177. Final

Final आस् ās before any sonant, whether vowel or consonant, loses its स् s, becoming simple आ ā; and a hiatus thus occasioned remains.

a. The maintenance of the hiatus in these cases, as in that of o and e and āi (above, 133–4), seems to indicate a recent loss of the intermediate sound. Opinions are divided as to what this should have been. Some of the native grammarians assimilate the case of ās to that of āi, assuming the conversion of āy in both alike—but probably only as a matter of formal convenience in rule-making.

b. Here, too (as in the similar cases of e and āi and o: 133 c, 176b), there are examples to be found, both earlier and later, of effacement of the hiatus.