Imatges de pàgina
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MOreover, in Sanscrit, there are no contracted verbS, and no difficulties resulting from difference of dialect ; and although there are ten conjugations, yet these have reference to four tenses only, and, under some of these conjugations, Only two or three common verbS are contained. Werbs primitive, causal, and passive, may, like nounS, be divided into simple and Compound. Simple perbs may be regarded as falling under two heads, either as derived from uncompounded rootS, Or as derived from nounS. Compoumd perbs are those formed by combining roots with prepositions or other adverbial prefixes.*


It has been already shown that there are a large number of monosyllabic sounds in Sanscrit, called roots, which, having a mere ideal existence, are the source of verbs as well as nouns. These roots are in number about two thousand, and the theory of grammarians is, that each of them may serve as the basis on which to construct five kinds of verbs ; l. a primitive, transitive or intransitive ; 2. a causal, having often a causal and often merely a transitive signification ; 3. a passive ; 4. a desiderative, giving a Sense of wishing to the root ; and 5. an intensive (or freguentative), heightening the idea contained in the root. It will be found, however, in practice, that the greater number of these two thouSand roots never occur at all in the form of verbs, nor, indeed, in any other form but that of the nouns to which they give origin ; and that the roots in real use as the source of verbs are comparatively very few. Of these few, moreover, certain particular roots (such, for example, as Kri, “ to do '), as if to compensate for the inactivity of the others, are kept in constant employment, and, by Compounding them with prepositions and other prefixes, applied to the expression of the most various and Opposite ideas.

Nevertheless, theoretically, from every root in the language may be elicited five kinds of verbs. The first, or primitive verb,

* Compound verbs will be treated of in the chapter on compound words.

is formed from the root, according to the nine different rules for the changes of the root, reguired by the first nine conjugations ; the second, or causal, is formed according to the rule for the change of the root, reguired by the I0th conjugation ; viZ. the addition of ay to the root, the vowel of which has taken the Guna change. The third, or passive, is formed according to the rule for the change of the root, reguired by the 4th conjugation, wiZ. the addition of y in the first four tenses. The fourth, or desiderative, is formed by the addition of is/ or s, the root also undergoing reduplication. The fifth, or intensive, is formed like the passive, according to the rule reguired by the 4th conjugation, and is, in fact, a reduplicated passive verb. It may also be formed analogously to the rule for the 3d conjugation. Thus, take the root shabh, conveying the idea of " shining '-from this are elicited, I. the primitive, shobh, ‘‘ to shine'; 2. the causal, shobhay, “ to cause to shine" or “ illuminate'; 3. the passive, shub//, " to be bright "; 4. the desiderative, shashobhish, “ to desire to shine "; 5. the intensive, shoshuby, “ to shine very brightly.' See also p. l9.

Of these five forms of verbs, the primitive, causal, and passive, are the only three used by the best writers, and to these alone the attention of the reader will now be directed. The Subject, therefore, will divide itself into two heads. In the first place, the formation of the base : lst, of primitive ; 2dly, of causal ; 3dly, of passive verbs. In the second place, the inflection of the base of these Same forms respectively. But here it may be asked, what is the base ?


The base of the verb is that changed form of the root to which the terminations are immediately affixed, and holds exactly that intermediate position between the root and the inflected verb itSelf, which the crude form holds between the root and the inflected noun. This great peculiarity, therefore, cannot be too often or too forcibly impressed upon the attention of the learner, that, in the treatment of Sanscrit verbs, two perfectly distinet Subjects offer themselves for consideration : Ist, the formation of

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the base, or, in other words, an investigation into the changes which the root undergoes before the terminations are affixed ; 2dly, the inflection of the base, or the union of the base with its terminationS. The first of these two subjects of inguiry will be found to be that in which consists all the difficulty of the subject ; for, as far as the terminations are concerned, no dead language conforms more systematically to one general scheme, than the one with which we are concerned. There are ten rules or conjugations, according to which the bases of verbs may be formed. But in these we have already noted a great peculiarity, and one which has much weight in a comparison between the difficulties of a Greek and Sanscrit verb. Of these ten conjugations, the first mine have reference only to the first four tenses ; viZ. the present, first preterite, potential, and imperative. Hence these are called the conjugational tenses. After passing these four tenses the conjugational structure of the base is entirely forgotten ; and in the formation of the bases of the six remaining tenses all roots conform to one general rtile, and are as if they belonged to one general conjugation. Hence these tenses are called non-conjugational. The tenth alone retains the conjugational structure of the base throughout all the temses of the verb ; but as this conjugation has no reference to primitives, but to causals only, no confusion can arise from this apparent inconsistency. Of the 2000 roots, about one half follow the Ist conjugation, about l30 follow the 4th, and about l40 the 6th. Of the remaining roots, not more than 20 in common ase follow the 2d ; not more than 5 follow the 3d; not more than 6 the 7th ; not more than 4 the 5th ; not mOre than l the 8th ; not more than l2 the 9th. Primitive verbs, therefore, which COnstitute the first mine conjugations, will be divided into tioo grand classes, according as they fall under one or other of these nine conjugations. Regular primitive verbs will be those of the lst, 4th, and 6th conjugations. Irregular primitives those of the 2d, 3d, pth, 7th, 8th, and 9th conjugations. The first class we call regular, because under it are contained nearly all the common verbs in the language ; the second irregular, as Comprehending only fifty or Sixty useful verbs in all. All causal verbs follow the I0th conjugation, and, in point of fact, Constitute this conjugation ; for all those primitive verbs which are said by grammarians to belong to the I0th conjugation, may be regarded as causal verbs. All passive verbs are ātmanepada verbs of the 4th conjugation. The parasmaipada of the 4th conjugation is constituted of certain primitive verbs, which have a neuter Signification.

+ There seems no necessity for creating a tenth conjugation as distinct from the causal. So that it would greatly Simplify the Subject, if this conjugation were expunged altogether from the Grammar, and the addition of aj/ to the root considered, in all cases, as the mark of a causal verb. And it is plain that a।/ is not the sign of a Separate conjugation, in the way that mu is the sign of the 5th conjugation, or in the way of any other conjugational sign, for it is retained throughout the other tenses of the verb, not only in the first four, just as the desiderative igh is retained throughout. And although there are many werbs given under the 10th conjugation, which have rather a transitive than a causal signification, yet there are also many cauSal verbs which are used only in a transitive Sense. It will therefore make the Subject less complex to consider that the affix ay is always the sign of the causal form, merely bearing in mind that cau8al forms do not necessarily imply cauSality.

It may also be guestioned whether there be any necessity for creating a 4th conjugation as distinct from the passive. For Since it is found that either aneuter or passive signification attaches to nearly all the verbs placed under the 4th conjugation, and that passive verbs are identical with its titmamepada inflection, it may with reason be Suspected that the occasional aSSumption of a neuter Signification and a parasmaipuda inflection by a passive verb, was the Only cause which gave rise to the creation of this conjugation. And this theory is Supported by the fact that many passive verbs (as, for example,.jāyate, “ he is born,'' from the root.7am ; and piryate, “ he is filled,' from the root pr) are confounded with verbs of this conjugation. So that it Seems not umlikely, that, by making this 4th conjugation, Grammarians only meant to say that the passive form of verbs, or the addition of / to the root, is also the form that may be used to express a neuter or intransitive signification ; the only difference reguisite to be made between the two forms

bcing exactly that which might be expected to exist between them ; viZ. that

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the ome Should take the ditmamepada ; the other, the pdrasmdipddd inflection. At any rate this fact is clear that the par. of the 4th conjugation is the form used in numerous roots toyield a neuter Signification ; and that the ditm. is identical with the form used to yield a passive Sense. Hence it arises, that many r00ts appear in the 4th conjugation as neuter werbs, which als0 appear in some one of the other mine as transitive. For example, /uj, “ to join,” when used in an active sense is conjugated either in the 7th conjugation, or in the causal ; when in a neuter, in the 4th. So als0, push, “ to nourish'; hshubh, “ to agitate"; klish, “ t0 wex';

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Obs., the terminations read downward ; thuS, āmā is the lst pers. sing. ; asi the 2d sing. ; ati the 3d.

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