Classification of Roots in Sanskrit


#1

There are ten different types of roots in Sanskrit language. The difference is caused by variations in the middle part of verbal conjugational forms. Sanskrit verbs are of two types called as Parasmaipada and Atmanepada. The active voice is called Parasmaipada and they are mostly transitive in character. Atmanepada is used in the case of reflexive or the middle voice. Passive too usually takes the terminations of the Atmanepada.

It is important to know that the ten classes of roots are divided into two groups of conjugation. The first group of conjugation comprises of the first, fourth, sixth and the tenth types of roots. The second group of conjugation comprises of the remaining classes, namely, second, third, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth classes of roots. In the second group of conjugation the terminations are added directly to the final of the root without the addition of a vowel or an element to the final letter of the root. Each of the types of roots is characterized by difference in the manner in which the formative elements combine in conjugation. Formative elements are such of those elements that assist in the formation of the process of conjugation. They include the main root the final of the root, added vowel or element and the verbal termination. The added vowel of the final of the root changes according to the type of the class. It is important to know that the verbal termination changes according to the person it represents. Sanskrit too like any other Indo-European language has three persons, namely I person, II person and III person. Let us see a few examples how the verbal conjugations are formed in the case of the ten different classes of roots. Although there are 6 types of tenses and 4 types of moods, we shall see how the combinations of formative elements take place in the present tense only. Similarly we shall take only the Parasmaipada type of verbs as examples.

First Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + added vowel + verbal termination

Example: Bhu (bhav) to become

                                                               Singular                    Dual                  Plural

I person bhavaami bhavaavah bhavaamah

II person bhavasi bhavathah bhavatha

III person bhavati bhavatah bhavanti

Some of the other examples of the roots that belong to the first conjugation are aT = to worship, arh = to deserve, av = to protect, khan = to dig, khaad = to eat, garj = to roar and car = to walk

Fourth Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + added vowel (semi vowel) + verbal termination.

Example: as = to throw

                                                              Singular              Dual                  Plural

I person asyaami asyaavah asyaamah

II person asyasi asyathah asyatha

III person asyati asyatah asyanti

Some of the other examples of the roots that come under fourth conjugation are iS = to move, kRs = to become lean, kSham = to bear, kup = to be angry and kSubh = to tremble

Sixth Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + added vowel +verbal termination.

Example: kSip = to throw

                                                            Singular                Dual                Plural

I person kSipaami kSipaavah kSipaamah
II person kShipasi kSipathah kSipathah

III person kSipati kSiptah kSipanti

Some of the other examples of roots that come under the sixth class are tuT = to tear, mil = to join, vis = top enter, spRs = to touch and likh = to write.

Tenth Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + added element (ay)+ verbal termination.

Example: kath = to tell

                                                           Singular                Dual                Plural

I person kathayaami kathayaavah kathayaamah

II person kathayasi kathayathah kathayatha

III person kathayati kathayatah kathayanti

The other examples of the roots that come under the tenth class are sHap = to spend, gaN = to count, guN = to multiply, cur = to steal and daND = to punish.

Second Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + verbal termination.

Example: as = to be

                                                      Singular                    Dual                     Plural

I person asmi svah smah

II person asi sthah sthah

III person asti stah santi

Some other examples of roots coming under second class are ad = to eat, aas = to sit, paa = to protect, yaa = to go and snaa = to bathe.

Third Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + verbal termination

Example: hu = to offer ( in sacrifice)

                                                         Singular                     Dual                 Plural

I person juhomi juhuvah juhumah

II person juhoSi juhuthah juhutha

III person juhoti juhutah juhvati

Some other examples of this class are bhI = to fear, daa = to give and haa = to abandon

Fifth Conjugation

The formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + verbal termination.

Example: saadh = to accomplish

                                                                     Singular                  Dual             Plural

I person saadhnomi saadhnuvah saadhnumah

II person saadhnoSi saadhnuthah saadhnutha

III person saadhnoti saadhnutah saadhnuvanti

Some other examples of roots coming under this class are akS = to reach, dhu = to shake and du = to give pain

Seventh Conjugation

Formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + verbal termination

Example: kSud = to pound

                                                                   Singular                Dual               Plural

I person kSunadmi kSudvah kSundmah

II person kSunatsi kSunthah kSuntha

III person kSunatti kSuntah kSundanti

Other examples of roots coming under this class include chid = to cut, bhid = to split and bhuj = to rule

Eighth Conjugation

Formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + verbal termination

Example: tan = to stretch or to extend

                                                                  Singular               Dual                Plural

I person tanomi tanuvah tanumah

II person tanoSi tanuthah tanutha

III person tanoti tanutah tanvanti

Other examples of roots that come under this class are kR = to do, kSaN = to hunt and man = to consider

Ninth Conjugation

Formative elements combine in conjugation as Main root + verbal termination

Example: krI = to buy

                                                                          Singular                Dual               Plural

I person krINaami krINIvah krINImah

II person krINaasi krINIthah krINItha

III person krINaati krINItah krINanti

Other examples of roots that come under this class include as = to eat, gR = to call out and kSi = to destroy.