355. Polysyllabic Stems

Polysyllabic Stems. Stems of this division (A) of more than one syllable are very rare indeed in the later language, and by no means common in the earlier. The Rig-Veda, however, presents a not inconsiderable body of them; and as the class nearly dies out later, by the disuse of its stems or their transfer to other modes of declension, it may be best described on a Vedic basis.

a. Of stems in ā, masculines, half-a-dozen occur in the Veda: pánthā, mánthā, and ṛbhukṣā́ are otherwise viewed by the later grammar: see below, 433-4; uçánā (nom. pr.) has the anomalous nom. sing. uçánā (and loc. as well as dat. uçáne); mahā́ great is found only in accus. sing. and abundantly in composition; ā́tā frame has onlyā́tāsu not derivable from ā́ta.

b. Of stems in ī, over seventy are found in the Veda, nearly all feminines, and all accented on the final. Half of the feminines are formed from masculines with change of accent: thus, kalyāṇī́ (m. kalyā́ṇa), puruṣī́ (m. púruṣa); others show no change of accent: thus, yamī́ (m. yamá); others still have no corresponding masculines: thus, nadī́, lakṣmī́, sūrmī́. The masculines are about ten in number: for example, rathī́, prāvī́, starī́, ahī́, āpathī́.

c. Of stems in ū, the number is smaller: these, too, are nearly all feminines, and all accented on the final. The majority of them are the feminine adjectives in ū́ to masculines in ú or u (above, 344b): thus, caraṇyū́, cariṣṇū́, jighatsū́, madhū́. A few are nouns in ū́, with change of accent: thus, agrū́ (ágru), pṛdākū́ (pṛ́dāku), çvaçrū́(çváçura); or without change, as nṛtū́. And a few have no corresponding masculines: thus, tanū́, vadhū́, camū́. The masculines are only two ore three: namely, prāçū́,kṛkadāçū́, makṣū́ (?); and their forms are of the utmost rarity.