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314. Accent in Declension

Accent in Declension.

a. As a rule without exception, the vocative, if accented at all, is accented on the first syllable.

b. And in the Veda (the case is a rare one), whenever a syllable written as one is to be pronounced as two by restoration of a semivowel to vowel form, the first element only has the vocative accent, and the syllable as written is circumflex (83–4): thus, dyāùs (i.e. díāus) when dissyllabic, but dyāús when monosyllabic; jyā̀ke when for jíāke.

c. But the vocative is accented only when it stands at the beginning of a sentence—or, in verse, at the beginning also of a metrical division or pāda; elsewhere it is accentless or enclitic: thus, ágne yáṁ yajñám paribhū́r ási (RV.) O Agni! whatever offering thou protectest; but úpa tvā ’gna é ’masi (RV.) unto thee, Agni, we come;;.

d. A word, or more than one word, qualifying a vocative—usually an adjective or appositive noun, but sometimes a dependent noun in the genitive (very rarely in any other case)—constitutes, so far as accent is concerned, a unity with the vocative: thus, (all the examples from RV.) at the beginning of a pāda, with first syllable of the combination accented, índra bhrātaḥ O brother Indra! rā́jan soma O king Soma! yáviṣṭha dūta most youthful messenger! hótar yaviṣṭha sukrato most youthful skilled officer! ū́rjo napāt sahasvan mighty son of strength!—in the interior of a pāda, without accent, sómāsa indra girvaṇaḥ the somas, O song-loving Indra! tā́v açvinā bhadrahastā supāṇi ye, O Açvins of propitious and beautiful hands! ā́ rājānā maha ṛtasya gopā hither, ye two kingly guardians of great order!

e. On the other hand, two or more independent or coordinate vocatives at the beginning of a pāda are regularly and usually both accented: thus, pítar mā́taḥ O father! O mother! ágna índra váruṇa mítra dévāḥ Agni! Indra! Varuṇa! Mitra! gods! çátamūte çátakrato thou of a hundred aids! of a hundred arts! vásiṣṭha çúkra dī́divaḥ pā́vaka best, bright, shining, cleansing one! ū́rjo napād bhádraçoce son of strength, propitiously bright one! But the texts offer occasional irregular exceptions both to this and to the preceding rule.

f. For brevity, the vocative dual and plural will be given in the paradigms below along with the nominative, without taking the trouble to specify in each instance that, if the latter be accented elsewhere than on the first syllable, the accent of the vocative is different.