Vowel Nouns, Part 1
At the beginning of Nouns, I mentioned that we would spend time studying nouns that end in consonants. However, knowing just a bit about the sorts of nouns that end in vowels — the so-called vowel nouns — will greatly increase our ability to read Sanskrit.
For that reason, this lesson will introduce just a bit about the vowel nouns. Eventually, we will study all of them; but for now, we will only study a few forms from each. Because of their similarities to the -a nouns, the vowel nouns are easy to learn. Note this sandhi rule:
If the visarga follows a vowel other than a or ā, then it obeys the rules of words like narayoḥ (first seen in the lesson on case 6) and naraiḥ (first seen in the lesson on case 3).
-i and -u nouns
The -i and -u nouns appear in all three genders. The -i nouns follow the same pattern as the -u nouns.
|Case 1 (subject)||अग्निः
|Case 2 (object)||अग्निम्
|Case 3 ("with")||—||—||अग्निभिः
|Case 6 ("of")||—||—||अग्नीनाम्
|Case 1 (subject)||गुरुः
|Case 2 (object)||गुरुम्
|Case 3 ("with")||—||—||गुरुभिः
|Case 6 ("of")||—||—||गुरूणाम्
Notice that the masculine case 1 plural uses a strengthened stem. For this reason, the fourth word of the Bhagavad Gita — yuyutsu — looks as if it is some noun *yuyutsava in the case 1 singular.
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः
dharmakṣetre kurukṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
On dharma's field, the field of Kurus, all assembled wanting war …
-ā, -ī, and -ū nouns
The -ā, -ī, and -ū nouns are almost universally in the feminine gender. All of these nouns behave identically. However, the -ū nouns have an extra visarga in the case 1 singular.
|Case 1 (subject)||विद्या
|Case 2 (object)||विद्याम्
|Case 3 ("with")||—||—||विद्याभिः
|Case 6 ("of")||—||—||विद्यानाम्
|Case 1 (subject)||वापी
|Case 2 (object)||वापीम्
|Case 3 ("with")||—||—||वापीभिः
|Case 6 ("of")||—||—||वापीनाम्
|Case 1 (subject)||चमूः
|Case 2 (object)||चमूम्
|Case 3 ("with")||—||—||चमूभिः
|Case 6 ("of")||—||—||चमूनाम्
Again, note the visarga that the -ū nouns use in the case 1 singular.
The third-person feminine pronoun
This pronoun is straightforward. It uses a fusion of the masculine tad endings and the feminine -ā endings.
|Case 1 (subject)||सा
|Case 2 (object)||ताम्
|Case 6 ("of")||—||—||तासाम्
The yad pronoun uses exactly the same endings.
Recall the special rules of saḥ sandhi. There are no such rules for sā.
These suffixes form words with many different meanings. So, only the gender of the suffixes is given here.
- Usual Gender
The ti suffix, though, usually specifies abstract nouns and principles. It causes the same changes as the ta suffix of the PPP.
गम् + ति → गति
gam + ti → gati
go → path, way
स्मृ + ति → स्मृति
smṛ + ti → smṛti
remember → remembrance, what is remembered; Smriti
Making adjectives feminine
Adjectives that have an -a stem are usually made feminine by changing into an -ā stem. A few adjectives use an -ī stem instead. The PPP forms feminine adjectives with ā.
स प्रियः → सा प्रिया
sa priyaḥ → sā priyā
He is beloved. → She is beloved.
स सुन्दरः → सा सुन्दरी
sa sundaraḥ → sā sundarī
He is beautiful. → She is beautiful.
Of the adjectives we have studied, this is the only one that uses ī in the feminine.