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Introduction to the Technique of Paninian Grammar Bhagawan (Lord) Panini as he is reverentially called by Sanskrit Pundits like most names

es found in Ancient Indian History is of uncertain date. We have some evidence that he was born in what us today the North West Frontier Province of Modern Pakistan in a village called Shalatur. Scholars have surmised the 5th Century B.C.E as a possible period of his existence. But he could have been earlier. Lord Panini is one of the greatest geniuses to have emerged from the subcontinent of India who had a formative and sustaining influence on Indian Culture and Civilization. He ranks amongst Patanjali, Nagarjuna and Tulsidas, men who made an original and revolutionary contribution to World Civilization. It is no exaggeration to say that Indian Civilization rests on the shoulders of Panini. In a short grammatical treatise called the Ashtadhyayi or the Book in Eight Chapters -, he codified all the rules that govern the concurrent spoken Sanskrit of his times. Thus he made the Sanskrit Language systematic and free from ambiguity. This gave the Sanskrit Language a precise structure and no place for variant spellings or forms making it a meticulous tool for higher philosophical speculations and other kinds of scientific and scholarly work. With such a standardized language, much like Modern English, interregional communication and textual interpretation became unequivocal and free from vagueness. It is no wonder that Hindu India continued using Sanskrit well into the end of Nineteenth Century as the Official Language of its Courts and Religious Institutions because of its well-organized structure. His grammatical treatise has been rightfully called one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence by the American Linguist Leonard Bloomfield (quoted in Panini: A Survey of Research, George Cardona, pg 243). Need for a Sanskrit Grammar There is much truth in the saying that Necessity is the Mother of Invention and in the case of Sanskrit Grammar and Linguistics nothing is truer. But what was the necessity? Being of little pragmatic value, not one of the great ancient civilizations of ancient China, Middle East, Ancient Egypt, Europe( with the partial exception of Greece ) have pondered upon the linguistics principles which govern human speech; but Paninis Ashtadhyayi is a mine of information on grammar, phonology, semantics, morphology etc. The question arises why Panini and other scholars before him were trying to understand human speech, sound patterns, compounding, tenses, sandhi (euphonic combination), word roots etc. The answer lies in the Vedas a set of three, later four tomes which were revered as the word of GOD. The ritual called Yagna was the most important religious practice of the ancient Aryans and was central to the communities spiritual and intellectual life. Just as technology and

science are the chief focus of the modern world, Yagna was the chief focus of the ancient Aryans. This ritual, which is as much part of modern Hindu religion as millennia before, consists of a fire Altar over which Vedic hymns are chanted to honor the sectarian deities like Agni (the Fire God), Indra ( God of Material Prosperity and Rain ), Saraswati( Goddess of Learning ) etc. It was believed that even a single syllable along with the tones - which disappeared later and are not seen in any modern Indian language including the Prakrits - ill-pronounced would gain the wrath of the deities and lead to rebirth in Hell. Making matters worse, writing down the Vedas was prohibited as was transmitting it to non-Brahmins. The Vedic meters called Mantras are said to loose their efficacy if they are written down and must be received orally only from a wise Brahmin Guru. Mantras pronounced in the prescribed manner unerringly can alter the shape of the Universe, upset the laws of Karma and bestow spiritual and material blessings like longevity of life and wisdom to the officiating priest and his client. Besides destroying enemies and curing illnesses. A well-known parable in the Mahabhashya commentary relates how the demon Vritra mispronounced a single tone in the compound word Indra-shatru (enemy of Indra) while offering oblations with the chant indrashatrurvardhasva (may (I) - the destroyer of Indra - prosper) thereby altering the meaning to (may Indra, the destroyer prosper) leading to the mantra empowering Indra, the god of the Noble Deities and Vritras slaying by the former. Nagarjuna, called the greatest Buddhist philosopher, has described his philosophy Madhyamika as something which misunderstood can be fatal like a snake held from the wrong end or a mantra mispronounced. Contemporary practitioners and scholars like Swami Agehananda Bharati (Austria-born Indologist and Anthropologist who ordained as a Hindu Sanyasin and wrote prolifically) and Frits Staal (Netherlands-born Professor Emeritus, Department of South and South Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Vedic Scholar par excellence) affirm that this indeed is the case with mantric praxis. To ensure that posterity does not get a corrupted version of their mantric corpus, the learned Brahmins tried to ponder on the phonological and grammatical principles which govern human speech. A pre-paninian grammatical work by Yaska called Nirukta, survives which gives us a glimpse of their proto-grammatical musings. Over time knowledge accumulated, theories refined, more discoveries made, culminating in the Grammatical system of Panini who derives many of his methods and terminologies from his predecessor which were doubtless many as he himself quoted around ten ancient authorities( Sphotayana, Yaska, Galava etc ). This unprecedented work of Sanskrit Grammar and Linguistics a fruit of a tradition of several centuries of grammatical thinking wiped out without a trace all other parallel

systems of learning grammar of which several comprehensive systems were extant during Paninis time and became the sole standard followed ever after. Pundits began saying apaniniyam na prayunjeet Do not use non-Paninian forms. There is a popular anecdote of the Weight-carrying Brahmin which shows the intolerance for non-standard usage. An old Brahmin was carrying a very heavy load on his shoulders and walking when a man sees him and asks Does not that heavy weight hurt you (bAdhati, wrong usage though intelligible, like saying have you drunken - instead of drunk- your milk). The Brahmin replied, it does not hurt me( bAdhate, proper usage ) as much as your bAdhati( wrong form) hurts me(bAdhate).(na tathA bAdhate yathA bAdhati bAdhate)

Structure of the Ashtadhyayi (Book in Eight Chapters) The Book Ashtadhyayi is divided into eight chapters -hence the name. Each chapters is divided into Four Quarters (or Foot like that of mammals) containing unequal numbers of Sutras or aphorisms, packed with linguistic and grammatical observation, theories and rules. The Entire book is in pithy aphorisms which - besides having a mnemonic value - is a metalanguage having the structure of algebraic formulas. Brevity is the principal feature of this work and Panini has gone to such an incredible level in attaining it that this book is one of the marvels of aphoristic writings in the history of mankind. It is said of him that the shortening of his text by one syllable in his work gave him the pleasure of the Birth of a Son. This is in keeping with the Sutra-style of writing which is traditionally described in the shloka as: alpakSharamasandigdham saarvatdvishvatomukham | Astobhamanavadyam cha sutram sutravido viduh || A Sutra is one which is: (1) Expressed in few syllables (2) Free from Ambiguity (3) Comprehensive (4) Universal (5) Without inserted meaningless terms (6) Irreproachable More than two-and-a-half-millennia of scholarship has attested that Paninis sutras have seldom strayed from any of these aforementioned characteristics. This treatise is unintelligible without the help of a proper Commentary. Patanjali, some centuries later, incorporating the scholia (Vartikas) of Katyayana, did this commendable task in his Mahabhashya. Hence, Proper Understanding of Grammar is believed to be

attained by the diligent study of Mahabhashya and Grammar is also referred to as TrimuniVyakarana or the Grammar of the Three Sages. Contents of Ashtadhyayi The following is a topical arrangement of the chapters of Ashtadhyayi: Book I (a) the samjna sutras(lexical items) and paribhasha sutras(meta-rules) (b) rules dealing with extension, atmane-parasmaipada and karakas(Syntax) Book II (a) rules dealing with compounding, nominal inflections, number and gender of compounds, replacements relative to roots, deletion by luk. Book III (a) rules dealing with the derivation of roots ending in affixes san etc, items ending in a kRt or ting Book IV-V (a) rules dealing with the derivation of a pada ending in a sup, feminine affixes; derivation of nominal stems ending in an affix termed taddhita Book VI- VII (a) rules dealing with doubling, samprasarana, samhita, augment(agama),accents, phonological operations relative to a pre-suffixial base(anga) suT (b) rules dealing with operations relative to affixes and augments Book VIII (a) rules dealing with dvitva (Doubling) relative to a pada, accent relative to a pada (b) rules dealing with miscellaneous operations relative to a pada and a non-pada. (adapted from Prof. Ram Nath Sharmas The Ashtadhyayi of Panini) Panini has divided the Ashtadhyayi into two basic organizational units: the sapadasaptadhyayi (the first seven chapters and first quarter of the Eighth) and the tripadi (the remaining three quarters of the eighth). These two are blind to the effects of each other. Abbreviatory Devices Used in Ashtadhyayi Panini has used several ingenious devices to achieve economy of words and syllables, even phonemes. The foremost amongst these techniques are the Siva-Sutra-pratyahara system. The Siva Sutras Of unknown authorship the fourteen Siva Sutra or Siva aphorisms are a catalog of phonemes divided into 14 sets. They are in essence a reordering of the traditional enumeration of the Devanagari alphabets (akshar-samamnaaya). Each of the fourteen

groups contains an extraneous phoneme appended at the end technically called an it (meaning going away or disappearing) or marker and has a merely indicatory role and is not part of the set. These fourteen Siva aphorisms are: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Class of Phonemes Simple vowels Simple vowels Dipthongs Dipthongs Semi-vowels Semi-vowel Nasals Voices aspirated stops Voices aspirated stops Voices non-aspirated stops Voiceless aspirated stops Voiceless non-asp. stops spirants spirant Member Phonemes a i u R lR e o ai au h y v r l J m G N n jh bh gh Dh dh j b g D d kh ph ch Th th c T t k p z S s h it or markers N k G c T N m J S z v y r l

Harvard Kyoto Transliteration Scheme has been used.

If Panini wants to bring up a discussion of say, dipthongs, he has two options, coin a term for dipthongs or list them (e, o, ai, au). This can be cumbersome and is done away with the shorthand notation ec which is technically called a pratyahaara and generated using the afore-listed Siva-Sutras. To find out what ec signifies the first phoneme e should be searched amongst the Column entitled member phonemes and it is located at the beginning of Sutra number 3. The second phoneme c should be searched amongst the Column markers or its and can be found in the fourth row. Thus ec is a short-from notation for all phonemes between e and c (e, o, ai, au) not including the markers which are merely indicatory. Similarly, hl means all consonants, jh-y all stops etc. In this way tens of pratyahaaras can be generated though Panini only used forty-two. Thus, Panini was saved from coining forty-two new terms and also from the awkward way of listing them. Other Abbreviatory Techniques: If a list of related affixes are introduced, the initial phoneme of the first item and the marker-phoneme of the last item in the list will mean an abbreviation for the entire list. For example, {su, au, jas, am, auT, zas os, sup } are a set of twenty-one affixes which denote case relations. su of item one and p the marker phoneme of last item sup together generate the abbreviation sup . Similarly ting (tiJ in HK) is an

abbreviatory term for the eighteen root-affixes {tip, tas jhi ..vahi, mahing} generated by using ti of tip and appended to ng of mahing. Another abbreviatory rule is given by sutra aNudita savarNasya (1.1.69). Given the sets of varga-consonants, one can refer to each set by its first-element and the phoneme u. Hence pa-varga phonemes p,ph,b,bh,m are indicated in short form by pu; similarly ku, chu, Tu and tu. Another technique involves denoting a set of items by their shared common sounds: for example Ap collectively for the affixes TAp, chAp, DAp. Similarly, nI for the affixes nISh and nIp and nIn Technique of Ellipsis: Anuvrittis (recurrence) Yet another method for achieving brevity is ellipsis or stating rules only partially. The rest of the terms are supplied by words which have already occurred before. To understand ellipsis, consider the following example: a. Give John a Cow. b. A blanket to Peter c. Also to Paul Sentence (a) is complete in itself. To understand (b) we have to borrow the verb give from the preceding context. Sentence (c) must borrow both give and blanket to be intelligible. Ellipsis is technically referred to by as anuvritti (recurrence). Consider sutra: 3.1.96 tavyat-tavya-anIyarah (the affixes tavyat, tavya, anIyar) This sutra merely mentions three affixes: tavyat, tavya, anIyar. To complete the meaning of this sutra we have to refer to preceding sutras: 3.1.1 Pratyayah (affixes) 3.1.2 Parascha (and are afterwards) 3.1.91 Dhatoh (regarding Verbal Root) Once we utilize terms from these we get the expanded meaning: The affixes (3.1.1) {tavyat, tavya, anIyar (3.1.96)} occur (introduced by convention) after (3.1.2) a Verbal Root (3.1.91) Thus Panini has saved at least three words in one sutra. He has made very extensive use of anuvritti and there are very few sutras which do not borrow terms from prior sutra. Hence, understanding ellipsis is crucial to understanding the Ashtadhyayi.

Unique System of Notation Panini has used the inflections of the Sanskrit Language to indicate special operations. Consider lasya (3.4.77) tiptas.vahimahing (3.4.78) 3.4.77 translated into plain English will look like Ls. 3.4.78 is a listing of eighteen post-verbal affixes. These two sutras dont make much sense. To understand 3.4.77 we have to invoke the meta-rule, shashthi sthaneyoga (1.1.49) A meaningless genitive implies an item that will be replaced. This can be symbolically represented as X-gen, where item X is a substituend because it has been stated in the genitive case Hence Ls implies that in an operation if we encounter the affix L it must be replaced by any one of {tip,tas.vahi, mahing}. Similarly meaningless ablative endings (tasmaditi uttarasya; 1.1.67) imply a left context: such that in a grammatical operation something applies to what follows and meaningless locative endings (tasminniti nirdishte pUrvasya; 1.1.66) imply a right context such that in a grammatical operation something applies to what precedes. Types of Rules Traditionally, scholars have classified the Sutras into six types. Panini has not hinted to any such classification and it is strictly Post-Paninian. However, there are obvious advantages to it and aid in the understanding of the purport of the Sutra. Modern Paniniyas have added few more types to the traditional six-fold classification. (1) samjna sutras or technical rules: rules which assign a term for a given entity. For example in rule 1.1.1 the term vriddhi is coined meaning the set of phonemes aa, ai, au. They have been compared to the Backus-Naur Notation of Modern Computer Science. (2) paribhasha sutras or interpretive rules or meta-rules: rules which provide a check on the operational rules so that they do not suffer from over-application, underapplication and impossible application. For example, vipratishedhe param kaaryam: when two rules are equally applicable, the rules that appear later shall apply.

(3) vidhi sutra or operational rules: these form the core of the grammar. All other rules assist the operational rules. Example vartamAne laT: To indicate the present tense, use the affix laT. (4) niyama rules or restriction rules: rules which restrict the scope of other rules. For example, Sutra sheSo ghyasakhi (1.4.7) states that terms other than those already discussed ending in i or u are to be considered ghi except the word sakhi. Subsequent sutra patiH samAsa eva (1.4.8) however declares that the word pati will be termed ghi only if it used in a Compound and not independently. Therefore, the original set of elements which ghi would contain has been restricted by sutra 1.4.8 and therefore 1.4.8 is a niyama sutra. (5) adhikAra rules or heading rules: these rules are similar to a heading in modern books. Adkikaras have domains which are not always well defined and only the commentaries like Kasika and Mahabhashya have to be consulted to understand their scope. Within the domain of an adhikara, all rules will pertain to it and also use parts or whole of that rules words to complete their meaning (refer to Anuvritti above). For example, rule 3.1.91 is dhatoh (Verbal Roots). The word is meaningless unless understood to imply that rules till 3.4.117 are under its domain and every rule described between 3.1.91 to 3.4.117 is formulated to describe Dhatus. Also, since rules are only stated partially, the phrase dhatoh has to be supplied along with other phrases from other adhikaras which may come within the domain and extend beyond to make these rules a complete sentence. (6) nishedh sutras or negation rules: rules which negate the provisions made by a previous Sutra. For example, rule 1.3.3 halantyam states that ending consonants of affixes should be treated as markers, hence disappear. But subsequent rule 1.3.4 na vibhaktau tusmaah, immediately negates this rule for nominal affixes whose consonants end with t, th, d,dh n ,s, m. (7) vibhasha or optional rules: Sometimes more than two rules can apply to a given operation and hence two forms of a word are possible. This is hardly unusual, because language being a living entity, native speakers take liberties which are as common in English as Sanskrit. To account for more than two forms of a word, Panini uses Vibhasha rules to state that alternate forms are also possible. For example, rule 1.1.31 vibhasha jasi states that the set of pronouns catalogued in the sarva group when compounding with other words to become dvandva class of compounds and related to jas affixes will optionally not be considered compounds. Three terms, vibhasha, anyatarasyam and va are used to indicate optionality. Panini and all the commentators have given us no indication that they are supposed to be anything but synonyms. But the modern scholar Paul Kiparsky has wondered how could this be so, because Panini has vowed to eliminate every needless extraneous syllable and their must be a deeper reason to suggest the use of three

different terms. Hence he has propounded the hypothesis in his well-argued study Panini as a Variationist that the three terms va, vibhasha, anyatarasyam refer respectively to three different kinds of options: those that are preferable(va), those that are marginal(vibhasha)and those that are simple options(anyatarasyam). If this is true than Kiparsky has shown us something which twenty-five hundred years of scholarship has overlooked. (8) atidesh sutras or extension rules: A rule is termed atidesha if it transfers certain qualities or operation to something for which they did not previously qualify. This is generally accomplished by the use of affixes vat/mat ( like).Example: in rule 3.4.85 loTo langvat( the loTs are like lang ) loT lakAr affixes are being given all the attributes unique to lang lakAr affixes. Hence this is an atidesh sutra. (9) nipAtan or ad hoc rules: Certain nominal and verbal forms are underivable by any rules. Such forms, Panini accounts by just mentioning them. Such sutras are termed nipAtan. For example, in the domain of sutra avayayIbhAva (2.1.5), compounds (samas) of the type avayayi-bhava are being discussed. He discusses many rules which qualify a compound to be called avayayibhava. However, in Sutra: tishThadguprabhRtIni cha (2.1.17; all the elements of tishthadgu-group are to be considered avayayibhava) he merely states that all the thirty-three elements of the tishThadgu group listed in the Gana-Path (Catalog of nominals) are to be considered avayayibhava. Elements of set tishThadgu are said to be avyayIbhAva by nipAtan. Example of Paninian Derivation: Siddhis of verb-form paThati (reads, singular person, Present Tense) When natives of Sanskrit uses sentences like sah paThati( he reads) they are, as all the native speakers of a language, speaking unconsciously. Paninis Grammatical Engine generates these correct forms from his rules, similar to how a Computer code using programmatic instructions generates desired output. Siddhi (Derivation) of paThati paThan, this is the verbal root as it is listed in Paninis Dhatu-path and all forms of paThan in speech are inflections of it. 1 2 paThan paTh bhUvAdayo dhAtavah (1.3.1) This sutra establishes that paTh is a verbal root. Only now, it is eligible for Verbal operations. updeshe ach anunasika ita( 1.3.2 )


paTh + laT

A nasalized vowel (the an of paThan) is a marker. tasya lopaH (1.3.9) Markers are subject to elision. Hence the an of paThan should disappear . Dhatoh(3.1.91) Since paTh is a dhatu (verbal root) its operations come under the domain of this heading sutra. vartamAne Lat(3.2.123) To indicate present tense, the Lat affix should be used. Pratyayah, parascha( 3.1.1 and 3.1.2) An affix is always appended at the end of the stem. So this rule further makes a provision that affixes will be appended at the end and not the beginning. Hence the new form is paTh + lat and not lat + paTh halantyam(1.3.3) The ending consonant is a marker. tasya lopaH (1.3.9) Markers are subject to elision. Hence the t of lat disappears. updeshe ach anunasika it(1.3.2) The laT affix is actually lanT with a nasal n. The tradition of showing the nasal vowel( indicated by the sign of Chandra-bindu, a dot above the phonemes) had fallen into disuse, even by the time Vaman and Jayaditya wrote their commentary called Kasika(6th Century C.E.) and no manuscript has been discovered to date with the nasals displayed. One good reason for this is that the nasal makes pronunciation so difficult. Besides its only role is as a marker which indicates elision. Hence, the an of lan disappears by 1.3.2. lasya( 3.4.77) tip-tas-jhi-sip-thas-tha-mib-vas-mas-ta-AtAm-jha-thAs-athAm-dhvam-iD-vahimahing(3.4.78) lasya above is meaninglessly in the genitive case. Hence the meta-rule shaSthi sthAneyogA (1.1.49) has to be invoked. According to it, items in the genitive case indicate substituends, hence l is a substituend. The l is replaced by any one of 18 affixes enlisted in the subsequent sutra tip-tas-jhi-vahi-mahing(3.4.78) depending on whether the root has to indicate (a). atmanepada or parsmaipada endings (b) single, dual or plural number (c) first, middle or third person. ( Permutations: 3*3*2=18, hence the 18 affixes enlisted in Rule 3.4.78) Now the next step becomes:

paTh + lan

paTh + l

paTh + [ l -> {tip|tas|jhi|sip|thas|tha|mib|vas|mas|ta|AtAm|jha|thAs|athAm|dhvam|iD| vahi|mahing}] And our task is to choose exactly one affix that will append to paTh in place of l such that the inflection will take a parasmaipada ending (which is the ending the given root is assigned in the Dhatu-path Catalog and also found in Native Speech) and denote third person and single number. laH parasmaipadam (1.4.99) The substituends of l are termed parasmaidpada. According to this Sutra all the 18 affixes being substituends of l are now parasmaidpada. However, subsequent sutra which is a niyama sutra restricts parasmaidpada term for the first nine only, by assigning the last nine the term atmanepada. tangAnau-Atmanepadam (1.4.100) tang a pratyAhARa formed by the ta of the tenth affix and the ng of the eighteenth and last affix mahing indicating the last nine affixes and the affixes shAnach, kAnach are termed atmanepadam. Since, paTh is a parasmaipada root, it will take one of the first nine affixes only; and we can now eliminate the last nine affixes which are atmanepaada. Therefore, the next step now is reduced to, paTh + [ l -> {tip|tas|jhi|sip|thas|tha|mib|vas|mas} ] Now Sutra 1.4.101 is invoked tingastrINItrINI pratham-madhyam-uttamAH (1.4.101) The triplets of ting in both parasmaipada and atmanepada are termed prathama (third person-madhyam (middle person) -uttama (first person) respectively. Thus, the new distribution can be illustrated by the following Table: Person Prathma (third person) Madhyama (middle person) Uttama (first person) Parasmai-pada Triplet tip, tas, jhi sip, thas, tha mib, vas, mas Atmanepada Triplet ta, AtAm, jha thAs, athAm, dhvam iD, vahi, mahing

Sutra 1.4.103 discusses usages which determine the choice of middle person endings. If the word you is co-referential to a verb or is implicitly stated, the six affixes categorized as madhyama (middle person) can be used. Similarly, Sutra 1.4.105 states that if the word, me is co-referential with a verb or its

meaning is implicitly stated, the six affixes categorized as uttama first person) can be used. This sutra is followed by Sheshe prathamaH (1.4.108) In the rest of the cases, use prathma(third person) Since, paThati is not co-referential with you or me and neither of these two meanings are implicitly assumed, paTh qualifies for prathama endings by 1.4.108. Thus, we have further narrowed our search for the correct substituend to: paTh + l-> -> {tip|tas|jhi} tani-eka-vacahna-dvi-vachana-bahu-vachanAni-ekashaH (1.4.101) Each one of the three members of the triplets mentioned before in 1.4.100 are termed eka-vachana(single number ), dvi-vachana(dual number) and bahu-vachana(plural) respectively. Thus, a new distribution pattern now emerges: Person Prathma (third person) Madhyama (middle person) Uttama (first person) Parasmai-pada Triplet Single Dual Plural tip tas jhi sip thas tha mib vas mas Atmanepada Triplet Single Double Plural ta AtAm jha thAs athAm dhvam iD vahi mahing

Since, in saH paThati, (He reads) there is only one person, paTh must take an affix denoting Single number. Amongst the three remaining affixes tip/tas/jhi, only the first affix tip is in the Column for Single Number. Hence, paTh will accept tip to indicate third person, Single Number, and parasmaipada ending.

paTh+ tip

ting shit sArvadhatukam(3.4.123) tip affix is a member of the set ting. This rule a samjna sutra classifies ting as a sArvadhatuka. Hence, all operations on the sarvadhatuka class of roots will now operate on: paTh + tip kartari shap This rule, a direct result of the preceding rule, now mandates that the infix (vikarana)

shap must be introduced before the sarvadhatuka affix tip.

paTh + shap+ tip 9 paTh + sha + ti 10 paTh + a + ti

Reinvoking sutra 1.3.3 as in operation # 3, the marker p in both shap and tip disappear lashaku ataddhite (1.3.8) This rule identifies the sh of shap as a marker. Hence the phoneme sh disappears. Finally, we are ready to merge the three to form paThati (reads). It has been correctly derived using the Grammar Engine of Panini and corresponds exactly to the manner it is spoken by the natives

11 paThati Reads. Akin to how paThan conjugates into paThati, all nominal and verbal bases inflect and conjugate. These millions of morphological and phonological forms they assume in everyday speech (loka) are accounted for in A.s algebra-like Derivational System explaining each phonological and morphological change in proper steps by giving relevant sutras (just as above). Each and every Sanskrit word or phrase to be considered correct (sadhu) must be subjected to the aforementioned stepwise process. Only if it confirms to all the rules laid down will that word or phrase be recognized as correct (sadhu). . And in turn each and every form generated by his Engine must correspond to the spoken language (loka) exactly which Paniniyas consider the only valid proof (pramana) of correct speech. Sometimes, however this is not possible and one word in an infinite set does not yield to the patterns. Panini takes this into account and creates one unique rule for that one anomalous word. For example, rule anudattatangit Atmanepadam (1.3.12) states that verbal roots in the Dhatu-path (the catalog of all known verbal roots which are around 2000 and is ancillary to A.) that are marked by the sign indicating low-pitch(anudatta) or have the marker (ng) appended to them take atmanepada endings. The verbal root ji is not marked with either anudatta or ng in the Dhatu-path and in regular usage does not have atmanepada endings (it takes parasmaidpada endings). However, native speakers in speech conjugate atmanepada endings if ji is preceded by preverbs vi and par. Panini took this irregular behavior into account and coded rule viparAbhyAm jeH (1.3.19). Thus, Panini didnt allow one exception to be missed out from his comprehensive system. Paninis Grammar Engine simulates natural speech in a manner very similar to the methods of the Modern Discipline of programming. Historians of both Computer Programming and Linguistics should study Panini and ascertain whether it is appropriate to recognize him as the Father of these two disciplines.

Appreciating Paninis Task in Codifying a Complicated Language like Sanskrit In English, if I were to make a sentence like Johns book, it will not make any difference in the structure of the sentence if I were to say instead Marys book, Lizzys book, and Antonios book. However, in Sanskrit the case-ending will differ according to the terminal phoneme of the nominal stem, as also by its gender and number (singular/double/plural). Some examples of this diversity are: Sanskrit Statement Ramasya pustakam Seetaayaah pustakam Hareh pustakam Patayuh pustakam Guroh pustakam Madhunah pustakam Rajnah pustakam tasya pustakam TP -> APICR* a -> sya aa -> yaah i -> eh i -> ayuh u -> oh u -> unah an -> nah t -> sya English Equivalent Ramas book Seetaas book Harms book Husbands book Guru(Teacher)s book Madhus book Rajans ( Kings) book His ( tat ) book Gender; Number; Ending Phoneme; Masc.; Sing; a Fem; Sing.; aa Masc.; Sing; i Masc. ; Sing; i; Masc.; Sing; u Fem.; Sing; u Masc. ; Sing, n Masc. ; Sing.; t

*TP -> APICR = Terminal Phoneme - > Altered Phoneme Indicating Case Relationship Please note: the paradigms shown above are far from being a complete listing of the known inflections of the genitive case in Sanskrit. The actual number of distinct examples may run into more than one hundred forms all of which indicate the idea of someone possessing something, in our case, a book. Panini provides only one affix for indicating a singular genitive case relationship: nas (Jas in HK Scheme of Transliteration). Therefore, it is Paninis job to formulate a number of rules that will account for all the x number of inflections, the native speakers uses unconsciously. In order to achieve this, he must first have an exhaustive listing of each and every known inflection in our case the singular genitive of the Nominal Stems. He has to study this list and discover the underlying phonological and morphological patterns. Once he has discovered the patterns, he creates rules. Every exceptional case (apavaada) has to be accounted for.

But nas is only one of twenty-one affixes introduced in rule su-au-jas-am-autshas.(4.1.2) which govern the Sanskrit case-endings. All twenty one of these combine with nominal stems and each one of them generates hundreds of variant case-ending morphs as in the illustrated example of the affix nas (Jas). The case of the verbal roots and affixes is equally complicated. . Consider the following in English, (1) eat -> eats , (2) gain -> gains, (3) offer -> offers, (4) drink -> drinks, (5) read -> reads Conjugating a verb to imply present Continuous Tense is as simple as appending an s. Now look at equivalent forms in Sanskrit. (1) at -> atti* (eats), (2) labh -> labhate(gains), (3) hu -> juhoti(offers [an oblation]), (4) pA -> pibati (drinks). (5) paTh -> paThati(reads) (6) chur -> chorayati
*bold and italicized text indicates changes due to conjugation

Unlike English, not one of them terminates analogously. We have endings such as ti, ate, ju..oti, bati, ati,ayati. One reason for divergent forms is that the verbs belong to a different gana or group. The Dhatu-Path lists about 1967 verb roots (2014 including kaNDvAdi roots) divided into 10 conjugation classes (gaNas) to undergo peculiar operations. Each of these ganas are classified on the basis of distinct augments(shap, shyan, shnuh, shah, shnam, zero(luk) etc ) that tend to append to the verbal bases resulting in distinct grammatical operations. These verbal roots interact with the postverbal affixes (the set of tings) which are eighteen in number. These eighteen affixes get modified in ten ways( 10 * 18 = 180 ) to yield meaning indicating various tenses and moods, such as past tense ( lan-lakaar), historical past tense( liT lakaar), present tense( laT lakAr), imperative mood ( loT lakaar). For example: paTh* + shap** + tip = paThati; (He) is reading; Present tense paTh + shap + Nal (modification of tip) = papaTh; He read; Historical Past (for historical characters like Lord Buddha read) paTh + shap + yaasuT + suT = paThet; (You should) read; Injunctive Mood *Verbal Root placed in the gana Bhu-adi. ** shap, the infix which appends exclusively to the Bhu-adi group tan* + u** + tip = tanoti; spreads: Present Tense tan + u + shya + tip= tanishyati; will spread; Future Tense

*Verbal Root placed in the gana Tanu-adi gana **u is the unique infix for members of the Tanu-adi gana hu* + shlu** + tip = juhoti; (He) is offering (oblations); Present Tense, Singular, Third Person hu + shlu + jhi = juhvati; (They) are offering (oblations); Present Tense, Plural hu + shlu + mip = juhomi; (I) am offering (oblations); Present Tense, Plural, First Person hu + shlu + tip = juhotu; (They) should offering (oblations); Imperative Mood, Third Person *Verbal Root placed in the gana juhoti-adi gana **shlu is the unique infix for members of the juhoti-adi gana and tend to elision Summary of the Major Topics of Ashtadhayi Sanjna or Terms: Panini has coined several technical terms in his A. which are sometimes meaningful (like samhita, samprasaran, anunasika) and sometimes meaningless (like ghu, Ti, bha). Some of these are borrowed from ancient authorities (pUrva-AchArya). He sometimes defines them; sometimes uses them without explicitly stating their meaning - implying that the term was in current usage and widely known. And if the term refers to sets of grammatical items he merely lists the members that constitute that finite set indicated by the Sanjna. For example, kta-ktavatu niShTha (1.1.25) enumerates the two constituents of finite set niShTha. niShTha: = {kta, ktavatu} vRddhirADaich (1.1.1) phonemes A ai and au are termed VRddhi. vRddhi: = {A, ai, au} Panini has used more than one-hundred technical terms and the first two quarters of Chapter 1 concentrate on Sanjnakaran or Terminology-coining. Sandhi (Euphonic Combination): In English, a statement like Who is going? in the speech of some native speakers often becomes Whos going. In Sanskrit, this tendency for phonemes to fuse when in close proximity is extravagantly copious. Their can hardly be a sentence where at least one instance of Sandhi is not observable, if not more. Sandhis given by Paninis Sutra paraH sannikarshaH samhita (1.4.108) are morphophonological alterations that occur between terminal and initial phonemes of juxtaposed words (external Sandhi) or between morphemes within words (internal Sandhi). For example, in the sentence aham Agachhami (I am coming), the terminal phoneme m

of aham (I) fuses with the initial phoneme A of Agachchhami (am coming) to become ahamAgachchhami. Sandhis have been popularly classified into three types: (1) Vowel Sandhi: between two vowels. For example: tadA Agachhet (Come then) becomes tadA + Agachhet = tadAgachhet ( by the rules akaH savarNe dIrghaH(6.1.101) ) the two phonemes A and A fuse to become one phoneme A (2) Consonant Sandhi: between consonants or between a vowel and a consonant. For example: Tat + Shivah = tachchhivah phoneme t transforms into ch and phoneme sh transforms into chh (3) Visarga Sandhi: between Visargas (roughly like the h sound in English) and other phonemes. For Example in Harih avadat (Hari spoke) Harih + avadat = Hariravadat The Visarga sound h is transformed into the phoneme r. Sandhi can be used to make long strings of compound words and many poets have exploited this innate potential of their language. Banabhatta, the celebrated court-poet of King Harshavardhana of Kannauj in his 7th Century Sanskrit Novel Kadambari wrote several pages which consist of what is technically one single word using the principles of Sandhi and Compounding. Compound Words (Samaas) English has numerous compound words like class-room, foot-ball, frying-pan etc. These have chiefly evolved out of human-usage and are not the conscious coining of linguists. However, Compounding is peculiar to the idiom of Sanskrit usage. Writers freely use compound words of their own coining using Paninis Compounding rules without any fear of unintelligibility. Excesses of usage for rhetorical purposes are as frequent as with Sandhi. Compounds are classified into the following four types: (1) (2) (3) (4) avyayibhava(first term dominates in the final meaning of the compound) tatpuruSha(the last term dominates in the overall meaning of the compound) bahuvrIhi(neither dominate) dvandva(meaning of both terms dominates)


ITARETARA SAMAAHAARA EKASHESA Accusative Instrumental Dative Ablative Genitive Locative

TATPURUSA (Inflectional)

TATPURUSA or DETERMINATIVE NAN (Negative) SANSKRIT KARMADHAARAYA Dvigu COMPOUNDS (Appositional) PRAADI (Prepositional, 1st kind) GATI (Prepositional, 2nd kind) UPAPADA (Compounds containing a upapada) SAMAANAADHIKARANA (The members --generally two-- are in apposition BAHUVRIIHI or to one another) ATTRIBUTIVE VYADHIKARANA (The members --generally two-- are not in apposition to one another) AVYAYIIBHAAVA or ADVERBIAL .

Affixation (the pratyayas): Discoveries of Sanskrit affixes and their meanings have been instrumental in enhancing the deeper knowledge of Sanskrit words and have made possible neologisms using the principles established by P. Panini has described three hundred and seventy-five affixes of which ninety percent are those classed in krT and taddhita categories.

Sanskrit Affixes




kRtya nishThA sat

* sh-marked

tadrAja vibhakti gha Others

**Ardha ***sArva Feminine

* sh-marked sArvadhAtuka and ArdhadhAtuka krt Affixes, includes the unadi group. ** ArdhadhAtuka affixes which include the Dhatu-affixes *** sArvadhAtuka which includes tings and the sh-marked vikaranas (augments) The major group of affixes are discussed below: (1) kRt or primary Affixes: They serve to form derived nominal bases and generally denote objects of acts or abstract acts themselves. These are mostly appended to verbal roots. There are nearly one hundred and twenty-two Krit affixes described by Panini. In the chart above I have divided them into four groups: (a) kRtya: The seven affixes tavyat, tavya, anIyar, yat, kyap, Nyat and kelimar are kRtyas and are used in the sense of should be done. Example: kR + tavya = kartavya; must do. (b) nishTha: kta and ktavatu are the only two elements of this group. (c) sat: shatR and shAnach are the two elements of this group. (d) shit sArvadhAtuk and ArdhadhAtuk affixes: several in number and includes the Unadis which are extremely irregular in behaviour. (2) taddhita or Secondary affixes: They also serve to form derived nominal bases but are appended to substantives to change the meaning of the nominal in different ways. 1100 rules in the A., covering most of the fourth and fifth chapter deal with taddhita affixes. The total number of taddhita affixes is two-hundred and seventeen. Examples are aN, chha, atsuch, kha. etc.

(3) Feminine. Converts a given word from the masculine to the feminine gender. Examples: TAp, DAp, chap etc. (4) Ting: These eighteen affixes append to verbal roots and are responsible for verbal inflections. Example, paTh + si = paThasi (you read). (5) Sup: These twenty-one affixes append to substantives and are responsible for Nominal Inflections. Example RAma + TA = RAmeNa (done by Rama). (6) DhAtu: These affixes form derivative verbs from primitive roots. For example: "kR" (to do -- a primitive root) can conjugate into karoti (does). If you want to express "a desire to do", Dhatu affix san is appended and yields chikIrSati. (He wants to do, he desires to do). Other examples are Nich, yang, san etc Karakas: Karakas are the equivalent of case relationships and are syntacto-semantic in Paninis system. There are six karakas in Sanskrit. These are: 1. kartA Karaka (corresponds to the nominative case) 2. karma Karaka (accusative case) 3. karan Karaka (instrumental case) 4. sampradAna Karaka (dative case) 5. apAdAna Karaka (ablative case) 6. adhikaraN Karaka (locative case) The genitive (sambaandh) case is not recognized as a Karaka because it does not directly participate in the action denoted by the sentence. Post-Paninian Scholarship The study of Paninis Grammar had spawned a vast commentarial literature in the past. The sages Katyayana and Patanjali have been mentioned previously. Katyayana intended to improve upon some of Paninis rules where he felt they were inadequate. Inadequacies could either be due to changes that had crept into Sanskrit over the period of time between Katyayana and Panini or due to the oversights of Panini himself. Another purpose was to provide with fresh linguistic insights. He has merely commented upon 1500 Paninian sutras in about 4000 vartikas (scholia) which are mostly one-liners. These vartikas are not an independent treatise and are only found in the commentary of Patanjali, the Mahabhashya, regarded as the second most important grammatical text after the Ashtadhyayi. Patanjali has commented upon 1701 sutras in 85 chapters called day-sessions (ahnikas). The commentary is in the form of a discourse between a student, a teachers aide and a teacher. The Mahabhashya is an extremely elegantly written treatise, composed in a very simple yet subtle style; and full of charming anecdotes and maxims

Prominent names besides the three sages are Bhartrihari(Vakyapadiya), VamanaJayaditya(Authors of Kashika), Kaiyata(Pradeep Commentary on Mahabhashya), Bhattoji Dikshit( author of Siddhanta Kaumudi ), Kaunda Bhatt(Vyakarana Bhushan Sara) Nagesh( Voluminous author on Sanskrit Grammar, chief amongst them LaghushabdenduShekhar, Paribahshendu-Shekhar, Udyot Commentary ). Special mention must be made of the Siddhanta Kaumudi of Bhattoji Dikshit written in the seventeenth century by a learned Brahmin of Maharashtra which revolutionized the way Grammar was taught in the length and breadth of the entire subcontinent. Following the Prakriya School which emphasizes derivation of correct forms above others and teaches the A. without regard to its spatial order; it became the most important pedagogical text and replaced traditional teaching of Grammar through A. Many modern scholars like Ram Nath Sharma and the Arya Samajis likes Brahma Dutt Jijnasu and Yuddhishthir Mimansaka consider the SKs prakriya system unscientific even unfortunate. The latter have leashed a diatribe of vehemence on its methods and equated the downfall of Indian Culture with the emergence of the Prakriya Schools in the 11th Century. The use of mythological paradigms by Bhattoji to illustrate rules has done much to increase its popularity amongst teachers who consider it a text with a dual aim: teaching of grammar and inculcating religiosity. In modern times, some of the worlds most brilliant linguists - both Indian and Western have studied Panini and produced a plethora of novel research. Paniniyas such as George Cardona, Madhav Deshpande, Ram Nath Sharma, S.D. Joshi, Roodenberg, Devashthale, Ashok Aklujkar etc have written very precise treatises and laid bare all the intricacies of the technique in English so that a modern student has no longer to depend on his teacher or a cryptic Sanskrit commentary and can comprehend the intricacies of Sanskrit Grammar from his reading desk. The research P. has inspired is extremely meticulous, scientific and detail-oriented. Scholars have written lengthy books to discuss the use and significance of single words like cha (and), the markers (The Anubabdhas of Panini), the optionalitysignifying words( va, vibahsa, anyatarasyam)( Panini as a Variationist) etc. There is nothing new in this as from the times of Patanjali itself, exhaustive discussion on single sutras (example Samarthanhnika: single chapter on Sutra 2.1.1 samarthah padavidhi) was the norm rather than the exception. Modern Civilization with its rapid means of communications and transmittal of knowledge has catalyzed this process. Summing up my paper I would like to mention the A. is not only the most important means for a proper understanding of the Sanskrit Language and Grammar, its technique is so interesting in itself that one can study it for the mere pleasure of learning a very engaging and intellectual system which American Linguist Leonard Bloomfield felt was one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence (quoted in Panini: A Survey of Research, George Cardona, pg 243).