In the previous unit, we studied the two-stem nouns, which use two distinct stems in their various forms. One of those two-stems nouns was formed with the -tṛ suffix, but we only studied a few of that suffix's forms. Here, we will study the rest. We will also study some words that end in -ṛ that were not formed with the -tṛ suffix.
The tṛ suffix defines the agent or doer of some action. As mentioned in an earlier lesson, this primary suffix is related to the English suffix "-er," as in "hunter" or "overseer." Almost all nouns that end in -ṛ are formed using the -tṛ suffix.
कृ → कर्तृ
kṛ → kartṛ
do, make → doer, maker
गम् → गन्तृ
gam → gantṛ
go → goer
हन् → हन्तृ
han → hantṛ
kill → killer
To attach the suffix to the verb root, we change the root in the same way as we did for the FPP. Here is a modified version of the rules for the FPP:
The root is strengthened to the medium level. Either tṛ or itṛ is added to the end; but, the following roots always use tṛ:
- roots ending in ṛ (but not ṝ)
The strong and weak stems are as follows:
|Endings||Strong Stem||Weak Stem||Special Stem|
Since the tṛ suffix was originally tar, some of the forms below follow the pattern of consonant stems. But since the tṛ suffix itself ends in a vowel, some forms also follow the pattern of vowel stems.
The singular forms behave like consonant stems, but note the differences in cases 5 through 7. The dual forms follow the pattern of the consonant stems. The plural forms follow the pattern of the consonant stems, but cases 2 and 6 both follow the pattern of the vowel stems.
Feminine forms use the suffix trī and follow the pattern of nouns like vāpī.
Sanskrit has several words used to describe relationships between people. Of these words, the most common end in -ṛ; they are listed below. Just for fun, try to guess the English meaning based on the Sanskrit word.
These nouns are all very old, and they are also a bit irregular:
For the feminine nouns mātṛ and svasṛ, the case 2 plural is -ṝs instead of -ṝn.
The strong stem is -ar, not -ār. But, the strong stem of svasṛ is svasār.
The irregularity in svasṛ is probably due to Brugmann's law.