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Subanta and tianta

The following are the sup endings:



su au jas
am au as
bhym bhis
e bhym bhyas
asi bhym bhyas
as os m
i os sup

A subantapada can be analyzed as formed by adding any one of these endings (which may appear in
different forms, through the application of contextual rules). These endings give us information
about the function of the pada.
We can see that buddha + su, for example, does not result in *buddhasu, but in buddha. In this
particular instance, it is because the u is su is a technical letter to be elided, hence we get buddhas.
Furthermore, due to a specific rule, the s turns into , and thus we get buddha. It is not important at
this stage to be able to reproduce this level of analysis. What is important, though, is to understand
that the relation between the nominal base of a word and its final subanta form is not so easily
predictable. It is for this reason that it is convenient to learn paradigms.
The considerations about the formation of subanta apply here as well. This analysis is given to help
recognize regularities in the formation of verbal paradigms, but due to the complexity of the process
of derivation, paradigms must be memorized.

The verbal endings tell us the person (she, you, I), number (you vs. you two or you plural, I vs. we
two or we plural, she vs. the two of them or they plural) and tense (present, past, etc.) or mood
(indicative, subjunctive, etc.). They do not depend on subanta and can express a full sentence, since
in Sanskrit there is no need to express the personal pronouns (you, she, we, they) in order to
understand the person and number: a tianta form can be considered a full sentence.
Subanta and tianta must concord. If the verbal ending indicates plural, the noun that expresses the
agent will be in the plural:

rm gacchanti | Many Rmas go || rma gacchati | Rma goes
bhagavanta viharanti | The Blessed Ones dwell || bhagavn viharati | The Blessed One dwells

If the verbal ending indicates first person (called best person in Sanskrit) the agent must be a
pronoun in the first person, and so on for the second (middle person) and third (first person):

aham kathayiymi | I will tell
s kathayiyati | she will tell



The following are the ti endings:

tip tas jhi
sip thas tha
mip vas mas

ta tm jha
ths thm dhvam
i vahi mahi

The first nine are called parasmaipada, while the latter nine are called tmanepada. Each set of nine
represents singular, dual and plural, and the three persons (3 x 3 = 9).