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A Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
For free distribution, as a gift of Dhamma.

A Practical Grammar of the Paali Language

Chapter XIII


558. We have now come to a most important part of the grammar; the formation of nouns and adjectives otherwise called Derivation.

559. In Paali, almost every declinable stem can be traced back to a primary element called a Root.

560. A root is a primitive element of the language incapable of any grammatical analysis, and expressing an abstract idea. It is common in European languages to express the idea contained in the root by means of the infinitive, e.g. √gam, to go, but it must be borne in mind that the root is not an infinitive, nor indeed a verb or noun, but simply a primary element expressing a vague indefinite idea. This indefinite idea is developed out of the root and is made to ramify into a diversity of meanings, both abstract and concrete, by means of suffixes.

561. The roots of the Paali language, with slight variations in form, easily recognizable to the trained eye, are common with those of Sanskrit and consequently with many of the roots of the lndo-European Languages.

562. Every true root is monosyllabic as:

Roots which have more than one syllable are the result of

  1. the union of a verbal prefix with the root itself, both having become inseparable in the expression of a particular idea; for instance:
    • √sa`ngam = sam+√gam, to fight, lit. to come together, to close in upon;
  2. of reduplication (372ff) as √jaagar, to be wakeful, from √gar (Sanskrit √gr) to awake.

563. There are two great divisions of Derivation:

  1. kita (kṛt), or primary
  2. taddhita, or secondary

564. Primary Derivatives are formed from the root itself and Secondary Derivatives from the Primary Derivatives.

565. Native grammarians recognise a third derivation, which they call u.naadi (u.n+aadi), from the suffix u.n by which a few words are derived. But the u.naadi derivation is very arbitrary, and the connection between the noun and the root is not clear, either in meaning or in form. These u.naadi derivatives are included in the Kita Derivation; u.naadi suffixes are therefore included in the kita-suffixes and will be distinguished by an asterisk (*).

566. We shall therefore in the present chapter, treat of Primary and Secondary derivations. A few hints only will be given on the u.naadi derivation.

567. When suffixes, both primary (kita) and secondary (taddhita) are added to roots, nouns or adjectives gu.na (103) frequently takes place; that is, a may be lengthened to aa, and i and u be respectively changed to e and o.

568. Whenever gu.na takes place by the addition of a suffix, native grammarians put an indicatory sign before or after the suffix to show that gu.na is to take place; this indicatory sign is generally the letter .n and sometimes the letter r. For instance: √cur, to steal, + suffix .na = cora, a thief. Here, the true suffix is a, the letter .n being simply indicatory that gu.na change must take place; again, √kar, to do, + .na = kaara, a doer. But √kar + suffix a = kara, a doer; in this last example no gu.na takes place and therefore, the suffix has not the indicatory sign. This sign is called by grammarians: anubandha. It is therefore clear that the anubandha or "indicatory sign of gu.na" is not part of the suffix.

569. European grammarians as a rule do not note the anubandha, but in this book it will be noted and put within brackets, and in small type, after the true suffix, thus: (.n)a, or kaa(.n). The true suffixes will come first, printed in bold type.

570. Again, some suffixes are shown by native grammarians by means of some conventional signs; e.g. .nvu is the conventional sign for suffix aka; yu is that for ana.m. Such conventional signs will be shown within brackets, after the true suffix, as; ana.m(yu); this means that ana.m is the true suffix, yu the conventional sign used by native grammarians to represent the suffix ana.m.

571. It must be remembered that sometimes even some of the prefixes explained in (514) undergo gu.na as:

572. Before some suffixes, generally those with the indicatory .n, final c of the root is changed to k, and final j to g; as:

573. The final vowel of a stem may be elided before a suffix.

574. The rules of sandhi and assimilation are regularly applied.

(i) Primary Derivatives (Kita)

575. As has been said already Primary Derivatives are formed directly from the roots by means of certain suffixes; these suffixes are called kita suffixes.

576. The kita suffixes are given below in alphabetical order to faciliate reference.

a- (a) (.n) (a). By means of this suffix are formed an extremely large number of derivatives, some of which take gu.na and some of which do not. It forms nouns (substantive and adjective), showing:

1st - action:

2nd - the doer or agent:

3rd - abstract nouns of action:

4th - it forms adjectives:

The student will readily understand that the root may be preceded by any prefix:

The same remark applies to all the other suffixes.

577. From the adjectives formed by this suffix (4th), are formed the upapada compounds (552):

578. Very similar in nature with the upapada compounds are those compounds which are the names of persons. In our opinion they are purely and simply upapadas, but Kacchaayana has the following rule: "sa~n~naaya.m a nu" that is, to form a proper name, suffix nu (=.m =Accusative case) is added to the 1st member of the compound, which is the direct object of the root which forms the 2nd member and after which the suffix a is added to denote the agent:

It will be seen from the above examples that the 1st member is in the Accusative case and is governed by the 2nd member which is an agent-noun formed by the suffix a.

Remark. The nouns formed by a are masculine: they form the feminine according to rules (183), and the same applies to the adjectives (197).


Used to form the names of some animals; the derivation is obscure.


Forms a numerous class of action-nouns and adjectives with gu.na of the radical vowel:

Sometimes a -y is inserted between aka and a root ending in a vowel, especially long aa:

Remark. The feminine of these derivatives is generally in kaa or ikaa.


Forming a few nouns of doubtful derivation from, it is said, the roots:

pa.tala, covering, membrane, roof; kusala, that which is capable of cutting sin, meritorious act. These nouns are neuter.


Only a few words are derived from this suffix: √raaj, to rule + an = raajan, a king, ruler.

Remark. Nouns in an have the Nominative Singular in aa (156).


This suffix forms an immense number of derivative nouns and adjectives. The nouns are neuter, or feminine in aa; the adjectives are of the three genders. Gu.na may or may not take place; it is however, more common with the adjectives.



The feminine of these adjectives is sometimes in aa, sometimes in ii.


This suffix forms a not very large, but important class of words, which have already been explained (160); gu.na sometimes takes place; they are declined like manas (59); their Nominative Singular is in o.


Rarely found, it properly does not form nouns, but a vituperative negative imperative, with the prohibitive particle a (242, a) before the root, and a dative of the person who is forbidden to act: agamaani = a + √gam + aani, you are not to go! as in "paradesa.m te agamaani", "You are not to go elsewhere!" "te ida.m kamma.m akaraani (a + √kar + aani).

aavi = vi (taavi)

Is used as has already been seen, to form participles (231) so also: aana (448), also at, ant = nta (440) so that the Perfect Active, the Present Active and the Reflective Participles are considered by native grammarians as coming under the head of kita derivatives. The same remark applies to the P.P.P.


So given by native grammarians is, properly adhu; it forms but a few derivatives and is only another form of thu = athu (see below).


Forms a large class of derivatives, masculine, feminine and neuter, as well as a few adjectives. The nouns may be agent-nouns or abstract. But the derivation is not always quite clear (principally of neuter nouns), hence, some grammars include this suffix among the u.naadi. Strengthening takes place in a few roots.



Neuter: akkhi, eye; aggi, fire; a.t.thi, bone; and a few others, of very doubtful derivation.


By means of this suffix is formed from √dhaa, to bear, hold, a derivative: dhi, which forms many compounds, mostly masculine:

Similarly, from √daa, to give, with prefix aa, we obtain: aadi (= aa + √daa + i) = and so forth, and so on, etc, lit. beginning. The word aadi is much used at the end of compounds.

icca (ricca) and iriya (ririya)

Are given by Kacchaayana as kita prefixes, but in reality they are not: both are suffixes of the F.P.P. (466); they are found only in the two examples: kicca and kiriya, (lit., what is to be done) business:

But the true derivation* is kar + tya = kitya (with elision of ar and insertion of i) = kicca, according to the usual rules (74).

*Sanskrit. √kṛ + tya = kṛtya; kṛ + ya = kṛya = kriya.


Is given for the only root: √gam, to go: gamika, one who goes.

in = ii(.nii)

This forms a very great number of derivatives whose stem ends in in, and the Nominative singular ii (see 137, 173); they are properly possessive adjectives, sometimes used substantively. Gu.na as a rule takes place.

Note that a y is inserted between the suffix and the roots ending in aa long. The feminine is formed according to rules (189).


A few nouns are formed by this suffix; there is no gu.na:

The derivation of some nouns and adjectives from this suffix is not apparent and clear, and it is also classed as an u.naadi:


The derivatives from this, nouns and adjectives, are few; there is no gu.na:

iya, i.t.tha

Are the suffixes used for the comparison of adjectives (238).


Forms a few nouns, mostly masculine, of rather obscure derivation:


Is said to express multitude (?): the root is gu.nated:

This suffix and its derivatives are incomprehensible; but see -tta, -tra where its probable formation will be explained.


Forms a few neuter nouns of doubtful connection with the roots from which they are derived:


Is added to very few roots which take gu.na; it forms agent-nouns and adjectives:

ka often takes a connecting vowel i or u before a root, and forms the suffixes ika, uka (see also).


Generally with connecting vowels: a, or i before it. La is but another form of ra (see also):


As well as yaa.na given as primary suffixes, are not at all suffixes; the true suffix is aa.na, which is a taddhita suffix (see also).


Forms some abstract nouns, agent-nouns, and some adjectives:

This suffix, in Paali, becomes nearly confounded with the next: man, and native grammarians are often at a loss in choosing between these two suffixes: the reason is that no word in Paali being allowed to end in a consonant, they have included the stems in an in the vowel declension (152, 156-c, 157-a).


(Given as ramma as well as man by Kacchaayana) Forms action nouns, masculine and neuter; in a few cases the noun being both masculine and neuter; the stems are in an, the Nominative, in aa, o, or .m:

Most of the derivatives from man, have migrated to the class of those formed by the last suffix (ma).


This is the suffix of the Present Participle Reflective already seen (447). (See, aana, above).


The number of derivatives from this suffix is very restricted, they are masculine or feminine. There is no gu.na.


The use of this suffix in forming a certain number of P.P.P. has been explained (458); it also forms a few nouns; the root takes no gu.na, but through assimilation, the root is not always recognisable:

From √taas (Sanskrit trs), ta.nhaa, thirst, craving; √ji, to conquer + na = jina, conqueror.

Connected with this na, are the suffixes ina, una (see also); also: tana (=S. tna), from this last is derived the word ratana, gift, blessing, jewel, from √raa, to bestow + tna (=tana) (note that radical aa is shortened through the influence of the double consonant to tna see 34).


From this we obtain but a few nouns.



Forms a few words mostly masculine, some abstract and some concrete:

ta 1

This suffix has been explained in the formation of the P.P.P. (450). It also forms a few concrete nouns:

The student will remark that even these nouns look very much like P.P.P. (see. 452 remarks). The suffix ita, also connected with the P.P.P. (452, ii), forms a few derivatives of doubtful connection with roots: palita, grey; lohita, red; harita, green, etc.

ta 2 (S. tas)

Forms a few nouns:

taa (ritu, raatu) (S. tr or tar)

This suffix forms a pretty large number of agent-nouns; see (162). Remark that the base is in u, and the nominative in aa.


This forms a very numerous class of action nouns, feminine, agent-nouns, and a limited number of adjectives.


From √muc, mutti, deliverance; from √man, to think, mati (455), thought, etc.


tu 1

This is properly the suffix of the Infinitive, which has become an accusative (363-i); but it also forms nouns chiefly masculine, but of the other genders too:

tu 2

The same as taa (ritu raatu) above.

tra, ta (tran, ta)

Forms a large number of derivatives chiefly denoting the agent, and concrete nouns:


The derivatives from this are not very numerous:

thu and also dhu

Give only a few derivatives, and have generally the form atthu, adhu.


Forms some nouns and adjectives; there is no gu.na, mostly found in the forms: ira, ura (see also), and ara.



Gives very few derivatives: √bhuu + ri = bhuuri (adj.), abundant, much.


Forms some nouns and adjectives:

u (ru and u)

Although making a large number of derivatives, substantive and adjectives, as the connection of the meaning with the root is, in many cases, not easily traced, this suffix is classed with the u.naadi; gu.na may or may not take place.

uka (.nuka)

Forms a few nouns and adjectives denoting the agent; there is gu.na:


Forms a few derivatives.


Forms some adjectives and nouns, mostly feminine.


A few nouns only: √und, to wet, moisten + uura = unduura, a rat.

usa*, ussa

The derivatives from this, very few, are doubtful: √man, to think + usa, ussa = manussa, maanusa, man.


This, as the suffix of the P.P.A., has already been noticed (465).


This forms neuter nouns, most of them abstract in meaning. Assimilation takes place regularly.

It will be remarked that ya is also the suffix of the F.P.P. (466) which often, in the neuter singular, makes nouns.


(See remark; under: la.na)

(a) The student will have remarked that the participles Present Active, Present Reflective; the P.P.P., the Perfect Active and the F.P.P. are considered as belonging to the Primary derivation.
(b) Suffixes: tabba, aniiya, ya(nya), and icca are by native grammarians called kicca suffixes. (466)

(ii) Secondary Derivatives (Taddhita)


(a) These derivatives are called "secondary" because they are formed by means of suffixes from the "primary" derivatives, explained in the kita derivation above.
(b) Secondary derivatives are also formed from pronominal bases (336).
(c) As in kita, gu.na may or may not take place.

580. The following remarks about the meaning of the secondary derivation should be well noted:

  1. The great bulk of taddhita suffixes form adjectives from nouns.
  2. These adjectives are very freely used as substantives, the masculine and feminine being generally nouns denoting the agent, while in the neuter they are abstract.
  3. The final vowel of a word is often elided before a taddhita suffix.
  4. The gu.na affects mostly the first syllable of the word to which the suffix is added.

581. The following is a list in alphabetical order of the taddhita suffixes.

a (.na, and a)

An extremely large number of derivatives are formed by means of this suffix. It is added to nouns and to adjectives used substantively; these derivatives are essentially adjectives, used in most cases substantively. They primarily express connection with, relations with or dependence on that denoted by the "primary derivatives"; this relation is necessarily of many kinds, as:

  1. patronymics: the masculine denotes the son of, the feminine, the daughter of and the neuter the consanguinity or relation of.
    • vasi.t.tha + a = vaasi.t.tho, the son of, vaasi.t.thii, the daughter of, vaasi.t.tha.m, the relation of Vasi.t.tha
    So: from visamitta + a = vesamitto, vesamittaa, vesamitta.m; manu + a = maanavo, maanavii, maanava.m (110, Remark), the son, daughter or relation of Manu.
  2. that which is dyed with:
    • kasaava, a reddish-yellow dye + a = kaasaavo, reddish-yellow, yellow; kaasaava.m, a monk's robe (which is dyed with such dye)
    So: haliddaa, turmeric + a = haaliddo, yellow, dyed with turmeric.
  3. the flesh of:
    • suukara, a pig + a = sokara.m, pork
    • mahisa, buffalo + a = maahisa.m, buffalo's flesh
    As adjective: sokaro, relating to pigs; maahiso, relating to buffaloes.
  4. belonging to:
    • vidisaa, a foreign country + a = vediso, belonging to a foreign country, a foreigner
    • magadhaa, Southern Bihar + a = maagadho, belonging to, born in, Magadhaa
  5. a collection of:
    • kapota, a dove pigeon + a = kaapoto, a group of doves, or, relating to doves
    • mayuura, a peacock + a = maayuuro, a group of peacocks; adjective, belonging to, relating to peacocks
  6. study, knowledge of, knowing:
    • nimitta, an omen + a = nemitto, a knower of omens, a fortune teller
    • veyyaa kara.na.m, exegesis, grammar + a = veyyaakara.no, a grammarian
    • muhutta, a while + a = mohutto, one who studies for a while only; also: relating to a moment, momentary
  7. the locality in which something or someone is or exists:
    • saku.na, a bird + a = saaku.na.m, the place wherein birds roost or resort to
    • udumbara, a fig-tree + a = odumbara.m, a place where fig-trees grow
  8. possession of:
    • pa~n~naa, wisdom + a = pa~n~no, possessing wisdom, wise, a wise man
    • saddhaa, faith + a = saddho, one who has faith, believing, faithful, a believer
aka (.naka)

Is said to denote the property of: manussa, a man + a = manussaka.m, that which belongs to man, the property of man, human. (See ka)


For this, see ya.


This is suffix lu, preceded by aa (see lu); denotes the tendency, and forms some past participial adjectives.

aana (.naana)

Forms patronymics:


Given as a kita suffix in the forms: laa.na, yaa.na (see kita suffixes above) forms a very few derivatives; kalya, and by assimilation kalla, healthy, remembering, thinking of, + aa.na = kalyaa.no, kallaa.no, happy, blessed with health, good.

aayana (.naayana)

Also forms patronymics:


Is said to denote the state of:


Has already been noted (see kita suffixes above).

era (.nera)

Patronymics; the final vowel of the word is elided.

eyya 1 (.neyya)

The state or nature of:

eyya 2 (.neyya)

Patronymics; with gu.na.

eyya 3

Denotes the nature of, the origin, the place where a thing is made, or a person or animal reared up.

eyya 4

Fitness, worthiness. This is a form of the F.P.P. already explained (468).

i 1 (.ni)

Forms a few patronymics, from nouns in a:

i 2

After the word pura, town, city, indicates that which belongs or is proper to a city: pori, urbane, polite, affable.

ika (.nika)

Is of very wide application and is added after nouns and adjectives; gu.na generally takes place. It denotes:

  1. patronymics:
    • naadaputta + ika = naadaputtiko, the son of Nadiputta
    • jinadattha + ika = jinadatthiko, the son of Jinadattha
  2. living by means of:
    • naavaa, a boat + ika = naaviko, one who goes or lives by means of a boat = a boatman
    • balisa, a fish-hook + ika = baalisiko, a fisherman
    • vetana, wages + ika = vetaniko, one who lives upon wages, a labourer
  3. going by means of:
    • pada, the foot + ika = paadiko, one who goes with his feet, a pedestrian
    • saka.ta, a cart + ika = saaka.tiko, one who goes in a cart
  4. relating to:
    • samudda, the sea + ika = saamuddiko, relating to the sea, marine
    • saka.ta, cart, saaka.tiko, relating to carts
  5. playing upon:
    • vii.naa, a lute, ve`niko, playing upon a lute, lute player (27, ii, Remark 2)
    • bheri, a drum, bheriko, a drummer, or, relating to a drum
  6. mixed with:
    • tela, oil, telika.m, that which is mixed with oil; oily
    • dadhi, curds, dadhika.m, that which is mixed with curds; and dadhiko, mixed with or relating to curds
  7. making, the maker:
    • tela, oil, teliko, an oil manufacturer
  8. connected with:
    • dvaara, a door, dvaariko, one who is connected with a door, a door-keeper
  9. carrying upon:
    • khanda, the shoulder, khandiko, who carries on the shoulder
    • a`nguli, finger, a`nguliko, who carries on the finger
  10. born in or belonging to a place, or living in a place:
    • saavatthi, saavatthiko, of, born in, or, living in Saavatthi
    • kapilavatthu, kapilavatthiko, of, born, in, or, living in Kapilavatthu
  11. studying, learning:
    • vinaya, the Discipline, venayiko, one who studies the vinaya
    • suttanta, a discourse (of the Buddha), suttantiko, one who studies, or knows Discourses, viz., the Suttapi.taka
  12. that which is performed by:
    • maanasa, the mind, maanasiko, mental; and maanasika.m, the act performed by mind
    • sarira, the body, saariiriko, bodily, corporeal; saariirika.m, the act performed by the body
  13. that which is bartered for:
    • suva.n.na, gold, sova.n.nika.m, that which is bartered for gold; sova.n.niko, relating to gold
    • vattha, cloth, vatthika.m, that which is exchanged for cloth; vatthiko, relating to cloth
  14. possession:
    • da.n.do, a staff, da.n.diko, one who has a staff, a mendicant
    • maalaa, wreath, maaliko, one having a wreath
    • puttiko, who has sons
  15. a collection, herd, group:
    • kedaara, a field, kedaarika.m, a collection of fields
    • hatthi, elephant, hatthika.m, herd of elephants
  16. measure:
    • kumbha, a pot, kumbhiko, containing a big measure, viz., as much as a pot; kumbhika.m, that which is contained in a pot

Denotes position or direction in space or time; it also shows relation:

So, majjhimo, middling, from majjha, middle.


Forms a limited number of possessive adjectives:

This suffix is the same as that noticed in (221, 222) with connecting vowels before it.

in (.ni)

Forms a numerous class of possessive adjectives, very often used substantively (137); the stems are in in, and the nominative sing in ii.


A few possessive adjectives: mala, dirt, taint + ina = malina, dirty, tainted.


This is the sign of the Superlative (238).


A few abstract nouns.


Like ima above. iya, as iiya noticed in (466), is essentially a suffix of the F.P.P. The proper form of the suffix, it should be noted is: iiya.

ii 1

See in, above.

ii 2

Is used after the cardinals from 11 upwards to form ordinals expressing the day of the month, but also mere ordinals sometimes:

ka (ka.n)

Is much used to form adjectives, which in neuter become abstract nouns; besides, it also forms a certain number of nouns masculine which, however, are adjectives used as substantives. Gu.na often takes place:

It has a few other meanings.

  1. collection, group:
    • raajaputta, prince + ka = raajaputtaka, a group or band of princes
    • manussa, man + ka = maanussaka.m, an assembly or group of men
  2. diminutives, with, sometimes, a certain amount of contempt implied:
    • paada, foot, paadako, a small foot
    • raaja, king, raajako, a princeling
    • putta, son, puttako, a little son
    • luddha, hunter, luddhako, a young hunter
  3. not seldom, ka adds nothing whatever to the primary meaning of the word:
    • kumaara, child, young prince + ka = kumaarako
    • nava, young, junior + ka = navaka
  4. it is much used after compounds, above all, after bahubbiihii, to form poseessives, but often also redundantly;
  5. the use of ka after numerals has been noticed (286).

Is considered as a suffix by some grammarians. It is used with prefixes ni + ka.ta = nika.ta, near; vi + ka.ta = vika.ta, changed; pa + ka.ta = paaka.ta, evident, public, clear; sam + ka.ta = sa`nka.ta, narrow. It will be remarked that ka.ta forms adjectives differing very little or even not at all from the meaning of the suffix to which it is added. It is probably a form of kata (P.P.P.), from √kar, to do, make.


Forms adjectives denoting relation, connection (it is made up, no doubt, of ka+iya):


Forms a few adjectives and nouns; it is often preceded by the vowels: i, and u:

la is another form of ra (see also below.); r and l often interchange (47, vi).


For this see: aalu above.


Forms ordinals (see 274); ma has sometimes a superlative meaning (see, ima, above). ima is the suffix ma with preceding vowel i.

maa (mantu) (mant)

Is much used in forming adjectives of possession. It has been explained already (220, 221, 222, 223, 224).


With this suffix are formed adjectives denoting made of, consisting of:

min = mi

This forms a few possessive adjectives; the stems are in in and the nominative singular in ii (see, in and ii).


See last.


From this are made a few adjectives; gu.na, in some examples, takes place. It is often preceded by the vowels a and i.


Same meaning as ra.

si, ssi

See below (vin=vi).


Forms a few nouns and adjective, it is a possessive suffix:


Is the suffix used in forming the Superlative. See (238, i).


This suffix forms, from adverbs, a few adjectives:


As the suffix of the comparative, tara has already been explained (238, i).

taa 1

This suffix forms a numerous class of feminine abstract nouns from adjectives and nouns, and expresses the state, nature or quality of being that which is denoted by the adjective or noun.

taa 2

Denotes multitude, collection:

So: nagarataa, bandhutaa etc.


Is used in forming the words expressing decades (see 251).

tta (S. tva)

Forms neuter nouns of the same import as taa 1:


Used in the same sense as the last (S. tvana).

tya = cca (S. tya)

Forms a few adjectives from indeclinables. (for tya=cca, see 74)


Used in forming the ordinals: 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th. (see 251)


Makes adverbs from pronominal stems; it has been noticed in (337).


This also has been noticed in (337).

vaa (vantu) (vant)

This suffix makes a very large class of possessive adjectives. It is similar in character to maa (mant). See (220).


Forms a small number of adjectives.

vii = vin

Used to form adjectives of possession. The stems are in in, and the nominative singular in ii. It has been explained in (231). It is used also after some words the stem of which ends in s (158, 160):

Note that initial v of vii is assimilated to final s, thus giving ssii; the suffix as given by native grammarians is ssii, which the student should assume as being the true suffix.

ya (.nya)

This forms a very large class of nouns, mostly neuter abstract. Gu.na takes place in most cases, and assimilation is regular.

Roots Used as Suffixes (Kvi)

582. "kvi" is an imaginary suffix denoting that the root itself is to be considered as the suffix. When a root ends in a consonant, this consonant is elided: √gam = ga, √ghan, to kill = gha. As these form primarily adjectives, they assume, in certain cases, but not always, the endings of the three genders.

583. The student must bear in mind that native grammarians include kvi in kita. As, however, they are used as suffixes added after Primary and Secondary derivatives and indeclinables, I have preferred to treat them separately.

584. A list of the principal roots used as suffixes is here given.


(√bhuu, to be) Has generally the meaning denoted by the verb itself:


(√daa, to give, bestow)

(√gam, to go)


(a collateral form of √gam)


(√ghan=han [59, note], to strike, kill) pa.ti, back, in return + gha = pa.tigho, hatred


(√jaa, jan, to be born, produced)


(√ji, to conquer) maara, the enemy of Buddha + ji = maaraji, conqueror of Mara

(√paa, to drink) pada, a foot + pa = paadapo, drinking by the foot (root), a tree

(√paa, to guard, keep) go, cow + pa = gopo, cowkeeper


(√.thaa, to stand, exist)


(√khaa, a collateral form of √khan, to dig) pari, round + kha = parikha, that which is dug all round = a moat


Properly the base (371-4) of √daa, but considered as a root by some grammarians, is used in the same way as da above: sabbakaamadada.m kumbha.m = an all-desire-granting vessel, a vessel which grants all desires.

585. The taddhita suffixes may be classified as follows:

Patronymics - a, aana, aayana, era, eyya, i, ika.

Possessive - aka, ika, imaa, in=ii, ra (ara, ira), so, ssii, maa (mat, mant), min=mii, va, vaa (vat, vant), vii=vin, ta, ina, la.

Group, collection, multitude - a, ika, ka, taa.

State of, quality, abstract idea - bya, eyya, iya, taa, tta, ttana, ta.

Relation (relating to) - a, i, ika, ima, kiya.

The others may be classified as miscellaneous.

586. It will have been remarked that some suffixes are merely made up of a principal one which has taken the vowel a or i or u before it. Such are: aka, ika from ka; aya, iya from ya; ara, ira, ura from ra; ila from la.