पृष्ठम्:A Sanskrit primer (1901).djvu/३०

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एतत् पृष्ठम् अपरिष्कृतम् अस्ति


14 Introduction. Accent. 101 A 56. The phenomena of accent are, by the Hindu grammarians of all ages alike, described and treated as depending on a variation of tone or pitch; of any difference of stress involved, they make no account. These accents are marked only in certain Vedic texts, and employed only in their recitation, whereas the accents used nowadays by Hindus in the pronunciation of Sanskrit (and left undenoted in writing) are mainly ictus-accents, i. e. variations of stress. The principles of the latter system will be given in an appendix. The older system of accents bas great etymological im- portance; the latter none whatever; and only the older system will be referred to in the following. Here it will be enough to state that the primary tones or accent-pitches of the older system are two: a higher, or acute; and a lower, or grave. A third, called svarita, is always of secondary origin, being ordinarily the result of actual combination of an acute vowel and a grave vowel into one syllable. It is uniformly defined as compound in pitch, a union of higher and lower tone within the limits of a single syllable. It is thus identical in physical character with the Greek and Latin circumflex, and fully entitled to be called by the same name. Whenever, in the sequel, accent is mentioned, without further de- finition, the acute accent is to be understood; and it will be de- signated by the ordinary acute sign. Conjugation of Verbs. 57. The Sanskrit verb exhibits the closest analogy with that of Greek, being developed in tense-systems, as outgrowths of certain tense-stems. In the older stage of the language, i. e. in the so- called Vedic period, the modal ramifications of each tense - stem are as numerous as in Greek; but in the later stage, the Sanskrit proper (also called the classical language), these outgrowtbs have Univ Calif - Digitized by Microsoft ®.