135. After final

After final ए e or ओ o, an initial अ a disappears.

a. The resulting accent is as if the a were not dropped, but rather absorbed into the preceding diphthong, having its tone duly represented in the combination. If, namely, the e or o is grave or circumflex and the a acute, the former becomes acute; if the e or o is acute and the a grave, the former becomes circumflex, as usually in the fusion of an acute a and a grave element. If both are acute or both grave, no change, of course, is seen in the result. Examples are:

ते ऽब्रुवन् tè ‘bruvan (té abruvan);

सो ऽब्रवीत् sò ‘bravīt (sáḥ abravīt);

हिंसितव्यो ऽग्निः hiṅsitavyò ‘gníḥ (hiṅsitavyàḥ agníḥ);

यदिन्द्रो ऽब्रवीत् yád índró ‘bravīt (yád índraḥ ábravīt);

यद्रान्यो ऽब्रवीत् yád rājanyó ‘bravīt (yád rājanàḥ ábravīt).

b. As to the use of the avagraha sign in the case of such an elision, see above, 16. In transliteration, the reversed apostrophe, or rough breathing, will be used in this work to represent it.

c. This elision or absorption of initial a after final e or o, which in the later language is the invariable rule, is in the Veda only an occasional occurrence. Thus, in the RV., out of nearly 4500 instances of such an initial a, it is, as the metre shows, to be really omitted only about seventy times; in the AV., less than 300 times out of about 1600. In neither work is there any accordance in respect to the combination in question between the written and the spoken form of the text: in RV., the a is (as written) elided in more than three quarters of the cases; in the AV., in about two thirds; and in both it is written in a number of instances where the metre requires its omission.

d. In a few cases, an initial ā is thus elided, especially that of ātman.

e. To the rules of vowel combination, as above stated, there are certain exceptions. Some of the more isolated of these will be noticed where they come up in the processes of inflection etc.; a few require mention here.