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402. The root slay

The root han slay, as final of a compound, is inflected somewhat like a derivative noun in an (below, 420 ff.), becoming  in the nom. sing., and losing its n in the middle cases and its a in the weakest cases (but only optionally in the loc. sing.). Further, when the vowel is lost, h in contact with following n reverts to its original gh. Thus:

Singular.Dual.Plural.
N.vṛtrahā́vṛtraháṇāuvṛtraháṇas
A.vṛtraháṇamvṛtraghnás
I.vṛtraghnā́vṛtrahábhyāmvṛtrahábhis
D.vṛtraghnévṛtrahábhyas
Ab.vṛtraghnás
G.vṛtraghnósvṛtraghnā́m
L.vṛtraghní, -háṇivṛtrahásu
V.vṛ́trahanvṛ́trahaṇāuvṛ́trahaṇas

a. As to the change of n to , see 193, 195.

b. A feminine is made by adding ī to, as usual, the stem-form shown in the weakest cases: thus, vṛtraghnī́.

c. An accus. pl. -hánas (like the nom.) also occurs. Vṛtrahábhis (RV., once) is the only middle case-form quotable from the older language. Transitions to the a-declension begin already in the Veda: thus, to - (RV. AV.), -ghná (RV.), -hana.