101. Formation of compounds

Moreover, the formation of compounds, by joining two or more simple stems, is extremely frequent in Sanskrit; and this kind of combination has its own peculiar euphonic rules. And once more, in the form of the language as handed down to us by its literature, the words composing a sentence or paragraph are adapted to and combined with one another by nearly the same rules which govern the making of compounds; so that it is impossible to take apart and understand a Sanskrit sentence without knowing those rules. Hence an increased degree of practical importance belonging to the subject of euphonic combination.

a. This euphonic interdependence of the words of a sentence is unknown to any other language in anything like the same degree; and it cannot but be suspected of being at least in part artificial, implying an erection into necessary and invariable rules of what in the living language were only optional practices. This is strongly indicated, indeed, by the evidence of the older dialect of the Vedas and of the derived Prakritic dialects, in both of which some of the rules (especially that as to the hiatus: see 113) are often violated.