Intensive roots

Also known as: frequentative roots, yaṅanta (“ending in the affix yaṅ”)

Intensive roots show that an action was done in an intense or frequent way:

  • लपति → लालप्यते
    lapati → lālapyate
    laments → repeatedly laments

With verbs of motion, the intensive implies crooked or difficult motion:

  • जङ्गम्यते
    jaṅgamyate
    goes crookedly

And for certain roots, the intensive implies blameworthy or inept action:

  • लोलुप्यते
    lolupyate
    cuts badly

Although intensive roots can be used with parasmaipada endings, such forms are very rare. Here, we will focus on the form used with ātmanepada endings.

Making the root

Generally, roots that start with vowels and roots in the cur class cannot make intensive roots. But most other roots can.

To make the intensive root, we use a special kind of doubling. First, we add the suffix -ya, which causes the same changes as the karmaṇi prayoga ya suffifx we used for the special tense-moods:

  • लुप् → लुप्य
    lup → lupya

Then, we double the root according to the normal rules:

  • लुप्य → लु लुप्य
    lupya → lu lupya

Finally, we strengthen the double's vowel:

  • लु लुप्य → लोलुप्य
    lu lupya → lolupya

Here are some other examples:

  • भू → बोभूय
    bhū → bobhūya
    repeatedly be

  • कृ → चेक्रीय
    kṛ → cekrīya
    repeatedly do

And a common exception if is the middle vowel:

  • सृप् → सरीसृप्य
    sṛp → sarīsṛpya
    repeatedly creep; creep along

  • वृत् → वरीवृत्य
    vṛt → varīvṛtya
    repeatedly turn

  • नृत् → नरीनृत्य
    nṛt → narīnṛtya
    repeatedly dance

Using the root

The intensive roots always use ātmanepada endings:

  • जङ्गम्यते
    jaṅgamyate
    goes crookedly

For the special tense-moods, we use these roots as if they were part of the div class:

  • नरीनृत्येत
    narīnṛtyeta
    might repeatedly dance

And for the distant past tense, we use the suffix -ām:

  • लोलुप्यां चक्रे
    lolupyāṃ cakre
    (someone) cut badly (long ago)