Sanskrit: Peculiar Forms of 'jan'

Al-Indunisiy

Member
Indonesian
The forms of 'jan' as recorded in the Monier-Williams dictionary are as follows:
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It seems to say that Class 1 Present Active and Middle of the verb are 'janati' and 'janate' respectively; Present Subjunctive Active 'janat', Present Subjunctive Middle 'janata', Imperfect Active 'ajanat'.

My questions are:
1. As far as I've read grammar books on Sanskrit, there is no Subjunctive Middle ending -ta, only either -te or strengthened to -tai. Is this an irregularity or am I misunderstanding something?
2. After the imperfect tense it says, parasmepada (Active Voice). But of what tense? Imperfect? Not likely because no augment prefix a-. Or could it be a transcription error? Because in the scan of the print version it is only marked 'p.' which could actually mean 'participle' in which case it aligns with what this automatic conjugator give for the Present Active Participle: janat. Likewise the Class 10 version: janayat.
 
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  • Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    1. As far as I've read grammar books on Sanskrit, there is no Subjunctive Middle ending -ta, only either -te or strengthened to -tai. Is this an irregularity or am I misunderstanding something?
    I also find it a bit puzzling. In the printed text, there is a reference to RV 10.123.7 as an example of this form. But to me 10.123.7 does not look like a subjunctive, but either imperfect indicative (augmentless imperfects are common in the RV) or imperfect injunctive - though the tense/mood usage may not be quite the most typical here.

    Different translations here rv10.123 also seem to point towards these two possibilities. The English (Griffith?) and Russian (Elizarenkova?) use "produceth" and "создает" respectively, i.e. present tense verbs - possibly taking the injunctive reading in the original, while the German (Geldner?) has "brachte", i.e. a preterite verb, possibly taking the imperfect indicative reading. None of them seems to suggest a subjunctive reading.

    2. After the imperfect tense it says, parasmepada (Active Mood). But of what tense? Imperfect? Not likely because no augment prefix a-. Or could it be a transcription error? Because in the scan of the print version it is only marked 'p.' which could actually mean 'participle' in which case it aligns with what this automatic conjugator give for the Present Active Participle: janat. Likewise the Class 10 version: janayat.
    Your hunch is correct. It is present participle. M-W marks parasmaipada with a capital P.
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    There's no formal difference of course. But I was referring to the suggested semantic differences (like Macdonell does), viz. injunctive having vague tense semantics (so, a present tense interpretation would be possible), while imperfect indicative would have a clearly past reference.
     
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