An Elementary Pali Course

Lesson XXIV

Rules of Sandhi (Combinations)

By Sandhi* is meant the combination of two letters that come in immediate contact with each other.

This combination may take place by elision, substitution, augment, etc.

*Formed of "saµ", together, with "dhŒ" to join.

In PŒĀi there are three classes of Sandhi, viz:-
1. Sara Sandhi - Vowel Combinations,
2. Vya
jana Sandhi - Consonant Combinations, and
3. Niggahita (µ) Sandhi - Niggahita Combinations.

1. Sara Sandhi - Vowel Combinations

1. When two vowels come together, the preceding vowel is often dropped. e.g.,
Loka - agga = Lok'agga, chief of the world
Pa
––Œ - indriya = pa––'indriya, faculty of wisdom
T“ni - imŒni = t“n'imŒni, these three
Sabbo - eva = sabb'eva, verily all

2. Sometimes the following vowel is dropped, if it is preceded by a dissimilar vowel. e.g.,
ChŒyŒ - iva = chŒyŒ'va, like a shadow
Iti - api = iti'pi, such indeed
PŒto - eva = pŒto'va, early morning

3. When the preceding dissimilar vowel is dropped, the following "i" and"u" short or long, are substituted by "e" and "o" respectively. e.g.,
Upa - eto = Up'eto, constituted
Suriya - udaya = suriy'udayu, suriyodaya, sunrise

4. When the preceding vowel is dropped, the following vowel is sometimes lengthened. e.g.,
Buddha - anussati = Buddh'Œnussati, reflection on the Buddha
GacchŒmi - iti = gacchŒm'“ti, that I go
Bahu - upakŒro = bahčpakŒro, very helpful
Sace - ayaµ = sacŒyaµ, if this
IdŒni - ahaµ = idŒn'Œhaµ, now I

5. Sometimes the preceding vowel is lengthened when the following vowel is dropped. e.g.,
Lokassa - iti = lokassŒ'ti, thus to the world
Vi - atikkama = v“'tikkama, transgression
SŒdhu - iti = sŒdhč'ti, thus good
J“vitahetu - api = j“vitahetč'pi, even for the sake of life

6. When te, me, ye are followed by a vowel, "y" is sometimes substituted for their final "e". e.g.,
Me - ayaµ = myayaµ, myŒyaµ, this by me
Te - ahaµ = tyahaµ, tyŒhaµ, I to thee
Ye - assa = yyassa, yyŒssa, those to him

7. When "i", "“" and "u", "o" are followed by a dissimilar vowel*, "y" and "v"are sometimes substituted for them respectively. e.g.,
Vi - Œkato = vyŒkato, proclaimed
Su - Œgataµ = svŒgataµ, welcome
Anu - eti = anveti, follows
Ko - attho = kvattho, what good
So - ayaµ = svayaµ, svŒyaµ, he this

*For instance a and Πare similar vowels, a and i are dissimilar vowels.

8. "Ti" of ati, iti, and pati, when followed by a vowel, is sometimes changed into "cc". e.g.,
Ati - antaµ = accantaµ, exceedingly
Ati - eti = acceti, surpasses
Ati - odŒto = accodŒto, very white
Iti - etaµ = iccetaµ, thus that
Pati - Œharati = paccŒharati, brings back

9. Abhi, followed by a vowel is sometimes changed into "abbha". e.g.,
Abhi - uggato = ubbhuggato, arose

10. "Adhi", followed by a vowel, is sometimes changed into "ajjha". e.g.,
Adhi - Œgama = ajjhŒgama, attained

11. Sometimes "t, d, n, m, y, r, Ā, v" are inserted before a vowel. e.g.,
Ajja - agge = ajjatagge, from to-day
Atta - attha = attadattha, self-good
Ito - Œyati = itonŒyati, comes from here
Idha - Œhu = idhamŒhu, here they say
So - eva = soyeva, he himself
Ni - antaraµ = nirantaraµ, without an interval, intermittent
Cha - abhi
––Œ = chaĀabhi––Œ, six kinds of higher knowledge
Ti - aögikaµ = tivaögikaµ, three factors

2. Vyajana Sandhi - Consonant Combinations

1. The vowel preceding a consonant is sometimes lengthened. e.g.,
Te - assa = tyŒssa, those to him
Muni care = mun“care, the sage would wander
Su - akkhŒto = svŒkkhŒto, well-expounded
JŒyati soko = jŒyat“soko, grief arises

2. Sometimes the vowel preceding a consonant is shortened. e.g.,
Yadi vŒ sŒvake = yadivasŒvake, or if towards the disciples
TaöhŒ - khayo = taöhakkhayo, destruction (of) craving

3. Before a consonant the final "o" of the pronominal stems "eta" and "ta" is changed into "a". e.g.,
Eso dhammo = esa dhammo, that nature
So muni = sa muni, he (is) a sage

4. The consonant following a vowel is sometimes duplicated. e.g.,
A - pamŒdo = appamŒdo, diligence
Vi -
Œöaµ = vi––Œöaµ, conciousness

5. When an aspirated consonant is duplicated, the preceding one is changed into the unaspirated form of the same consonant. e.g.,
Ni - bhayaµ = nibbhayaµ, fearless
sa - dhammo = saddhammo, noble Doctrine

3. Niggahita (µ) Sandhi - Niggahita Combinations

1. The Niggahita preceding a group consonant is changed into the nasal of that particular group; e.g.,
Taµ khaŗaµ = ta
ŗkhaŗaµ, that instant
Saµ jŒta = sa
jŒta, born
Taµ
Œöaµ = ta––Œöaµ, that knowledge
Taµ
ŹhŒnaµ = taöŹhŒnaµ, that place
Ahaµ te = ahante, I to thee
Saµ nipŒto = sannipŒto, union
Saµ bodhi = sambodhi, enlightenment
Saµ mŒna = sammŒna, honour

2. The Niggahita preceding "e" and "h" is changed into "". Before "e" the substituted "" is duplicated. e.g.,
Taµ - eva = ta
––eva, itself
Taµ - hi = ta
hi, it indeed

3. The Niggahita preceding "y" is sometimes changed into "", "y" is afterwards dropped, and the substituted "" is duplicated. e.g.,
Saµ - yamo = sa
––amo, restraint

4. The Niggahita, followed by a vowel, is sometimes changed into "m", and into "d" if it is affixed to "ta" and "eta". e.g.,
Taµ - ahaµ = tamahaµ, that I
Etaµ - avoca = etadavoca, this he said

5. Sometimes the Niggahita preceding a vowel is dropped. The initial vowel of the following word not followed by a double consonant, is lengthened, and the final vowel of the preceding word is dropped. e.g.,
AdŒsiµ ahaµ, adŒsi - ahaµ, adŒ's - ahaµ, adŒs'Œhaµ, I gave
Evaµ ahaµ, eva - ahaµ, ev'ahaµ, ev'Œhaµ, thus I

6. Sometimes the Niggahita preceding a consonant is also dropped. e.g.,
BuddhŒnaµ - sŒsanaµ = BuddhŒnasŒsanaµ, message of the Buddhas

7. Sometimes a Niggahita is inserted before a vowel or a consonant. e.g.,
Cakkhu udapŒdi = cakkhuµ udapŒdi, the eye arose
Ava - siro = avaµsiro, head downwards

8. Sometimes the vowel following a Niggahita is dropped, and the Niggahita is afterwards nasalised. e.g.,
Idaµ api = idam'pi, this too
Kiµ iti = kin'ti, what is
Cakkaµ iva = cakkaµ'va, like a wheel