srutavega chlodwig.h.werba at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Tue Nov 11 13:15:50 UTC 2003

As You correctly state, dear B.rhatii, the suffix -in- serves to derive
possessive adjectives from substantives, 'being characterized by X', and as
every adjective in Sanskrit, also these -in-formations may be substantivized
in any gender according to specific extra-linguistic agenda, which are to be
scrutinized. Therefore it's up to You and everybody else, first to check in
Your text which gender the substantivized adjective has, if this usage is
simply idiosyncratic (ad hoc) or does conform to the one of other texts or
even to the general vyavahaara. Only then the ratio essendi can be at stake:
one may certainly be the lopa of a vi´se.sya, as You propose it for dharmin-
With best wishes

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk]Im Auftrag von Birgit
> Kellner
> Gesendet am: Dienstag, 11. November 2003 12.59
> An: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
> Betreff: Nouns ending in "-in": gender?
> Dear colleagues,
> I was wondering whether there are any definite rules or established
> practices concerning the gender of Sanskrit nouns ending in "-in".
> All such words that I know have masculine gender (e.g. dharmin,
> pratiyogin), and this seems also to be the case with most such words
> lemmatized in Monier-Williams.
> I have now some passages with -in-nouns in neuter gender and am
> wondering whether this requires explanation. Is the gender of such nouns
> a matter of habit and convention or one of grammatical rule?
> One could imagine that these words originally derive from adjectives
> which in turn are formed from nouns plus the in-suffix. If that is the
> case, then the gender of the -in-noun might be derived from those nouns
> with which the adjectives were most commonly used. By implication, the
> -in-nouns would then be limited to specific contexts, where the
> connection with the original noun (e.g. "dharma" in the case of
> "dharmin") from which the adjective had been derived is still
> semantically implicit. For instance, one might think that words like
> "dharmin" and "pratiyogin" were originally adjectives used with a noun
> like "artha" and retained a masculine gender because of this specific
> usage.
> By contrast, the occurrence of neuter nouns (like "virodhi") could be
> explained through derivation from adjectives originally used with neuter
> nouns (like "liGga"). But is it really plausible that the gender of
> (some) nouns is a matter of such complicated derivations which tie nouns
> to very specific contexts of usage? Or would the choice of neuter or
> masculine in such cases be arbitrary, and the preference for masculine
> simply be a matter of linguistic convention regardless of context of use?
> Thanks in advance and best regards,
> Birgit Kellner

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