Lesson 39 – Outlines of Syntax – 2

A short YouTube version is available here. [Expand to the full article to be able to click on the link].

In Lesson 38, we started looking at syntax. We said that syntax deals with the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language. In Lesson 38, we looked at Word Order, Number, Concord, Pronouns and the Nominative and Accusative cases.

In this lesson we will continue to look at syntax: we will deal with some of the other cases.

Instrumental Case

The fundamental sense of this case is concomitance. Depending on whether it expresses accompaniment, adjacency, instrumentality or agency, causality, motion through space, time passed through etc., it can be rendered in English by with, by, through.

Accompaniment: rāmo lakṣmaṇenāgacchat रामो लक्ष्मणेनागच्छत् Rama comes with Lakshmana; rāmo lakṣmaṇena sahāyena vanaṃ gacchati रामो लक्ष्मणेन सहायेन वनं गच्छति Rama goes to jail with Lakshmana as companion [note also the use of sahāya in apposition to lakṣmaṇa]

Instrumentality or agency: रामः कृष्णं शस्त्रेण हन्ति (rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ śastreṇa hanti) – Rama kills Krishna with (a) weapon.

Accordance, equality, likeness etc.: ahaṃ tena na tulyaḥ अहं तेन न तुल्यः I am not equal to him

Price: sahasreṇa nāṇakānāṃ gr̥haṃ krīnāmi सहस्रेण नाणकानां गृहं क्रीनामि (I buy (a) house with a thousand coins) [Note the use of the number with the genitive of the thing numbered. I buy a house with a thousand of coins]

Medium (space or distance traversed): vimānaṃ vihāyasā uḍḍayanaṃ karoti विमानं विहायसा उड्डयनं करोति (The plane flies through the air)

Time passed through: ekāhnā gr̥haṃ gacchati एकाह्ना गृहं गच्छति (he goes home in the course of a day)

The part of the body on which anything is borne: kukkuraḥ skandheno’hyate कुक्कुरः स्कन्धेनोऽह्यते (a dog is carried on the shoulder)

Some use of the instrumental in phrases:

bahunā kiṃ pralāpena बहुना किं प्रलापेन (what is the point of much talking?)

ko me jīvitenārthaḥ को मे जीवितेनार्थः (what is the meaning of life to me?)

The use of the instrumental with the passive (or passive participle)

mayā gantavyam मया गन्तव्यम् (I shall go)

rāmeṇa hataḥ रामेण हतः (killed by Rama)

vyādhena jālaṃ vistīrṇam व्याधेन जालं विस्तीर्णम् (by the hunter the net was spread; the hunter spread the net)

tenoktam तेनोक्तम् (it is said by him; he said)

A predicate to the instrumental subject is also in the instrumental in these constructions.

avahitena bhavitavyaṃ bhavatā अवहितेन भवितव्यं भवता (you must be careful)

A causative verb, many a time, takes the instrumental as the second object

sītā rāmeṇa rāvaṇaṃ ghātayati सीता रामेण रावणं घातयति (Sita causes Ravana to be killed by Rama OR Sita causes Rama to kill  Ravana OR Sita kills Ravana through Rama OR Sita has Rama kill Ravana OR Sita gets Rama to kill Ravana)

Interestingly (and anomalously), the instrumental is used instead of the ablative to with words signifying separation!

bhartrā viyogaḥ भर्त्रा वियोगः (separation from husband)

sa tayā vyayujayata स तया व्ययुजयत (he was parted from her)

Prepositions taking the instrumental are those that signify with and the likes. saha सह and others.

tena saha तेन सह (with him)

Again anomalously, the instrumental is also taken by vinā विना

tena vinā तेन विना (without him)

Dative case

The dative case is the case of the indirect object. It indicates towards what, or in the direction of what the action of the verb is done, It also indicates for what, or in order to do what, the action of the verb is done. This is used for both transitive and intransitive verbs.

Indirect object

kr̥ṣṇo rāmāya pustakaṃ dadāti कृष्णो रामाय पुस्तकं ददाति;

rāmāya pustakaṃ darśaya रामाय पुस्तकं दर्शय (show the book to Rama);

kr̥ṣṇo rāmāya pustakaṃ pratijñāyāgacchat कृष्णो रामाय पुस्तकं प्रतिज्ञायागच्छत् (Krishna went after promising the book to Rama);

tad rāmāya rocate तद् रामाय रोचते (that is pleasing to Rama);

lakṣmaṇo rāmāya namaskr̥tya gacchati लक्ष्मणो रामाय नमस्कृत्य गच्छति (Lakshmana goes after paying homage to Rama)

The dative is used freely used for signifying for, for the benefit of, for the sake of, with reference to etc. This normally becomes the the final dative (or dative of end or purpose)

odanaṃ pacate’śanāya ओदनं पचतेऽशनाय (He cooks rice for eating)

The dative is used predicatively in the sense of makes for, tends towards, is intended for (and so must) , is liable to (and so can) etc.

upadeśo mūrkhāṇaṃ prakopāya na śāntaye उपदेशो मूर्खाणं प्रकोपाय न शान्तये (advice to a fool makes for anger, not calm)

The dative is normally not used with prepositions.

Ablative Case

The ablative case is the from case. It is used to express removal, separation etc.

sa vr̥kṣāt patati स वृक्षात् पतति (he falls from the tree)

te sedhanti patho vr̥kam ते सेधन्ति पथो वृकम् (they drive away the wolf from the road)

The ablative is also used to indicate the source or starting point

vāyur antarīkṣād abhāṣata वायुर् अन्तरीक्षाद् अभाषत (the wind spoke from the sky)

lobhāt krodhaḥ prabhavati लोभात् क्रोधः प्रभवति (anger arises from greed)

Also, the cause or occassion

rāvaṇo rāmasya bāṇabhayād dravati रावणो रामस्य बाणभयाद् द्रवति (Ravano runs for fear of Rama’s arrows)

tasmāt sarvam abibhet तस्मात् सर्वम् अबिभेत् (everything was afraid of him)

The ablative is used for comparison

kiṃ tasmād duḥkhataram किं तस्माद् दुःखतरम् (what is more painful than that?)

daśaratho bharataṃ vr̥ṇīte rāmāt दशरथो भरतं वृणीते रामात् (Dasharatha chooses Bharata over Rama)

The ablative is used with some prepositions (especially ā आ meaning until rather than from)

ā ṣoḍaśāt आ षोडशात् (till the sixteenth year)

ā pradānāt आ प्रदानात् (till (her) marriage)

Genitive Case

The genitive case is adjectival. It qualifies a noun. The normal adjectival use falls into various categories: genitive of possession or appurtenance; the partitive genitive; subjective and objective genitives etc.

[Note: The genitive of apposition or equivalence (eg. the city of London) or of characteristic (eg. man of his word) or of material (house of stone) do not normally occur in Sanskrit]

रामस्य पुस्तकम् rāmasya pustakam

mātā putrāṇām माता पुत्राणाम् (mother of sons)

ke naḥ के नः (which of us?)

pituḥ kāmaḥ putrasya पितुः कामः पुत्रस्य (a fathers love of his son)

dāsīnāṃ śatam दासीनां शतम् (of servants a hundred; a hundred servants)

nagarasya mārgaḥ नगरस्य मार्गः (the road to the city): This type of use is rare.

[While, for possessive pronouns uses Latin normally uses the adjectives and not the genitive, in Sanskrit it is more common to use the genitive and not derived possessive adjectives like asmadīya, madīya]

Genitives with adjectives: The partitive genitive

vīrāṇāṃ śreṣṭhaḥ वीराणां श्रेष्ठः [The best among brave people]

Genitives with adjectives

tasya samaḥ तस्य समः (equal to him)

tasya sadr̥śaḥ तस्य सदृशः (resembling him)

tasya priyā तस्य प्रिया (dear to him)

īpsito naranārīṇām ईप्सितो नरनारीणाम् (desired of men and women)

tasya prasūtaḥ तस्य प्रसूतः (born of him; his son)

Even though the genitive is really an adjectival case, its use has got extended to be a substitute for other cases.

Genitive as a substitute for the locative or dative

With verbs signifying give, impart, communicate etc. : asya varān pradāya अस्य वरान् प्रदाय (having given gifts to him); rājño niveditam राज्ञो निवेदितम् (it was made known to the king);

Partitive genitive as a less complete substitute for the accusative (partake, eat, drink etc.)

piba jalasya पिब जलस्य (drink (of) the water; drink some water)

Genitive instead of ablative

bibhīmas tava बिभीमस् तव (we are afraid of you)

Genitive used as a predicate

sa mama स मम (it is mine)

The genitive is used with prepositions like agre arthe kr̥te अग्रे अर्थे कृते etc.

atha brāhmaṇasya kr̥te rājñaḥ śrāddhaṃ dātumāhvānamāgatam अथ ब्राह्मणस्य कृते राज्ञः श्राद्धं दातुमाह्वानमागतम् (In the meantime, he received an invitation from the king to receive gifts associated with the Shraaddha ceremony)

tasya agre तस्य अग्रे (in front of him

Some genitives used adverbially

aktoḥ अक्तोः (by night)

vastoḥ वस्तोः (by day)

This is the end of Lesson 39. In this lesson we continued looking at Sanskrit syntax. We will continue to do this in the next lesson also.

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3 thoughts on “Lesson 39 – Outlines of Syntax – 2

  1. Respected sir,Thank you for sending this sanskrit lesson. What is your mobile number. I would like to speak to you. your lessons are very helpful to me.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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