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01 Intro

01 Intro

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Published by api-27104708
an introduction to the sanskrit grammar
an introduction to the sanskrit grammar

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Published by: api-27104708 on Oct 18, 2008
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03/18/2014

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Introduction

Samskrit is a natural language and its grammar is descriptive (not prescriptive). Samskritam is formed by -sMyk\u0153 (Well, good, proper) +k\u00abtm! (Made) = well made. This is so called, as the grammar written for the language is so transparent that once one knows the grammar, every word can be broken-down to its level of the root. In the same way, starting from the roots, the words can be built-up.

The Samskrit Alphabet
The Samskrit alphabet is written in a script calleddevnagrI. It is written as below, (also the transliteration scheme
-detailed )\u2013
Vowels
A
a
Aa
\u0101
#
i
$
\u012b
%
u
^
\u016b
\
\u00e5
\u00a7
\u00e8
\u00a4
\u00ff
@
e
@e
ai
Aae
o
AaE
au
k-vgR
k
k
o
kh
g
g
"
gh
'
\u00ec
c-vgR
c
c
D
ch
j
j
H
jh
|
\u00ef
q-vgR
q
\u00f6
Q
\u00f6 h
f
\u00f2
F
\u00f2h
[
\u00eb
t-vgR
t
t
w
th
d
d
x
dh
n
n
p-vgR
p
p
)
ph
b
b
\u00c9
bh
m
m
y-vgR
y
y
r
r
l
l
v
v
z-vgR
z
\u015b
;
\u00f1
s
s
h
h
a<
\u00e0
a>
\u00f9
Vowels -Svr
There are five simple vowels and four diphthongs in the Samskrit Language. They are -
Simple Vowels
A
#
%
\
\u00a4
Diphthongs
@
@e
Aae
AaE
The vowels are the sounds, which can be pronounced independently. Based on the length of the pronunciation,
they are classified as -

1.\u00ffSv> (short)- one ma\u00c7a
2.dI"R> (long)- two ma\u00c7a
3.Plut> - three ma\u00c7a

ThePlut> shall be ignored, for the time being only

Of the simple vowels, first four have both the short & the long forms. The fifth one,\u00a4 does not have a long form. The diphthongs are all long. Therefore, for all practical purposes, there are 13 vowels in the Samskrit Language. They are \u2013

All Vowels
Simple Vowels
Diphthongs
A
Aa
#
$
%
^
\
\u00a7
\u00a4
@
@e
Aae
AaE
a
\u0101
i
\u012b
u
\u016b
\u00e5
\u00e8
\u00ff
e
ai
a
au
Consonants \u2013V y\u00c3 na >

There are 33 consonants in the Samskrit alphabet. A consonant cannot be pronounced independently by itself. It can be pronounced only in combination with a vowel. The vowelA is added uniformly to all consonants to facilitate pronunciation. However, they can be represented by the consonant symbol with a nether stroke (called

hlNt) as illustrated below \u2013
k \u2013 consonant followed by the vowel A
k\u0153\u2013 consonant by itself \u2013 without the vowel A
Classification of the Samskrit Alphabet
According to the point of articulation, the letters of the Samskrit alphabet are divided into five groups, as follows
\u2013
1
Throat
Guttural
k{Q(a>
2
Palate
Palatal
talVya>
3
Roof of the Mouth
Cerebral
mUxRNya>
4
Teeth
Dental
dNtya>
5
Lips
Labial
Aae\u00f3(a>

They are further classified into groups based on the type of effort used. When we classify the consonants and vowels according to the effort, it again involves two types of classifications. The first one is based on how the articular surfaces come in contact with each other. This is called internal effort. Based on the internal effort the consonants and vowels are divided into five groups as follows \u2013

Sp&\u00f2a>
Vy\u00c3n
Hard & Soft Mutes
(The 25 class consonants)

k, o, g, ", '.
c, D, j, H, |.
q, Q, f, F, [.
t, w, d, x, n.
p, ), b, \u00c9, m.

$;TSp&\u00f2> ANtSwa>
Semi-vowels
y, r, l, v.
$;i\u00d6v&t>
^:ma[>
Sibilants
;, z, s.
ivv&t>
Vowels
A, Aa, #, $, \, \u00a7, \u00a4, %, ^.
s<v&t>
ShortA**
** ThisA iss<v&t> only for enunciation but for all grammatical purposes it is taken asivv&ta>.
The second kind of effort is called the external effort. Based on this the 25 mutes are divided into soft
consonants and hard consonants.
\ue000
The First & Second of each class of mutes are the hard consonants \u2013 the surds.
\ue000
The Third & Fourth are the soft consonants \u2013 the sonants.
\ue000
The Fifth of the class are the nasals and are soft consonants.

The First & Third are non-aspirates \u2013ALp\u00e0a[a, The Second & Fourth are aspirates \u2013mha\u00e0a[ a,
On the basis of the above, the following is a comprehensive classification of the Samskrit alphabet represented
inde vnagrI\u2013

vowels
Svr
Mutes (not resonant sounds - consonants)
Vy\u00c3na>
semi-
vowel
ANtSw>
sibilants
^:ma[>
Internal Effort
Aa_yNtr \u00e0y\u00c6ivv&t ivv&t
Sp&\u00f2a>
$;TSp&\u00f2a> $;i\u00d6iv&ta>
External Effort
ba\u00fd \u00e0y\u00c6
ivvar-\u00f1as-A"ae;
(hard)
s<var-nad-"ae;
(soft)
surd sonant
non-asp.
ALp\u00e0a[
asp.
mha\u00e0a[
non-
asp.
ALp\u00e0a[
asp.
mha\u00e0a[
nasal
ALp\u00e0a[ALp\u00e0a[
aspirate
mha\u00e0a[
\u00ffSv dI"R
class1
class2
class3 class4 class5
Gutturalk{Q(a>A* Aa
k
o
g
"
'
>
h
PalataltalVya>
#
$
c
D
j
H
|
y
z
CerebralmUxR
Nya>\ \u00a7
q
Q
f
F
[
r
;
DentaldN tya>
\u00a4
t
w
d
x
n
l
s
LabialAae\u00f3(a>
% ^
p
)
b
\u00c9
m
v**
Gutturo-palatal
k{Qtalu
@@e
Gutturo-labial
k{Qae\u00f3m!
Aae
AaE
* This A is s<v&t> only for enunciation but for all grammatical pu
rposes it is taken as ivv&ta>
**v is adNtae\u00f3m! (dento-labial)

A-k\u2026-h-ivsjRnIyana< k{Q, #-cu-y-zana< talu, \-qu-;a[a< mUxaR, \u00a4-tu-l-sana< dNta>, %-pu-%pXmanIyana< Aae\u00f3aE, |- m-'-[-nan< naiska c, @dEtae> k{Qtalu, AaedaEtae> k{Qae\u00f3m!,vkarSy dNtae\u00f3m!, ij\u00feamUlIySy ijg!vamUlm!, naisk AnuSvarSy. - Swan Ai\u00c9Vy\u00c2k-s&U\u00c7ai[.

A, Aa, k\u2026(k-vgR
) h!& ivsgR are uttered by the throat
#, $, cu(c-vgR) y!& z!are uttered by the palate
\, \u00a7, qu(q-vgR) r!& ;!are uttered by the cerebral

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