Causal roots

Also known as: causative roots, ṇijanta (“ending in the ṇic affix”)

In the core lessons, we learned that we can create new verb roots from existing ones. These derived roots modify the root's basic meaning in some way. Once we have a derived root, we can use it the same way we would use any verb root.

One of the most common derived roots is the causal root. You can see some examples of causal roots below:

  • नी → नायि → नाययति
    nī → nāyi → nāyayati
    lead → make lead → they make (someone) lead

  • चर् → चारि → चारयति
    car → cāri → cārayati
    walk → make walk → they make (someone) walk

Some causal roots might also have a more idiomatic meaning:

  • गमयति
    makes go; passes (time), leads (someone)

Making the root

We make the causal root by adding -i to the end of the original root.

Roots that end in vowels strengthen to the strongest level:

  • नी → नायि
    nī → nāyi
    lead → make lead

  • भू → भावि
    bhū → bhāvi
    become → make become

  • कृ → कारि
    kṛ → kāri
    do → make do

Other vowels often strengthen to e or o:

  • शुच् → शोचि
    śuc → śoci
    grieve → make grieve

Roots that end in generally use an extra -p- sound. Roots that end in -e, -ai, or -o have their final vowel changed to :

  • स्था → स्थापि
    sthā → sthāpi
    stand → make stand

  • गै → गापि
    gai → gāpi
    sing → make sing

  • दा → दापि
    dā → dāpi
    give → make give

And there are a few irregular changes:

  • गम् → गमि
    gam → gami
    go → make go

  • हन् → घाति
    han → ghāti
    kill, strike → make strike

Using the root

We treat this root like a member of the bhū class and can use either parasmaipada or ātmanepada endings:

  • कारि → कारयति
    kāri → kārayati
    make do → makes do

  • कारि → कारयिष्यति
    kāri → kārayiṣyati
    make do → will make do

  • कारि → कारयां चकार
    kāri → kārayāṃ cakāra
    make do → made do (long ago)