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Sanskrit is a highly inflected language with three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, neuter) and three numbers (singular, plural, dual). It has eight cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, and locative [1].

Nouns are grouped into "declensions", which are sets of nouns that form their cases in a similar manner. In this article they are divided into five declensions. The declension to which a noun belongs is determined largely by form.

Cases Edit

Modern scholars of Sanskrit count eight cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, and locative [2].

Historically, other enumerations have been used. Pāṇini identified six kārakas corresponding to the nominative, accusative, dative, instrumental, locative, and ablative cases [3]. He defined them as follows (Ashtādhyāyi, I.4.24-54):

  1. Apādāna (lit. 'take off'): "(that which is) firm when departure (takes place)." This is the equivalent of the ablative case, which signifies a stationary object from which movement proceeds.
  2. Sampradāna ('bestowal'): "he whom one aims at with the object". This is equivalent to the dative case, which signifies a recipient in an act of giving or similar acts.
  3. Karaṇa ("instrument") "that which effects most." This is equivalent to the instrumental case.
  4. Adhikaraṇa ('location'): or "substratum." This is equivalent to the locative case.
  5. Karman ('deed'/'object'): "what the agent seeks most to attain". This is equivalent to the accusative case.
  6. Kartā ('agent'): "he/that which is independent in action". This is equivalent to the nominative case. (On the basis of Scharfe, 1977: 94)

Possessive (Sambandha) and vocative are absent[4] in Pāṇini's grammar.

Basic noun and adjective declension Edit

The basic scheme of suffixation is given in the table below—valid for almost all nouns and adjectives. However, according to the gender and the ending consonant/vowel of the uninflected word-stem, there are predetermined rules of compulsory sandhi which would then give the final inflected word. The parentheses give the case-terminations for the neuter gender, the rest are for masculine and feminine gender. Both devanagari script and IAST transliterations are given.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative
(Kartā)
-स् -s
(-म् -m)
-औ -au
(-ई -ī)
-अस् -as
(-इ -i)
Accusative
(Karman)
-अम् -am
(-म् -m)
-औ -au
(-ई -ī)
-अस् -as
(-इ -i)
Instrumental
(Karaṇa)
-आ -ā-भ्याम् -bhyām-भिस् -bhis
Dative
(Sampradāna)
-ए -e-भ्याम् -bhyām-भ्यस् -bhyas
Ablative
(Apādāna)
-अस् -as-भ्याम् -bhyām-भ्यस् -bhyas
Genitive
(Sambandha)
-अस् -as-ओस् -os-आम् -ām
Locative
(Adhikaraṇa)
-इ -i-ओस् -os-सु -su
Vocative -स् -s
(- -)
-औ -au
(-ई -ī)
-अस् -as
(-इ -i)

a-stemsEdit

A-stems (/ə/ or /aː/) comprise the largest class of nouns. As a rule, nouns belonging to this class, with the uninflected stem ending in short-a (/ə/), are either masculine or neuter. Nouns ending in long-A (/aː/) are almost always feminine. A-stem adjectives take the masculine and neuter in short-a (/ə/), and feminine in long-A (/aː/) in their stems. This class is so big because it also comprises the Proto-Indo-European o-stems.

Masculine (kāma-) Neuter (āsya- 'mouth') Feminine (kānta- 'beloved')
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative kā́mas kā́māu kā́mās āsyàm āsyè āsyā̀ni kāntā kānte kāntās
Accusative kā́mam kā́māu kā́mān āsyàm āsyè āsyā̀ni kāntām kānte kāntās
Instrumental kā́mena kā́mābhyām kā́māis āsyèna āsyā̀bhyām āsyāìs kāntayā kāntābhyām kāntābhis
Dative kā́māya kā́mābhyām kā́mebhyas āsyā̀ya āsyā̀bhyām āsyèbhyas kāntāyai kāntābhyām kāntābhyās
Ablative kā́māt kā́mābhyām kā́mebhyas āsyā̀t āsyā̀bhyām āsyèbhyas kāntāyās kāntābhyām kāntābhyās
Genitive kā́masya kā́mayos kā́mānām āsyàsya āsyàyos āsyā̀nām kāntāyās kāntayos kāntānām
Locative kā́me kā́mayos kā́meu āsyè āsyàyos āsyèu kāntāyām kāntayos kāntāsu
Vocative kā́ma kā́mau kā́mās ā́sya āsyè āsyā̀ni kānte kānte kāntās

i- and u-stemsEdit

i-stems
Masc. and Fem. (gáti- 'gait') Neuter (vā́ri- 'water')
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative gátis gátī gátayas vā́ri vā́riī vā́rīi
Accusative gátim gátī gátīs vā́ri vā́riī vā́rīi
Instrumental gátyā gátibhyām gátibhis vā́riā vā́ribhyām vā́ribhis
Dative gátaye, gátyāi gátibhyām gátibhyas vā́rie vā́ribhyām vā́ribhyas
Ablative gátes, gátyās gátibhyām gátibhyas vā́rias vā́ribhyām vā́ribhyas
Genitive gátes, gátyās gátyos gátīnām vā́rias vā́rios vā́riām
Locative gátāu, gátyām gátyos gátiu vā́rii vā́rios vā́riu
Vocative gáte gátī gátayas vā́ri, vā́re vā́riī vā́rīi
u-stems
Masc. and Fem. (śátru- 'enemy') Neuter (mádhu- 'honey')
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative śátrus śátrū śátravas mádhu mádhunī mádhūni
Accusative śátrum śátrū śátrūn mádhu mádhunī mádhūni
Instrumental śátruā śátrubhyām śátrubhis mádhunā mádhubhyām mádhubhis
Dative śátrave śátrubhyām śátrubhyas mádhune mádhubhyām mádhubhyas
Ablative śátros śátrubhyām śátrubhyas mádhunas mádhubhyām mádhubhyas
Genitive śátros śátrvos śátrūām mádhunas mádhunos mádhūnām
Locative śátrāu śátrvos śátruu mádhuni mádhunos mádhuṣu
Vocative śátro śátrū śátravas mádhu mádhunī mádhūni

Long Vowel-stemsEdit

ā-stems (jā- 'progeny') ī-stems (dhī- 'thought') ū-stems (bhū- 'earth')
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative jā́s jāú jā́s dhī́s dhíyāu dhíyas bhū́s bhúvāu bhúvas
Accusative jā́m jāú jā́s, jás dhíyam dhíyāu dhíyas bhúvam bhúvāu bhúvas
Instrumental jā́ jā́bhyām jā́bhis dhiyā́ dhībhyā́m dhībhís bhuvā́ bhūbhyā́m bhūbhís
Dative jā́bhyām jā́bhyas dhiyé, dhiyāí dhībhyā́m dhībhyás bhuvé, bhuvāí bhūbhyā́m bhūbhyás
Ablative jás jā́bhyām jā́bhyas dhiyás, dhiyā́s dhībhyā́m dhībhyás bhuvás, bhuvā́s bhūbhyā́m bhūbhyás
Genitive jás jós jā́nām, jā́m dhiyás, dhiyā́s dhiyós dhiyā́m, dhīnā́m bhuvás, bhuvā́s bhuvós bhuvā́m, bhūnā́m
Locative jós jā́su dhiyí, dhiyā́m dhiyós dhīṣú bhuví, bhuvā́m bhuvós bhūṣú
Vocative jā́s jāú jā́s dhī́s dhiyāu dhíyas bhū́s bhuvāu bhúvas

-stemsEdit

-stems are predominantly agental derivatives like dāt 'giver', though also include kinship terms like pit́ 'father', māt́ 'mother', and svás 'sister'.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative pitā́ pitárāu pitáras
Accusative pitáram pitárāu pit́n
Instrumental pitrā́ pit́bhyām pit́bhis
Dative pitré pit́bhyām pit́bhyas
Ablative pitúr pit́bhyām pit́bhyas
Genitive pitúr pitrós pitṝṇā́m
Locative pitári pitrós pitṛ́ṣu
Vocative pítar pitárāu pitáras

Template:Seealso

NumeralsEdit

The numbers from one to ten are:

  1. éka
  2. dvá
  3. trí
  4. catúr
  5. pañca
  6. ṣáṣ
  7. saptá, sápta
  8. aṣṭá, áṣṭa
  9. náva
  10. dáśa

The numbers one through four are declined. Éka is declined like a pronominal adjective, though the dual form does not occur. Dvá appears only in the dual. Trí and catúr are declined irregularly.

NotesEdit

  1. W. D. Whitney, Sanskrit Grammar: Including both the Classical Language and the Older Dialects
  2. W. D. Whitney, Sanskrit Grammar: Including both the Classical Language and the Older Dialects
  3. S.C. Vasu, The Astadhyayi of Pāṇini

ReferencesEdit

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