Accent notation in Tait. Up.

subrahmanya palurmallampalli spalurma at
Mon Feb 17 17:20:05 UTC 1997

First, my sincere apologies about the map. I saw the rotated map
in the dictionaries page and not in the home page. And hence, I didnt
see any explanations for the rotation and thought it was a correction
that needs to be done. Reading the explanation in the indology
home page has made me happy that the list continues to surpass my

Here is the explanation of the svara marks in the Yajur Veda. There
are three svaras used in the Yajur Veda ( I vaguely remember the names
to be anudatta, udatta and svarita). The udatta is the standard 
pitch and has no markings. The anudatta, denoted by an underline, 
is the lower pitch and the svarita, denoted by a vertical line on top
of the syllable, is the upper pitch.  During chanting of these mantras,
one should lower or increase the pitch according to the svara marks. 
Thus, the cadence is also maintained. When one decomposes the text
into individual words, these are all the svaras that are there. However,
when these words are combined as in the Vedic texts, these svaras change
according to elaborate sandhi rules for the svaras. I do not know 
all the sandhi rules myself. The dirga svarita or two vertical lines
on top of the syllable is formed as a result of such a sandhi. The 
syllable with such a mark is supposed to be chanted for two units of
time ( a syllable takes one unit of time ), the first unit in the 
standard pitch and the second unit of time in the upper pitch.

Hope this helps. Listening to an audio tape of any Yajur Vedic chant
will make it abundantly clear. Especially, if one analyses the
form of chanting called krama pATa.m and pATa.m. If a line of
the samhita text contains 5 words (say) :

1 2 3 4 5

krama pATa.m consists of chanting it as :

1 2 2 1 1 2
2 3 3 2 2 3
3 4 4 3 3 4
4 5 5 4 4 5

and pATa.m goes as 

1 2 2 1 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 2 3
2 3 3 2 2 3 4 4 3 2 2 3 4
3 4 4 3 3 4 5 5 4 3 3 4 5
4 5 5 4 4 5

Here, one can see the svaras change from the sandhis very clearly


Charles Wikner said:
>Gentle reader, 
>If you have the key to the accent notation system used in the 
>Taittiriiya Upanishad, would you please share it with me?
>The same notation is used in two editions of the Taittiriiya
>available to me (Swami "Sarvananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, and 
>Alladi Mahadeva Sastry, Samata Books). An illustration of this
>marking is appended below.
>The notation system vaguely follows that used in the .rgveda, 
>but there are many exceptions, and passages where the marking 
>is very sparse; it also adds the "diirgha svarita" (double 
>vertical line) which is a mystery to me.
>I am familiar with the systems of accent notation used in the 
>rgveda and saamaveda, so the response may use technical terms 
>for brevity.
>Thank you kindly,
>Charles Wikner.
>wikner at
>These are the first few sentences of 1.11:
>                               |
>vedamanucyaacaaryo.antevaasinamanu"saasti | 
>                                     -
>                                           ||
>satya.m vada |  dharma.m cara |  svaadhyaayaanmaa pramada.h | 
>    -                -                              -
>                                                       |
>aacaaryaaya priya.m dhanamaah.rtya prajaatantu.m maa vyavacchetsii.h |
>                                                             -

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list