Desiderative roots

Also known as: sannanta (“ending in the san affix”)

Desiderative roots have a complex name but express a simple idea. Simply, they express the idea of wanting to do something.

  • जिगमिषामि
    I want to go.

A few roots create this derived root without any sense of “wanting”. These derived roots usually have special idiomatic meanings:

  • तिज् → तितिक्षति
    tij → titikṣati
    be sharp → endures

  • गुप् → जुगुप्सति
    gup → jugupsati
    protect → detests, despises

  • मन् → मीमांसति
    man → mīmāṃsati
    think → investigates

Making the root

We double the root and add -s to the root. Some roots will use the connecting iṭ vowel as well.

When we studied the distant past tense, we learned some of the basic rules of doubling. The desideradive root follows similar rules but with a few small changes.

First, the a in the doubled root sound changes to i:

  • स्था → तिष्ठास्
    sthā → tiṣṭhās
    stand → want to stand

Roots ending in a short vowel use a long vowel:

  • स्तु → तुष्टूस्
    stu → tuṣṭūs
    praise → want to praise

  • श्रु → शुश्रूष्
    śru → śuśrūṣ
    hear → want to hear; attend or serve (idiomatic meaning)

Roots ending in -ṛ or -ṝ generally change their final vowel to -īr:

  • कृ → चिकीर्ष्
    kṛ → cikīrṣ
    do → want to do

  • तॄ → तितीर्ष्
    tṝ → titīrṣ
    cross → want to cross

but use -ūr if the vowel follows a “lip” consonant (pa):

  • पॄ → पुपूर्ष्
    pṝ → pupūrṣ
    fill → want to fill

  • मृ → मुमूर्ष्
    mṛ → mumūrṣ
    die → “want to die”; be about to die

Here are some common irregular roots:

  • आप् → ईप्स्
    āp → īps
    obtain → want to obtain

  • लभ् → लिप्स्
    labh → lips
    obtain → want to obtain

Using the root

Desiderative roots generally use the same pada as the original root:

  • लभसे → लिप्ससे
    labhase → lipsase
    you obtain → you want to obtain

  • करोमि → चिकीर्षामि
    karomi → cikīrṣāmi
    I do → I want to do

  • कुर्वे → चिकीर्षे
    kurve → cikīrṣe
    I do → I want to do

For the special tense-moods, we use this root as if it were part of the tud class:

  • चिकीर्षन्ति
    they want to do

  • जिगमिषेत्
    (someone) might want to go

For the distant past tense, we use the suffix -ām:

  • जिगमिषां चकार
    jigamiṣāṃ cakāra
    (someone) wanted to go (long ago)