A Practical Grammar of the PŒli Language
Chapter 2

Sandhi (Euphony)

14. Sandhi (union) is that part of the grammar which treats of the euphonic changes that occur when one word is joined to another.

15. Generally these changes occur
(a) When a word ending in a vowel is joined to a word beginning with a vowel.
(b) When a word ending in a vowel, is joined to another word beginning with a consonant.
(c) When a word ending in niggah“ta (µ) is followed by a word beginning either with a vowel or with a consonant.

16. From the above it will be seen that sandhi is of three kinds:
(I) Vowel-sandhi, (II) Mixed sandhi and (III) Niggah“ta-sandhi.

Remarks. It is not absolutely necessary that the student should master thoroughly the rules of sandhi before beginning the study of the other chapters; but he should read them once carefully, and always refer to them whenever in the course of his reading he finds forms and combinations that puzzle him.

I. Vowel-Sandhi

17. A vowel before another vowel is elided.

Examples

Elision of a, yassa + indriyŒni = yassindriyŒni.
  ajja + uposatho = ajjuposatho.
Elision of Œ, mŒ + Œvuso evarčpaµ akŒsi = mŒvuso, etc.
  tadŒ + uŹŹhahi = taduŹŹhahi.
Elision of i, udadhi + čmiyo = udadhčmiyo.
  aggi + Œhito = aggŒhito.
Elision of “, bhikkhun“ + ovŒdo = bhikkhunovŒdo.
  mig“ + iva = migiva.
Elision of u, dhŒtu + ŒyatanŒni = dhŒtŒyatanŒni.
  dhŒtu + indriyŒni = dhŒtindriyŒni.
Elision of č, jambč + Œd“ni = jambŒd“ni.
  jambč + “rita vŒtena = jamb“rita vŒtena.
Elision of e, laddho me + okŒso = laddho m'okŒso.
  gŒthŒ me + ud“ritŒ = gŒthŒ m'ud“ritŒ.
Elision of o, eso + Œvuso ŒyasmŒ = es'Œvuso ŒyasmŒ.

Remarks. When “ is followed by a vowel it is very seldom elided: in the expression tuöhassa, however, we have an example of its elision; tuöhassa = tuöh“ + assa; tuöh“ ahesuµ, remains without change.

18. A vowel coming after another vowel may, if it is dissimilar, be elided.

Examples

(i) cakkhu + indriyaµ = cakkhundriyaµ.
(ii) yassa + idŒni = yass'idŒni.

19. The first vowel having been elided the following vowel may be lengthened.

Examples

(i) tatra + ayaµ = tatrŒyaµ.
(ii) sa + atthika = sŒtthika.
(iii) kiki + iva = kik“va.
(iv) kamma + upanissayo = kammčpanissayo.
(Note: A short vowel, a, i, u, is lengthened by putting a "-"(Dash) over it).

20. Sometimes the second vowel having been elided, the preceding vowel is lengthened.

Examples

(i) vi + atimŒnenti = v“timŒnenti.
(ii) kiµsu + idha vittaµ = kiµsčdha vittaµ.

21. Generally:
(i) a or Œ + i or “ = e.
(ii) a or Œ + u or č = o.

Examples

I. a or Œ + i or “
(i) upa + ikkhati = upekkhati.
(ii) jina + “ritanayo = jineritanayo.
(iii) ava + ecca = avecca.
(iv) bandhussa + iva = bandhusseva.

Exceptions

(a) iti preceded by a becomes Œti, as:
(i) tassa + iti = tassŒti.
(ii) tissa + iti = tissŒti.

(b) i may be elided after a; as:
(i) pana + ime = pana'me.
(ii) tena + ime = tena'me.

(c) Sometimes Π+ i becomes i; as:
seyyathŒ + idaµ = seyyathidaµ.

II. a or Œ + u or č
(i) canda + udayo = candodayo.
(ii) na + upeti = nopeti.
(iii) udaka + čmi = udakomi.
(iv) yathΠ+ udaka = yathodaka.

22. When two vowels of the same organ meet, the result is generally long: that is,
a + a = Œ, a + Œ = Œ, Œ + a = Œ, Œ + Œ = Œ.
i + i = “, i + “ = i, “ + i = “, “ + “ = “.
u + u = č, u + č = č, č + u = č, č + č = č.

Examples

(i) –Œöa + Œlokena = –ŒöŒlokena.
(ii) demi + iti = dem“ti.

23. i and u may, before verbs beginning with a vowel, remain unchanged.

Examples

(i) gŒthŒhi ajjhabhŒsi.
(ii) adhivŒsesi aviha––amŒno.
(iii) satthu adŒsi.

24. A final vowel may remain unchanged before any other vowel when not followed by iti, in the following cases:

(a) In nouns in the vocative case: kassappa etaµ...

(b) In a word ending in a long vowel if it does not form a compound with the following word: bhagavŒ uŹŹhŒyŒsanŒ.

(c) After particles, vowels remain unchanged.

Examples

(i) atho + anto ca = atho anto ca.
(ii) atha kho + ŒyasmŒ = atha kho ŒyasmŒ.
(iii) no + atikkamo = no atikkamo.

Remarks. The particles, called nipŒta, are indeclinable; they are rather numerous. The following are a few of them and the most common: atho, atha, yeva, adho, yathŒ, tathŒ, tŒva, yŒva, eva, ivŒ, va, re, are, ca, hi, tu, kacci, kho, khalu, kira, pana, ce, nanu, nčna, nŒma, etc., etc.*

*There are two kinds of indeclinable words: the nipŒta or adverbs and the upasagga, or prepositions. The latter number only 20: Œ, u, ati, pati, pa, pari, ava, parŒ, adhi, abhi, anu, upa, apa, api, saµ, vi, ni, n“, su, du, (saddan“ti: catupadavibhŒga). All the other indeclinables are of course nipŒta.

Note. Final vowels before particles beginning with a, i, e, as: atha, iva, eva, follow the rules of sandhi, as;
(i) itth“ + iti = itth“ti.
(ii) sabbe + eva = sabbe'va.
(iii) so + eva = sveva.
(iv) na + ettha = n'ettha.

(d) i and u before a verb may remain unchanged: (see 23)

25. The vowel e, when followed by a long dissimilar vowel and also when followed by a short dissimilar vowel followed by a conjunct consonant, may be elided.

Examples

(i) me + Œsi = m'Œsi.
(ii) sace + assa = sac'assa.

26. After o, a vowel is usually elided.

Examples

(i) yo + ahaµ = yo'haµ.
(ii) cattŒro + ime = cattŒro'me.

Transformation of Vowels into Semi-vowels

27. The vowels i, u, e, o, when followed by another vowel may be transformed into their semi-vowels.
(i) The semi-vowel of i, and e, is y.
(ii) The semi-vowel of u and o, is v.

(a) Final i, before a dissimilar vowel is changed to y.
(i) vi + ŒkŒsi = vyŒkŒsi.
(ii) vitti + anubhuyyate = vittyanubhuyyate.
(iii) dŒsi + ahaµ = dŒsyŒhaµ.
Remarks. iti + eva = itveva.

(b) In such words as: me, te, ke, ye, etc., e is changed to y, and, if the a following e stands before a single consonant it is lengthened to Œ.

Examples

(i) me + ahaµ = myŒhaµ.
(ii) me + ayaµ = myŒyaµ.
(iii) te + ayaµ = tyŒyaµ.
(iv) te + ahaµ = tyŒhaµ.
(v) ke + assa = kyassa (34).

Exceptions

(a) Final e may be elided before a long vowel: me + Œsi = m'Œsi.
(b) Final e may be elided before a short vowel followed by a double consonant: sace + assa = sac'assa.
(c) Final e sometimes elides a following vowel:
(i) te + ime = te'me.
(ii) sace + ajja = sace'jja.
(d) Final e + a may give Œ: sace + ayaµ = sacŒyaµ.

(c) When u, is followed by a dissimilar vowel, it is changed to v.

Examples

(i) anu + eti = anveti.
(ii) dhŒtu + anta = dhŒtvanta.
(iii) dhŒtu + attha = dhŒtvattha.
(iv) bahu + ŒbŒdho = bahvŒbŒdho.
(v) su + Œgataµ = svŒgataµ.
(vi) anu + a¶¶hamŒsaµ = anva¶¶hamŒsaµ.

Exceptions

(a) Final u may be elided before a dissimilar vowel: sametu + ŒyasmŒ = samet'ŒyasmŒ.
(b) Not seldom, u + i gives č: sŒdhu + iti = sŒdhčti.

(d) Final o, may be changed to v before a dissimilar vowel.

Examples

(i) ko + attho = kvattho.
(ii) agamΠnu kho + idha = agamΠnu khvidha.
(iii) yato + adhikaraöaµ = yatvadhikaraöaµ.
(iv) yo + ayaµ = yvŒyaµ.

Exceptions

Final o before a long vowel or a short vowel followed by a double consonant, is generally elided:
(i) kuto + ettha = kut'ettha.
(ii) tato + uddhaµ = tat'uddhaµ.
(iii) tayo + assu = tay'assu.

Remarks.
1. The change of u and o, to v occurs chiefly when u or o, comes after one of the following consonants: k, kh, t, th, d, na, y, s and h (saddan“ti, part III sandhisuttamŒlŒ).
2. Sometimes, after i or “, y is inserted before a word beginning with a vowel, to avoid hiatus:
(i) aggi + ŒgŒre = aggiyŒgŒre.
(ii) sattam“ + atthe = sattam“yatthe.
3. Similarly, to avoid a hiatus, a v is inserted between final u and another vowel:
(i) du + aŗgikaµ = duvaŗgikaµ.
(ii) bhikkhu + Œsane = bhikkhuvŒsane.
(See below Consonantal Insertions.)

Consonantal Insertions

28. (a) Not seldom, to avoid a hiatus, a consonant is inserted between two vowels.
(b) The consonants thus inserted are: y, v, m, d, n, t, r, l(= Ā), and h. (Saddan“t“ gives also, h.)
(c) Of these, the most frequently used are: d, r, m, y and v.

Remarks. Some of these consonants are mere revivals from the older language, as in: puna + eva = punareva. Here, the r is simply revived.

Examples of Insertion of Consonants

Insertion of y:
(i) na + imassa = nayimassa.
(ii) mŒ + evam = mŒyevaµ.
(iii) santi + eva = santiyeva.

Insertion of v:
(i) bhč + ŒdŒya = bhčvŒdŒya.
(ii) mig“ bhantŒ + udikkhati = mig“ bhantŒ vudikkhati.
(iii) pa + uccati = pavuccati.

Insertion of m:
(i) idha + Œhu = idhamŒhu.
(ii) lahu + essati = lahumessati.
(iii) bhŒyati + eva = bhŒyatimeva.

Insertion of d:
(i) saki + eva = sakideva.
(ii) tŒva + eva = tŒvadeva.
(iii) sammŒ + a––Œ = sammŒda––Œ.

Remarks. The insertion of d, is constant after the particle u, and very frequent after: sakiµ, kenaci, ki–ci, kinni–ci, koci, sammŒ, yŒva, tŒva, puna; as well as after the bases of pronouns such as: ya, ta, sa etc.*, as: u + aggo = udaggo; u + apŒdi = udapŒdi; kenaci + eva = kenacideva; yŒva + atthaµ = yŒvadatthaµ; puna + eva = punadeva; ta + atthaµ = tadatthaµ; ta + antaro = tadantaro; eta + atthaµ = etadatthaµ.

Insertion of n:
(i) ito + Œyati = itonŒyati.
(ii) ciraµ + Œyati = ciraµ nŒyati or cirannŒyati (30).

Insertion of t:
(i) yasmŒ + iha = yasmŒtiha.
(ii) ajja + agge = ajjatagge.

Remarks. The insertion of t, mostly takes place after the words: yŒva, tŒva, ajja, before iha and agga.

Insertion of r:
(i) ni + antaraµ = nirantaraµ.
(ii) ni + ojaµ = nirojaµ.
(iii) du + atikkamo = duratikkamo.
(iv) du + ŒjŒno = durŒjŒno.
(v) pŒtu + ahosi = pŒturahosi.
(vi) catu + ŒrakkhŒ = caturŒrakkhŒ.

*mahŒrčpasiddhi (sandhi). It must, however, be remarked that the d is, in most words, a survivance from the older language; Sansk, has invariably preserved it. Thus u, of the native PŒli grammarians is but the Sansk: ud; so ...ci, ...cid. etc.

Remarks.
1. Between tathΠeva and yathΠeva, ri is often inserted; the Πpreceding is shortened and the e of eva elided: tathariva, yathariva.
2. This consonant r, is generally inserted after: the particles: ni, du, pŒtu, puna, dhi, pŒta, catu, and a few others. In most cases it is simply revived.

Insertion of l = Ā:
(i) cha + aŗgŒm = chaĀaŗgaµ.
(ii) cha + aµsa = chaĀaµsa.

Remarks. l = Ā is generally inserted after cha (six).

Insertion of h:
(i) su + ujuca = suhujuca.
(ii) su + u
ŹŹhitaµ = suhuŹŹhitaµ.

II. Consonantal Sandhi

29. Consonantal sandhi occurs when a word ending in a vowel is followed by a word beginning with a consonant.

30. In the majority of cases, Consonantal sandhi is resorted to, to meet the exigencies of metres but not always.

31. Before a consonant, a long vowel may be shortened:
(i) yathŒ + bhŒvi + guöena = yathabhŒviguöena.
(ii) yi
ŹŹhaµ vŒ hutaµ vŒ loke = yiŹŹhaµ va hutaµ va loke.

32. A vowel, before a consonant, if short, may be lengthened:
(i) evaµ gŒme muni care = evaµ gŒme muni care
(ii) du + rakkhaµ = dčrakkhaµ.
(iii) su + rakkhaµ = sčrakkhaµ.

33. A consonant following a word or a particle ending in a vowel, is generally reduplicated.

Examples

(i) idha + pamŒdo = idhappamŒdo.
(ii) su + pa
ŹŹhito = suppaŹŹhito.
(iii) vi + payutto = vippayutto.
(iv) a + pativattiyo = appativattiyo.
(v) pa + kamo = pakkamo.
(vi) yathŒ + kamaµ = yathakkamaµ. (34)
(vii) anu + gaho = anuggaho.
(viii) vi + jotati = vijjotati.
(ix) kata + –č = kata––č.
(x) du + labho = dullabho.
(xi) du + s“lo = duss“lo.

Remarks.
1. v, after a vowel becomes bb:
(i) ni + vŒnaµ = nibbŒnaµ.
(ii) ni + vŒyati = nibbŒyati.
(iii) du + vinicchayo = dubbinicchayo.
2. Reduplication of the consonants takes place generally after the prefixes:
u, upa, pari, ati, pa, a, anu, etc.
3. The constant rule in reduplication is that an aspirate is reduplicated by an unaspirate, and an unaspirate by an unaspirate. That is to say, an unaspirate is reduplicated by itself.

34. The vowel preceding a conjunct consonant being prosodically long, the naturally long vowels: Œ, “, č, are not allowed to stand before a double consonant.

35. When, according to para (33), a consonant is reduplicated after a particle ending in a long vowel, this vowel is shortened:
(i) Π+ kamati = akkamati.
(ii) parΠ+ kamo = parakkamo.

Exceptions

There are, however, a few exceptions to paras 34, 35. The following are the most common examples:
(i) na + a––a = nŒ––a. (ii) na + assa = nŒssa.
(iii) na + assu = nŒssu. (iv) kasmŒ + assa = kasmŒssa.
(v) tatra + assa = tatrŒssa. (vi) sa + antevŒsiko = sŒntevŒsiko.
(vii) sa + atthi = sŒtthi. (viii) vedanŒ + khandho = vedanŒkkhandho, etc.

36. (a) Before a consonant, the o in so, eso, may be changed to a:
(i) eso dhammo or esa dhammo.
(ii) so muni or sa muni.
(b) Sometimes, this change occurs even before a vowel, thus creating a hiatus, which is allowed to remain: so attho or sa attho.
(c) The same change (of o to a), occurs also, but not so frequently, in: ayo (iron), mano (the mind), tamo (darkness), paro (other), tapo (penance, mortification) and a few others: ayopattaµ or ayapattaµ, etc.

III. Niggah“ta Sandhi

37. Niggah“ta sandhi takes place when a word ending in µ (niggah“ta) is followed by a word beginning with a vowel, or with a consonant.

38. Niggahita when followed by a consonant, may, remain unchanged.

Examples

(i) taµ dhammaµ kataµ.
(ii) taµ khaöaµ.
(iii) taµ patto.

39. Niggahita, followed by a consonant, may be transformed to the nasal of the class to which that consonant belongs.

Examples

(i) raöaµ + jaho = rana–jaho.
(ii) taöhaµ + karo = taöhaŗkaro.
(iii) saµ +
Źhito = saöŹhito.
(iv) jutiµ + dharo = jutindharo.
(v) saµ + mato = sammato.
(vi) evaµ + kho = evaŗ kho.
(vii) dhammaµ + ca = dhamma–ca.
(viii) taµ + niccutaµ = tanniccutaµ.

Remarks. Before initial l, the niggahita of saµ and puµ is changed to l:
(i) saµ + lakkhaöŒ = sallakkhaöŒ.
(ii) pa
Źi saµ l“no = paŹisall“no.
(iii) saµ + lekko = sallekho.
(iv) puµ + liŗgaµ = pulliŗgaµ.

40. Niggahita, followed by e or h is changed to –– and –h respectively.
(i) taµ + eva = ta––eva.
(ii) paccantaraµ + eva = paccantara––eva.
(iii) evaµ + hi kho = eva–hi kho.
(iv) taµ + hitassa = ta–hitassa.

41. y following niggahita, becomes assimilated to it, and both together may become ––:
(i) saµ + yuttaµ = sa––uttaµ.
(ii) saµ + yogo = sa––ogo.

Remarks. Not seldom, no coalescence takes place, and both letters remain unchanged: saµyuttaµ; saµyojanaµ.

42. When preceding a vowel, niggahita becomes m:
(i) taµ + atthaµ = tam atthaµ.
(ii) yaµ + Œhu = yam Œhu.
(iii) kiµ + etaµ = kim etaµ.

Remarks. Rules 39 and 42, are not strictly adhered to in texts edited in Roman characters; in prose above all, niggahita is allowed to remain unchanged before a vowel or a consonant, even in the middle of a word sometimes; in poetry, the retention of niggahita or its change to m before a vowel, is regulated by the exigencies of the metres.

43. Sometimes, niggahita before a vowel, may become d:
(i) etaµ + attho = etadattho.
(ii) etaµ + eva = etadeva.
(iii) etaµ + avoca = etadavoca.
(iv) yaµ + anantaraµ = yadanantaraµ.
(v) yaµ + idaµ = yadidaµ.

Remarks. The change of niggah“ta into d is more fictitious than real; in most examples, the d is simply a survivance. (See Insertion of consonants).

44. Niggah“ta, before a vowel or a consonant may be elided:
(i) tŒsaµ + ahaµ santike = tŒsŒhaµ santike.
(ii) ariyasaccŒnaµ + dassanaµ = ariyasaccŒnadassanaµ.
(iii) etaµ buddhŒnaµ + sŒsanaµ = etaµ buddhŒnasŒsanaµ.

45. A niggah“ta may sometimes be inserted before a vowel or a consonant:
(i) ava siro = avaµsiro.
(ii) manopubba gamŒ = manopubbaŗgamŒ.
(iii) cakkhu + udapŒdi = cakkhuµ udapŒdi.
(iv) yŒva c'idha bhikkhave = yŒva–c'idha.

46. After niggahita, a vowel may be elided:
(i) kiµ + iti = kinti.
(ii) idaµ + api = idaµ pi.
(iii) cakkaµ + iva = cakkaµ va.
(iv) kaliµ + idŒni = kaliµ 'dŒni or kalin dŒni.

Interchange of Letters

47. Not unfrequently an interchange of letters takes place:
(i) dh becomes h; rudhira = ruhira.
(ii) d becomes t; sugado = sugato.
(iii) t becomes
Ź; pahato = pahaµo.
(iv) t becomes d; gantabba = gandabba.
(v) g becomes k; hatthupaga = hatthupaka.
(vi) r becomes l; paripanno = palipanno.
(vii) y becomes j; gavayo = gavajo.
(viii) k becomes y; sake pure = saye pure.
(ix) j becomes y; nijaµputtaµ = niyaµputtaµ.
(x) t becomes k; niyato = niyako.
(xi) k becomes kh; nikamati = nikhamati.

Signs

48. As has already been said a dash (-) indicates a long vowel:
(i) ahaµ sakkh“ ahaµ sakkh“ = I am witness!
(ii) pajjalantŒni pabbatakč
ŹŒni mŒlŒguĀabhŒvaµ ŒpannŒni disvŒ = seeing the blazing mountain peaks had turned into nosegays.....

49. Crasis, the contraction of two syllables into one, is shown by the circumflex accent (^):
(i) sŒdhu hoti, lacchas‰ti. all right! you'll get it.
(ii) taµ... gaöhissŒm‰ti. I'll seize him!

Remarks. In most texts, crasis is expressed by a (-) dash, as used for the long vowels.

50. The elision of a vowel is expressed by an apostrophe ('):
(i) eken'čno = ekena čno.
(ii) idŒn'eva = idŒni eva.
(iii) pi'ssa = pi assa.
(iv) tass'ekadivasaµ = tassa ekadivasaµ.