Sanskrit Grammar: Passive Causative

Wed Nov 20 12:23:31 UTC 1996

Dear colleagues,

I am currently teaching a course about the structure of Sanskrit 
to graduate students in linguistics. The following question was 
put to me, however, I have not been able to confirm my answer in 
the standard grammars. I am hoping that someone might be able 
to confirm my answer, or correct it.

The question pertains to the formation of passive from causatives 
of verbs which take two objects. To make clear what I have in mind,
let me set down some examples:

(1.0) Devadatta.h maa.navakam (maa.navake) panthaanam p.rcchati.
(1.1) Devadatta is asking the boy the way.

Passive is formed only with respect to maa.navaka (the boy), and 
not with respect to panthaanam (the path).

(2.0) maa.navaka.h Devadattena panthaanam p.rcchyate.
(2.1) The boy is being asked the way by Devadatta.

(3.0) *panthaa.h Devadattena maa.navakam (maa.navake) p.rcchyate.
(3.1) *The way is being asked the boy by Devadatta.

Now, consider the causative form of the sentence in (1.0).

(4.0) Hari.h Devadattena maa.navakam (maa.navake) panthaanam pracchayati.
(4.1) Hari has Devadatta ask the boy the way.

The question is: what are the passive options of the sentence in (4.0)?
On the general principle that the agent of the basic verb in active
causative constructions becomes the subject of the passive causative
construction, I conclude tha the first sentence below is correct. 

(5.0) Devadatta.h Hari.naa maa.navakam (maa.navake) panthaanam pracchyate.
(5.1) Devadatta is made by Hari to ask the boy the way.

The question is: is it the only version which is correct. 
Speijer reports that some passive causatives have as their subjects 
objects of the non-causative version of the verb.

(6.0) Raak.sasena dhaatita.h tapasvii Parvate'svara.h.
      Rak\d{s}asa had a poison girl kill poor Parvate\'svara.
		(Mudr. 1: cited in Speijer p. 38)

(Presumably, this sentence is ambiguous.) Do these possibilities 
extend to verbs with double objects. That is, is the following 

(7.0) maa.navaka.h Devadattena Hari.naa panthaanam pracchyate.

Any help with this question will be greatly appreciated?

Thanks in advance.\, 

Brendan S. Gillon
Dept. of Linguistics
McGill University

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list