व्यर्थ) both come from the same root. They mean to decay, perish, pass away. so Avyaya means that which unlikely to change and is used for indeclinable words - literally those which do not change. So far we have focused on endings of words - which change with gender, number, case, person - all very bewildering till you get used to it. (As yet we haven't looked at endings that change with voice and mood...) So it's always a pleasant relief to study avyayas. Hindi speakers will be familiar with quite a few of these.
अव्ययपद is a word that never varies, except when affected by sandhi rules. At this time we should familiarise ourselves with the क्-य्-त् series. क् leads to interrogative statements, i.e. questions like who? what? where? when? why? The य् gives us relative sentences - the Hindi equivalent being जो and the त् gives us the corelative - independent clauses that complete relative clauses to form complex sentences. That is just grammar for a sentence Like:
All (जो) who wish to leave, they (वह) can go. All क्s and य्s are marked by corresponding correlatives. Groupings will soon become obvious. Avyayas belonging to the क्-य्-त् series are adverbs with a variety of meanings:
The ending थम्/था is an adverb of manner and is best remembered by कथम्? which means 'HOW'
The ending तः gives you SOURCE-origin, (time place) etc.
The ending दा indicates TIME
And the ending त्र indicates PLACE.
Let us look at some examples:
अत्र - here
यत्र - where; in which place
तत्र - there
कुत्र - where?
अन्यत्र - somewhere else
सर्वत्र - everywhere
कुतः - whence? why?
ततः - from that, therefore
यतः - since, from the point that
इतः - from this, from here
कदा - when?
यदा - when; Repeated twice (यदा यदा) it means whenever
तदा - then
कथम् - how, in what way, in what manner?
यथा - just as, in the manner mentioned
तथा - thus, in that way
Along with these, we should learn the following relative-correlative correspondences:
यदि if, तर्हि then
यावत् as long as, तावत् so long, that long
These help us to build complex sentences easily.
Besides the क्-य्-त् series the adverbial endings we saw above can be added to noun and pronoun stems to form adverbs with the same general meaning:
अन्यथा - otherwise
सर्वथा - every which way
अन्यतः- from another source
एकतः-from one side, on the one hand
सर्वतः- from all sides
अन्यदा - another time
एकदा - one time, once
अन्यत्र - else where
एकत्र - in one place
परत्र - in another place (often means in the next world)
Other than, there is a standard list of avyayas which can be found in any class IX or X text book. The most commonly used and important ones are:
अपि - also
अथ - and now
अधुना - now, at this time
अचिरेण - soon
इव - like
इह - here
इति - direct speech marker
एव - to add stress, to strengthen an idea
एवम् - in this manner
क्व - where?
खलु - certainly, indeed
मा - indicates prohibition, and is used with the imperative
यदि - if
विना - without
सह - with, accompanied by
सहसा - suddenly
तु - but, on the contrary, used for emphasis sometimes
प्रति - towards
पुरा - in olden times, formerly
नूनम् - certainly, indeed
पुनः - again (when repeated twice, it means बार बार)
There are many more - and you will be able to identify them, because there will be no 'agreement' as we have seen so far - for instance between noun and adjective. The avyaya will remain itself, unless it is affected by sandhi. That will have to wait till we do sandhi together.
More avyayapada for reference:
बहुधा - frequently, diversely
नीचैः - low, down
नित्यं - always, daily
निकटे - close by
नक्तम् - in the night, by night
दिवा - in the day, by day
सत्यम् - truly, indeed
सत्वरम् - quickly, speedily
शीघ्रम् - quickly
शनैः - slowly
वृथा - useless, meaningless
मुहुर्मुहुः - over and over again
मन्दम् - slowly, faintly
ऋते - without, except
उच्चैः - high, loudly
इदानीम् - just now, at this moment
अद्य - today
अधः - lower, beneath
This list is by no means comprehensive. There are many more avyayas. But these will do for a start.
Sentences for reference:
यत्र वसति रामः तत्र वसति सीता
यदि रामः वनम् गच्छति तर्हि सीता अपि गच्छति
यावत् रामः वनम् न गच्छति तावत् राक्षसाः तत्र नन्दन्ते