m/anusvAra & s/visarga

Chris Hibbard/E. Stern chibbard at POBOX.UPENN.EDU
Tue Nov 4 01:03:12 UTC 1997

Jacob Baltuch asked

>Do sequences <...sk...>, <...skh...>, <...sp...> or
><...sph...> ever occur in the middle of any Sanskrit word?

>For the visarga, of course no problem can be ex-
>pected at the end of a word since <s> always turns
>into visarga there. In the middle of a word the only
>place I could find visarga is before <k>, <kh>, <p>
>and <ph>.
>Therefore I was asking: am I sure I will never find
><s> there in some weird word? (hence the first question)
>since I need to know that after having changed all
>my visarga to <s> I can restaure all those <s> to visarga.

Yes, there certainly are such words. The first section of pataJjali's
mahAbhASyam, for example, is the paspaZåhnikam. A commonly occurring term
for 'seta' is Aspadam. There are verb forms like caskanda, and asprAkSIt.
The <s> is also maintained in compounds like vAkyasphoTaH, and the
sequences in question are maintained when no longer initial because a
negative a- is affixed, and when one of various upasargAH is affixed.

Sorry, you will have to continue typing those H's.

Elliot M. Stern
552 South 48th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-2029

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