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Thread: Some of pāṇini's rules applied

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    Re: Some of pāṇini's rules applied

    hariḥ oṁ

    namasté & hello,

    I wrote in post 9 above,
    from the aṣṭāvakra gītā 4.3
    Note the aṣṭāvakra sounds in this word.
    Within saṁskṛt and its written form (devanāgarī) there are three ‘s’ sounds that are used. We find them in other languages such as english but within saṃskṛt they are more defined ( as I have found) of when they’re to be used.

    The s sounds (s, ś , ṣ ) are called sibilants; the official name in saṁskṛt is ūṣman ( or heated). They belong to a group of consonants called spṛṣṭa meaning ‘stops’. What is stopped ? The air flow when these sounds are formed.

    Now there are ~light~ stops (īṣat- spṛṣṭa) and hard stops , and there are ½ stops (arda-spṛṣṭa) and this is where the s sounds (s, ś , ṣ ) fall in. What would be a ~hard~ stop? A ‘ta’ sound or ‘ka’ sound or ‘ga’ sound. When talking of groups (varga) the first 25 consonants fall into the spṛṣṭa ‘stops’ category. People usually call out the 1st sound of each sound to suggest the ones they’re talking about e.g. ‘oh, you know, ka, ca, ṭa, ta, pa sounds’. Each of these sounds are produced by the 5 points of articulation within the throat, roof of the mouth, lips, teeth, etc. The graphic for this can be found in post 9 above.

    Back to the ’s’ sounds
    These sounds as mentioned are ½ stops (arda-spṛṣṭa) and are called heated (ūṣman). But what do they sound like?
    I have over the years tried to get these sounds correct. It takes some time because of their slight difference:

    • s - this ‘s’ most of us get with no issue. It is like the ‘s’ in son, or sun, or sweet. We ca hear the ‘a’ influence (sa)
    • ś - like in sure or shine. We can pick up the ‘h’ influence.
    • ṣ - this ‘s’ is a bit different. It is the sound that is in efficient. One must listen carefully on the dental and lip use to get to this sound. here is a bit more dental-tongue used than ‘lips pursed’ use that is found in the ‘sh’ sound. Most just revert back to the ‘sh’ sound found in the ‘ś’ use but that would be incorrect. Some books call out the example of ‘shun’ as the proper sound, but for me that gets too much ‘h’ involved in the sound; I found the sample sound of efficient being ideal ( for me). Well you ask , why split hairs on this? Because by definition saṁskṛt is defined as ‘highly polished’ or completely formed. Allowing ‘ṣ’ to sound like ‘ś’ or ‘s’ would not be considered ‘fully cooked’ , some say ‘fully dressed’.

    Back to this aṣṭāvakra term
    We know it means bent in 8¹ ways but that is not the point of this post. It is a grammar rule I wish to point out.

    • First rule: An ‘s’ changes to an ‘ṣ’ if its preceded by a vowel except an ‘a’ or ‘ā’ . We look at this term aṣṭāvakra and say wait a minute, an ‘a’ comes before the this ‘ṣ’ why then did it not stay as an ‘s’ ? That is because of another rule ( go figure), that is:
    • Second rule: when an ‘s’ is followed by a ‘t’, or ‘th’, or an ‘n’ then the ‘s’ transforms to ‘ṣ’

    These rules are called internal saṁdhi ( also written sandhi when certain rules are applied). It is internal because it is within the word. Contrast this to saṁdhi that appears at the end of word one and the beginning of word two , where two sounds come together ( such as śrī+mat bhaga+vat +gita found in post 7 above).

    Here’s an example of the 1st rule: bhīma - the ‘i’ that comes before the ‘s’ is a vowel and the rule can be applied. Same in this term tvidameteāṁ. The ‘s’ is preceded by the vowel ‘e’ and is therefore trasformed to . I am using a verse from the bhāgavad gītā (1.10) talking of bhīma as commander and his military force - this term tvidameteāṁ is used there ( but + this + of theirs) which offers multiple rules we can leave for another time.

    Now, there are many-many more rules/conditions I left out so we should not cloud the waters. But a reasonable question to ask: is there a condition when an ‘s’ changed to an ‘ś’. Sure. consider namas śivāya. Most of us are use to seeing this like this: namaḥ śivāya ( post 1 and 2 hints to this, and also the rules of visarga (ḥ) apply); yet if I wish to put these two terms together namas+śivāya the rules of saṁdhi say s+ś = śś and therefore namaśśivāya is also proper form.
    In fact the rule tells us if this ‘s’ is combined with any other palatal ( the palate area of the mouth called tālavya), this ‘s’ becomes ś. So, what are those tālavya sounds ? They are c, ch, ja, ñ. This then forms śc, śch, śja, śñ. So, śivas + ca ( which is śiva + and) would be śivaśca. As mentioned before the rules of visarga (ḥ) can also apply and this could be written as śivaḥ ca.

    There are so many rules that can be used... the place that I study many of these are within the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā. It is perfectly written and the rules are applied for ones use and examination; that is where the study comes in and
    am no more than the student.

    iti śivaṁ

    8 – written in devanāgarī looks like this ८ ( an upside down 7 ?) ; yet a 7 looks like a 6 (७) a ‘4’ looks like this ४ ( almost an 8, no?); 6’s look like backwards 3’s (६) & 3’s look like 3’s (३) . How does one all keep it straight!
    Last edited by yajvan; 22 December 2016 at 05:44 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva


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