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 or -iṣ depending on the root.

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)