Sanskrit: sandhi between visarga or as and v

marrish

Senior Member
اُردو Urdu
Consider this sentence:
In the heart of all beings resides the utmost desire for kings' all palaces.

The translation I made is here:

सर्वेषां भूतानां हृदये नृपाणां सर्वेषां प्रासादानां परमो लोभः वसति।

Is it possible to change the sandhi to lobho vasati?
 
  • Au101

    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    It should, to the best of my knowledge, usually become लोभो वसति lobho vasati, as you say. I can't speculate on why it hasn't done so here, but I happen to doubt that it's because of a special saṃdhi rule. I think, more likely, the saṃdhi has been deliberately dissolved, or the normal saṃdhi rule has deliberately not been applied in the first place. Unless of course it's a simple mistake. I could be wrong, but I don't know of any exceptions to the saṃdhi rule in Classical Sanskrit. In Vedic of course there are all sorts of exceptions (though I'm not aware of anywhere where a visarga is allowed to stand before a voiced consonant), but the saṃdhi is usually rigorously applied to the written text regardless, even where the metre makes it obvious that saṃdhi was not originally applied.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    It means I understood the rules properly then. Somebody corrected me on this and said it should have been as in the sentence I posted, but I have the pleasure of your in-depth comments on this occasion. Thank you for your answer. I followed Whitney who was talking about -as and I was not sure whether it applied to aH too.

    It is not an original sentence but a part of an exercise where I was asked to translate it into Sanskrit
     

    Au101

    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    Well, Sanskrit does not have a /z/ which means we have a "problem", if you will, when we have an s स् followed by a voiced sound, because the usual voicing assimilation rules of Sanskrit in external saṃdhi cannot apply. Of course, it's entirely possible in Sanskrit to have the combination sva स्व, indeed there is such a word. However, in external saṃdhi, usually voiceless sounds at the end of words should become voiced when followed by a word beginning with a voiced sound, e.g. ग्रामात् वनम् grāmāt vanam ---> ग्रामाद्वनम् grāmād vanam (the words are written together in Devanagari, though generally separated in transliteration, where possible). What to do with s स्, for we cannot have lobhaz vasati, for there is no /z/?

    Well the answer as we know is word-final -as -अस्, when followed by a voiced consonant ---> o -ओ, e.g. पुत्रस् धावति putras dhāvati ---> पुत्रो धावति putro dhāvati.

    Now, -s -स् is not allowed to remain at the end of a word, and neither is -r -र्. In pausa, these become visarga and, of course, the visarga remains in certain other contexts as well. I leave it up to the historians to decide whether the visarga saṃdhi is really originally just saṃdhi of word-final -s -स् (and sometimes -r -र्) - which seems likely - or whether word-final -s -स् and -r -र् always become visarga and then undergo saṃdhi.

    Let me explain if that's not clear.

    Is the example I gave above derived:

    Putras पुत्रस् + dhāvati धावति ---> putro dhāvati पुत्रो धावति;

    Or:

    Putras पुत्रस् + dhāvati धावति ---> putraḥ dhāvati पुत्रः धावति ---> putro dhāvati पुत्रो धावति?

    I think more likely the former, but it is, I think, more common (possibly more in line with traditional Sanskrit grammar, too, I don't know) to treat this saṃdhi under the heading of visarga saṃdhi. So (in fact, not everybody even bothers to mention this much) we learn that visarga is from word final -s -स् and sometimes -r -र् (e.g. punaḥ पुनः < punar पुनर्). But then in the paradigm, rather than going kūpas कूपस्, kūpam कूपम्, etc., we teach kūpaḥ कूपः, kūpam कूपम्, etc. and then merely learn 'visarga saṃdhi'. We sometimes even pretend that visarga isn't from word-final -s -स् and -r -र्, but for our own convenience, we imagine the visarga to be original, instrinsic. So we don't treat vadāmaḥ वदामः as vadāmas वदामस्, we pretend it was really vadāmaḥ वदामः all along. So if we see vadāmaḥ वदामः at the end of a sentence, we forget that what's really happened is vadāmas वदामस् has gone to vadāmaḥ वदामः because Sanskrit does not allow word-final -s -स् and pretend that the word is actually vadāmaḥ वदामः. Then, we we see vadāmo vayam वदामो वयम्, we pretend that what's happened is:

    Vadāmaḥ वदामः + vayam वयम् ---> vadāmo vayam वदामो वयम्;

    Rather than:

    Vadāmas वदामस् + vayam वयम् ---> vadāmo vayam वदामो वयम्.

    In other words, all I'm really trying to say is that I think saṃdhi of -as अस् and saṃdhi of -aḥ अः are essentially two ways of teaching the same thing here. I think the reality of the language is that -aḥ -अः is really just the result of saṃdhi being applied to -as अस् in certain circumstances, e.g. at the end of a sentence. However, for pedagogical reasons, it's quite common not to think about it in this way (it's also possible that tradditional grammarians did not think of their language in this way) and instead think of all of this as saṃdhi of visarga, rather than saṃdhi of s स्. It's something I always found very confusing, as you might be able to tell from my rather waffly explanation.

    Additionally remember that visarga also results from word final -r -र् and that final -s -स् sometimes becomes r र्, e.g. manus gacchati मनुस् गच्छति ---> manur gacchati मनुर्गच्छति. However, it also common to think of this too as visarga saṃdhi and pretend that we have manuḥ gacchati मनुः गच्छति ---> manur gacchati मनुर्गच्छति.

    William Dwight Whitney preferred to use the underlying -s -स् and -r -र्, as does Monier-Williams, to my knowledge. Other authors like to convert them into visarga. So while Whitney has agnis अग्निस्, agnī अग्नी, agnayas अग्नयस्, others have agniḥ अग्निः, agnī अग्नी, agnayaḥ अग्नयः.

    It's up to you, whatever you feel comfortable with, but that's why Whitney is talking about -as -अस् and not -aḥ -अः, if any of that made sense?

    I hope I'm right and am not leading you astray. Others will surely soon confirm or deny, but I've never heard of -as/-aḥ -अस्/-अः + va व ---> -aḥ va -अः व.
     

    Au101

    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    Just to add, thinking about it, I think actually, when Sanskrit speakers recited their paradigms, they obviously would have said agniḥ, agnī, agnayaḥ. They would have said vadāmi, vadāvaḥ, vadāmaḥ. The reason being that final -s obviously becomes visarga in pausa. So, although underlyingly these forms are agnis, agnī, agnayas; vadāmi, vadāvas, vadāmas, when Sanskrit paradigms are recited, when the words are quoted in isolation and when the paradigms are taught in India, obviously the -s undergoes saṃdhi. Agnis is not permissible in Sanskirt, you cannot have word final -s, so the word is realised as agniḥ. You see? Many modern textbooks follow this tradition, which is why they then teach visarga saṃdhi (because students are used to thinking of agniḥ as the original, unaltered form, when - in fact - it is really a saṃdhi variation of agnis, arising when the word is in isolation). This is obviously a lot more convenient if you quote the paradigm as agniḥ, agnī, agnayaḥ. However, many older authors do not follow this convention and prefer to talk about agnis, agnī, agnayas, etc. I won't comment on which is 'best', but I think it does become easier to understand the history of the language - and saṃdhi generally - when you understand what visarga is and where it comes from, even if you choose to learn the paradigms as agniḥ, agnī, agnayaḥ.
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    To throw in my 2 cents:
    1. I also see no reason why it cannot be "lobho vasati". I'd say, that is even more desirable.
    2. However, according to the way I have been taught Sanskrit, sentence-sandhi is optional in prose, and pausal forms (I am used to think of the pausal forms as synchronically more fundamental) are acceptable. So, for me "lobhaḥ vasati" is acceptable in prose, though I agree that it is not usual in authentic Sanskrit texts. This convention makes sense, as such lack of sandhi may signify actual pause in utterance.

    ---------

    On the question of whether the instance is better viewed as sandhi between -as and voiced consonant or visarga and voiced consonant, I don't see any clear-cut answer to that. Traditional accounts of Sanskrit grammar also recognize that visarga has two distinct sources - we were taught the terms "sa-jāta-" and "ra-jāta-", and they clearly behave differently in some sandhi situations: "lobho vasati", but "punar vasati", for example. In traditional grammar, the inflections are also often specified as ending in -s, e.g. if I am not mistaken, Panini specifies the nominative singular ending as "su" with "u it" (i.e. u falls away) leaving -s. It was impressive linguistic detective work that must have gone into recognizing this underlying "-s", as it is less obvious than the underlying "-r" which shows up more plainly in some sandhi (again, defining the pausal form as "non-sandhi") situations. I am guessing, it must have been figured out by observing the forms of -as stem nouns and their sandhi forms, and some old compounds where the -s was preserved. But plainly, from a native classical Sanskrit speaker's perspective - as Au101 added in the last post - it was the visarga which was undergoing the sandhi, even when it might revert back to its ancestral form. Actually, this phenomenon is not that rare. Think about how silent consonants seem to come into life in liaison situations (=sandhi) in French, including some where the consonant has even ceased to be written in normal spelling, e.g. "Y a-t-il ..." It happened in Sanskrit itself too. Think of the rather wierd sandhi rule "-n + t- > -ṃst-", the intrusive "s" deriving specifically from a class of words which ended anciently in -ṃs~ns. Actually, Vedic still distinguished between such words and those which ended in pure -n or -n+other consonants in sandhi, and thus we have things like "agacchan-te" (without intrusive s) but "narāṃs-tān" (with "intrusive" - rather, retained s) in Vedic. But Classical Sanskrit lost this distinction and made up etymologically unjustified agacchaṃs-te. So, in such cases, when discussing Vedic grammar, we can either view the word "narān" as the pausal form of "*narāns", while "agacchan" is different (analogous to using -s/-r instead of visarga as the fundamental form); or we can just say that the word final -n behaves in two different ways depending on certain morphological/lexical ditribution (analogous to saying visarga can behave in two ways). I believe both are equally valid ways of looking at it. Just a matter of personal taste.

    I won't comment on which is 'best', but I think it does become easier to understand the history of the language - and saṃdhi generally - when you understand what visarga is and where it comes from, even if you choose to learn the paradigms as agniḥ, agnī, agnayaḥ.

    This, of course, is a good point, and I totally agree.
     
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    Au101

    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    I wasn't aware of Pāṇini's analysis, thanks for that and a very informative post :)

    2. However, according to the way I have been taught Sanskrit, sentence-sandhi is optional in prose, and pausal forms (I am used to think of the pausal forms as synchronically more fundamental) are acceptable. So, for me "lobhaḥ vasati" is acceptable in prose, though I agree that it is not usual in authentic Sanskrit texts. This convention makes sense, as such lack of sandhi may signify actual pause in utterance.

    I hadn't really given that any consideration, but it is a very good point.

    Either way, though, it seems to me a fairly strange correction to make.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Now it has emerged that the professor who sent me her corrections via e-mail has made a lapsus inadvertently but thanks to it I was able to benefit from this discussion and many, *many* lovely remarks. Thanks.
     
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