Synopsis of Session 1

Below is the synopsis of Online Sanskrit Class conducted on 12th July 2014

Structure and study of any language

A language can be studied at four levels:
• Phonological level – At the level of sounds (phonetics).
• Morphological level – Morphene is ‘meaningful unit of a sentence’, i.e., a ‘word’.
• Syntactic level – The word comes from ‘syntax’ – the correct arrangement of words in a sentence.
• Semantic level – At the level of vocabulary.

Phonological level can be said to be the micro-level of study of a language and syntactic level is where it gets converted to a macro-level study. Morphene (morphological level) consists of further units called phoneme (alphabets that make up the word). Different rules at all these levels make all the languages unique.
Panini takes up the study of Sanskrit in this way. He starts by categorizing the alphabets into similar groups. He gives out the set of vowels and groups consonants. The first five consonants from क् (k) onwards are called कण्ठ्य kaṇṭhya because those are sounds that come from our throat, followed by five consonants from च् onwards that come under तालव्य tālavya because to utter those sounds, the tongue has to touch the palate. The next five from ट् (ṭ) come under मूर्धन्य mūrdhanya. Five consonants from त् (t) come under dantya because the tongue has to touch the teeth to utter these sounds. Five consonants from प् (pa) come under the category oshthya because the sound is produced at the lips (oshtha). The letters य् र् ल् व् come are called अन्तस्थ्, श् ष् स् come under ऊष्मन् and ह् comes under श्वास:

संस्कृत वर्णमाला (Sanskrit Alphabets)

स्वराणि (Vowels)

अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऋ ॠ ऌ ए ऐ ओ औ अं अः

व्यञ्जनानि (Consonants)

क् ख् ग् घ् ङ् – क् वर्ग – कण्ठ्य वर्ण
च् छ् ज् झ् ञ् – च् वर्ग – तालव्य वर्ण
ट् ठ् ड् ढ् ण् – ट् वर्ग – मूर्धन्य वर्ण
त् थ् द् ध् न् – त् वर्ग – दन्त्य वर्ण
प् फ् ब् भ् म् – प् वर्ग – ओष्ठ्य वर्ण
य् र् ल् व् – अन्तस्थ्
श् ष् स् -ऊष्मन्
ह् – श्वास :

• A word cannot begin with ङ् or ञ्
• क्ष् = क् + ष्
• त्र् = त् + र्
• ज्ञ् = ज् + ञ्

1) When the consonants क् and फ्, join with another consonant, drop the curve on the right side.
2) When the consonants like ख्, घ् and similar letters with a ‘bar’ at the end join with another consonant, drop the bar.
3) ट् + य = ट्य ; ठ् + य = ठ्य and similar ‘hanging’ consonants’ when they join with य, while writing, we join the beginning of य to the consonant.
4) Rules for adding र
a. च् +अ +क् +र् +अ = चक्र
b. अ + र् + क् + अ = अर्क
c. र् + अ + ष् + ट् + र्

Note: कृष्ण doesn’t come under combination with
क् + ऋ +ष् +ण् +अ

Splitting words:
ब्रह्म = ब् + र् + अ + ह् + म् + अ
वर्षा = व् + अ + र् +ष् + आ
पितृ =प् + इ + त् +ऋ
पितॄणम् = प् + इ + त् + ॠ + ण् + अ + म्
राजर्षि: = र् + आ + ज् +अ + र् + ष् + इ + अः
प्रकृति = प् + र् +अ + क् + ऋ + त् + इ
आर्द्र = आ + र् + द् + र् + अ

Link of class recording


9 thoughts on “Synopsis of Session 1

  1. It seems pronunciation of words has an accent/ emphasis in our language as only those words which can be pronounced are written, unlike other/ English language wherein there are letters written who can not be pronounced (अनुच्चारित ) and therefore called as ‘silent’, like, P in Psychology b in doubt and so on.

  2. Sathya Sai Ram

    Just to share the precise regions of the mouth/troat area, where the sounds for Sanskrit consonants emanate from:

    ka kha ga gha ṅa – soft palate (the very back of the mouth) ~ kaṇṭhya
    ca cha ja jha ña – hard palate (bony region on the top of the mouth) ~ tālavya
    ṭa ṭha ḍa ḍha ṇa – hard bump on the roof of the mouth ~ mūrdhanya
    ta tha da dha na – base of the teeth ~ dantya
    pa pha ba bha ma – lips

    ya ra la va (antastha)
    श् ष् स् (sibilants / ushman)
    ह् (svaasah:)

  3. Sathya Sai Ram

    Just would like to clarify if:

    क्ष् = क् + ष् + अ

    or should be only:

    क्ष् = क् + ष् ?

  4. Sathya Sai Ram

    Just a small correction below:

    Splitting words:
    ब्रह्म = ब् + र् + ह् +म् + अ

    should be:
    ब्रह्म = ब् + र् + अ + ह् +म् + अ (there should be a ‘अ’ after ‘र्’)

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