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808. Modes of the Perfect

Modes of the perfect belong only to the Vedic language, and even are seldom found outside of the Rig-Veda.

a. To draw the line surely and distinctly between these and the mode-forms from other reduplicated tense-stems — the present-stem of the reduplicating class, the reduplicated aorist, and the intensive — is not possible, since no criterion of form exists which does not in some cases fail, and since the general equivalence of modal forms from all stems (582), and the common use of the perfect as a present in the Veda (823), deprive us of a criterion of meaning. There can be no reasonable doubt, however, that a considerable body of forms are to be reckoned here; optatives like ānaçyām and babhūyās and babhūyā́t, imperatives like babhūtu, subjunctives like jabhárat, show such distinctive characteristics of the perfect formation that by their analogy other similar words are confidently classed as belonging to the perfect.