संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी

संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी

On Tuesday Dec. 12, 2017, I attended Dr. Malhar Kulkarni’s व्याख्यानम् on सूत्र-s 1’1’20 to 1’1’23.

I indulged in further deliberation of my own, with a focus on सूत्र-s 1’1’20 and 1’1’22 . This post is loud thinking of that deliberation. The two सूत्र-s are दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20) and तरप्-तमपौ घः (1’1’22). Both of these are  संज्ञासूत्र-s, because सूत्रम् – दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20) defines what all is denoted by the संज्ञा घु.  The other सूत्रम् – तरप्-तमपौ घः (1’1’22) defines what all is denoted by the संज्ञा घः 

As is obvious, संज्ञा घु has many elements encompassed by दाधा excepting of course दाप्. The point is “संज्ञा घु has many elements”. That became the clue for my deliberation and I proceeded to check whether most संज्ञा-s have more-than-one elements. And lo ! That appears to be THE fact !

In mathematics, entity having a number of elements is called a “set”. By that token संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी seem to be names given to sets. All प्रत्याहार-s are basically sets and they connote names or संज्ञा-s of respective sets. For example, अच् is the name of the set, which has all vowels as its elements; हल् is the name of the set, which has all consonants as its elements. Even the very first सूत्रम् – वृद्धिरादैच् (1’1’1) defines the संज्ञा “वृद्धिः” which has the elements आत् and ऐच्; Actually ऐच् is a sub-set having elements ऐ and औ; आत् is the other sub-set of वृद्धिः, and has only a single element आत्. So वृद्धिः is a “union” of two subsets आत् and ऐच्. 

Set theory in mathematics recognizes even null sets. I wonder, whether अष्टाध्यायी has any संज्ञा, which is a null set !

In सूत्रम् – दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20), exception of दाप् is like intersection of a set to leave an element out. 

I wonder whether relating concepts of set theory can give a good insight into the structure of अष्टाध्यायी. 

I feel like complimenting myself for the deliberation and observation that संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी are names given to sets. Elements of sets are detailed primarily in two different ways. The सूत्र-s such as वृद्धिरादैच् (1’1’1), दाधा घ्वदाप् (1’1’20), etc. detail their elements in the particular संज्ञासूत्र itself. But elements of some सूत्र-s such as सर्वादीनि सर्वनामानि (1’1’27) are better detailed in गणपाठ. In this context it would be interesting to see my post “What is गणपाठ ?“.

The third way of identifying a संज्ञा and detailing its elements is to do that in different सूत्र-s. A good example is the सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (1’4’14). There are two संज्ञा-s included here सुप् and तिङ्. Elements of सुप् are detailed in स्वौजसमौट्-छष्टाभ्याम्-भिस्-ङे-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसि-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसोसाम्-ङि-ओस्-सुप् (4’1’2). Elements of तिङ् are detailed in तिप्-तस्-झि-सिप्-वस्-थ-मिब्-वस्-मस्-ताताम्-झ-थासाथाम्-ध्व-मिड्-वहि-महिङ् (3’4’78). 

Actually सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (1’4’14) is interesting, because it also contains and defines a third संज्ञा viz. पदम्. Whatever is सुबन्त or तिङन्त, i.e. whatever has in its ending सुप् or तिङ्, i.e. whatever has either a सुप् or तिङ् suffix, is a पदम्. And as defined by this सूत्रम् – सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् (1’4’14),  पदम् is a set having two sub-sets सुप् and तिङ्.

  • On a different note, I am a bit concerned of this definition of पदम् as सुप्तिङन्तं पदम्. This is because there are many पद-s, which are neither सुबन्त nor तिङन्त, e. g. क्त्वान्त- or तुमन्त-कृदन्त-s. To my mind, these are also पद-s, because they qualify the सूत्रम् – समर्थः पदविधिः (2’1’1). They are, for sure, समर्थ, meaningful and significant.

Anyway, we can grant that संज्ञा is a terminology of Sanskrit grammar. If so, one wonders what is the terminology in English grammar equivalent to संज्ञा ? In English grammar, among parts of speech, there are nouns and pronouns. Since pronouns are same as सर्वनामानि, one can think that नामानि would correspond with nouns. Since संज्ञा-s are also given names, संज्ञा also seemingly corresponds with ‘noun’. 

Looking at स्वौजसमौट्-छष्टाभ्याम्-भिस्-ङे-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसि-भ्याम्-भ्यस्-ङसोसाम्-ङि-ओस्-सुप् (4’1’2) and तिप्-तस्-झि-सिप्-वस्-थ-मिब्-वस्-मस्-ताताम्-झ-थासाथाम्-ध्व-मिड्-वहि-महिङ् (3’4’78), it can be thought that elements of सुप् and तिङ् enumerated in these सूत्र-s are not संज्ञा-s; they are nouns नामानि of सुप्-प्रत्यय-s and तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s.  I guess, this line of thinking can help distinguish between नामानि and संज्ञा-s. Then we can say that English grammar has nothing equivalent to संज्ञा-s.

That is some loud thinking about संज्ञा-s in अष्टाध्यायी. 

शुभमस्तु !