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Tocharian Online

Series Introduction

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Tocharian denotes two closely related languages of the Indo-European family, denoted simply Tocharian A and Tocharian B. Though quite similar, Tocharian A and B are now considered by most scholars to be two distinct languages, and not merely two dialects of one common language. It is still common practice, however, to use the term Tocharian to refer to both languages when no particular distinction needs to be made. The phrase "the Tocharian language" should be understood in this sense, not as implying any dialectal status of either A or B, but rather as a common euphemism for the two languages considered in terms where their differences are irrelevant.

Geographic Location

The Tocharian languages were first discovered in documents unearthed in expeditions to Chinese Turkestan (East Turkestan, or Xinjiang); the sites are located along what was once the Silk Road. One primary site of Tocharian remains is Turfan. Turfan lies to the north of the Tarim Basin, a depression situated to the northeast of the Takla Makan Desert. A second major source of Tocharian documents is Kučā, a city to the west of Turfan, in the center of the northern boundary of the Takla Makan Desert. A third major site, Tumšuq, forms the extreme western boundary of Tocharian finds. This lies along the northern rim of the desert, between Kučā and Kašgʰar, a city at the desert's western extreme.

Tocharian A is found only in the region of Turfan and Qārāšahr (Karashahr), a nearby oasis located to the west roughly midway between Turfan and Kučā. Tocharian B, by contrast, is found throughout the entirety of this branch of the Silk Road, from Turfan in the east to Tumšuq in the west. Some sources therefore refer to Tocharian A as East Tocharian or Turfanian, since Turfan is at the easternmost extent of the Tocharian sites. Occasionally it is termed Agnean, referring to the Sanskrit designation Agni for Qārāšahr. In this context, Tocharian B is referred to as West Tocharian (though it is found in the east, too) or Kuchean.

Tocharian Texts

The Tocharian documents all date to a period roughly between the sixth and eighth centuries AD. The materials are predominantly translations of Buddhist texts which were in common circulation in Central Asia. This of course is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, the well-known content assists in the process of decipherment; on the other hand, it provides very little information about the people who spoke the language. There are, however, some texts that are not translations of Buddhist progenitors, including monastic and business letters, caravan passes, and graffiti. These secular documents are all written in Tocharian B, leading some scholars to conclude that Tocharian A, by the time the surviving documents were written, may already have been an extinct language, preserved only as the liturgical language -- much as Latin was, in Europe. The relative paucity of such secular documents, however, necessarily makes such conclusions tentative.

Most of the Tocharian texts were in origin parts of monastic library collections, or left in monasteries as votive offerings. Often, parts of these documents were picked up by the wind and swept out into the desert, making the number of complete Tocharian documents quite small and making the manner of recovery at times haphazard. The Tocharian documents are not found in isolation. Tocharian manuscripts from monastery libraries naturally lie side by side with Sanskrit manuscripts of the same era. At times texts in other languages, such as Old Persian and Uyghur, are found alongside the Tocharian texts. Occasionally documents in gāndʰārī, a Middle Indic language, are found in the same areas, but they date to an earlier era. The texts themselves were predominantly written in a variant of the north Indian Brāhmī script, which was also used for the nearby Middle Iranian language Tumshuqese. There are however some Tocharian B documents that employ Manichean script (used to spread writings of the Manichean religion, which originated in the Mesopotamian region).

The Name "Tocharian"

The name "Tocharian" (German Tocharisch) was proposed first by F. W. K. Müller in 1907, and a year later by the renowned pair of Tocharianists Sieg and Siegling. This name is now thought to be a misnomer, but nevertheless remains due to sheer inertia and the lack of a definitive replacement.

The origin of the name goes back to the discovery of an Old Turkic (Uyghur) text Maitrisimit nom bitig, a translation of the Buddhist Sanskrit Maitreyasamiti-Nāṭaka. The colophon of the work states (Adams, pp. 2-3):

"The sacred book Maitreya-samiti which the Bodhisattva guru ācārya Āryacandra, who was born in the country of Nagaradeśa, had composed in the Twγry languages out of the Indian language, and which the guru ācārya Prajñarakṣita, who was born in Il-bliq, translated from the Twγry language into the Turkish language."

Thus a certain Āryacandra composed the original work here referred to as Maitrisimit nom bitig. This is the same name as the composer of the Indic Maitreyasamiti-Nāṭaka, so that the identification of the original text appears to be solid. Apparently this work was then translated into toxrï (Twγry), and from that translated by the present author, Prajñarakṣita, into Old Turkic (Uyghur).

Sieg and Siegling assumed that the intermediary language, toxrï, was the language which is the subject of these lessons, and that this language toxrï is identical to Greek To'kʰaroi and Sanskrit Tukʰāra, denoting inhabitants of Bactria. In some scholarly accounts, the inhabitants of this area were known as the Indo-Scythians, and so Sieg and Siegling proposed the name Tocharisch for the language of the Indo-Scythians.

Research and newly discovered documents have proven this identification to be untenable. The language of the Indo-Scythians is now termed Bactrian, and this language has left a number of loanwords in the languages now termed Tocharian. Tocharian, however, seems not to have left any linguistic traces in Bactrian, so these two cultures were likely never in direct contact.

What is clear is that toxrï is the name of Tocharian from the point of view of the Turkic people. This term, however, does not appear in the Tocharian languages themselves. In Tocharian A we find ārśi as a term likely denoting the Tocharians themselves. In Tocharian B we find the adjective kuśiññe, derived from kuśi (also kuci), the name of a dynasty and state also known from Chinese documents. The Turkic people also mention a language küšän (also küsän) from the Tarim Basin. One bilingual document listing first Sanskrit and then Tocharian B has the pair tokʰarikaḥ : kucaññe iṣṭʰake, but this is not as helpful as one would hope, since tokʰarika (Gk. To'kʰaroi ?) is not the name of any known people.

The Position of Tocharian in Indo-European

In terms of geography, Tocharian is the easternmost of all the ancient Indo-European languages. Tocharian also appears to be a so-called centum language, meaning that the Proto-Indo-European palatovelars became true velars. This, coupled with its geographical location, came as a shock to the historical linguistics community. The other centum languages included the Celtic, Germanic, Italic, and Hellenic branches of Indo-European -- all located to the west of the ancient Indo-European speech community. Tocharian thus broke down the geographical interpretation of the centum-satem dialectal division, which held that the centum speakers formed a western dialect group in the original Indo-European community, and the satem speakers, an eastern group.

Though certainly Indo-European in heritage, Tocharian shows a number of departures from its historical source. In particular, it is notable for having a reduced phonetic inventory in comparison to other Indo-European languages, the Tocharian stop consonants (e.g. p, t, k) being all voiceless (e.g. no equivalents to English b, d, g). Tocharian likewise seems to have lost a number of original cases of the Indo-European noun, and then developed a new and enlarged system. These cases tend to have what linguists call an agglutinative structure similar to that found in Japanese or in Turkic languages (among others), and this combined with the reduced inventory of stop consonants leads many scholars to believe that Tocharian went through a long period of extended contact with western and central Asian language groups such as Uralic, Turkic, and Mongolian. (The above technical terms will be explained in the course of the lessons, but the reader may at any time use the Table of Contents to locate discussion of a particular topic.)

Acknowledgements

These lessons have benefitted from the assistance of a number of first-rate scholars, in particular Professor Douglas Q. Adams of the University of Idaho and Professor Georges-Jean Pinault of the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. These scholars have graciously offered their assistance in various ways, including the selection and translation of texts and answering the author's many questions on points of Tocharian grammar. They have shown great support and enthusiasm for the project, and the lessons are far better for their generous input. No less important have been the many suggestions for improvement made by Dr. Stephie Nikoloudis. The author extends to all of them his sincerest thanks. For various reasons, however, the author has occasionally not been able to follow their advice, much to his own peril; he is of course solely responsible for any errors of omission or commission that remain in these lessons.

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Tocharian Online

Lesson 1

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Proto-Indo-European: a Brief Overview

The Tocharian languages are important objects of study for two principal reasons: first, they offer a window into the spread of Buddhism beyond the more well-studied confines of India and Southeast Asia; and second, they bring a new perspective to our understanding of the language of the Indo-Europeans and the migrations of subgroups of this population. The latter point concerns us in this section.

The relation of Tocharian to the other Indo-European languages is not an incidental fact only of interest to historical linguists. This relation in fact has useful pedagogical implications. This can be seen by imagining the ways in which one might approach the learning of Tocharian. On the one hand since, on a synchronic level, at the time of the Tocharian documents the language seemed to be a relative isolate, we may study the language in isolation. From that point of view we are free to organize our description of the language in any manner whatsoever. But in doing so, the language will appear a fairly complex jumble of facts, given the number of nominal and verbal paradigms, and we will have little recourse to bring to bear in any coherent sense knowledge we may have gained from the study of other languages.

On the other hand, we may use a knowledge of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) as an organizing principle. A reader may wonder how, if he or she does not already know Proto-Indo-European, this could be a benefit at all. When a historical linguist speaks of "Proto-Indo-European", in the strictest sense this simply denotes a collection of information about the common traits of a large swath of languages spreading in archaic times from Iceland to India (and now China, as these lessons will help demonstrate). From this viewpoint, understanding some information about Proto-Indo-European shows one how knowledge of certain individual languages --- e.g. English, French, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit --- can be imported systematically to the understanding of several additional languages. Specifically, by stating that Tocharian is like, or unlike, PIE in certain specific respects, we may thus view Tocharian against the backdrop of a large number of well-studied languages. In this way, for example, a Buddhist scholar who knows Sanskrit may not only use his or her knowledge of Sanskrit Buddhist vocabulary in learning Tocharian vocabulary; but he or she may also use Sanskrit grammatical structure as a point of comparison for the understanding of Tocharian grammatical structure. Certainly he or she will draw parallels between Tocharian and Sanskrit when they show obvious similarities, as anyone would do in learning a new subject of any sort. But the PIE perspective adds more: one finds out how certain features of PIE still extant in Sanskrit --- but not in Tocharian --- may have developed through a logical sequence of steps into what one actually finds in Tocharian. Thus even the differences between Tocharian and other languages like Sanskrit often become logical in a certain manner of speaking. Moreover, one finds that these similarities and differences are linked to a large number of other languages which the reader may go on to study in the future.

A specific example may help to illustrate the point. Consider the Tocharian verb AB āk- 'lead', whose present tense active forms we list below.

Present   A   B
Active        
1 Sg.   kam   kau
2   t   t
3   äṣ   äṃ
         
1 Pl.   kamäs   kem(o)
2   äc   cer
3   keñc   keṃ

Note the seemingly haphazard alternation of the root-final consonant between -k- and -ś-. As given above, one must simply memorize which forms should have -ś-, with no apparent rhyme or reason. However, if we set beside the above forms the paradigm of the Greek root ag- 'lead', we find the following.

Present   A   B   Greek
Active            
1 Sg.   kam   kau   ág-
2   t   t   ág-eis
3   äṣ   äṃ   ág-ei
             
1 Pl.   kamäs   kem(o)   ág-omen
2   äc   cer   ág-ete
3   keñc   keṃ   ág-ousi

We see that Tocharian shows the original -k- precisely where the Greek ending shows an o-type vowel, and Tocharian shows -ś- precisely where the Greek ending shows an e-type vowel. The PIE perspective formalizes this relation, stipulating what features of PIE the Greek paradigm reflects, and how those PIE features propagated within Tocharian. If the reader does not happen to be familiar with Greek, this poses little problem; Indo-European languages are numerous, and Tocharian is related to all of them. By virtue of the fact that these lessons are in English, we can rest assured that the reader knows at least one (other) Indo-European language!

With this in mind, the organization of the present work will pay attention to how Tocharian developed out of PIE. Remarkably, this attention to the historical development of Tocharian from PIE not only serves as a useful mnemonic for, e.g., when root-final -k- shifts to -ś-. A second benefit derives from taking a slightly more "substantial" view of PIE, that is, by saying that PIE or something very similar was in fact a real language spoken by a real group of inhabitants of a certain area. Endowing PIE with substance in this way, and adding the postulate that (in the age before telecommunication) divergences in linguistic features correspond to increasing geographical isolation, the historical linguist may map linguistic changes onto rather coarse-grained routes of migration. That is, sometimes the way in which a language changes tells us about where its speakers have been. In this manner, when the predominantly Buddhist texts of Tocharian fail to tell us about where the Tocharians came from, the structures of the language can speak for themselves and reveal parts of their history otherwise lost to the dust.

Phonology

Historical linguistics opened up as a scientific discipline with the recognition that sound changes are regular. That is to say, if a sound change occurs in a speech community, that change occurs in a fashion almost exclusively conditioned by phonetic environment, not by what particular word the sound happens to be found in. Thus for example, the change of to o that took Old English bān to Modern English bone affected not only the of the word bān, but all s throughout the language. Hence hām also became home.

Given this regularity, that is, this ability to describe the "laws" of sound changes, the historical linguistic endeavor begins to resemble that of physics. In physics, the great minds discover by hook or by crook the rules by which to derive the final states of systems given knowledge of their initial states. Similarly in historical linguistics, and specifically historical phonology, one postulates an initial state -- the phonological system of Proto-Indo-European -- and applies rules of sound change to this initial state in order to arrive at the phonological systems of the daughter languages.

If one knows the sound rules, then one only needs the starting point to arrive at the end result. In historical linguistic terms, one calls the starting point (for the languages that concern us here) Proto-Indo-European. If one knows the rules that take the phonemes of PIE to, say, the phonemes of Latin, then all one needs is the starting point -- the phonological inventory of PIE -- to predict the phonological inventory of Latin. Of course, in practice the situation is a little more difficult, on the one hand because one has to work in reverse (e.g. we already know the phonological system of Latin), and on the other hand because neither the PIE phonological system nor the rules of derivation are known a priori. Thus one must hypothesize a PIE phonological system, hypothesize rules of derivation, and then change one or both in a give-and-take manner until one can cogently arrive at the phonological system of Latin with a minimum of exceptions to the rules. (This is not as ad hoc or "unscientific" as it may appear: after all, in physics one knows the outcome of experiments. Given that, one then has to reason or guess to figure out a law that explains those results. Only then may one proceed to try to predict new results using the law that explained the old results.) These rules are generally in the form of correspondences, stating that some specific PIE sound corresponds to an equally specific Latin sound (perhaps with the attendant necessity of specifying the surrounding environment in which one sound corresponds to the other). The following table shows an example of correspondences between PIE and Latin phonemes.

PIE   Latin               PIE   Latin               PIE   Latin    
    Init.   Med.               Init.   Med.               Init.   Med.
*p   p   p           *b   b   b           *bʰ   f   b
*t   t   t           *d   d   d           *dʰ   f   d (b)
*k   c   c           *g   g   g           *gʰ   h (f)   g (h)
*kʷ   qu   qu           *gʷ   v   v           *gʷʰ   f   gu (v)

This says, for example, that the initial *gʰ- and the medial *-bʰ- of PIE *gʰabʰ- correspond respectively to the h- and -b- of Latin habēre 'have'.

One may ask: where does this get us? After all, we already knew the Latin phonological system! A simple example may illustrate the point. Grimm's Law is the well-known set of rules relating the PIE phonetic inventory to the Germanic phonetic inventory. Simply applying Grimm's Law to the PIE root *gʰabʰ- leads one eventually to Modern English give. Thus, Latin habēre 'have' is related to Modern English give, and not to the Modern English word have, though they look similar orthographically. The point: one infers that perhaps the original PIE root *gʰabʰ- must have originally contained semantic elements of both 'give' and 'have'. This correspondence and others among etymologically related words across the Indo-European languages allow historical linguists to reconstruct, not just a Proto-Indo-European language, but a Proto-Indo-European culture based on ties of reciprocal giving. Presented as such, this hypothesis would be nothing more than a vague speculation. But further investigation shows that cultural traits of just this sort remain preserved in the Greek literary heritage of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. The impact is twofold: First, we may then see these traits of Homeric culture not as an isolated idiosyncracy, but as a traditional viewpoint maintained over the centuries; second, we gain insight into the Proto-Indo-European culture itself, a culture which left no written records whatsoever, merely by careful consideration of rules relating the sounds of the languages of the daughter cultures!

In the early period of historical linguistic investigation, familiarity with ancient languages like Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and Gothic and with their modern relatives such as Italian, Modern Greek, Hindi, and German, led scholars to believe that the evolution of languages followed a general principle of phonological and morphological simplification. In postulating the phonological system of PIE, scholars thus posited the most ornate of the systems they had encountered, which happened to be that of Sanskrit. The various points of stop consonant articulation, such as the lips, then had a complete series of four phonemes: *p, *pʰ, *b, *bʰ. Similarly for the dental stops, palatals, and velars. Sanskrit was thus supposed to be the only language to keep the stops unchanged, while other languages simply lost one or other of the consonants.

With closer inspection of the relationships among the Indo-European languages, as well as the discovery of hitherto unknown members of the family such as Hittite, whose documents were older than those of any other Indo-European language but whose consonant inventory was far simpler than that of Sanskrit, scholars finally had to abandon the equation of the Sanskrit and PIE systems. In the common understanding of the PIE consonant inventory, there are no voiceless aspirates (e.g. *pʰ), but only voiceless non-aspirates (e.g. *p), voiced non-aspirates (*b), and voiced aspirates (*bʰ).

The current reconstruction of the PIE system of stop consonants is given in the following table.

    Labial   Dental   Palatal   Velar   Labiovelar
Voiceless   p   t     k  
Voiced   b   d     g  
Voiced Asp.       ǵʰ     gʷʰ

The labiovelar consonants are similar to their velar counterparts, but with a simultaneous rounding of the lips. Examples of their remnants in daughter languages are Latin quid, Hittite kwit, Old English hwæt (this initial labiovelar is still preserved in some pronunciations of Modern English what, e.g. in midwestern dialects of the United States).

Centum vs. Satem

In truth, no ancient Indo-European language maintains all of the Indo-European stop consonants intact. One of the major changes that occurs between the period of PIE and that of the daughter languages is the merger of series (that is, the merger of columns in the preceding table). The principal merger is that between velars and palatals on the one hand, and between velars and labiovelars on the other hand. These mergers divide the IE languages into two groups, called the centum and satem groups. Specifically, the groups show mergers as follows.

The general situation is outlined in the following chart.

Mergers   Centum   PIE   Satem
    *kʷ   *kʷ   *k
    *k   *k   *k
    *k   *ḱ   *ḱ

There are similar correspondences for the voiced non-aspirates, e.g. PIE *g, and the voiced aspirates, e.g. PIE *gʰ. The following chart provides a specific illustration of the above.

Examples   Latin   PIE   Sanskrit
    quod   *od   kát
    cruor   *kreuh₂   kravíṣ
    centum   *ṃtóm   śata'm

One may liken this process to a much later change which took place within the Romance language family, whereby the c- (pronounced [k]) of Latin centum became the c- (pronounced [s]) of Spanish cien. This shows a similar assibilation process to that found in the satem group, though the change in the Romance group occurred thousands of years later.

This merger of PIE series had the effect of giving all the ancient IE languages situated to the east a common linguistic trait, and similarly all those to the west a common trait. Specifically, the language families grouped as follows.

The centum and satem dialectal grouping thus correlated with a geographic grouping, much the way the use of y'all distinguishes Southern American English from other American English dialects.

The discovery of Tocharian, however, put an end to this neat correlation between linguistic and geographic affiliation. The Tocharian word for 'hundred' is A känt B kante, showing an initial velar k-. This squarely associates Tocharian with the other centum subfamilies. The latter lie in the west, however, while Tocharian alone among them appears in the east. Thus Tocharian's linguistic traits undercut the correlation between geography and the centum-satem division, in much the same way that y'all would fail to distinguish Southern American English from northern dialects if that pronoun suddenly were to become common in, say, Connecticut.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following text is an excerpt in Tocharian A from the Buddhist Puṇyavanta-Jātaka. This text was initially published in Sieg and Siegling's Tocharische Sprachreste, Leipzig 1921. Somewhat later George Lane published the text and translation in English in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan. -- Mar. 1947), 33-53. Though much has been learned about Tocharian in the time since Lane's translation, the article still remains a very useful starting point, providing a translation that generally remains close to the original text.

As Lane points out, the Tocharian text does not provide a previously unknown text; the Puṇyavanta-Jātaka was already known to scholarship via Sanskrit texts. This is often the case with Tocharian manuscripts. What is revealing, however, is that as Sieg et al. and Lane note, the Tocharian version turns the style of composition on its head. Rather than giving prominence to the actual exploits of the story's protagonists (as is done in the Sanskrit version), the Tocharian version instead gives overwhelming prominence to the stories told before the protagonists start their journey. The Tocharian version also downplays some of the erotic overtones found in the Mahāvastu version, thus showing a different moral perspective. Such changes hold interest for the Buddhist scholar in delineating the fluidity of Buddhist doctrine within the different cultures in which it took hold. But they also hold interest for the Tocharian scholar inasmuch as they are clues to the cultural fabric of the Tocharian peoples themselves.

A linguistic study of the text shows features of a languages in transition. In particular we note in verse 10 the phrase poñcäṃ saṃsāris --- a noun in the genitive takes a modifier in the oblique. We will see in the course of the next few lessons how this demonstrates that the new inflectional cases being generated within the Tocharian language family are beginning to overtake the older inflectional cases inherited directly from the common parent of the Indo-European languages.

1 - kāsu ñom-klyu tsraṣiśśi śäk kälymentwaṃ sätkatär.
        yärk ynāñmune nam poto tsraṣṣuneyā pukäṣ kälpnāl;
        yuknāl ymāräk yäsluñcäs, kälpnāl ymāräk yātlune.

  • kāsu -- adjective 3; masculine singular nominative of <kāsu> good -- good
  • ñom-klyu -- noun 3 2; <ñom> name + noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <klyu> fame -- The... fame
  • tsraṣiśśi -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural genitive of <tsraṣi> energetic -- of the strong
  • śäk -- numeral indeclinable; <śäk> ten -- ten
  • kälymentwaṃ -- noun 1 2 /3.2; mf pl loc of <kälyme> direction, path, path to heaven -- in the... directions
  • sätkatär -- verb base present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <sätk-> spread -- spreads
  • yärk -- noun 3 1; alternating singular oblique of <yärk> reverence -- Reverence # The nominative and oblique forms of this noun are identical. To choose which form, compare the following construction (below) with yuknāl... yäsluñcäs, where the latter noun can only be oblique plural.
  • ynāñmune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <ynāñmune> esteem -- respect
  • nam -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <nam> bow, obeisance -- obeisance
  • poto -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <poto> flattery, obeisance -- (and) honor
  • tsraṣṣuneyā -- noun 3 2; alternating singular perlative of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- through strength
  • pukäṣ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular ablative of <puk> all, every, whole -- from everyone # Note secondary case built from the nominative singular stem puk rather than the general oblique poñc-.
  • kälpnāl -- verb base gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <kälp-> attain -- (are) to be attained
  • yuknāl -- verb base gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <yuk-> conquer, overcome -- to be conquered... (are)
  • ymāräk -- adverb; <ymār> quickly -- quickly
  • yäsluñcäs -- substantive adjective 4; masculine plural oblique of <yäslu> enemy -- enemies
  • kälpnāl -- verb base gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <kälp-> attain -- to be attained... (is)
  • ymāräk -- adverb; <ymār> quickly -- quickly
  • yātlune -- verb base abstract; singular oblique of <yāt-> be able, be capable -- prosperity

2 - tsraṣiśśi māk niṣpalntu tsraṣiśśi māk śkaṃ ṣñaṣṣeñ.
        nämseñc yäsluṣ tsraṣisac, kunseñc yärkant tsraṣisac.
        tsraṣiñ waste wrasaśśi, tsraṣiśśi mā praski naṣ.

  • tsraṣiśśi -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural genitive of <tsraṣi> energetic -- Of the strong
  • māk -- adjective indeclinable; <māk> much -- (there are) great
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- riches
  • tsraṣiśśi -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural genitive of <tsraṣi> energetic -- Of the strong
  • māk -- adjective indeclinable; <māk> much -- (are)... many
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also -- also
  • ṣñaṣṣeñ -- noun 6 4; masculine plural nominative of <ṣñaṣṣe> relation, relative -- relatives
  • nämseñc -- verb present 8; 3 plural active of <näm-> bow, bend -- bow down
  • yäsluṣ -- substantive adjective 4; masculine plural nominative of <yäslu> enemy -- enemies
  • tsraṣisac -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural allative of <tsraṣi> energetic -- before the strong
  • kunseñc -- verb present 10; 3 plural active of <käm-> come -- come
  • yärkant -- noun 3 1; alternating plural oblique of <yärk> reverence -- honors
  • tsraṣisac -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural allative of <tsraṣi> energetic -- to the strong
  • tsraṣiñ -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural nominative of <tsraṣi> energetic -- The strong
  • waste -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <waste> protection -- (are) the protection
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- of creatures
  • tsraṣiśśi -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural genitive of <tsraṣi> energetic -- of the strong
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- no
  • praski -- noun 3 2; masculine singular nominative of <praski> anxiety, dread -- fear
  • naṣ -- verb suppletive base present 2; 3 singular active of <nas-> be -- there is # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.

3 - tämyo kāsu tsraṣṣune pukaṃ pruccamo ñi pälskaṃ.

  • tämyo -- adverb; <tämyo> by this, from this, therefore -- Therefore
  • kāsu -- adjective 3; masculine singular nominative of <kāsu> good -- (is) good
  • tsraṣṣune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- strength
  • pukaṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular locative of <puk> all, every, whole -- (and) in every (way)
  • pruccamo -- adjective 4; masculine singular nominative of <pruccamo> excellent, superior -- the best (thing)
  • ñi -- pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <näṣ, ñuk> I -- my
  • pälskaṃ -- noun; alternating singular locative of <pältsäk> thought, opinion -- in... opinion

4 - tsraṣṣuneyo tämne neṣ praṣtaṃ Siddʰārtʰes lānt se Sarvārtʰasiddʰe bodʰisattu sāmudraṃ kārp, ñemiṣiṃ praṅkā yeṣ.
  • tsraṣṣuneyo -- noun 3 2; alternating singular instrumental of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- By means of strength
  • tämne -- adverb; <tämne> so, thus -- thus
  • neṣ -- adjective indeclinable; <neṣ> earlier, prior -- earlier
  • praṣtaṃ -- noun; feminine singular locative of <praṣt> time -- at an... time
  • Siddʰārtʰes -- noun; masculine singular genitive of <Siddʰārtʰe> Siddhartha, name of the father of the Bodhisattva Sarvarthasiddha -- Siddhartha
  • lānt -- noun 7; masculine singular oblique of <wäl> king -- of king # Though oblique in form, the function is genitive in apposition with Siddʰārtʰes
  • se -- noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <se> son -- the son
  • Sarvārtʰasiddʰe -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <Sarvārtʰasiddʰe> Sarvathasiddhe, name of a Bodhisattva -- Sarvarthasiddha
  • bodʰisattu -- noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <bodʰisattu> bodhisattva, a saint who foregoes Nirvana to help others -- the Bodhisattva
  • sāmudraṃ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular locative of <sāmudtär> ocean -- upon the ocean # Skt. samudra
  • kārp -- verb base preterite 1; 3 singular active of <kārp-> step down to, descend -- descended
  • ñemiṣiṃ -- adjective 1 1; masculine singular oblique of <ñemiṣi> related to jewels, of jewels -- of jewels
  • praṅkā -- noun 5 1; masculine singular perlative of <praṅk> island -- to the island # Note the absence of a nasal following the velar; cf. the perlative singular oṅknā (class 5.1)
  • yeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active of <i-> go -- He went

5 - ñemintuyo ypic olyiyaṃ sārtʰ Jambudvipac pe yāmuräṣ, ṣpät koṃsā kñukac wraṃ kälk, ṣpät koṃsā pokenā kälk, ṣpät koṃsā lyomaṃ kälk.
  • ñemintuyo -- noun 3 2; alternating plural instrumental of <ñemi> jewel -- with jewels
  • ypic -- adjective indeclinable; <ypic> full, complete -- filled
  • olyiyaṃ -- noun; feminine singular locative of <olyi> ship -- in a ship
  • sārtʰ -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <sārtʰ> caravan, campaign, troop -- a caravan # Skt. sārtʰa
  • Jambudvipac -- noun; masculine singular allative of <Jambudvip> Jambudvipa -- to Jambudvipa
  • pe -- conjunction; <pe> also -- also
  • yāmuräṣ -- suppletive absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <yām> make -- With... having been made # This is an r-stem substantive built from the preterite participle of the verb yām 'make'. The syntax parallels the Sanskrit absolute construction.
  • ṣpät -- numeral indeclinable; <ṣpät> seven -- seven
  • koṃsā -- noun 5 3; masculine plural perlative of <koṃ> day, sun -- for... days
  • kñukac -- noun; singular allative of <kñuk> neck -- up to the neck
  • wraṃ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular locative of <wär> water -- in water
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite 1; 3 singular active of <kälk-> go -- he walked # The stem i- is employed in the present; kälk- in the subjunctive and preterite.
  • ṣpät -- numeral indeclinable; <ṣpät> seven -- seven
  • koṃsā -- noun 5 3; masculine plural perlative of <koṃ> day, sun -- for... days
  • pokenā -- noun 6 2; feminine paral perlative of <poke> arm -- with the arms
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite 1; 3 singular active of <kälk-> go -- he walked # The stem i- is employed in the present; kälk- in the subjunctive and preterite.
  • ṣpät -- numeral indeclinable; <ṣpät> seven -- seven
  • koṃsā -- noun 5 3; masculine plural perlative of <koṃ> day, sun -- for... days
  • lyomaṃ -- noun; singular locative of <lyom> mud -- in mud
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite 1; 3 singular active of <kälk-> go -- he walked # The stem i- is employed in the present; kälk- in the subjunctive and preterite.

6 - ṣpät koṃsā wälts pältwāyo oplāsyo wraṃ opläṣ oplā kārnmāṃ kälkoräṣ, päñ kursärwā ārṣlāsyo rarkusāṃ tkanā kälk.
  • ṣpät -- numeral indeclinable; <ṣpät> seven -- seven
  • koṃsā -- noun 5 3; masculine plural perlative of <koṃ> day, sun -- for... days
  • wälts -- numeral 3 2; singular oblique of <wälts> thousand -- a thousand
  • pältwāyo -- noun 1 2; alternating plural instrumental of <pält> blade, leaf -- with... leaves
  • oplāsyo -- noun 6 3; feminine plural instrumental of <oppal> lotus -- with lotuses # Skt. utpala
  • wraṃ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular locative of <wär> water -- in water
  • opläṣ -- noun 6 3; feminine singular ablative of <oppal> lotus -- from lotus # Skt. utpala
  • oplā -- noun 6 3; feminine singular perlative of <oppal> lotus -- to lotus # Skt. utpala
  • kārnmāṃ -- verb present participle mediopassive; masculine singular nominative of <kārp-> step down to, descend -- ascending
  • kälkoräṣ -- verb suppletive absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <kälk-> go -- he went # For the absolutive form, cf. note on yāmuräṣ in verse 5. The stem i- is employed in the present; kälk- in the subjunctive and preterite.
  • päñ -- numeral; <päñ> five -- five
  • kursärwā -- noun 1 2; alternating plural oblique of <kursär> mile, vehicle -- leagues # Skt. yojana; note also the use of the oblique (IE accusative) where in parallael constructions such as ṣpät koṃsā the perlative is employed
  • ārṣlāsyo -- noun 6 3; feminine plural instrumental of <ārṣal> serpent -- by snakes
  • rarkusāṃ -- verb causative preterite participle; feminine singular oblique of <räk-> cover oneself, be covered -- covered
  • tkanā -- noun 5 3; feminine singular perlative of <tkaṃ> earth -- through a place
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite 1; 3 singular active of <kälk-> go -- he walked # The stem i- is employed in the present; kälk- in the subjunctive and preterite.

7 - tmäṣ rākṣtsāśśi dvipaṃ yeṣ, tmäṣ yakṣāśśi, tmäṣ Baladvipaṃ yeṣ.
  • tmäṣ -- adverb; <tmäṣ> thereupon, then -- Thereupon
  • rākṣtsāśśi -- noun 6 3; masculine plural genitive of <rākṣats> (type of) monster -- of the Raksasas # Skt. rākṣasa
  • dvipaṃ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular locative of <dvip> island -- to the island # Skt. dvīpa
  • yeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active of <i-> go -- he went
  • tmäṣ -- adverb; <tmäṣ> thereupon, then -- then
  • yakṣāśśi -- noun 6 3; masculine plural genitive of <yakäṣ> (type of) demon -- (to the island) of the Yaksas # Skt. yakṣa
  • tmäṣ -- adverb; <tmäṣ> thereupon, then -- ...
  • Baladvipaṃ -- noun; alternating singular locative of <Baladvip> Baladvipa (name of an island) -- to Baladvipa
  • yeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active of <i-> go -- he went

8 - tmäṣ śtwar-wäknā ārṣlāsyo rarkuñcäs iṣanäs kcäk. śtwar-wäknā speṣinäs kluṃtsäsyo sopis Sāgares lānt lāñci waṣt pāṣäntās śāwes empeles nākās āsuk kätkoräṣ, Sāgareṃ lāntäṣ cindāmaṇi wmār toriṃ kälpāt, poñcäṃ Jambudvipis ekrorñe wawik.
  • tmäṣ -- adverb; <tmäṣ> thereupon, then -- Thereupon
  • śtwar-wäknā -- numeral; masculine/feminine of <śtwar> four + noun 3 1; alternating singular perlative of <wkäṃ> manner, type -- four sorts of
  • ārṣlāsyo -- noun 6 3; feminine plural instrumental of <ārṣal> serpent -- by... snakes
  • rarkuñcäs -- verb causative preterite participle; masculine plural oblique of <räk-> cover oneself, be covered -- covered
  • iṣanäs -- noun 5; masculine plural oblique of <yṣaṃ> ditch, moat -- the moats
  • kcäk -- verb base preterite 1; 3 singular active of <kätk-> go beyond, exceed -- he traversed
  • śtwar-wäknā -- numeral; masculine/feminine of <śtwar> four + noun 3 1; alternating singular perlative of <wkäṃ> manner, type -- four sorts of
  • speṣinäs -- adjective 1 1; masculine plural oblique of <speṣi> rock-crystalline, of rock crystal -- Sphatika # Skt. spʰaṭika
  • kluṃtsäsyo -- noun; plural instrumental of <kluṃts> thread -- with... thread
  • sopis -- noun 6 1; plural oblique of <sopi> net -- nets # Skt. jāla
  • Sāgares -- noun; masculine singular genitive of <Sāgare> Sagara (name of a king) -- Sagara
  • lānt -- noun 7; masculine singular oblique of <wäl> king -- of king # Though oblique in form, the function is genitive in apposition with Siddʰārtʰes
  • lāñci -- adjective 1; masculine singular oblique of <lāñci> kingly, of a king -- the royal
  • waṣt -- noun 1 2; alternating singular oblique of <waṣt> house -- house
  • pāṣäntās -- verb present participle active; masculine plural oblique of <pās-> guard -- guarding
  • śāwes -- adjective 1; masculine plural oblique of <śāwe> (only plural) big -- the great # The adjective tsopats 'big' is used in the singular; śāwe 'big' in the plural.
  • empeles -- adjective 2 4; masculine plural oblique of <empele> awful -- awful
  • nākās -- noun 6 3; masculine plural oblique of <nāk> serpent -- Nagas # Skt. nāga
  • āsuk -- preverb; <āsuk> over -- completely # Skt. ati
  • kätkoräṣ -- verb absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <kätk-> go beyond, exceed -- having traversed # For the absolutive form, cf. note on yāmuräṣ in verse 5.
  • Sāgareṃ -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <Sāgare> Sagara (name of a king) -- Sagara
  • lāntäṣ -- noun 7; masculine singular ablative of <wäl> king -- from king
  • cindāmaṇi -- noun; alternating singular oblique of <cintāmaṇi> 'wish-jewel' (a type of precious stone) -- Cintamani- # Skt. cintāmaṇi
  • wmār -- noun 5 3; feminine singular oblique of <wmār> jewel, pearl -- stone
  • toriṃ -- adverb; <toriṃ> finally -- ...
  • kälpāt -- verb base preterite 1; 3 singular mediopassive of <kälp-> attain -- he obtained
  • poñcäṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular oblique of <puk> all, every, whole -- all
  • Jambudvipis -- noun; masculine singular genitive of <Jambudvip> Jambudvipa -- Of... Jambudvipa
  • ekrorñe -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <ekrorñe> poverty -- the sickness
  • wawik -- verb causative preterite 2; 3 singular active of <wik-> decrease -- he caused to disappear

9 - ślak śkaṃ -- Ṣāmnernaṃ

māski kätkāläṃ ktäṅkeñc tsraṣiñ sāmuddrä,
        traidʰātuk saṃsār tsraṣṣuneyo ktäṅkeñc kraṃś.
        kälpnāntär toriṃ puttiśparäṃ wärṣṣältse.
        mā=pärmāt tsru-yärm yātal yatsi tsraṣṣune.

  • ślak -- preposition; <śla> (together) with + emphatic particle; <-k> (emphatic particle), indeed, even -- so
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- And
  • Ṣāmnernaṃ -- noun; singular locative of <ṣāmner> novice -- in samner-meter
  • māski -- adverb; <māski> hard -- difficult
  • kätkāläṃ -- verb base gerundive 2; masculine singular oblique of <kätk-> go beyond, exceed -- to cross
  • ktäṅkeñc -- verb base present 6; 3 plural active of <kätk-> go beyond, exceed -- cross
  • tsraṣiñ -- substantive 6 1; masculine plural nominative of <tsraṣi> energetic -- the strong
  • sāmuddrä -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <sāmudtär> ocean -- The ocean # Skt. samudra
  • traidʰātuk -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <traidʰātuk> the world composed of three spheres (desire, beauty, non-beauty) -- the threefold world (of) # Skt. traidʰātuka. Grammatically, this stands in apposition to saṃsār.
  • saṃsār -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <saṃsār> cycle of birth -- existence # Skt. saṃsāra
  • tsraṣṣuneyo -- noun 3 2; alternating singular instrumental of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- by strength
  • ktäṅkeñc -- verb base present 6; 3 plural active of <kätk-> go beyond, exceed -- cross
  • kraṃś -- adjective 3; masculine plural nominative of <kāsu> good -- the good
  • kälpnāntär -- verb base present 6; 3 plural mediopassive of <kälp-> attain -- obtain
  • toriṃ -- adverb; <toriṃ> finally -- ...
  • puttiśparäṃ -- noun; singular oblique of <puttiśparäṃ> Buddha-dignity -- (precious) Buddhahood
  • wärṣṣältse -- adjective 1; masculine plural nominative of <wärṣṣälts> strong, energetic -- The superior
  • mā=pärmāt -- adverb; <mā> no, not + substantive adjective; singular oblique of <appärmāt> despicable -- not... a disgrace # Skt. apramata
  • tsru-yärm -- adjective indeclinable; <tsru> few, small + noun; singular oblique of <yärm> measure -- (even) to a small degree # Skt. alpa-mātra
  • yātal -- verb base gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <yāt-> be able, be capable -- (is)... capable of
  • yatsi -- verb suppletive base infinitive; <yām-> make -- performing
  • tsraṣṣune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- Strength

10 - mā täpreṃ saṃ poñcäṃ saṃsāris kāripac sāspärtwu ālak wram naṣ kosne ālāsune.
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • täpreṃ -- adverb; <täpreṃ> so (much) -- so
  • saṃ -- indefinite pronoun; masculine singular nominative of <saṃ> some, any -- ...
  • poñcäṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular oblique of <puk> all, every, whole -- entire # Modifying saṃsāris -- note the Group Inflection, even when the noun modified is not in a secondary case (here, in the genitive).
  • saṃsāris -- noun; masculine singular genitive of <saṃsār> cycle of birth -- of the... world # Skt. saṃsāra
  • kāripac -- noun 3; alternating singular allative of <kāryap> harm -- for the injury
  • sāspärtwu -- verb base preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <spārtw-> turn (intrans.), be located -- (which has) become (lit. turned)
  • ālak -- adjective; masculine singular nominative of <ālak> other -- another
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular nominative of <wram> thing, matter -- thing
  • naṣ -- verb suppletive base present 2; 3 singular active of <nas-> be -- There is # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • kosne -- conjunction; <kosne> as, as much (as), as often (as) -- as (has) # Correlative of earlier täpreṃ.
  • ālāsune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <ālāsune> sloth -- sloth # Skt. ālasya

11 - kyalte neṣ wrasaśśi sne-wāwleṣu sne-psäl klu śwātsi ṣeṣ, kalpavṛkṣäntwaṃ ārwar papyätkunt wsālu yetweyntu waṣlaṃ ṣeñc-äṃ.
  • kyalte -- conjunction; <kuyalte> because, for -- For
  • neṣ -- adverb; <neṣ> earlier, prior -- formerly
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- of men
  • sne-wāwleṣu -- preposition; <sne> without + preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <wles> perform -- without work
  • sne-psäl -- preposition; <sne> without + noun; singular oblique of <psäl> chaff -- chaffless
  • klu -- noun; singular nominative of <klu> rice -- rice
  • śwātsi -- verb infinitive; <śu-, śwā-> eat -- to eat # Here used as substantive 'food', cf. Ger. essen 'to eat' vs. Essen 'food'.
  • ṣeṣ -- verb suppletive imperfect; 3 singular active of <ṣ-> be -- (there) was # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • kalpavṛkṣäntwaṃ -- noun 3 2; alternating plural locative of <kalpavṛkäṣ> "wish-tree" -- In the kalpa-trees # Skt. kalpavṛkṣa
  • ārwar -- adverb; <ārwar> ready -- ready
  • papyätkunt -- verb causative preterite participle; feminine plural nominative of <pyutk-> make come into being, produce -- prepared
  • wsālu -- noun 1 2; alternating plural nominative of <wsāl> garment -- clothing
  • yetweyntu -- noun 3 2; feminine plural nominative of <yetwe> jewelry, decoration -- (and) ornaments
  • waṣlaṃ -- verb subjunctive 2 gerundive 2; feminine plural nominative of <wäs-> clothe -- to wear
  • ṣeñc-äṃ -- verb suppletive imperfect; 3 singular active of <ṣ-> be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- for them... were # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.

12 - ālāsāp klu kropluneyā kalpavṛkṣäntu nakäntäm, kappāñ pākär tākaräm.
  • ālāsāp -- adjective; masculine singular genitive of <ālās> slothful -- of the slothful (man) # Skt. alasa
  • klu -- noun; singular oblique of <klu> rice -- The rice
  • kropluneyā -- verb abstract; singular perlative of <krop-> gather -- (to be had) by gathering
  • kalpavṛkṣäntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural nominative of <kalpavṛkäṣ> "wish-tree" -- (and) the kalpa-trees # Skt. kalpavṛkṣa
  • nakäntäm -- verb preterite 3; 3 plural active of <näk-> perish, destroy + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- disappeared for them
  • kappāñ -- noun 6 3; plural oblique of <kappāñ> (pl.) cotton plant (?) -- Miseries # Perhaps stemming from Skt. karpāsa.
  • pākär -- adverb; <pākär> overtly, manifestly, visibly -- plainly
  • tākaräm -- verb suppletive preterite 1; 3 plural active of <tāk-> be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- were... before them # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.

13 - sne-wāwleṣu sne-psäl klu naktäm, śāwaṃ wlesaṃtyo psälaśśäl pākär tākam.
  • sne-wāwleṣu -- preposition; <sne> without + preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <wles> perform -- Without work
  • sne-psäl -- preposition; <sne> without + noun; singular oblique of <psäl> chaff -- (and) without chaff
  • klu -- noun; singular nominative of <klu> rice -- the rice
  • naktäm -- verb preterite 3; 3 singular active of <näk-> perish, destroy + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- disappeared for them
  • śāwaṃ -- suppletive adjective 1; feminine plural oblique of <śāwe> (pl. forms only) big -- great # The adjective tsopats 'big' is used in the singular; śāwe 'big' in the plural.
  • wlesaṃtyo -- noun 3 1; alternating plural instrumental of <wles> service, work, action -- By... labor
  • psälaśśäl -- noun; singular commitative of <psäl> chaff -- and with chaff
  • pākär -- adverb; <pākär> overtly, manifestly, visibly -- ...
  • tākam -- verb suppletive preterite 1; 3 singular active of <tāk-> be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- (a store of grain) was for them # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.

cami ālāsuneyis nu tsraṣṣune pratipakṣ nāṃtsu. tämyo tsraṣṣune ñi ārkiśoṣyaṃ pukaṃ pruccamo pälskaṃ.
  • cami -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- of this
  • ālāsuneyis -- noun 3 2; alternating singular genitive of <ālāsune> sloth -- sloth # Skt. ālasya
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- Indeed
  • tsraṣṣune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- strength
  • pratipakṣ -- noun; singular nominative of <pratipakäṣ (pratipakṣ)> barrier, opposing part; the opposite -- the opposite # Skt. pratipakṣa
  • nāṃtsu -- verb suppletive preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <nas-> be -- being # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • tämyo -- adverb; <tämyo> by this, from this, therefore -- therefore
  • tsraṣṣune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsraṣṣune> energy -- ...
  • ñi -- pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <näṣ, ñuk> I -- my
  • ārkiśoṣyaṃ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular locative of <ārkiśoṣi> world -- in the world
  • pukaṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular locative of <puk> all, every, whole -- altogether
  • pruccamo -- adjective 4; masculine singular nominative of <pruccamo> excellent, superior -- the best (thing)
  • pälskaṃ -- noun; alternating singular locative of <pältsäk> thought, opinion -- in... opinion

Lesson Text

1 - kāsu ñom-klyu tsraṣiśśi śäk kälymentwaṃ sätkatär.
        yärk ynāñmune nam poto tsraṣṣuneyā pukäṣ kälpnāl;
        yuknāl ymāräk yäsluñcäs, kälpnāl ymāräk yātlune.

2 - tsraṣiśśi māk niṣpalntu tsraṣiśśi māk śkaṃ ṣñaṣṣeñ.
        nämseñc yäsluṣ tsraṣisac, kunseñc yärkant tsraṣisac.
        tsraṣiñ waste wrasaśśi, tsraṣiśśi mā praski naṣ.

3 - tämyo kāsu tsraṣṣune pukaṃ pruccamo ñi pälskaṃ.

4 - tsraṣṣuneyo tämne neṣ praṣtaṃ Siddʰārtʰes lānt se Sarvārtʰasiddʰe bodʰisattu sāmudraṃ kārp, ñemiṣiṃ praṅkā yeṣ. 5 - ñemintuyo ypic olyiyaṃ sārtʰ Jambudvipac pe yāmuräṣ, ṣpät koṃsā kñukac wraṃ kälk, ṣpät koṃsā pokenā kälk, ṣpät koṃsā lyomaṃ kälk. 6 - ṣpät koṃsā wälts pältwāyo oplāsyo wraṃ opläṣ oplā kārnmāṃ kälkoräṣ, päñ kursärwā ārṣlāsyo rarkusāṃ tkanā kälk. 7 - tmäṣ rākṣtsāśśi dvipaṃ yeṣ, tmäṣ yakṣāśśi, tmäṣ Baladvipaṃ yeṣ. 8 - tmäṣ śtwar-wäknā ārṣlāsyo rarkuñcäs iṣanäs kcäk. śtwar-wäknā speṣinäs kluṃtsäsyo sopis Sāgares lānt lāñci waṣt pāṣäntās śāwes empeles nākās āsuk kätkoräṣ, Sāgareṃ lāntäṣ cindāmaṇi wmār toriṃ kälpāt, poñcäṃ Jambudvipis ekrorñe wawik. 9 - ślak śkaṃ -- Ṣāmnernaṃ

māski kätkāläṃ ktäṅkeñc tsraṣiñ sāmuddrä,
        traidʰātuk saṃsār tsraṣṣuneyo ktäṅkeñc kraṃś.
        kälpnāntär toriṃ puttiśparäṃ wärṣṣältse.
        mā=pärmāt tsru-yärm yātal yatsi tsraṣṣune.

10 - mā täpreṃ saṃ poñcäṃ saṃsāris kāripac sāspärtwu ālak wram naṣ kosne ālāsune. 11 - kyalte neṣ wrasaśśi sne-wāwleṣu sne-psäl klu śwātsi ṣeṣ, kalpavṛkṣäntwaṃ ārwar papyätkunt wsālu yetweyntu waṣlaṃ ṣeñc-äṃ. 12 - ālāsāp klu kropluneyā kalpavṛkṣäntu nakäntäm, kappāñ pākär tākaräm. 13 - sne-wāwleṣu sne-psäl klu naktäm, śāwaṃ wlesaṃtyo psälaśśäl pākär tākam. cami ālāsuneyis nu tsraṣṣune pratipakṣ nāṃtsu. tämyo tsraṣṣune ñi ārkiśoṣyaṃ pukaṃ pruccamo pälskaṃ.

Translation

1 "The good fame of the strong spreads in the ten directions.
Reverence, respect, obeisance, (and) honor (are) to be attained through strength from everyone.
To be conquered quickly (are) enemies. To be obtained quickly (is) prosperity.
2 Of the strong (there are) great riches; of the strong (are) also many relatives.
Enemies bow down before the strong; to the strong come honors.
The strong (are) the protection of creatures; of the strong there is no fear.
3 Therefore strength (is) good (and) in every way the best (thing) in my opinion.
4 "By means of strength thus, at an earlier time, the son of king Siddhartha, the Bodhisattva Sarvarthasiddha descended upon the ocean. He went to the island of jewels. 5 With a caravan to Jambudvipa also having been made in a ship filled with jewels, for seven days he walked up to the neck in water; for seven days with the arms he walked; for seven days in mud he walked; 6 for seven days in water with lotuses with a thousand leaves, ascending from lotus to lotus he went; five leagues he walked though a place covered by snakes. 7 Thereupon he went to the island of the Raksasas, then to the island of the Yaksas, to Baladvipa, he went. 8 Thereupon he traversed the moats covered by four sorts of snakes. Nets with four sorts of Sphatika thread guarding the royal house of king Sagara, the great, awful Nagas having traversed completely, he obtained the Cintamani-stone, the precious, from king Sagara. Of all Jambudvipa the sickness he caused to disappear. 9 And so (in samner-meter):
"The ocean difficult to cross the strong cross.
The threefold world (of) existence by strength the good cross.
The superior obtain precious Buddhahood.
Strength is not capable of performing a disgrace (even) to a small degree.
10 "There is not another thing (which has) become (lit. turned) so for the injury of the entire world as (has) sloth. 11 For formerly of men without work (there) was chaffless rice to eat. In the kalpa-trees ready prepared for them to wear were clothing and ornaments. 12 The rice of the slothful (man) (to be had) by gathering and the kalpa-trees disappeared for them. Miseries (?) were plainly before them. 13 Without work (and) without chaff the rice disappeared for them. By great labor and with chaff a store of grain was for them. 14 Indeed of this, sloth being the opposite, therefore, strength (is) in the world in my opinion altogether the best thing."

Grammar

1 Sounds and Writing
1.1 Writing System

The writing system of the Tocharian languages was not a wholly new creation, but an adaptation of a pre-existing script. The Tocharian scribes adopted a certain version of the north Indian Brāhmī script. This they subsequently modified to suit the requirements of their own language. A very small number of texts, however, are found in a Manichean script.

The Brahmi script is not purely alphabetic, nor purely syllabic. It is a system of so-called akṣaras. Each consonant has a separate, unique representation. The unmodified version, however, always represents the consonant followed by the default vowel a. Thus the symbol <p>, in the absence of other modifications, represents [pa] --- much as in English we write p, but say it is the letter 'pee'. But in English we would then have to write, say, the name Peter as p-ter, since we pronounce 'pee' whenever we see the symbol p.

To then tell the reader to pronounce the consonant with a different vowel, a certain symbol would be located above the <p> to denote [pi], a different symbol below to denote [pu], and so on. These symbols placed around the consonants to change the value of the following vowel are the bound forms of the vowels. Each vowel also had its own free form, generally used in word-initial position. The diphthongs ai and au had their own symbols, and were not written as the combination of their constituent elements.

The Indic languages are blessed with a wealth of stop consonants; the Tocharian languages, by contrast, lie impoverished in this regard. Tocharian thus had no need, in principle, to use symbols for the voiced aspirates such as , , ; nor for the retroflex consonants such as , , . But this is not to say that Tocharian scribes did not employ them. The scribes were, in fact, often very faithful to the sounds and spellings of the Sanskrit words they borrowed. And as in other Buddhist traditions, so too the Tocharians borrowed a very large inventory of terminology directly from Sanskrit Buddhist texts. Thus the majority of Indic sounds have a graphical representation in some word or other in the Tocharian languages; but these are to be taken as the result of conservative tendencies in spelling and not necessarily as aids to the native Tocharian speaker in reproducing a faithful pronunciation -- much the same as our own tendency in English to keep the long silent gh of words like through.

Hard as it is to believe, there are in fact some sounds in Tocharian which are not to be found in Sanskrit. In particular, there is the voiceless dental affricate ts. This was in fact written by the Tocharians with a ligature of the characters representing t and s, but the sound itself is a single phoneme in Tocharian. Tocharian also possesses a reduced high central vowel denoted , since its representation in the Tocharian script involved the placements of two dots above the character for a. Take care to remember, however, that this is merely a convention of scholarly transcription, and it does not represent the German sound in words such as Mdchen. The phonetic value was probably closest to the IPA [ɨ].

One peculiar feature of Tocharian is that some vowels -- generally i, u, and -- could lose their syllabic content in open syllables. When this occurred, the Tocharian scribes would combine the preceding consonant with the following consonant, and write the non-syllabic vowel above the vowel which properly belonged to the following consonant. For example, phonemic /kuse/ was evidently pronounced with a reduced vowel as [kʷse], and this latter was represented in writing as <ksue>. Modern scholars generally transcribe this as kuse.

1.2 Phonological System

Relative to a language like Sanskrit, and even to Proto-Indo-European itself, the phonological system of Tocharian is quite simple. Both Tocharian languages have almost identical phonological systems. In particular, they have the same consonant inventory.

    Labial   Dental   Alveolar   Palatal   Velar   Labiovelar
                         
Stop   p   t           k  
Affricate       ts   c            
Sibilant       s            
Nasal   m   n            
Liquid       l   r            
Glide               y       w

The only voiced consonants are the resonants (liquids and nasals) and glides; all stops, affricates, and sibilants are voiceless. To what degree this classification is actually phonetic, and not merely phonemic, is difficult to say. For example, the stops of native Tocharian words are generally not written with the characters corresponding to the Sanskrit aspirates. But this is no guarantee that the stops themselves did not have some degree of aspiration, much like the p in English pot. We can only be relatively certain that the distinction between aspirate and non-aspirate was not important in Tocharian.

One important distinction is that between palatal and non-palatal consonants. As is clear in the chart, the Tocharian languages have a large palatal inventory, and the distinction between e.g. l and ly is phonemic. This alternation is largely a result of historical processes which will be discussed elsewhere in these lessons.

All consonants can be single (e.g. ) or doubled (e.g. ṣṣ), possibly denoting a difference in consonant length. Compare, for example, the distinction between [n] in English pennant and [nn] in English penknife. Doubled consonants are rare, however, in Tocharian A. There is evidence that consonant doubling might not (always) denote consonant length: it appears that ll is a frequent spelling for the single palatal consonant ly. From this and other alternations, it seems likely that doubling consonants is a typical manner of denoting palatalization.

The two Tocharian languages have a common inventory of simple vowels. Their transcription and probable phonetic values are given in the chart below.

Transcription                       Phonetic Value                    
    Front       Central       Back       Front       Central       Back
High   i             u       [i]       [ɨ]       [u]
Mid       e   a   o               [e]   [́]   [o]    
Low                                 [a]        

There is no certain evidence that the Tocharian languages had phonemic vocalic length. Rather, all vowels are phonemically short in both languages. It is important to note in this regard that the symbol is merely a convention of transcription -- it does not denote a long vowel, but rather an open, low, central unrounded vowel.

The phonetic value of is also poorly understood. Some evidence points to it being a front, mid vowel, though likely very weakly articulated. is often found where it is not etymologically expected, being the vowel generally employed to break up difficult consonant clusters.

By the time of the documented Tocharian languages, diphthongs remain only in Tocharian B.

    Front       Central       Back
High                    
Mid               oy    
Low           ay, aw        

The diphthongs are falling diphthongs formed the addition of one of the semivowels y or w. That is, the first vowel of the diphthong carries the syllabic content (and therefore can carry stress in a stressed syllable), while the second element changes the off-glide or release. The diphthongs written with the simple vowel e appear to have had the vocalism of a diphthong with nucleus a: one finds variations <ey> alternating with <ai>, <eu, eu, euw> alternating with au. Likewise <oi> alternates with oy. The diphthongs which existed in Proto-Tocharian were monophthongized in Tocharian A.

Some spellings indicate possible allophonic variation of consonants, that is, variation in the actual phonetic realization of a sound, but which nevertheless does not change the meaning of the form. Though the stops were generally voiceless in word-initial or word-final position, there is some evidence that stops were voiced in certain other environments. For example, the occasional writing of for ṅk suggests that -k was voiced to [g] in this position. It also seems stops were generally voiced between vowels, or after a consonant but before a vowel. Doubling of stop consonants evidently denotes a voiceless consonant which would otherwise have been voiced between vowels: for example, nätk- 'push' has present stem nättäk-, suggesting that the t remained voiceless between vowels. A summary of the possible allophones of the stop phonemes in various environments is given in the table below.

            #_ or _#           V_V or C_V           N_
/p/           p           β           b
/t/           t           d           d
/k/           k           g           g

The character used for w seems at times to represent the voiced bilabial fricative [β]. The v of Sanskrit, which frequently had a fricative pronunciation, is typically rendered by Tocharian scribes as v, emulating Sanskrit spelling, or as w (e.g. aviś or awiś from Skt. avīci). As the table shows, Tocharian p seems also at times to represent [β]. This might explain such spelling alternations as B cpi for more usual cwi 'his'.

1.3 Rough Guide to Pronunciation

Given the preceding discussion, it is possible to estimate the actual phonetic value of the Tocharian sounds. These are given in the table below. These can only be approximate at best and are certainly open to revision as the Tocharian languages become better understood.

Transcription   Example           Transcription   Example
a   but           ḍʰ   --
  hot             --
  bit           t   stop
i   beet             top
u   boot           d   day
ṛ́   --             --
e   bait           n   enough
ai   why           p   spot
o   boat             pot
au   loud           b   boy
k   escape             --
  cape           m   money
g   gate           y   yes
  --           r   rest
  long           l   late
c   watch           ly   William
  --           v   vibrate
j   jury           w   water
  --             ship
  onion             wash
  --           s   seven
ṭʰ   --           ts   pots
  --           h   heart

The Tocharian letters are given in their dictionary order. This order is essentially the same as that of Sanskrit, with minor modifications.

It is not clear what pronunciation should be assigned to the Sanskrit sounds not contained in the Tocharian phonetic inventory (the lack of a clear approximation is denoted by "--" above). One possibile resolution is to remain faithful to the pronunciation of Classical Sanskrit. Given the changes, however, that some Sanskrit words undergo in their adoption by Tocharian speakers, this is not likely the manner in which any but the most learned Tocharian speakers pronounced these sounds. A more plausible scenario is that, though the writing may have remained faithful to the Sanskrit, the pronunciation was adapted to the available Tocharian phonological inventory.

The Sanskrit anusvāra is also employed in Tocharian writing. This is a raised dot placed over the syllable, representing in Sanskrit either a bilabial nasal (m) in word-final position, or a nasal homorganic with (having the same point of articulation as) the following consonant. As with Sanskrit, the anusvāra is transcribed as . In Tocharian, however, the majority of instances point to a single pronunciation as a dental nasal n.

1.4 Accent

The accent of words in Tocharian is complex and it is difficult to state a simple, overarching rule governing its placement. The vocalic alternations of Tocharian B lead scholars to believe that

  • the accent was on the second syllable in words of more than two syllables;
  • the accent was on the first syllable in words of two syllables.

This statement may not hold, however, for Tocharian A. It seems that if the second syllable contained a non-high vowel, the accent was retracted leftward.

Less is known about overall patterns of accent governing phrases and clauses. Particles generally lacked any sort of accent, and some evidence suggests that this may also be true for monosyllabic verb forms. It is unclear if the same is true for polysyllabic verb forms.

1.5 Palatalization

The phonetic development from Proto-Indo-European to the documented Tocharian languages involves various stages in which palatalization affected certain consonants. That is, due for example to a following vowel having an articulation with the blade of the tongue near the mouth's palate, the articulation of a preceding consonant might itself shift toward the palate. When different forms of the same word involve different vowels, some palatal and some not, this can lead to a concomitant alternation between palatalized and non-palatalized variants of the neighboring consonants. Such palatalizing processes occur both during and after the Proto-Tocharian period, and leave behind a system of somewhat regular correspondences between consonant phonemes in the daughter languages. The following chart lists the major correspondences between such palatalized and non-palatalized single consonants and clusters.

    Non-Palatalized   Palatalized   Secondary
             
Stop   p   *p'   B py
    t   c    
    k     B ky
             
Affricate   ts     B tsy
             
Sibilant   s      
             
Nasal   m   *m'   B my
    n      
             
Liquid   l   l' <ly, ll>    
             
Semivowel   w   B y    
             
Clusters            
Stops   tt   cc    
    tk   A ck B cc    
             
Sibilant   st   B śc > ś(ś)    
    A ṣt   A śś    
    sk   B ṣṣ    
             
Nasal   nt   ñc (-ñś)    
    ṅk   A ñś B ñc    

We will discuss palatalization further in the context of the historical phonology of the consonants.

2 Gender, Number, and Human/Non-Human
2.1 Gender

Tocharian maintains the three grammatical genders masculine, neuter, and feminine. As with many modern languages, these grammatical genders are distinct from the notion of biological gender, unless the particular noun represents something animate (in which case the grammatical and biological genders are often the same, but not always). Rather, grammatical gender serves as a marker for grammatical agreement, so that the listener knows that a noun and modifier (adjective) are associated if they both have, e.g., masculine grammatical gender. If they have differing genders, then the one does not modify the other. The Tocharian neuter grammatical gender however only survives as a separate category in the pronouns. This very much parallels the situation in modern Spanish. In that language nouns and adjectives show two grammatical genders (Sp. nouns el tablero m. 'the chalkboard' and la mesa f. 'the table'; adjectives bueno m. and buena f. 'good'). The pronouns by contrast show not only masculine (Sp. él 'he' or 'that (man who...)') and feminine (Sp. la 'she' or 'that (woman who...)'), but also a neuter (Sp. lo 'the (thing)' or 'that (thing which...)').

Among the nouns, the phonological changes in Tocharian led to the neuter endings converging with the masculine endings in the singular, and with the feminine endings in the plural, resulting in nouns which display a combination of the masculine and feminine endings. PIE masculine nouns of the type of Latin dolus (accusative dolum) merged in the singular with neuter nouns of the type of Latin donum (acc. donum), and also with neuter nouns of the type of Latin genus (acc. genus).

Singular   PIE   PToch.
Masculine        
Nominative   *-o-s   *-æ
Accusative   *-o-m   *-æ
         
Neuter        
Nominative   *-o-m, *-os-Ø   *-æ
Accusative   *-o-m, *-os-Ø   *-æ

By contrast, in the plural the PIE neuter ending *-H₂ fell together in PToch. with the feminine plural suffix *-H₂-es.

Plural   PIE   PToch.
Feminine        
Nominative   *-H₂-es   *-ā
Accusative   *-H₂-es   *-ā
         
Neuter        
Nominative   *-H₂   *-ā
Accusative   *-H₂   *-ā

Such nouns, with masculine endings in the singular and feminine endings in the plural, are said to have alternating gender.

2.2 Number

Tocharian has kept the PIE categories of singular (one of a thing), dual (two of a thing), and plural (more than two of a thing). It has also innovated in creating the paral, which is a sort of dual used to denote naturally occurring pairs, e.g. (two) hands, (two) eyes. The forms derive from the original inherited dual of PIE, with the additional suffix *-nō. For example, A aśäṃ, B eśane 'both eyes'. Tocharian B has a further innovation called the plurative, which employs the ending -aiwenta (from the plural of PIE *oi-wo- 'one') to express 'one at a time, individually'.

2.3 Human versus Non-Human

In the earliest stages of Proto-Indo-European there appears to have been a basic distinction between animate and inanimate among the substantives. That is, substantives denoting animate beings shared one type of morphology, characterized in part by the fact that the nominative ending differed from the accusative. By contrast, substantives denoting inanimate things shared a different type of morphology, generally characterized by the fact that the nominative and accusative forms were identical.

By the time of the documented languages, however, this system was almost everywhere restructured into a ternary system of masculine, feminine, and neuter genders -- Hittite being the most notable exception. These genders were grammatical, in the sense that, for example, not all nouns denoting males had masculine endings. The Latin noun nauta 'sailor' furnishes a ready example, taking the feminine ending -a even though generally denoting a male.

The Tocharian languages show a different restructuring. Though there are, as mentioned elsewhere, still clear remnants of the three-way gender distinction of the majority of the IE family, Tocharian noun classification shows another overarching structure. Tocharian consistently distinguishes substantival morphology on the basis of whether a noun is human or non-human. Most succinctly,

  • human nouns have oblique singular -ṃ, i.e. /n/;
  • non-human nouns do not.

Thus 'dog', though animate, will not take the oblique singular ending -ṃ, since it is not human. This ending has not only morphological value, but semantic value as well.

3 Adjective Overview

Adjectives display two genders, masculine or feminine, unless they are used as substantives (see below). Substantives with masculine grammatical gender take the masculine adjective endings, feminine substantives take the feminine endings. There is a special class of nouns, however, that takes masculine adjective endings in the singular and feminine adjective endings in the plural. These substantives are those with the so-called alternating grammatical gender.

An adjective may be used as a neuter substantive, parallel to the process in English whereby good becomes the good (thing) -- e.g. You have to take the good with the bad -- or even more akin to how Spanish bueno becomes lo bueno. The Tocharian neuter substantive is for the most part formally indistinguishable from the masculine, a natural result of the collapse of the PIE masculine and neuter into identical forms. The only difference in Tocharian is that the new substantive now, like any PIE neuter, has identical nominative and oblique (old accusative). Thus what was the masculine nominative form is in this substantive now the nominative and oblique. Such neuter substantives are only found in the singular.

4 Overview of the Verbal System
4.1 Person & Number

Tocharian verbs, as with the majority of the Indo-European languages, distinguish three persons: first ('I, we'), second ('you/thou, you (all)'), and third ('he, she, it, they') person. The first person refers to the speaker, perhaps with companions. The second person refers to the addressee. The third person refers to participants or referents outside of the first and second person.

Tocharian verbs further distinguish three numbers: singular, dual, and plural. The singular and plural distinguish between one and more-than-one; the dual specifically signifies two. There is no complete verbal paradigm with dual forms for all persons; the dual is a highly restricted verbal category, usually occurring in the third person (e.g. B nesteṃ 'they two are'), and whose forms have no sure connection to the dual forms of Proto-Indo-European itself. Thus, in general, Tocharian verbs distiguish singular from plural: B nesau 'I am' vs. nesem 'we are'; B nest 'thou art' vs. nescer 'you (all) are'; B nesäṃ 'he/she/it is' vs. nesäṃ 'they are'.

4.2 Voice

In a concrete sense, the distinction of voice is found in the contrast of the two English sentences 'The dog bit the man' and 'The man was bitten by the dog'. In the former, the dog is the grammatical subject, and also the one doing the action of biting. In the latter, the man is now the grammatical subject, though the dog is still doing the action of biting. We say the sentence 'The dog bit the man' is active, because the grammatical subject (the dog) is also the agent (the one doing the action). The second sentence, 'The man was bitten by the dog', is passive, because the agent is not the grammatical subject; instead, the patient (the one being acted upon) is instead the grammatical subject. Active and passive are two types of voice.

There is a third voice relevant to many Indo-European languages, one which is neither active nor passive, but combines some connotations of both. For this reason it is known as the middle voice, or, because especially in Greek the passive and middle forms largely overlap, as the mediopassive. In order to get some idea of how this functions, consider the following English example sentences:

  • 1a. 'The man soaked the towel in the bathtub';
  • 1b. 'The towel was soaked by the man in the bathtub';
  • 1c. 'The man soaked himself in the bathtub'.

Sentence (1a) is clearly active: the grammatical subject, the man, is also the agent (the one doing the soaking). Sentence (1b) is clearly passive: the grammatical subject, the towel, is not the agent but the patient (the one receiving the action). In sentence (1c), however, the grammatical subject is the agent (the man is doing the soaking) and also the patient (the man is also the one getting soaked). We say that sentence (1c) is middle or mediopassive.

In the example above, sentence (1c) is mediopassive by virtue of the fact that it is reflexive. That is, by explicit use of the word himself, we have equated the agent and patient. However, this is not always necessary:

  • 2a. 'The towel soaked the paper underneath';
  • 2b. 'The towel was soaked by the man in the bathtub';
  • 2c. 'The towel soaked in the bathtub'.

In sentence (2a) the towel is the agent and subject of the active sentence; in sentence (2b), the towel is the patient and subject of a passive sentence. And in sentence (2c) the towel is the subject, agent and patient, this time not by virtue of the insertion of a reflexive pronoun, but by something the English verb soak allows.

The sentence (2c) is not very different in sense from sentence (2b) if we delete the agentive phrase by the man. It may therefore come as no surprise to find that many languages which morphologically mark passive and middle verb forms often use the same forms for both. Classical Greek falls into this category, so that pʰérō 'I carry' is active, while pʰéromai is both middle ('I carry for myself') and passive ('I am carried'). Some middle and passive forms do nevertheless differ: lūsámenos (masc. nom. sg.) 'having freed (for himself)' is the aorist middle participle, while lūtʰeís (masc. nom. sg.) 'having been freed' is the aorist passive participle.

Some languages, furthermore, do away with a separate passive formation altogether, and simply make do with a basic distinction between active and middle. Tocharian falls into this class of languages. There is no morphological passive; when passive statements are intended, middle forms are used. This may in fact be a late development, a usage borrowed on the model of Sanskrit. In short, Tocharian has only a morphological active and mediopassive, with no separate morphological forms that are strictly passive.

Some verbs are (middle) deponents, that is, verbs which occur with exclusively middle forms. For example, all finite forms of AB trik- 'be confused' are middle: A trikatär B triketär 'is confused', where -tär is the 3rd person singular middle ending; forms with the active endings A -ṣ B -ṃ do not occur. Some such deponents occasionally have an active present participle form, e.g. trik- forms the present participle A trikant. But it must be kept in mind that, although this suffix derives from PIE *-o-nt-, which comes to be the active present participle in such languages as Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, nevertheless:

  • the A -nt B -nta / -ñca formations are not participles necessarily derived directly from the synchronic present stem, but often function more as agent nouns than participles;
  • the PIE *-ent- / -ont- formation may have functioned as an agent noun in the earliest stages of PIE.

Thus it may not even be proper to denote such forms as 'active' participles. For example, the root AB pik- 'paint', related to Latin pingere with the same meaning, forms A pekant. Rather than having the connotation of the Latin present participle pingens (-ntis) '(someone) painting (at the moment)', the Tocharian form pekant has the connotation of 'someone who paints by profession', i.e. a 'painter', akin to the Latin agent noun pictor.

4.3 Mood

Tocharian distinguishes four basic moods: indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative. The indicative is the mood of simple fact, as in the English 'He was an athelete'. The indicative mood has both present and past tense formations in Tocharian. The subjunctive is the mood of hypothesis or supposition, as in the English 'If he were an athelete...' or 'Were he an athelete...'. Tocharian subjunctive forms do not differ based on tense; the subjunctive stem differs from the present tense stem, but nevertheless employs the same endings. Tocharian often uses the subjunctive where English would use a future tense. The optative is the mood of wish or desire, as in English 'Would he were an athelete'. This is formed by adding the typical PIE optative marker, *-i-, to the subjunctive stem. The imperative is the mood of direct command, as in English 'Be an athelete!' The imperative in Tocharian has no distinct stem, but is formed by addition of the prefix p- to the preterite or subjunctive stem. There are special endings for the 2nd person only, all numbers.

4.4 Tense

Tocharian distinguishes between past and present tenses only in the indicative. There are two past tenses: imperfect and preterite. The distinction is basically one of verbal aspect. The preterite denotes a simple past, with no connotation of an internal structure to the action; compare English 'he went'. The imperfect, by contrast, denotes an ongoing past, with the expressed connotation of the event having internal structure; compare English 'he was going'.

There is no separate morphological future tense in Tocharian. Though the present can be used to express the future, as in English 'I am going to the store tomorrow', the Tocharian subjunctive frequently acts as a future tense. Tocharian also employs verbal nouns to render the future tense.

4.5 Base & Causative

One of the most fundamental distinctions in the Tocharian verbal system is that between base and causative. In linguistic terms, the notion of causative, or factitive, has to do with 'making' or 'causing' another verbal action to be done. That is, if we have a verb DO Y, then the causative of the verb denotes MAKE [(X) DO Y] or CAUSE [(X) TO DO Y]. Thus the causative construction applied to English 'paints a picture' is 'someone makes [(someone else) paint a picture]'. The underlying verb need not be eventive (e.g. DO Y), but may also be stative (e.g. BE Y). The causative construct then denotes MAKE [(X) BE Y]. Different languages realize this underlying formation differently, some through concatenation of lexical verbs as in English, some though separate morphological formations; or both, or neither. Consider, for example, English 'I am captain'. By the formulation just given, the basic causative rendering might be 'He makes me be captain'. English of course simplifies this to 'He makes me captain'. Thus the stative be captain has causative make captain.

Note that neither does English have one unique manner of forming this kind of causative. If we apply the same construction to the stative be strong, then we arrive at a causative make strong. But English has an alternate formation: strengthen. This of course applies only to certain adjectives, e.g. lengthen, widen, shorten, heighten; one cannot however say (!)closen, but rather one can only say make close. This disparity arises because rules that were once regular in the period of Old English no longer apply synchronically in Modern English. A similar situation obtains in Tocharian.

Tocharian achieves this distinction by changes to the verbal stem, giving rise to a distinction between a causative stem and a non-causative, or base, stem for a large number of verbs. The distinction between causative and non-causative runs throughout the present, subjunctive, and preterite systems; the base and causative stems of a given verb, however, are not the same throughout these systems. For example, consider the verb AB tsälp- 'be free of suffering, pass away'.

Present   Toch. A   Toch. B
Base   śalpatär   tsälpetär
Causative   tsälpätär   tsalpätär
         
Subjunctive        
Base   tsälpātär   tsälpātär
Causative   tsälpātär   tsalpästär
         
Preterite        
Base   tsälp   tsalpa
Causative   śaśälpāt   tsyālpāte

The preterite forms show that one method of forming the causative in Tocharian involves reduplication: A tsälp vs. śaśälpāt. The initial consonant sequence and vowel of the root (subject to phonological modifications) are repeated at the beginning of the word. Another mark of the causative form is palatalization: B tsalpa vs. tsyālpāte. The initial consonant may develop a palatal off-glide.

The other forms, however, show traces of a more common method of forming the causative in Tocharian: addition of the PIE *-sḱ- and *-s- suffixes. These suffixes of course undergo phonological changes within the Tocharian languages. Tocharian A generally employs only the *-s- suffix, which often palatalizes into -ṣ-. Tocharian B employs both suffixes: *-sḱ- palatalizes as -ṣṣ- in CLASS IX, and *-s- as -ṣ- in CLASS VIII (cf. Lesson 4, Sections 19.3 and 19.4). For its part, the PIE *-sḱ- suffix does not have a causative meaning in many of the other Indo-European languages in which it survives, but often has either an inchoative or iterative connotation.

The Tocharian situation is also not as clear cut as one might hope. One must in fact be careful to distinguish between 'causative' as a purely formal morphological category and 'causative' as an actual semantic category. The above mentioned structures clearly show a formal morphological formation which we may call 'causative' because it does, in fact, have a true factitative meaning for many verbs. However this is not true for all verbs: many verbs have the structural markings of the causative formation, but show no apparent change in meaning distinct from the non-causative (base) formations. In general, one may only say that

    the 'causative' has true factitative value only when the base paradigm has intransitive value.

That is to say, there are two basic possibilties as to how the base is converted into a causative:

  • Base Intransitive: the causative morphological formation has factitative meaning;
  • Base Transitive: the causative morphological formation might not have meaning different from the base.
5 Basic Word Order

The prose texts of Tocharian exhibit a basic Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) word order. The constraints of meter, among other considerations, often result in divergence from this pattern in poetry. Consider the following examples of the basic SOV word order:

A   kāsu   ñom-klyu   tsraṣiśśi   śäk   kälymentwaṃ   sätkatär
    nom.sg.m.   nom.sg.m.   gen.pl.m.   indecl.   loc.pl.mf.   pres.3.sg.med-pass.
    good   fame   of-strong   ten   in-directions   spreads

which means

    'The good fame of the strong spreads in the ten directions'.

From Tocharian B we have

B   cauw-ak   yakne   eṅkaskemttär   mäkcau   procer   eṅsate
    obl.sg.m.-pcl.   obl.sg.m.   pres.1.pl.   obl.sg.m.   nom.sg.m.   pres.3.sg.med-pass.
    same   manner   we-take-up   which   brother   takes

which means

    'We take up the same manner which (our) brother takes'.

Phrasal structure generally shows the following patterns: Adjective + Noun, Genitive + Noun, Noun + Postposition, the term 'postposition' denoting a 'preposition' that comes after the noun it governs. In general, the structure within Proto-Tocharian was one of Modifier + Head, where 'head' denotes the principal element on which all others in the phrase depend.

Speaking typologically, languages with verb-final syntax tend to employ postpositions rather than prepositions. This tendency is further exhibited in Tocharian through the development of the secondary cases, whose endings apparently began as postpositions. This postpositional quality is still felt strongly enough in Tocharian that it results in "group inflection", whereby only the last element in a string of nouns, or in a string composed of a noun with adjectives, takes the secondary case ending.

Tocharian Online

Lesson 2

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Laryngeals

Since voiceless aspirates were finally removed from the PIE stop inventory, scholars were forced to explain the origin of the voiceless aspirates in Sanskrit. For this Hittite again led the way. Hittite preserved consonants, now called laryngeals and denoted *h₁, *h₂, *h₃ (or collectively just *H), which were unattested in any of the other daughter languages. These consonants, when following voiceless non-aspirates in Sanskrit, resulted in the corresponding aspirate: PIE *-tH- > Skt. -tʰ-. Laryngeals also had the following effects:

  • Coloring: laryngeals change the quality, or "color," of an adjacent PIE short *e;
  • Contraction: laryngeals contract with a preceding vowel to give a long vowel of the same quality;
  • Vocalization: a laryngeal between consonants yields a vowel.

The following chart illustrates Laryngeal coloring.

Color   PIE   Result   PIE   Result
                 
e   *h₁e   *h₁e   *eh₁   *eh₁
a   *h₂e   *h₂a   *eh₂   *ah₂
o   *h₃e   *h₃o   *eh₃   *oh₃

The chart below shows the laryngeal contraction that follows coloring.

PIE   Color   Contraction
         
*eh₁   *eh₁   *
*eh₂   *ah₂   *
*eh₃   *oh₃   *

The vocalization of laryngeals differed according to language, as shown in the following chart.

PIE   Greek   Latin   Sanskrit
             
*dʰh₁s-   s-pʰatos   fānum < fas-no-   iṣ-ṇya-
*sth₂-tó-   sta-tó-s   sta-tu-s   stʰi-ta-
*dh₃-ti-   d-si-s   da-tiō   di-ti-

After coloring and contraction, the laryngeals themselves were subsequently lost in all languages except Hittite. The following chart compares the outcomes of some PIE roots in Hittite and Latin.

PIE   Coloring   Hittite   Latin
             
*h₁es-ti   *h₁es-ti   š-zi 'is'   est 'is'
*h₂ent-   *h₂ant-   hant- 'forehead'   ante 'before'
*h₃erbʰ-   *h₃orbʰ-   harapp- 'be separated'   orbus 'orphan'

The table below gives some typical examples of the sequence of changes leading from PIE forms containing laryngeals to their remnants in other daughter languages.

PIE   Color   Contraction   Result
             
*dʰeh₁-mṇ   *dʰeh₁-mṇ   *dʰ-mṇ   Gk. (aná)-tʰma
*peh₂-s-   *pah₂-s-   *p-s-   Lat. ps-tor
*deh₃-rom   *doh₃-rom   *d-rom   Gk. d-ron

Vowels

As with the PIE stop inventory, the PIE vocalic system was originally assumed to be quite robust. The original assumption was that it contained all the "continental" vowels -- *a, *e, *i, *o, *u -- together with their lengthened counterparts -- *ā, *ē, *ī, *ō, *ū. Upon further investigation, it was found that the evidence for PIE *a is in fact sparse. The advent of laryngeal theory in turn allowed for even greater simplification, since both PIE *a and *o could be assumed to derive from earlier PIE *eh₂ and *eh₃, respectively. The lengthened vowels could likewise be derived from laryngeal contraction. Thus the PIE vowel system seemed to devolve into merely *e plus the semivowels *i and *u. This position seems so extreme, however -- there are no extant languages with solely one vowel -- that most historical linguists take the core PIE vowels to be *e, *a, *o (the latter two being rarer than the first), plus the semivowels *i, *u. The lengthened grades are typically seen as the result of laryngeal contraction, though there does seem to be evidence from patterns of vocalic alternation (ablaut) that some long vowels were original in PIE.

Resonants

The resonants of PIE are the typical *r, *l, *n, *m. Each of these can function as consonant, beginning or ending a syllable, or as forming the nucleus of a syllable, like a vowel. In the latter role they are often denoted *ṛ, *ḷ, *ṇ, *ṃ. As an example, compare the first l- of the English word little, which as a consonant begins the first syllable, to the second -l-, which as a vowel forms the nucleus of the second syllable.

Given the ability of the laryngeals to vocalize between consonants, it is occasionally convenient to think of the laryngeals likewise as resonants.

Affricates

PIE had the sole sibilant *s. In certain environments this may have become voiced, but this was an allophonic change, not phonemic.

Proto-Indo-European Phonology: a Summary

The basic idea of PIE phonology is to posit a phonological system of the parent language Proto-Indo-European, and to state explicitly different groups of rules, whereby the phonemes of PIE changed regularly into those of the various daughter languages. For instance, one set of rules should say how those phonemes changed into the phonemic inventory of Proto-Germanic; another should describe how the PIE phonemes changed into those of Proto-Italic; and so on. From there, one repeats the procedure, e.g. stating rules by which the phonemes of Proto-Italic developed into those of Latin. The Tocharianist of course desires to apply the same methodology to Tocharian A and B, first deciding how PIE phonemes became those of Proto-Tocharian, and how these latter became the phonemes seen in Tocharian A and Tocharian B themselves.

Lest the reader receive the impression that this is in some sense a merely linguistic pursuit devoid of application to matters of Tocharian society and culture, consider the following. In the early period of Tocharian studies, it was not clear what relative status to give to the two languages Tocharian A and Tocharian B. Scholars were not clear as to whether they are mere dialects, two separate languages in their own right, or if one is the linguistic ancestor of the other. It is primarily through studies of phonology that one attempts to decide the question: for the most part is has become clear that the two languages have phonological rules distinct enough that it is difficult to say one derives from the other. And in many instances it is quite difficult to imagine that they were mutually intelligible at the time they were spoken. (However assertions of this sort are notoriously dubious, since there are ancient references that Old English and Old Norse were mutually intelligible, something that rarely occurs to modern scholars as they attempt to learn the two languages.) At present there is general concensus that Tocharian A and Tocharian B are in fact two distinct languages, likely spoken concurrently by different groups of speakers. This conclusion must be taken into account, then, when one discusses the curious fact that the Tocharian A documents found thus far are all translations of foreign Buddhist literature, while Tocharian B shows at least some documents of native Tocharian composition. If one were to look at a similar situation in the present day, noting that Latin is used almost solely as a liturgical language, while Italian has a robust native literature, one might surmise that as Italian descends from Latin, so must Tocharian B from Tocharian A. But this is not borne out by linguistic inquiry. One must ask then what societal conditions would lead to the Tocharian A speakers writing solely liturgical documents, while Tocharian B speakers left documents on a much wider variety of matters of daily life?

Moreover, in terms of scientific inquiry, laryngeal theory has provided the greatest historical linguistic instance of scientific prediction. Saussure in essence developed the initial idea of laryngeals as a means to explain certain irregularities in Sanskrit root formations: in particular, some roots take a linking -i- between root and suffix, while others do not, without any obvious underlying pattern. Saussure hypothesized that if there were PIE consonants obeying certain rules, then these consonants would explain the resultant situation in Sanskrit. This theory actually preceded the discovery of Hittite, and so such consonants were relegated at the time to the status of mere formal speculation. But with the subsequent decipherment of Hittite, scholars realized that Hittite preserved Saussure's hitherto unattested consonants!

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following text is a continuation of the previous Tocharian A excerpt from the Buddhist Puṇyavanta-Jātaka.

Note the use in verse 20 of näṃ, a shortened form for naṣ-äṃ, the third person singular present of the copula, followed by the enclitic pronoun, here 'is for them'. Such constructions with copula and pronoun are common ways of representing possession in Indo-European languages, for example Lat. mihi nōmen est... 'to me is the name...', i.e. 'I have the name...'.

Verse 21 is somewhat problematic, with scholarly opinion divided as to whether one should read kälpitär 'should attain (for oneself)' or käl(y)itär 'should exist'. The form amok 'skill' is unfortunately of no help, being the same in nominative and oblique. The reading kälpitär is presented in the selection given below, following the text of Krause & Thomas (Tocharisches Elementarbuch). The translation however gives the rendering according to Lane, and so appropriate to a reading käl(y)itär. See the grammatical notes accompanying the gloss for more details.

The reading selection illustrates in verse 22 the typical Indo-European use of the neuter accusative of an adjective in the role of an adverb, here kāsu 'carefully'. Since masculine and neuter have fallen together in Tocharian, this neuter accusative adverb has form identical with the nominative singular masculine.

15 - Śilpavāṃ träṅkäṣ : amok wrasaśśi pukaṃ pruccamo, kyalte : Kuma -- -- --
  • Śilpavāṃ -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <Śilpavāṃ> Shilpavant (name of a prince) -- Shilpavant
  • träṅkäṣ -- verb suppletive base present 1; 3 singular active of <träṅk-> say -- says # The verb träṅk- is used for the (base) present stem, weñ- being employed for all other tenses and moods.
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- Skill
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- of men
  • pukaṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular locative of <puk> all, every, whole -- altogether
  • pruccamo -- adjective 4; masculine singular nominative of <pruccamo> excellent, superior -- (is)... the best (thing)
  • kyalte -- conjunction; <kuyalte> because, for -- for
  • Kuma -- noun; singular locative of <kuma...> ... (name of a type of metrical verse) -- in kuma...-meter

16 - kāsu ñom-klyu amoktsāp kälyme kälyme sätkatär.
        yärkā yāmäl mäskatär, potal kropal wrasaśśi.
  • kāsu -- adjective 3; masculine singular nominative of <kāsu> good -- good
  • ñom-klyu -- noun 3 2; <ñom> name + noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <klyu> fame -- The... fame
  • amoktsāp -- substantive adjective 1; masculine singular genitive of <amokäts> artist, artisan -- of the artisan
  • kälyme kälyme -- noun 1 2 /3.2; mf sg obl of <kälyme> direction, path, path to heaven -- in all directions # The repetition has a distributive function, somewhat akin to 'direction after direction'.
  • sätkatär -- verb base present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <sätk-> spread -- spreads
  • yärkā -- noun 3 1; alternating singular perlative of <yärk> reverence -- with reverence
  • yāmäl -- verb suppletive base gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <yām-> make -- to be treated
  • mäskatär -- verb present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be -- He is
  • potal -- verb gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <pot-> flatter -- (is) to be respected
  • kropal -- verb gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <krop-> gather -- to be received
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- by men

17 - pāsmāṃ niṣpal lo näkṣäl ; wär por lāś lyśi mñe kärṣneñc.
        amok nu mā näknäṣträ, niṣpalis śkaṃ amok tsmār.
  • pāsmāṃ -- verb present participle mediopassive; masculine singular nominative of <pās-> guard -- guarded
  • niṣpal -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • lo -- adverb; <lo> away -- ...
  • näkṣäl -- verb gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <näk-> perish, destroy -- (is) to be made vanish
  • wär -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <wär> water -- water
  • por -- noun 2 1; alternating singular nominative of <por> fire -- fire
  • lāś -- noun 7; masculine singular nominative of <wäl> king -- kings # Equivalent to lāṃś.
  • lyśi -- noun 5 3; masculine plural nominative of <lyäk> thief -- (and) thieves
  • mñe -- noun; oblique of <mñe> certitude, assurance (?) -- (one's) resources (?)
  • kärṣneñc -- verb present 6; 3 plural active of <kärṣt-> cut off -- cut off
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- But
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • näknäṣträ -- verb present 10; 3 singular mediopassive of <näk-> perish, destroy -- does... vanish
  • niṣpalis -- noun 3 2; alternating singular genitive of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- of property
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- and
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • tsmār -- noun 1 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsmār> root -- (is) the root

18 - kospreṃ kospreṃ śkaṃ ne amokäts amokṣiṃ wram pyutkāṣtär, täprenäk täprenäk päñ pärkowäntu mäskaṃtr-äṃ.
  • kospreṃ kospreṃ -- interrogative adverb; <kospreṃ> how much?, how far? -- (in just the same measure) as # Skt. kiyat
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- And
  • ne -- enclitic particle; <-ne> (indefinite marker), (relative marker) -- ...
  • amokäts -- substantive adjective 1; masculine singular nominative of <amokäts> artist, artisan -- an artist
  • amokṣiṃ -- adjective 1 1; masculine singular oblique of <amokṣi> artistic -- artistic
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- an... object
  • pyutkāṣtär -- verb causative subjunctive 10; 3 singular mediopassive of <pyutk-> make come into being, produce -- creates # Note the use of the subjunctive in the subordinate clause.
  • täprenäk täprenäk -- adverb; <täpreṃ> so (much) + emphatic particle; <-k> (emphatic particle), indeed, even -- (just) so # Note the relative-correlative structure: kospreṃ kospreṃ... täpreṃ täpreṃ... 'as much as..., so much...'.
  • päñ -- numeral indeclinable; <päñ> five -- five
  • pärkowäntu -- noun 3 2; masculine plural nominative of <pärko> advantage, rise -- the... advantages
  • mäskaṃtr-äṃ -- verb present 3; 3 plural mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- are for him

20 - sas pärko näṃ : wāwleṣu wram pyutkäṣṣ-äṃ ; wät ; amokäṣ tatmu kācke mäskatr-äṃ ; trit : wrassäṣ ortune kälpnāträ ; śtärt : ākläṣlyes ; pänt śkaṃ : akäṃtsune-pät-kälpāluneṣi pärko mäskatr-äṃ .
  • sas -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <sas, säṃ> one -- One
  • pärko -- noun 3 2; masculine singular nominative of <pärko> advantage, rise -- advantage
  • näṃ -- verb suppletive present 2; 3 singular active of <nas-> be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- ... # Shortened form representing naṣ-äṃ 'is for them'. The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • wāwleṣu -- verb preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <wles-> perform -- having done
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- the thing
  • pyutkäṣṣ-äṃ -- verb causative present 8; 3 singular active of <pyutk-> make come into being, produce + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- arises for him
  • wät -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <wät> second -- a second (is that)
  • amokäṣ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular ablative of <amok> art, skill -- out of skill
  • tatmu -- verb preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <täm-> beget, produce -- having created
  • kācke -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <kācke> joy -- a (sense of) pleasure
  • mäskatr-äṃ -- verb present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- (there) is
  • trit -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <trit> third -- a third (is that)
  • wrassäṣ -- noun; masculine plural ablative of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- from men
  • ortune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <ortune> friendship -- glory
  • kälpnāträ -- verb base present 6; 3 singular mediopassive of <kälp-> attain -- he acquires
  • śtärt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <śtärt> fourth -- a fourth (is that he acquires)
  • ākläṣlyes -- substantive adjective 1; masculine plural oblique of <ākälṣäl> (one) to be taught, student -- pupils
  • pänt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <pänt> fifth -- a fifth
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- and
  • akäṃtsune-pät-kälpāluneṣi -- noun 3 2; alternating of <akäṃtsune> possession + adverb; <pät> over, beyond (?) + gerundive 2 abstract adjective 1; masculine singular nominative of <kälp> attain -- of possession or acquisition
  • pärko -- noun 3 2; masculine singular nominative of <pärko> advantage, rise -- the advantage
  • mäskatr-äṃ -- verb present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- is for him

20 - waṣt lmāluneyis ñäkcy ārkiśoṣis śkaṃ tsmār nāṃtsu amok . tämyo täm śāwes käṣṣiśśi taṃne wewñu : Śuriṣinaṃ
  • waṣt -- noun 1 2; alternating singular oblique of <waṣt> house -- a house
  • lmāluneyis -- verb suppletive abstract; alternating singular genitive of <läm-> sit -- Of establishing # The stem ṣäm- is employed in the (base) present forms; läm- elsewhere.
  • ñäkcy -- adjective 1; masculine singular oblique of <ñäkci> godly, heavenly -- divine
  • ārkiśoṣis -- noun 3 2; alternating singular genitive of <ārkiśoṣi> world -- of the... world
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- and
  • tsmār -- noun 1 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsmār> root -- the root
  • nāṃtsu -- verb suppletive preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <nas-> be -- being # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • tämyo -- adverb; <tämyo> by this, from this, therefore -- therefore
  • täm -- demonstrative adverb; neuter singular oblique of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- this
  • śāwes -- adjective 1; masculine plural oblique of <śāwe> (only plural) big -- great # The adjective tsopats 'big' is used in the singular; śāwe 'big' in the plural.
  • käṣṣiśśi -- noun 6 1; masculine plural genitive of <käṣṣi> teacher -- of (=by) the... teachers
  • taṃne -- adverb; <taṃne> so -- ...
  • wewñu -- verb suppletive preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <weñ-> say -- has been said # The verb träṅk- is used for the (base) present stem, weñ- being employed for all other tenses and moods.
  • Śuriṣinaṃ -- noun; singular locative of <Śuriṣin> (name of a type of metrical verse) -- (in shurishin-meter)

21 - amok neṣā kälpitär, tmäṣ niṣpalntu kropitär.
        kākropuṃt nu niṣpalntu ṣakkats śtwar-pāk yāmiträ :
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <amok> art, skill -- skill # Possibly nominative (which has the same form), a reading more likely if kälpitär is instead read as kälyitär. G. Lane follows the latter reading, so that nominative is appropriate. See below on kälpitär.
  • neṣā -- adverb; perlative of <neṣ> earlier, prior -- First
  • kälpitär -- verb base subjunctive 5; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <kälp-> attain -- should exist # The text is unclear. If the reading is kälpitär, then a translation along the lines of the other occurrences in this text is appropriate: 'should attain (for oneself)'. The subject would then be the same indefinite person in the following verbs, and amok should be the oblique object. The reading käl(y)itär, however, is also possible. This would then be the corresponding optative of the root käly- 'stand, be located' (5th subjunctive class). This is the reading chosen by G. Lane, translated as 'should exist', and then amok is to be taken as the nominative subject.
  • tmäṣ -- adverb; <tmäṣ> thereupon, then -- then
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural oblique of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • kropitär -- verb subjunctive 5; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <krop-> gather -- one should collect
  • kākropuṃt -- verb preterite participle; feminine plural oblique of <krop-> gather -- collected
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- But
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural oblique of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • ṣakkats -- adverb; <ṣakk> certainly + particle; <ats> (emphasizing particle), even, indeed -- indeed
  • śtwar-pāk -- numeral; masculine/feminine of <śtwar> four + noun 3 2, 5 1; alternating singular oblique of <pāk> part -- four part(s)
  • yāmiträ -- verb suppletive base subjunctive 2; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <yām-> make -- one should make (into)

22 - ṣom pāk waṣtaṃ wärpitär, wunyo wlesant wleṣitär,
        särki ñātse pälkoräṣ, śtärcäṃ kāsu tāṣiträ.
  • ṣom -- numeral; masculine singular oblique of <sas, säṃ> one -- One
  • pāk -- noun 3 2, 5 1; alternating singular oblique of <pāk> part -- part
  • waṣtaṃ -- noun 1 2; alternating singular locative of <waṣt> house -- at home
  • wärpitär -- verb subjunctive 5; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <wärp-> enjoy -- one should enjoy
  • wunyo -- numeral; masculine paral instrumental of <wu, we> two -- with two (parts)
  • wlesant -- noun 3 1; alternating plural oblique of <wles> service, work, action -- works
  • wleṣitär -- verb subjunctive 2; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <wles-> perform -- one should perform
  • särki -- adverb; <särki> thereupon, later -- Later
  • ñātse -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <ñātse> hardship, danger -- distress
  • pälkoräṣ -- verb suppletive abstract; alternating singular ablative of <pälk-> see -- having seen # The stem läk 'see' is used in present finite and nonfinite forms, as well as the imperfect; pälk- 'see' is used for the subjunctive stem, imperative, and preterite.
  • śtärcäṃ -- numeral; masculine singular oblique of <śtärt> fourth -- the fourth
  • kāsu -- adverb; masculine singular nominative of <kāsu> good -- carefully # Used as a neuter substantive, the nominative and accusative (oblique) forms are the same (i.e. they are the usual masculine nominative singular form). The neuter accusative may then be used adverbially.
  • tāṣiträ -- verb subjunctive 2; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <tā-> set, lay -- one should put... (away)

23 - sas : wär tkanac wles, wät nu : śemäl pāṣäl, trit : kuryar,
        śtärt nu : śemäl tsmāṣlune, pänt : -- -- --, ṣkäṣt : tālune .
  • sas -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <sas, säṃ> one -- One
  • wär -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <wär> water -- (is) water
  • tkanac -- noun 5 3; feminine singular allative of <tkaṃ> earth -- for the earth
  • wles -- noun 3 1; alternating singular nominative of <wles> service, work, action -- work
  • wät -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <wät> second -- the second
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- ...
  • śemäl -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <śemäl> cattle, livestock -- cattle
  • pāṣäl -- verb gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <pās-> guard -- to be pastured
  • trit -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <trit> third -- the third
  • kuryar -- noun; singular nominative of <kuryar> commerce -- trade
  • śtärt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <śtärt> fourth -- The fourth
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- however
  • śemäl -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <śemäl> cattle, livestock -- cattle
  • tsmāṣlune -- verb causative subjunctive 10 abstract; alternating singular nominative of <tsäm-> grow -- rearing
  • pänt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <pänt> fifth -- the fifth
  • ṣkäṣt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <ṣkäṣt> sixth -- the sixth
  • tālune -- verb abstract; alternating singular nominative of <tā-> set, lay -- putting (away)

24 - waṣt lmālunyaṃ tosäs ṣäk ritwo kusne pākasyo
        niṣpal päñ-wäknā kroptär, cami wles yäṣ kälymeyā
  • waṣt -- noun 1 2; alternating singular oblique of <waṣt> house -- a house
  • lmālunyaṃ -- verb suppletive abstract; alternating singular locative of <läm-> sit -- In establishing # The stem ṣäm- is employed in the (base) present forms; läm- elsewhere.
  • tosäs -- demonstrative pronoun; feminine plural oblique of <säs, sās, täṣ> this, this here -- these... (things) # The translation departs some from Lane's.
  • ṣäk -- numeral indeclinable; <ṣäk> six -- six
  • ritwo -- verb base preterite 1 preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <ritw-> coalesce -- having provided
  • kusne -- relative pronoun; masculine singular nominative of <kusne> which -- whoever
  • pākasyo -- noun 3 2, 5 1; masculine plural instrumental of <pāk> part -- by parts
  • niṣpal -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • päñ-wäknā -- numeral indeclinable; <päñ> five + noun 3 1; alternating singular perlative of <wkäṃ> manner, type -- in five ways # wäknā here is an editorial conjecture in Krause-Thomas, not found in Lane's edition.
  • kroptär -- verb present 2; 3 singular mediopassive of <krop-> gather -- gathers # kroptär here is an editorial conjecture in Krause-Thomas, not found in Lane's edition.
  • cami -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- of him
  • wles -- noun 3 1; alternating singular nominative of <wles> service, work, action -- the work
  • yäṣ -- verb present 1; 3 singular active of <i-> go -- goes
  • kälymeyā -- noun 1 2 /3.2; mf sg perl of <kälyme> direction, path, path to heaven -- aright

25 - taṃne kropmāṃ niṣpalntu ykoṃ oṣeñi śamaṃtär,
        mäṃtne -- -- -- -- -- ne lyālyoryoṣoṣ pat nu.
  • taṃne -- adverb; <taṃne> so -- Thus
  • kropmāṃ -- verb present 2 participle mediopassive; feminine plural nominative of <krop-> gather -- collecting # The present mediopassive participle is undeclined for the feminine gender. The participle here agrees with niṣpalntu (alternating gender), with the mediopassive sense of 'collecting' as in English 'dust collecting on the shelves'.
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • ykoṃ -- adverb; <ykoṃ> by day -- by day
  • oṣeñi -- adverb; <oṣeñi> by night -- by night
  • śamaṃtär -- verb base present 4; 3 plural mediopassive of <tsäm-> grow -- thrive
  • mäṃtne -- conjunction; <mäṃtne (mätne)> as, so as, so as to -- So
  • ne -- enclitic particle; <-ne> (indefinite marker), (relative marker) -- ...
  • lyālyoryoṣoṣ -- verb preterite participle; <lyā-> wipe away -- having wiped away # The form is unclear.
  • pat -- postposed conjunction; <pat> or -- or
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- ...

26 - moknac niṣpal mā tāṣäl, mā śu ypeyā mskantāsac,
        mā empeles omskeṃsac, mā pe tampewātsesac.
  • moknac -- adjective; masculine singular allative of <mok> old -- For an old (man)
  • niṣpal -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • tāṣäl -- verb gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <tā-> set, lay -- (is)... to be laid up
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • śu -- preverb; <śu> over -- over
  • ypeyā -- noun; alternating singular perlative of <ype> land -- the land
  • mskantāsac -- verb present 3 participle active; masculine plural allative of <mäsk-> be located, be -- for those who are
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • empeles -- adjective 2 4; masculine plural oblique of <empele> awful -- (for) the terrible
  • omskeṃsac -- adjective 1; masculine plural allative of <omäskeṃ> evil -- the evil
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • pe -- conjunction; <pe> also -- and
  • tampewātsesac -- adjective 1; masculine plural allative of <tampewāts> powerful -- for the powerful

27 - yaläṃ wramm ats skam yāmiṣ, mā yaläṃ wram mar yāmiṣ.
        yaläṃ wram ypant wrasom nu pälkäṣ mäṃtne sälpmāṃ por.
  • yaläṃ -- verb suppletive base gerundive 1; masculine singular oblique of <yām-> make -- to be done
  • wramm -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- A thing
  • ats -- particle; <ats> (emphasizing particle), even, indeed -- ...
  • skam -- adverb; <skam> always -- always
  • yāmiṣ -- verb suppletive base subjunctive 2; 3 singular active optative of <yām-> make -- one should... do
  • mā -- adverb; <mā> no, not -- not
  • yaläṃ -- verb suppletive base gerundive 1; masculine singular oblique of <yām-> make -- to be done
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- a thing
  • mar -- prohibitory particle; <mar> no, not -- not
  • yāmiṣ -- verb suppletive base subjunctive 2; 3 singular active optative of <yām-> make -- one should... do
  • yaläṃ -- verb suppletive base gerundive 1; masculine singular oblique of <yām-> make -- to be done
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- a thing
  • ypant -- verb suppletive base present 3 participle active; masculine singular nominative of <yām-> make -- (In) doing
  • wrasom -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- one
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- ...
  • pälkäṣ -- verb base present 1; 3 singular active of <pälk-> shine -- appears
  • mäṃtne -- conjunction; <mäṃtne (mätne)> as, so as, so as to -- as
  • sälpmāṃ -- verb base present 1 participle mediopassive; masculine singular nominative of <sälp-> glow -- flaming
  • por -- noun 2 1; alternating singular nominative of <por> fire -- a... fire

28 - ṣñi ṣñaṣṣesā ortāsā -- -- eṃtsu cwal ārlā,
        puk ṣñaṣṣesaṃ ywārckā säm kayurṣṣ oki nuṣ spānte.
  • ṣñi -- reflexive pronoun; singular genitive of <ṣñi> (genitive only, reflexive for all numbers and persons) my, your, their, his (own), her (own), its (own) -- one's # Other forms of this pronoun are not extant.
  • ṣñaṣṣesā -- noun 6 4; masculine plural perlative of <ṣñaṣṣe> relation, relative -- Through... relatives
  • ortāsā -- noun 6 3; masculine plural perlative of <ort> friend (?) -- through glories (?)
  • eṃtsu -- verb base preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <ents-> seize -- having seized
  • cwal -- noun; singular oblique of <cwal> beginning (?) -- at birth # Found only in the phrase cwal ārlā.
  • ārlā -- noun; singular perlative of <āral> end (?) -- (and) death
  • puk -- indeclinable adjective; <puk> all, every, whole -- Always # puk is often indeclinable when used as an adjective (in contrast to its use as a substantive).
  • ṣñaṣṣesaṃ -- noun 6 4; masculine plural locative of <ṣñaṣṣe> relation, relative -- relatives
  • ywārckā -- postposition with locative; <ywārckā (ywārśkā)> between, among, in the middle of -- among
  • säm -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular nominative of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- he
  • kayurṣṣ -- noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <kayurṣ> bull -- a bull # The final consonant is doubled before an initial vowel, particularly before enclitics.
  • oki -- enclitic particle; <oki> like, as -- like
  • nuṣ -- verb causative present 8; 3 singular active of <nu-> roar -- bellows
  • spānte -- adverb; <spānte> confidently -- confidently

29 - wawuräṣ el wärporäṣ, mäṃtne āṣāṃ, sam pkaśśäl,
        wlaluneyis akälyme kalkaṣ wrasom kuprene,
        yomnāṣ lame ñäktaśśi yātluneyo sne nākäm.
  • wawuräṣ -- verb suppletive absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <wäs-> give -- Having given # The stem wäs- is employed in the preterite; e- is employed in all other forms.
  • el -- noun 3 1; alternating singular oblique of <el> gift -- a gift
  • wärporäṣ -- verb absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <wärp-> enjoy -- (and) having received (one)
  • mäṃtne āṣāṃ -- conjunction; <mäṃtne (mätne)> as, so as, so as to + indeclinable adjective; <āṣāṃ> worthy -- as (is) fitting # Skt. yatʰārham
  • sam -- adjective with commitative; masculine singular nominative of <sam> same (as) -- (a man is) like (i.e. equal) # Skt. sama
  • pkaśśäl -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular commitative of <puk> all, every, whole -- to all
  • wlaluneyis -- verb abstract; masculine singular genitive of <wäl-> die -- of death
  • akälyme -- postposition with genitive; <akälyme> under the control of -- in the direction
  • kalkaṣ -- verb suppletive subjunctive 5; 3 singular active of <kälk-> go -- go
  • wrasom -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- a man
  • kuprene -- conjunction; <kuprene> when, if -- if
  • yomnāṣ -- verb subjunctive 6; 3 singular active of <yom-> attain -- he should reach
  • lame -- noun; singular oblique of <lame> place, location -- the place
  • ñäktaśśi -- noun 5 1; masculine/feminine plural genitive of <ñkät> god -- of the gods
  • yātluneyo -- verb base abstract; singular instrumental of <yāt-> be able, be capable -- by prospering
  • sne -- preposition; <sne> without -- without
  • nākäm -- noun 3 1; alternating singular oblique of <nākäm> blame -- blame

30 - tämyo amok ñi pälskaṃ pukaṃ pruccamo wrasaśśi.
  • tämyo -- adverb; <tämyo> by this, from this, therefore -- Therefore
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • ñi -- pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <näṣ, ñuk> I -- my
  • pälskaṃ -- noun; alternating singular locative of <pältsäk> thought, opinion -- in... opinion
  • pukaṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular locative of <puk> all, every, whole -- altogether
  • pruccamo -- adjective 4; masculine singular nominative of <pruccamo> excellent, superior -- (is) the best (quality)
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- of men

Lesson Text

15 - Śilpavāṃ träṅkäṣ : amok wrasaśśi pukaṃ pruccamo, kyalte : Kuma -- -- -- 16 - kāsu ñom-klyu amoktsāp kälyme kälyme sätkatär.
        yärkā yāmäl mäskatär, potal kropal wrasaśśi. 17 - pāsmāṃ niṣpal lo näkṣäl ; wär por lāś lyśi mñe kärṣneñc.
        amok nu mā näknäṣträ, niṣpalis śkaṃ amok tsmār. 18 - kospreṃ kospreṃ śkaṃ ne amokäts amokṣiṃ wram pyutkāṣtär, täprenäk täprenäk päñ pärkowäntu mäskaṃtr-äṃ. 20 - sas pärko näṃ : wāwleṣu wram pyutkäṣṣ-äṃ ; wät ; amokäṣ tatmu kācke mäskatr-äṃ ; trit : wrassäṣ ortune kälpnāträ ; śtärt : ākläṣlyes ; pänt śkaṃ : akäṃtsune-pät-kälpāluneṣi pärko mäskatr-äṃ . 20 - waṣt lmāluneyis ñäkcy ārkiśoṣis śkaṃ tsmār nāṃtsu amok . tämyo täm śāwes käṣṣiśśi taṃne wewñu : Śuriṣinaṃ 21 - amok neṣā kälpitär, tmäṣ niṣpalntu kropitär.
        kākropuṃt nu niṣpalntu ṣakkats śtwar-pāk yāmiträ : 22 - ṣom pāk waṣtaṃ wärpitär, wunyo wlesant wleṣitär,
        särki ñātse pälkoräṣ, śtärcäṃ kāsu tāṣiträ. 23 - sas : wär tkanac wles, wät nu : śemäl pāṣäl, trit : kuryar,
        śtärt nu : śemäl tsmāṣlune, pänt : -- -- --, ṣkäṣt : tālune . 24 - waṣt lmālunyaṃ tosäs ṣäk ritwo kusne pākasyo
        niṣpal päñ-wäknā kroptär, cami wles yäṣ kälymeyā 25 - taṃne kropmāṃ niṣpalntu ykoṃ oṣeñi śamaṃtär,
        mäṃtne -- -- -- -- -- ne lyālyoryoṣoṣ pat nu. 26 - moknac niṣpal mā tāṣäl, mā śu ypeyā mskantāsac,
        mā empeles omskeṃsac, mā pe tampewātsesac. 27 - yaläṃ wramm ats skam yāmiṣ, mā yaläṃ wram mar yāmiṣ.
        yaläṃ wram ypant wrasom nu pälkäṣ mäṃtne sälpmāṃ por. 28 - ṣñi ṣñaṣṣesā ortāsā -- -- eṃtsu cwal ārlā,
        puk ṣñaṣṣesaṃ ywārckā säm kayurṣṣ oki nuṣ spānte. 29 - wawuräṣ el wärporäṣ, mäṃtne āṣāṃ, sam pkaśśäl,
        wlaluneyis akälyme kalkaṣ wrasom kuprene,
        yomnāṣ lame ñäktaśśi yātluneyo sne nākäm. 30 - tämyo amok ñi pälskaṃ pukaṃ pruccamo wrasaśśi.

Translation

15 Shilpavant says: "Skill of men is altogether the best (thing); for (in kuma...-meter):
16 The good fame of the artisan spreads in all directions.
He is to be treated with reverence, (is) to be respected, to be received by men.
17 Guarded property is to be made vanish; water, fire, kings (and) thieves cut off (one's) resources.
But skill does not vanish, and of property skill (is) the root.
18 "And (in just the same measure) as an artist an artistic object creates, (just) so the five advantages are for him. 19 One advantage, having done the thing, arises for him; a second (is that) having created out of skill (there) is a (sense of) pleasure in him(?); a third (is that) he acquires glory(?) from men; a fourth (is that he acquires) pupils; and a fifth is for him the advantage of possession or acquisition. 20 Of establishing a house and of the divine world the root being skill, therefore this of (=by) the great teachers has been said (in shurishin-meter):
21 "First skill should exist, then one should collect property,
But collected property indeed one should make (into) four part(s):
22 One part one should enjoy at home; with two (parts) one should perform works.
Later, having seen distress, the fourth one should put carefully (away).
23 "One work (is) water for the earth; the second, cattle to be pastured; the third trade;
The fourth, however, rearing cattle; the fifth... ; the sixth putting (away) (?).
24 In establishing a house, whoever, having provided these six things,
gathers property by parts in five ways, of him the work goes aright.
25 "Thus collecting, possessions by day and by night thrive.
So -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- or having wiped away (?).
26 For an old (man) property (is) not to be laid up, not for those who are over the land (?),
Not for the terrible, the evil, and not for the powerful.
27 "A thing to be done one should always do; a thing not to be done one should not do.
(In) doing a thing to be done one appears (as) a flaming fire.
28 Through one's relatives, through glories (?) -- -- -- having received at birth (and) death (?).
Always among relatives he bellows like a bull, confidently.
29 "Having given a gift (and) received (one), as (is) fitting, (a man is) like (i.e. equal) to all.
If a man go in the direction of death,
He should reach the place of the gods by prospering without blame.
30 Therefore skill, in my opinion, (is) altogether the best (quality) of men."

Grammar

6 Sandhi

As with most languages, Tocharian sounds at the moment of utterance are subject to rules of euphonic combination, also known by the Sanskrit term sandhi. The idea is simply that a given sound may change in any given utterance according to the particular phonetic environment in which it occurs. During the pronunciation of a given sound, the mouth may already be preparing itself for the following sound, and hence may change the sound under consideration; or the mouth may still be at the point of articulation of the previous sound, and this may affect the sound under consideration. This process commonly occurs in English, for example when the final voiced labio-dental fricative [v] of have [hæv] becomes the unvoiced counterpart [f] in the phrase I have to go -- more phonetically, I hafta go. This is a result of the mouth already preparing to say the following unvoiced t while still pronouncing the last consonant of have -- the [v] is devoiced to [f] as a result of this anticipation.

Such changes are generally very regular within a particular language. Sanskrit is perhaps the pinnacle of this, where the changes appear to have been grammaticalized after a time (certain rules of sandhi were less regular in the Vedic period than in the Classical period). While the Tocharian system is not nearly as ornate as the system of Classical Sanskrit, it does obey certain regularities of its own. These are frequently applied in the context of poetry where the number of syllables is essential to the meter. Outside of the poetic context, such euphonic combination is less frequently applied.

Generally the final vowels i, e, u, o are changed to their nearest equivalent semivowel before a following vowel. The syllabic resonants, that is the liquids and nasals reinforced by the epenthetic vowel -- är, äl, än -- become their fully consonantal equivalents.

Semivowel Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
-i > -y   A i anapär   y anapär
-e > -y   A sne āñu   sny āñu
         
-u > -w   B su eru   sw eru
-o > -w   B po akālkänta   pw akālkänta
         
-är > -r   A āṣtär akmalṣi   āṣtr akmalṣi
-äl > -l   B eṅkäl aknātsaññe   eṅkl aknātsaññe
-än > -n   A poñcäṃ ārkiśoṣṣis   poñcn ārkiśoṣṣis

Some of the rules, however, do not apply equally or in all instances in both languages. For example, the change -e > -y is rare in Tocharian B, the -e generally contracting with the following vowel in this language. The change -o > -w is often accompanied by the change a- > ā- in Tocharian B: nano alyek > nanw ālyek.

Two vowels of the same basic type generally contract to the respective simple vowel.

Like-Vowel Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
a + a > a, ā   B āsta arkwina   āst=arkwina
a + >   A śla āñcālyi   śl=ñcālyi
+ a, ā >   A mā appärmāt   m=pärmāt
         
i + i > i   A āñmaṣi ime   āñmaṣ=ime
e + e > e   B te epiṅkte   t=epiṅkte
         
o + o > o   A wiyo oki   wiy=oki

When the following vowel is dissimilar from the preceding vowel, the preceding vowel generally disappears if it does not become a semivowel according to the previous discussion. A notable exception to this is o, which has various differing results when it does not change to the semivowel -w. These results are summarized in the following table.

Unlike-Vowel Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
a + i > i, a   B warsa ite   wars=ite
a + e > a, e   B -mpa eṣe   -mp=eṣe
a + o > o   A śla oko   śl=oko
a + ai > ai   B tarya aiśamñenta   tary=aiśamñenta
a + au > au   B emprenma aurtsesa   emprenm=aurtsesa
         
+ e >   B mā eṅsate   m=ṅsate
+ ai > āy   B mā aiśeñcañ   mā=yśeñcañ
         
e + a > a, ā, e   B śle alyeṅkäts   śle=lyeṅkäts
e + >   A sne ālak   sn=lak
e + i > i   B poyśiñe ikeś   poyśiñ=ikeś
e + o > o, e   B te oṅkor   t=oṅkor
e + ai > ai   B te aikemar   t=aikemar
e + au > au   B wpelme auñento   wpelm=auñento
         
o + a > o   A tunṅkyo aśśi   tunṅkyo=śśi
o + >   A tunṅkyo āriñc   tunṅky=riñc
o + e > o   B yärpo entwe   yärpo=ntwe
o + ai > oy   B po aiśeñcai   po=yśeñcai

Consonant sandhi is less widespread than its vocalic counterpart. In general, final consonants may assimilate to the point of articulation of the following initial consonant, so that for example a dental consonant may become palatal before a following palatal.

Initial-Consonant Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
Dental   B täñ no   tän no
         
Palatal   A ālakäṃ caṃ   ālakäñ caṃ
    B śaul ñi   śauly ñi
         
Velar   B postäṃ ka   postäṅ ka

In addition, one finds that a final consonant is occasionally doubled before a following initial vowel. In Tocharian A this generally occurs before enclitics. The complementary process is also seen, where an initial consonant is doubled after a preceding final vowel. See the following chart.

Consonant-Doubling Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
C + V > CC + V   A tmäṣ aci   tmäṣṣ aci
    B poñ āppai   poññ āppai
         
V + C > V + CC   B entwe ka   entwe kka
    B welñenta ceṃts   welñenta cceṃts
7 Case

Case, more specifically morphological case, signifies the mechanism whereby changes to the ending of a noun, adjective, or pronoun serve to denote its grammatical role in a particular utterance. This survives in a relatively small way in modern English, particularly with the addition of 's to denote the genitive singular, or s' to denote the genitive plural, or s to denote nominative or oblique plural. Here the terms nominative, genitive, and oblique are all names of cases in modern English. Some, like the nominative and genitive, still largely carry the form and/or function of their historical predecessors in Proto-Indo-European; the other, the oblique, by contrast is an amalgam of historically distinct cases whose forms merged to give the modern representative. Much the same state of affairs holds in the Tocharian languages.

Speaking loosely, the nominative is the case of the grammatical subject of a clause, or of something equated with the subject. Thus English she is nominative, since this is the form of the feminine pronoun which one uses for the grammatical subject: she walked home yesterday. The genitive is often explained as the "possessive case", since this is a common function represented by the marker 's and s' in English, but this is a great oversimplification. The case denotes very general relationship or qualification. Consider the relations denoted by 's in the following phrases:

  1. Lincoln's presidency;
  2. gold's luster;
  3. Lincoln's assassination;
  4. Booth's assassination;
  5. Lincoln's top hat.

The first and second show what many would call "possession," but this is usually for lack of a better term, since 'presidency' and 'luster' are not commodities one can buy at the local store. The third denotes the object of the action represented by assassination, the fourth denotes the subject. Only the last actually denotes possession. The oblique denotes in English the object of a verb or preposition, such as me in the following sentences: He hit me; He gave me the book; He gave the book to me.

Proto-Indo-European possessed a much more robust case system than that of modern English. PIE, by most reconstructions, had eight cases: nominative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, locative, vocative. These cases survived intact only in the earliest exemplars of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family; in other families, the forms of different cases fell away and their roles were adopted by the forms of other cases, perhaps aided by the use of prepositions or postpositions (compare English me and to me above). This same process occurred within the history of the Tocharian languages, so that only three of the original PIE cases survived as morphological entities in Tocharian. However the use to postpositions in conjunction with one of these cases became so widespread that it appears to have led to the generation of new cases, different in form -- and sometimes in function -- from the original PIE cases. In this way Tocharian developed a two-tiered case system, the remnants of the PIE cases being called primary, and the newly developed cases called secondary.

7.1 Primary Cases

Tocharian retains only three of the original Indo-European cases: the nominative, genitive, and accusative, this last generally called the oblique case in the literature because it forms the basis for the secondary cases discussed below. Tocharian B additionally retains a vocative case. The nominative has generally undergone numerous changes which obscure the relation between the Tocharian endings and the original Indo-European endings, and even when the oblique shows some of its original PIE color, terminating in a nasal, this turns out to be a false friend -- since final consonants other than liquids and the voiced dental stop were generally lost in the earliest stages of the Tocharian language family, the nasal element of many oblique endings must in fact come from a PIE suffix preceding the ending, and not the ending itself. This is a large clue to the origin of many Tocharian nominal patterns lying with the extension of the original PIE n-stems. The genitive shows a variety of endings, which at times go back to PIE genitive endings, but possibly also to dative endings. This latter possibility is bolstered by the fact that the Tocharian genitive case often serves many of the roles of the PIE dative case.

The following chart shows the original PIE cases and their survival in the primary cases of Tocharian.

PIE Case   Function   English Example   Survives in Tocharian
             
Nominative   subject   she sees him   Nominative
Accusative   direct object   she sees him   Oblique
    directed motion   she throws it across the room    
Instrumental   thing by means of which   she sees him with her eyes    
    accompaniment   she is going with him    
Dative   indirect object   she give a book to him   Genitive
Ablative   source   she comes from New York    
Genitive   relation   her look was enchanting   Genitive
    possession   her car was red    
Locative   stationary position   she called me at home    
Vocative   direct address   O, my Lord!   Vocative
             

The blank spaces in the rightmost column indicate that the given PIE case did not survive in the primary cases of Tocharian. Most of the functions however are taken up in the secondary case system, to be described later.

7.1.1 Declension Types

Due to the large number of phonological changes between Proto-Indo-European and the Tocharian languages, the original PIE declensional types have undergone a heavy restructuring. The result is a large degree of variation between declensional classes. But across the board, Tocharian nouns fall into two broad types based on the formation of the plural:

Type (a)   nominative plural           different from           oblique plural;
Type (b)   nominative plural           same as           oblique plural.

Given these two basic types, some further tendencies may be pointed out. In both languages, nouns of Type (a) generally have singular forms which differ in the nominative and accusative. Likewise, Type (b) nouns generally have singular nominative and oblique forms which are the same. Thus we have the following tendencies:

i.   nom. pl. different from obl. pl.           ==>           nom. sg. different from obl. sg.
ii.   nom. pl. same as obl. pl.           ==>           nom. sg. same as obl. sg.

But this certainly does not always hold true.

7.1.2 Primary Case Endings

The singular nominative and oblique in both Tocharian A and B lack an explicit ending. Human nouns provide the exception, where the oblique singular is marked by -ṃ. This lack of an overt marker led in Tocharian A to a nearly uniform equivalence of nominative and oblique forms. In Tocharian B, stem alternations prevented this equivalence, except when the nouns derived from original PIE *o-stem masculines and from PIE neuters.

The genitive singular shows AB -i, the reflex of the PIE dative, in nouns denoting kinship and proper names. In other situations, the genitive singular generally shows A -ys B -ntse, reflexes of PToch. *-nse.

The vocative only survives in Tocharian B. The form of the vocative varies widely across declensional types.

The nominative and oblique dual in Tocharian always maintain the same form in both Tocharian A and Tocharian B.

We may consider nominative and oblique plural forms according to type. Type (a) plurals in Tocharian A always have oblique ending A -s. The nominative shows A -ñ after a stem-final vowel, or A -i after a stem-final consonant (which may be palatalized as a result). Type (a) plurals in Tocharian B always have oblique ending B -ṃ. The nominative shows the ending B -i for Tocharian B e-stems, the ending B -ñ for stems in other vowels, and the ending B -i for stems ending in a consonant (which is always palatalized as a result).

Type (b) nominative and oblique plurals generally have A (zero) B -a. A stem change generally accompanies these endings:

Type (b)   Toch. A Sg.   Toch. A Pl.           Toch. B Sg.   Toch. B Pl.
                         
Nominative   pältsäk   pälskant           palsko   pälskonta
Oblique   pältsäk   pälskant           palsko   pälskonta
                         

The genitive plural in Tocharian A nouns of Type (b) is A -śśi. Tocharian A frequently employs the genitive singular ending in the plural. Tocharian B has the ending B -ts. Alongside this Tocharian B uses B -ṃts, an ending probably originally restricted to nouns of Type (a).

7.1.3 Primary Case Reference Paradigms

The following tables show the primary case forms for the nouns A yuk B yakwe 'horse' and A oṅk B eṅkwe 'man'. Note that the latter, being human, shows the ending -ṃ in the oblique.

    Toch. A Sg.   Toch. A Pl.           Toch. B Sg.   Toch. B Pl.
                         
Nominative   yuk 'horse'   yukañ           yakwe   yakwi
Genitive   yukes   yukaśśi           yäkwentse   yäkweṃts
Oblique   yuk   yukas           yakwe   yakweṃ
                         
                         
Nominative   oṅk 'man'   oṅkañ           eṅkwe   eṅkwi
Genitive   oṅkis   oṅkaśśi           eṅkwentse   eṅkweṃts
Oblique   oṅkaṃ   oṅkas           eṅkweṃ   eṅkweṃ
                         

7.1.4 Preview of Declension Classes

As with many of the other Indo-European languages, the nominal inflection of the Tocharian languages can be divided into several broad classes. Each of these, in turn, often has further subclasses. Given the structure mentioned above, it is not surprising that the division into classes is based mainly on the structure of the endings of the nominative and oblique plural.

This is convenient from a synchronic point of view, since in terms of endings there are few other markers that are sufficiently thoroughgoing as to allow their use as a means of classification. From the standpoint of Indo-European linguistics, this classification system is unfortunate, inasmuch as it often cuts across the typical divisions into PIE *o-stems, *i-stems, *n-stems, etc. However this classification system does highlight the fact that, for example, the nominative singular forms of nouns vary to a large degree, and do not provide much information as to the actual inflection of a given noun.

As a preview of coming attractions, and for convenient reference, the following chart lists the basic declension classes and their primary distinguishing features.

Noun Class   Type   Case   Toch. A Plurals   Toch. B Plurals
I   (b)   Nom.   -ā, -wā, -u   -a, -wa
        Obl.   -ā, -wā, -u   -a, -wa
                 
II   (b)   Nom.   -ṃ, -mnā-   -na, -nma
        Obl.   -ṃ, -mnā-   -na, -nma
                 
III   (b)   Nom.   -nt, -ntu   -nta, *-ntwa
        Obl.   -nt, -ntu   -nta, *-ntwa
                 
IV   (a), (b)   Nom.   (r)i, (r)e   (er)a, (är)ñ
        Obl.   (r)äs, (r)es   (er)a, (är)ñ
                 
V   (a)   Nom.   -i, -ñ   -i
        Obl.   -s   -ṃ
                 
VI   (a)   Nom.   -ñ   -ñ
        Obl.   -s   -ṃ
                 
VII   (a)   Nom.       -ñc
        Obl.       -ntäṃ

As one can see from the chart, the division into classes follows primarily according to the forms found in Tocharian B, as for example in Class VII. Class IV contains only kinship nouns with stem in -r-. Some scholars ascribe to Class VIII the nouns which do not fall into the above classes.

8 Adjective Structure
8.1 Adjective Endings

The plural of Tocharian A adjectives are Type (a) in the masculine, and either Type (a) or Type (b) in the feminine. The plurals of Tocharian B adjectives are Type (a) in the masculine and Type (b) in the feminine. The singular of both Tocharian A and B adjectives can be either Type (a) or Type (b). The dual of Tocharian A and B adjective always have identical nominative and oblique forms.

The feminine of adjectives is generally signaled by a suffix A -yā- B -ya- placed between stem and ending. This suffix is present in all forms of the feminine singular. The plural however is not as uniform. All Type (a) forms in Tocharian A and some paradigms in Tocharian B retain the singular stem in the plural. Another tendency in both languages, however, is to use the masculine singular nominative or oblique form as the basis for a Type (b) paradigm.

The above description of adjectives is depicted in the following two tables.

Toch. A Adj.   Masc. Type   Masc. Stem           Fem. Type   Fem. Stem
                         
Singular   (a)   [base]           (a)   [base]-yā-
    (b)   [base]           (b)   [base]-yā-
                         
Dual   (b)   [base]           (b)   [m/f]
                         
Plural   (a)   [base]           (a)   [base]-yā-
                    (b1)   [base]
                    (b2)   [m.sg.nom/obl]
                         
Toch. B Adj.   Masc. Type   Masc. Stem           Fem. Type   Fem. Stem
                         
Singular   (a)   [base]           (a)   [base]-ya-
    (b)   [base]           (b)   [base]-ya-
                         
Dual   (b)   [base]           (b)   [m/f]
                         
Plural   (a)   [base]                
                    (b1)   [base]-ya-
                    (b2)   [m.sg.nom/obl]

In the tables above, [base] stands for the basic stem as found in the dictionary entry. [m/f] denotes the fact that either the masculine or feminine stem may be used. [m.sg.nom/obl] represents the fact that either the nominative or oblique form (not stem) of the masculine singular may be used as the new stem for certain forms.

The nominative singular has no marker for any gender in either Tocharian A or Tocharian B. The oblique singular adds a nasal to the basic nominative form, though in Tocharian B this undergoes the change PToch *-aN > B -ai.

The genitive singular masculine ending is A -(y)āp B -epi (though B -pi appears after a vowel). Occasionally Tocharian B employs the ending B -e < PIE *-os in the genitive masculine. The genitive singular feminine ends in A -e B -ai.

The nominative plural masculine of Tocharian A shows A -e, A -ñ, A -i after a stem-final consonant (which may be palatalized as a result), or just simple palatalization of a final consonant without addition of an overt ending. Tocharian B shows the ending B -i for Tocharian B e-stems, the ending B -ñ for stems in other vowels, or simple palatalization of the final consonant.

The oblique plural has a more irregular formation. In general Tocharian B adds a nasal to the stem. Tocharian A for the most part shows the ending A -s in the masculine, but this is generally added to the nominative form, not to the stem.

The following tables summarize the above.

Adj. Endings A   Masc.   Fem.
         
Nom. Sg.   [base]-(zero)   [base]-yā--(zero)
Gen.   [base]-(y)āp   [base]-yā--e
Obl.   [base]-(N)   [base]-yā--(N)
         
Nom. Pl.   [base]-e, (V)-ñ, (C'), (C')-i    
Gen.        
Obl.   [m.pl.nom]-s    
         
Adj. Endings B   Masc.   Fem.
         
Nom. Sg.   [base]-(zero)   [base]-ya--(zero)
Gen.   [base](C)-epi, (V)-pi, -e   [base]-ya--ai
Obl.   [base]-ai   [base]-ya--ai
         
Nom. Pl.   [base](e)-i, (V)-ñ, (C')    
Gen.        
Obl.   [base]-(N)    

In the tables above, N stands for a nasal, V stands for a vowel, C for a consonant, and C' for a palatalized consonant. (zero) denotes the absence of an ending, while a blank space denotes the lack of a succinct, overarching pattern.

8.2 Adjective Classes

Adjectives are divided into four main classes. This division follows the Tocharian B forms of the masculine singular. The distinction of the forms is inherited from the Proto-Indo-European structure of the forms, so that there is a fairly clean correspondence between Tocharian adjective types and distinct PIE formations.

There are four adjective classes. These may be split into two basic groups: thematic and athematic classes. Adjective Class I is thematic. This means in PIE terms that the suffix preceding the ending included a vowel, such as in PIE *o-stem formations: PIE *medʰ-i(y)o-s gives Lat. medius, Grk. mésos, Skt. madʰya-. The remaining three adjective classes are athematic, characterized by the lack of such a vowel in the suffix before the ending. Each athematic class is distinguished based on the PIE athematic suffix leading to the Tocharian formation: PIE *-n-, *-nt-, or *-s-. The following chart illustrates the Tocharian adjective classes.

Adjective Class   Case   Toch. B Plural   PIE
             
I   Nom.   -i   -oi
(thematic)   Obl.   -eṃ   -o-ns
             
II   Nom.   -ñ   -n-es
(athematic)   Obl.   -(nä)ṃ   -n-ṇs
             
III   Nom.   -ñc   -nt-es
(athematic)   Obl.   -ntäṃ   -nt-ṇs
             
IV   Nom.   -ṣ   -s-es
(athematic)   Obl.   -ṣäṃ   -s-ṇs

Note that a vowel may be part of the PIE ending, even though it is not a part of the suffix, in an athematic form. The thematic/athematic distinction refers to the root suffix, and not to the ending.

9 Present System

The present system of verbs comprises both finite verb forms (the present indicative verb tense) and non-finite forms (the present participle, gerundive, and infinitive). Both the indicative and participle have separate formations for active and mediopassive voices.

The verbs of the two Tocharian languages show several variations in present formation. These different formations are characterized by the suffixes, and sometimes infixes, which are applied to the basic verbal root. Some of these affixes function in a manner analogous to various types in the other ancient Indo-European languages. It is therefore convenient to distinguish those which have their origin in the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, and those which are new formations generated within Tocharian.

9.1 Present Classes

The distinction of the various classes of present conjugation in Tocharian have their origins in different stem formations in Proto-Indo-European itself. Several different types of primary PIE formations have made their way into Tocharian. The root athematic verbs remain in the present CLASS I, as in Tocharian A swiñc 'they rain' < PIE *suh₂-énti, while the root thematic presents remain in CLASS II: B akem 'we lead' < PIE *h₂eǵ-o-mes, cf. Lat. agimus. In two of the Tocharian present classes, the thematic vowel *-o- has replaced the thematic *-e- and been extended throughout the entire paradigm. These are most clearly illustrated in Tocharian B: CLASS III lipetär 'is left over' < PIE *lip-o-tor; CLASS IV osotär 'dries' < PIE *as-o-tor.

The nasal-infixing presents are also well-represented in Tocharian. CLASS VI contains verbs with a nasal infix before a root-final laryngeal, such as AB musnātär 'lifts up', cf. Ved. muṣṇā́ti 'steals'. CLASS VII contains other nasal-infixed stems such as B piṅkeṃ 'they paint' < PIE *pi-n-g-, cf. Lat. pingunt.

Other classes contain suffixed roots. For example, CLASS VIII contains the thematic s-suffix *-se / o-: A nämseñc 'they bow down to, they revere', cf. Gk. némō 'I pay'. CLASS IX contains verbs with the *-sḱe / o-suffix, as in B aiskau 'I give'.

CLASS XII contains verbs derived from nominal items by variations on the PIE *-ye / o-suffix. For example, B lareññentär 'they love' < PToch. *lāren-yä-, cf. Toch. AB lareñ (pl.) 'dear'.

The remaining classes are either of uncertain origin or Tocharian extensions of these basic types. CLASS V perhaps contains verbs with a final laryngeal *-H- or with the suffix -eh₂- found in the Latin first conjugation. CLASS X seems to be a Tocharian extension by *-sḱe / o- of stems already ending in a nasal or nasal followed by a laryngeal, such as the verbs of CLASS VI. Similarly, CLASS XI contains verbs whose stems already ended in the *-se /o-suffix found in CLASS VIII, but which were further extended by the *-sḱe / o-suffix. The present classes of Tocharian are outlined in the following table.

Present Class   Type   Affix   Toch. A   Toch. B   Comparanda
                     
I   athematic   *-(zero)   pälkiñc   palkeṃ   Gk. pʰlégō, Lat. fulgeō
II   thematic   *-e / o   pärtär   paräṃ   Skt. bʰárati, Gk. pʰéretai
III   thematic   *-o   wikatär   wiketär   Skt. vijáte, OHG wīhhan
IV   thematic   *-o   plantatär   plontotär    
V   athematic   *-H-, -eh₂   śwāṣ   śuwaṃ   Eng. chew, OE cēowan
VI   athematic   *-n-H   knāṣ   katnaṃ   Gk. skídnēmi
VII   athematic   *-n       piṅkeṃ   Lat. pingunt
VIII   thematic   *-se / o   arsamäs   ersem(o)    
IX   thematic   *-sḱe / o       aiskau    
X   thematic   *-n(H)-sḱe / o   tämnäṣtär   tänmastär    
XI   thematic   *-se / o-sḱe / o   āksisam   aksáskau   Lat. aiō
XII   thematic   *-ṇ(H)-ye / o   tuṅkiññant   āñmantär    
9.2 Present Endings

The present tense may also function as a future, akin to English I am going to the grocery store tomorrow and Spanish Voy mañana al mercado, and in that sense more proper terminology for the present tense would be non-past. More frequently, however, Tocharian employs the subjunctive as a future tense. The subjunctive nevertheless uses the same endings as the present tense. The non-past endings of Tocharian verbs are given in the following table.

Non-Past   Active A   Active B           Mediopassive A   Mediopassive B
                         
1 Sg.   -m   -u / w           -mār   -mar
2   -t   -t           -tār   -tar
3   -s   -ṃ           -tär   -tär
                         
3 Dual       -teṃ                
                         
1 Pl.   -mäs   -m           -mtär   -mtär
2   -c   -cer           -cär   -tär
3   -y(ñc)   -ṃ           -ntär   -ntär
                         
Pres. Ppl.   -ant   -eñca           -māṃ   -mane
Grnd.   -l   -lle                
Pres. Infin.   -tsi   -tsi                

The participle and infinitive are only employed with the present stem. The gerundive, however, is employed with either the present or subjunctive stem.

The dual form is rarely encountered.

The Indo-European heritage of the Tocharian endings is quite evident in the mediopassive, where the same marker *-r is found as in Latin, e.g. Lat. tingit 'touches' vs. tingitur 'is touched'.

9.3 Non-Past Reference Paradigms

The following chart shows the present forms for the verb AB läk- 'see'. Since the subjunctive also employs the non-past endings, these forms are given as well.

Non-Past   Present A   Present B           Subjunctive A   Subjunctive B
Active                        
1 Sg.   lkām   lkāskau           *pälkām   lakau
2   lkāt   lkāst(o)           *pälkāt   lkāt(o)
3   lkā   lkāṣṣäṃ           *pälkā   lka
                         
1 Pl.   lkāmäs   *lkāskeṃ           *pälkāmäs   lkām(o)
2   lkāc   *lkāścer           *pälkāc   lkācer
3   lkeñc   lkāskeṃ           *pälkeñc   lakaṃ
                         
Ppl.   lkānt   lkāṣṣeñca                
Grnd.   lkāl   lkāṣṣälle           *pälkāl   lkālle
Infin.   lkātsi   lkātsI                
                         
Mediopassive                        
1 Sg.   lkāmār   *lkāskemar           pälkāmār   lkāmar
2   lkātār   lkāstar           pälkātār   lkātar
3   lkātär   lkāstär           pälkātär   lkātär
                         
1 Pl.   lkāmtär   *lkāskemt(t)är           pälkāmtär   lkāmt(t)är
2   lkācär   *lkāstär           pälkācär   lkātār
3   lkāntär   *lkāskentär           pälkāntär   lkāntär
                         
Ppl.   lkāmāṃ   lkāskemane                

The forms with asterisks, of which there are clearly quite a few, are unattested. And AB läk- is actually one of the best attested Tocharian verbs!

Note some of the important inequivalences between the Tocharian languages regarding the stems employed in verb formation. In particular the Tocharian B present indicative of AB läk- shows the *-sk- causative formation, but without any change in meaning. Tocharian A, by contrast, does not use this formation in the simple present. Likewise, the form with stem-final long -ā- provides the present in Tocharian A, while it provides the subjunctive in Tocharian B. Tocharian A actually employs a completely different root in the subjunctive.

10 Agglutination

The Tocharian languages are exceptionally beautiful and unique among the ancient Indo-European languages for the way in which they freeze frame an show an intermediate phase in a shift from the PIE synthetic system to a new (from a PIE point of view) agglutinative system.

We may characterize the difference between synthetic and agglutinative languages broadly as follows. A synthetic language is one in which form denotes function; by contrast, an agglutinative language is one in which form fits function. More specifically, the major ancient Indo-European languages are generally classic examples of synthetic languages. For example, Latin distinguishes grammatically a nominative case and a genitive case. In the first declension, we have the following endings:

Latin 1st Decl.   Singular   Plural
         
Nom.   -a   -ae
Gen.   -ae   -ārum

Thus Latin has an ending for each case and number, i.e. an ending for nominative and genitive, each singular and plural. But note that the ending is different for singular and plural, both in the nominative and in the genitive. There is no single 'nominative ending'. Moreover, the nominative plural ending is the same as the genitive singular ending! Thus, given the Latin form nautae, out of context, one cannot say if the intended meaning is 'sailors' (as subject) or 'of the sailor'. In the context of an utterance such complete ambiguity is rarely felt, but nevertheless possible (as any modern student of Latin is well aware!). Thus in a synthetic language like Latin the form denotes the grammatical function, but not uniquely.

Moreover, in synthetic languages like Latin, the ending may change slightly depending on the form of the stem to which it is applied. For example, the accusative singular of Lat. rex 'king' is rēgem, but the accusative singular of Lat. turris 'tower' is turrim.

Agglutinative languages, however, show in some sense a more rigid matching between form and function. Tocharian exhibits this agglutinative tendency in the secondary cases of nouns (to be discussed more fully in the next lesson). For example, Tocharian A employs the ending -aśśäl to denote the comitative, i.e. to denote accompaniment. This ending is employed any time the sense of accompaniment is desired; the form does not alter depending on whether the noun is singular or plural. The one function is denoted by this one form. Thus, if one wants to construct a form meaning 'with the horse', one takes the noun A yuk 'horse', arrives at the singular oblique (incidentally also yuk), and then applies the comitative ending: hence yukaśśäl 'with the horse'. If one wants to arrive at a form denoting 'with the horses', then one follows an analogous procedure: yuk 'horse' becomes yukas (obl. pl.) 'horses', and finally yukasaśśäl 'with the horses'. The point is that the secondary case suffix is invariant. Comitative is comitative is comitative. The same applies to all other secondary case endings.

Many modern languages the world over function according to this type of agglutinative structure, for example Japanese and Finnish. Tocharian however is the unique instance of an Indo-European language exhibiting this structure. What is all the more beautiful, however, is the fact that Tocharian appears to be in the process of changing from synthetic to agglutinative structure. This too is clear in the nouns (or perhaps it is more accurate to say this is mostly restricted to the nouns). First and foremost, the primary cases still function according to the general PIE synthetic structure, so that nominative, genitive and oblique case endings change depending on the stem to which they are applied. But one finds examples where the Tocharian languages are beginning to treat the primary cases in a manner analogous to the secondary cases.

This change is particularly apparent with the genitive. The genitive, though a primary case and therefore synthetic, still in some sense allows its case marker to 'distribute' over the entire noun phrase. In Latin one says tōtīus mundī 'of the entire world', where both tōtīus and mundī are genitive singular forms, redundantly marking the fact that the noun phrase as a whole is in the genitive. Though Tocharian may parallel such constructions, one also finds A poñcäṃ saṃsāris 'of the entire world' -- here the -is of saṃsāris is the proper synthetic case marker of the genitive; but rather than redundantly mark 'entire' with a genitive ending, Tocharian employs the oblique instead. That is, the Tocharian speaker understands the noun + (synthetic) genitive ending structure in the same fashion as the secondary case construction noun-oblique + secondary case ending. Thus the group inflection typically employed with secondary cases begins to be employed with the primary cases as well. This however is not uniformly applied, suggesting that Tocharian is still in a process of converting from synthetic to agglutinative structure in the nouns.

Tocharian Online

Lesson 3

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Morphology: Verbals

By comparison to the Modern English system, the verbal system of Proto-Indo-European is quite ornate. In Modern English, the verb give merely displays 5 forms: give, giving, gives, gave, given. In Proto-Indo-European, by contrast, any particular verb can disply dozens of distinct forms. We turn now to a discussion of the categories which describe the formal verbal system.

Tense and Aspect

In many modern, western European languages, we customarily distinguish a number of verb tenses. Tense denotes the placement of an action in time, relative to the moment of utterance. That is, when I say in English "he gave," we say gave is in the past tense, and that this signifies that the action of giving occurred prior to the moment the sentence was uttered. "He gives," by contrast, employs the present tense, and this is supposedly concurrent to the moment of utterance. But here we run into a peculiarity of English: the simple present form typically denotes a habitual action, among other types of action, so that "he gives" typically means "he gives regularly" or "he is always giving," i.e. "he is a generous person." What it does not mean is "he is giving right now." Historically, in earlier stages of English, this situation did not obtain, and "he gives" was truly an action concurrent with the utterance; in Modern English we must say "he is giving" to achieve the desired effect of a true present tense. This brings out a subtle point: not everything that is called a "tense" actually is a tense in the strict sense; at times, however, we will bow to tradition and still employ the terminology.

Verbal aspect contrasts with tense. Aspect denotes the quality or shape of an action in time. That is, aspect does not say, even relatively, when an action takes place, but rather describes something about how it takes place, or rather how the speaker views it taking place. For example, contrast Modern English "he gave" vs. "he was giving." Both verb forms mark the past tense, i.e. they both mark the action as occurring prior to the moment of utterance. They therefore have the same tense. But they do not show the same aspect: in particular, "he gave" represents the action as a complete whole, while "he was giving" does not. To make the distinction more clear, realize that with "he gave," we know that the act of giving began, perhaps progressed, but definitely terminated before the moment of utterance; with "he was giving," we similarly know that the action began and progressed, but we cannot be sure that the action finished before the moment of utterance. We might distinguish these two aspects by saying that "he gave" is completive -- or punctual or perfective -- whereas "he was giving" is progressive -- or non-punctual or imperfective. The perfective aspect views the action as a point in time, whereas the imperfective aspect views the action as an interval of time (with indeterminate endpoint).

Clearly the concept of verbal aspect is more nebulous than its cousin tense, and there are many finer distinctions to be made, not all of which enjoy universal agreement within the linguistic community. As an example of another type of verbal aspect, we might consider the verbal unit "be green," as in "he is green," or even more simply "be" or "exist." These actions -- well, verbs at any rate -- do not sit conveniently within the above framework of completive (denoting a point in time) or incompletive (denoting an interval of time). Linguists assign such verbs to a class all their own called stative verbs, aptly enough comprising verbs which denote a state of being, i.e. something almost out of time altogether.

Many languages, such as German, have morphology which predominantly marks tense: er geht, formally "he goes," but really equivalent to "he is going", vs. er ging "he went." Some languages, such as Spanish, morphologically mark tense distinctions, e.g. dice "he says" (really, "is saying") vs. dijo "he said" (cf. Latin dīcit vs. dīxit); and even mark some aspectual distinctions morphologically, e.g. dijo "he said" vs. decía "he was saying" (cf. Lat. dīxit vs. dīcēbat). Still other languages predominantly mark aspectual distinctions, such as Yucatec Maya: k-inw-il-ik "I am seeing (something)" vs. tz'o'ok inw-il-ik "I was seeing (something up till just now)" vs. tz'o'ok inw-il-aj "I saw (something)." In this last example, the root il- means "see (something);" the prefixes k- and tz'o'ok denote, respectively, aspectual distinctions of ongoing and ongoing-to-the-present-moment, while the suffixes -ik and -aj denote, respectively, incompletive and completive aspect.

Communis opinio, but by no means the only opinio, currently holds that the early stages of Proto-Indo-European demonstrate an aspectual, rather than tense, system. This system comprises three basic aspects: durative (imperfective), punctual (perfective), and stative. Any one of these aspects could be inherent to the particular verbal root's (more on which below) meaning; but the Proto-Indo-European speaker could also shift categories by applying morphological affixes with aspectual content. This structure eventually gives way, at least in large part, to a tense system before the appearance of the documented languages. But the variety of tense structures we find in the daughter languages arises from the intricacies of the original aspectual system of PIE. For example, the fact that linguists may reconstruct (Sihler, p. 446ff)

    *dʰegʷʰ-ti 'is burning'   (!)gʷem-ti
    *e-dʰegʷʰ-t 'was burning'   *e-gʷem-t 'arrived'

suggests that what distinguishes the imperfect tense (ongoing, past-time action) from the aorist (punctual, past-time action) was not necessarily the morphology, but often the verbal aspect inherent in the root. The PIE root *dʰegʷʰ- 'be burning', 'be on fire' has an inherently non-punctual meaning, so that when a speaker applies hic-et-nunc (here-and-now) morphology in the guise of *-ti, the natural interpretation is as a continuous, present-time action, i.e. as a present tense. When the speaker applies, let's say, the there-and-then morphology *e-...-t, the resulting interpretation is a continuous, past-time action, i.e. an imperfect tense. But with PIE *gʷem-, the outcomes are different: applying *e-...-t produces a form which the speaker interprets as punctual and there-and-then, i.e. a simple past, or aorist, tense; the difference in interpretation can not derive from the morphology, and so must lie in the root itself. The root *gʷem- must inherently have a punctual (non-durative) meaning, "arrive" or "reach this point" (either you've reached it or you haven't; either you've done the verb or you haven't). In this sense, the absence of here-and-now morphology for the root *gʷem- derives from a natural incongruity between the sense of the hic-et-nunc morphology and the inherent aspect structure of the root.

But PIE speakers could also employ a number of suffixes which modify the aspectual structure. For example, we do find evidence to reconstruct

Present   *gʷṃ-sḱe-ti   *gʷṃ-ye-ti
Imperfect   *e-gʷṃ-sḱe-t   *e-gʷṃ-ye-t

and even the aorist *e-dʰēgʷʰ-s-t with additional punctual marker *-s-.

Of course the data supporting the reconstruction of the PIE aspectual system is never as clear-cut as one would hope, and exceptions to the above tendencies abound. However the tripartite aspectual distinction durative-punctual-stative goes a long way to making sense of the idiosyncrasies which permeate the tense systems of the daughter languages. To provide a common footing, nevertheless, we may say that Proto-Indo-European itself showed, in its latest stages, the emerging dominance of a tense-based verbal morphology. Generally, scholars identify the following tenses.

Tense   Meaning   English
         
Present   durative action, concurrent with utterance   he is eating
Imperfect   durative action, prior to utterance   he was eating
Aorist   punctual action, prior to utterance   he ate
Perfect   action completed as of utterance   he has eaten

There also arise further tenses whose inclusion in PIE is more problematic.

Tense   Meaning   English
         
Pluperfect   action completed prior to utterance   he had eaten
Future   action subsequent to utterance   he shall eat

The perfect, pluperfect, and future enjoy a special status. The perfect, on the one hand, most archaically derives from the stative, signifying the state resulting from prior action: "I have done" is equivalent to "I am in a state of having completed." In this and other senses, the notion of tense only loosely applies to this category. On the other hand, in some daughter languages, what is termed the perfect is actually a conflation of tenses. In particular, the Latin verb dīcere "to say" forms the perfect dīxit. This form may have two interpretations in Latin, either "he said" or "he has said." Only the latter properly expresses the perfect tense; the former denotes a simple past. In the case of this verb, the sense of the simple past results from the historical morphology: dīx-it < PIE *deiḱ-s-, where the *-s- provides the overt marker of the aorist. In Latin, the twofold interpretation for perfect tense forms derives from the coalescence of both perfect and aorist markers into the same tense category.

The notion that the pluperfect, or past of the perfect, was a truly PIE category meets with some skepticism in the scholarly community. Similarly scholars debate whether the future itself should be counted among the PIE inventory. In particular, as a tense it lacks anything near uniform attestation in the daughter dialects, both in terms of existence as a distinct morphological category and, if it does happen to exist in a given language, in terms of its morphological realization. It is likely that the subjunctive mood filled the role of a future in PIE, and that the future as such was not a morphological tense in PIE itself.

Thus saying that PIE had such a replete system either throughout its history, or throughout all regions ultimately leading to the earliest attested languages, is a gross oversimplification. Hittite for example has a greatly reduced verbal morphology, in many ways more in line with the aspectual system discussed above. Since Hittite is to date the earliest attested Indo-European language, this furnishes the necessity of distinguishing stages on an aspect-tense continuum throughout the Proto-Indo-European period.

Mood

The classical moods ascribed to Proto-Indo-European are the indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and optative. A verb takes the indicative mood when the speaker wishes to relate the action as a fact. The imperative mood denotes a direct command. Both the subjunctive and optative combined constitute the so-called irreales moods, that is, the speaker employs a verb in the subjunctive or optative when the depicted action does not (yet) hold a factual status from the speaker's perspective. Among these two, subjunctive and optative, the optative generally has the further connotation of a wish or desire. As formal categories, these continue to distinguish themselves in English. Consider the following examples.

Category   Example
     
Indicative   I was looking...
Imperative   Look!
Subjunctive   Were I looking...
Optative   Would I were looking...

Their morphological distinction, however, is another matter. In general, PIE does in fact distinguish all of these categories based on morphological features. In particular, the imperative distinguishes itself by employing the basic verbal stem and a special set of endings. The subjunctive exhibits a lengthened vowel grade between verbal root and ending, while the optative employs the special suffix *-ih₁. In fact, the morphological distinction between the subjunctive and optative is often clearer than the semantic distinction: for example, the Germanic languages as a whole generally lost the subjunctive and replaced it with the optative. The subjunctive seems also to have served as the future tense. Homeric Greek and Vedic, moreover, provide evidence for a further irrealis category: the injunctive or conjunctive. These tend to show past tense morphology, but often have an irrealis force. Scholars still debate the status of this category, but likely it represents an under-marked form of the verb that takes its interpretation from the preceding verb.

Stem Shape

Proto-Indo-European verbal morphology generally proceeds by adding affixes to a verbal root. For the most part, these added elements are suffixal, coming at the end of the word. Scholars find it convenient to further analyze these terminal elements into two parts, called the suffix and the ending. Thus a PIE verb form as encountered in an utterance breaks down into the following constituents:

    Root   +   Suffix   +   Ending.

This is often simply denoted R+S+E. For example, a Sanskrit form such as bʰárati 'carries' would break down as follows:

Surface   Root   Suffix   Ending
             
bʰárati   bʰár-   -a-   -ti

For a given form or a given verb, however, one or both of the suffix or ending may be Ø, as in asti 'is':

Surface   Root   Suffix   Ending
             
ásti   ás-   -Ø-   -ti

The root conveys the inherent meaning of the verb. The root and suffix taken together form what linguists term the verbal stem:

Stem   =   Root   +   Suffix.

Any one of the elements in a verb, be it the root, the suffix, or the ending, can undergo alterations of various types to further modify the meaning of the form as a whole.

The thematic vowel is a suffix of particular interest. This suffix takes the form of either *-e- or *-o-, depending on the particular form within a verbal paradigm. For example, consider the PIE roots *bʰer- and *h₁es-, antecedent to Skt. bʰar- and as- mentioned above. The former verb employs the thematic vowel in the present indicative, while the latter does not, as the following forms help illustrate.

Person   Present   Root   Suffix   Ending
                 
3 Sg.   *bʰéreti   *bʰér-   *-e-   *-ti
1 Pl.   *bʰéromesi   *bʰér-   *-o-   *-mesi
                 
3 Sg.   *h₁ésti   *h₁és-   *-Ø-   *-ti
1 Pl.   *h₁ésmes   *h₁s-   *-Ø-   *-mes

The presence or absence of the thematic vowel plays an important role in PIE historical morphology. Accordingly linguists divide all verbs into two main classes, thematic and athematic, depending on whether a given verb employs or does not employ the thematic vowel in its conjugation.

Of course PIE languages also display a wide variety of prefixal elements, or preverbs. Sometimes these elements only find application in verb forms, such as the past tense augment *(h₁)e-. But more frequently these preverbs take the form of pre- or postpositions that gravitate strongly to the verbal root and more or less substantially color its meaning. In this latter case, these generally undergo no further modification and become part of the lexical entry in a dictionary. Thus, in terms of the R+S+E analysis of verbs, it is customary to include these with the verbal root under the heading of R.

Ablaut and Reduplication

Ablaut refers to the use of vowel gradation to change meaning within a root. Examples abound in English: sing, sang, sung, song. With each change of vowel, the root s-ng referring to some type of melodic speech act changes grammatical function: sing, present indicative; sang, past indicative; sung, past participle; song, noun. Such vocalic shifts form the bane of any non-native speaker's attempt to learn the language, since the particular type of vowel gradation often depends strongly on the verb: fling, present indicative; flung, past indicative; flung, past participle -- this employs some of the same vowels as sing, but at times in different roles. The assumption of parallelism, can run one into trouble: flang won't beget anything but a chuckle. All hope is not lost, however, since the possible ablaut patterns realized by English verbs actually fall into only a handful of categories: for example hang, hung, hung follows the same pattern as fling; so the problem reduces to one of identifying the few possible ablaut patterns and then remembering which verbs belong to which class, something which proves difficult even for native speakers! (Do I say you sank my battleship or you sunk my battleship?)

Speakers of Germanic languages, however, may at least find it interesting that this system of vocalic alternation, ablaut, is as old as the hills from a linguist's perspective. That is, verbal ablaut is an original feature of Proto-Indo-European itself. Certainly the Germanic ablaut categories do not exactly match those of PIE -- at times they don't even match between Germanic languages -- but the essential system remains in many respects intact. Linguists customarily illustrate the system with an example from Greek: the Greek form leípō means 'I leave,' where -ō is the present indicative ending for the first person singular. Consider now the grade of the root vowel in the following forms.

    Present   Aorist   Perfect
             
1 Sg.   leíp-ō   é-lip-on   lé-loip-a

We see the appearance of three distinct grades of the root vowel e: full grade e, zero grade Ø, and o-grade o. The above correlation between grade of the root vowel and grammatical function happens to be emblematic of the situation in PIE as a whole. In fact, the above ablaut pattern correlates nicely with the threefold aspectual distinction mentioned earlier: durative correlates with full grade, punctual with zero grade, and stative with *o-grade.

Of course nothing in Indo-European linguistics is ever that easy, and the above threefold system does not depict the whole story. For example, the verb leípō also forms the aorist éleipsa, with the full grade of the root. But we see that this has in addition the punctual marker *-s-, and so this too concords with our notion that the durative stem leip- can be made punctual by other morphological features, as here with the suffix *-s-. Neither are the above the only vowel grades one encounters. There is strong evidence for a lengthened-grade stem in the past tense formations: Latin present indicative leg-ō 'I read' < *leǵ-, but perfect (i.e. preterite) lēg-ī, with lengthened grade of the root vowel.

We also see in the form léloipa the feature of verbal reduplication, that is, the appending of the initial consonant (cluster) and vowel of the root to the front of the root itself. Thus the initial *le- of the root *leip- are prefixed to the verbal root, and then ablaut is applied to the root syllable itself. Such verbal reduplication is a characteristic, but not defining, feature of the PIE stative or perfect. But it is not wholly confined to the perfect, appearing also in the present of some verbs: Gk. dí-dō-mi, from PIE *deh₃. Present reduplication is not nearly as systematic as its perfect counterpart: neither is it as pervasive as in the perfect, being confined to a small number of roots; nor is the formation quite the same, since Gk. dí-dō-mi and Skt. dá-dā-mi show the reduplicated vowel does not follow any clear pattern.

The actual semantics of reduplication still remain obscure. One in fact finds another type of reduplication in which the root as a whole (including root-final consonants) is prefixed to the root itself. This reduplication falls under the heading of intensive, but it remains unclear as to how this relates to present and perfect reduplication.

Primary, Secondary and Perfect Endings

Linguists have been able to reconstruct three basic sets of verb endings for PIE. The first set, called primary, consists of those endings which generally pertain to non-past tense conjugations of verbs in the daughter languages. The second set, called secondary, consists on the other hand of those endings which generally pertain to past conjugations. The third set, the perfect endings, naturally comprises those endings which pertain to the PIE stative or perfect. Each of these sets further divides into active and middle endings, pertaining to the respective voices of the PIE verb. The following charts illustrate the endings.

Person   Primary   Secondary   Perfect
Active            
1 Sg.   *-mi, H₂   *-m   *-H₂e
2   *-si   *-s   *-tH₂e
3   *-ti   *-t   *-e
n            
1 Du.   *-we-   *-we(-)    
2   *-to-   *-to-    
3   *-to-   *-teH₂    
             
1 Pl.   *-me-   *-me(-)   *-me-
2   *-te(-)   *-te(-)   *-e
3   *-(é)nti   *-(é)nt   *-ēr, ṛs
             
Middle            
1 Sg.   *-H₂er   *-H₂e    
2   *-tH₂er   *-tH₂e    
3   *-or, tor   *-o, to    
             
1 Du.            
2            
3            
             
1 Pl.   *-medʰH₂ (?)   *-medʰH₂ (?)    
2   *-dʰ(u)we- (?)   *-dʰ(u)we- (?)    
3   *-ro(r), ntor   *-ro, nto    

The paradigms clearly show that we have more secure knowledge about the singular forms than about those for any other number. Clearly the active primary and secondary endings bear a closer resemblance to each other than either does to the perfect system. In part, the active primary endings recapitulate their secondary brethren, but with the addition of the hic et nunc (Latin "here and now") particle *-i. Interestingly, however, the perfect active endings and the middle endings in general bear an unexpected similarity. The exact reasons for this similarity remain unclear, and the relation between the systems still forms an important area of research.

Participles

Participles are verbal adjectives, that is, adjectives built from a verbal root. PIE possesses a large variety of participial formations. The *nt-participle shows reflexes in a number of daughter languages. This participle was formed by adding *-(e)nt- to the verbal root. This combined in athematic verbs with the weak form of the present stem: *h₁s-ent- > Lat. ab-sent- 'being away'. In thematic verbs the zero grade *-nt- combined with the *o-grade of the thematic vowel: *bʰer-o-nt- > Gk. pʰéront- 'carrying.' As seen in the examples, this formation generally takes on the role of a present active participle. In the Anatolian branch, however, the same formation conspicuously carries the meaning of a past participle: Hitt. iyant- 'having gone'.

Scholars also reconstruct a mediopassive participle in PIE, either *-m(e)no- or *-mh₁no-. This survives in such forms as Gk. pʰeró-menos 'carrying (oneself), being carried'.

PIE likewise contains a perfect participle in *-wos-/*-us-. This was added to the zero grade of the perfect. For example: Gk. (w)eid-ṓs (m.) and (w)iduĩa < *widusih₂ (f.) 'knowing'.

One of the more pervasive formations was the *tó-participle. This was added to the zero-grade of the root and provided the semantic equivalent of the modern past participle in English. In particular, when suffixed to a transitive root, the *tó-participle took on a passive sense, while when suffixed to an intransitive root, the sense remained active: *gʷʰen- 'kill' gives *gʷʰṇ-tó- > Skt. hatá- and Gk. -pʰatós '(having been) killed'; but *gʷem- 'come' yields *gʷṃ-tó- > Skt. gatá- and Gk. -batós '(having) come'. Filling an analogous role is the *nó-participle, which carries a similar connotation: PIE *bʰid-onó- > Eng. bitt-en.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following Tocharian A text is A255, now THT 888 in the new Berlin numbering system. This was the first text published by Sieg and Siegling, appearing in 1908.

The text contains a list of the deeds of past Buddhas, a list also found in the Turkic text Maitrisimit nom bitig. Though there is as yet no reason to suppose that the present Tocharian text forms the basis of the Turkic version, they evidently treat the same material. The general form of the text as a whole is as follows.

Chapters 1--4 relate the story of how Maitreya meets the historical Buddha Śakyamuni, who tells Maitreya that he is the future Buddha. Chapters 5--9 tell of Maitreya's preparation in the city of Katumati. In chapter 10 Maitreya descends from Heaven to Earth. There follows a biography of his youth and the typical three encounters of a Buddha. In chapter 12 Maitreya leaves the city and begins his life as an ascetic. In chapters 16--19 Maitreya proceeds to convert various people he encounters. In the "chapters on health", chapters 20--25, he counsels people concerning the perils of Hell. Maitreya converts King Singha in chapter 26, who subsequently becomes a monk. In the last chapter Maitreya converts his mother, and he himself finally enters Nirvāṇa.

26 - okät-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Vipaśyi ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ.
  • okät-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <okät> eight + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- eighty thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive <wrasom> living being, human, man -- of beings
  • śolaṃ -- noun III 2; alternating singular locative <śol> life -- in the life
  • Vipaśyi -- noun; masculine singular nominative <Vipaśyi> Vipasyin, name of a Buddha -- Vipasyin
  • ñomā -- noun III 2; alternating singular perlative <ñom> name -- by name
  • ptāñkät -- noun V 1; masculine singular nominative <ptāñkät (pättāñkät)> Buddha(lord) -- a Buddhalord
  • ṣeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active <nas-> be -- there was

27 - säm käṣṣi āṣānik tmāṃ-ñu-wälts-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt.
  • säm -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular nominative <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it -- This
  • käṣṣi -- noun; masculine singular nominative <käṣṣi> teacher -- teacher
  • āṣānik -- adjective II 3; masculine singular nominative <āṣānik> worthy (of praise) -- praiseworthy
  • tmāṃ-ñu-wälts-puklyi -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand + cardinal numeral; indeclinable <ñu> nine + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand + adjective I; masculine singular nominative <-puklyi> yearly, pertaining to the year -- possessing nineteen thousand years
  • puttiśparäṃ -- noun; singular oblique <puttiśparäṃ> Buddha-lordship, -majesty, -dignity -- Buddhahood
  • kälpāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <kälp-> acquire, attain -- attained

śtwar-tmāṃ päñ-wälts puklā puttiśparṣinās wlesant wleṣāt.
  • śtwar-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <śtwar> four + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- forty-
  • päñ-wälts -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <päñ> five + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- -five thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • puttiśparṣinās -- adjective I 1; feminine plural oblique <puttiśparṣi> relating to Buddha-lordship -- of Buddhahood
  • wlesant -- noun III 1; feminine plural oblique <wles> service, work, activity -- the deeds
  • wleṣāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <wles-> accomplish, perform -- he performed

tmāṃ ṣäk-wälts puklā śol lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk.
  • tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- -teen
  • ṣäk-wälts -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <ṣäk> six + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- six-... thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- After... years
  • śol -- noun III 2; alternating singular oblique <śol> life -- life
  • lyalyipuräṣ -- absolutive; masculine singular ablative <lip-> remain, be left over; (caus.) leave (over), give up/over, spare -- having left... behind
  • ksaluneyaṃ -- verb abstract; masculine singular locative <käs-> expire, die -- Nirvana
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite I; 3 singular active <i-> go -- he attained

28 - ṣpät-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Śikʰi ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ.
  • ṣpät-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <ṣpät> seven + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- seventy thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive <wrasom> living being, human, man -- of beings
  • śolaṃ -- noun III 2; alternating singular locative <śol> life -- in the life
  • Śikʰi -- noun; masculine singular nominative <Śikʰi> Shikhin, name of a Buddha -- Shikhin
  • ñomā -- noun III 2; alternating singular perlative <ñom> name -- by name
  • ptāñkät -- noun V 1; masculine singular nominative <ptāñkät (pättāñkät)> Buddha(lord) -- a Buddhalord
  • ṣeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active <nas-> be -- there was

säm penu kāruṇik tmāṃ-ṣäk-wälts-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt.
  • säm -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular nominative <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it -- This
  • penu -- postposition conjunction; indeclinable <penu> also; even, in fact -- as well
  • kāruṇik -- substantive adjective II 3; masculine singular nominative <kāruṇik> compassionate, merciful -- compassionate (man)
  • tmāṃ-ṣäk-wälts-puklyi -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand + cardinal numeral; indeclinable <ṣäk> six + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand + adjective I; masculine singular nominative <-puklyi> yearly, pertaining to the year -- possessing sixteen thousand years
  • puttiśparäṃ -- noun; singular oblique <puttiśparäṃ> Buddha-lordship, -majesty, -dignity -- Buddhahood
  • kälpāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <kälp-> acquire, attain -- attained

śtwar-tmāṃ puklā puttiśparṣināṃ wles wleṣāt.
  • śtwar-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <śtwar> four + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- forty
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • puttiśparṣināṃ -- adjective I 1; feminine singular oblique <puttiśparṣi> relating to Buddha-lordship -- of Buddhahood
  • wles -- noun III 1; feminine singular oblique <wles> service, work, activity -- the service
  • wleṣāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <wles-> accomplish, perform -- he performed

tmāṃ śtwar-wälts puklā śol śkā lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk.
  • tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- -teen
  • śtwar-wälts -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <śtwar> four + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- four-... thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- After... years
  • śol -- noun III 2; alternating singular oblique <śol> life -- life
  • śkā -- adverb; indeclinable <śkā> still, yet, moreover -- in addition
  • lyalyipuräṣ -- absolutive; masculine singular ablative <lip-> remain, be left over; (caus.) leave (over), give up/over, spare -- having... given
  • ksaluneyaṃ -- verb abstract; masculine singular locative <käs-> expire, die -- Nirvana
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite I; 3 singular active <i-> go -- he attained

Lesson Text

26 - okät-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Vipaśyi ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ. 27 - säm käṣṣi āṣānik tmāṃ-ñu-wälts-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt. śtwar-tmāṃ päñ-wälts puklā puttiśparṣinās wlesant wleṣāt. tmāṃ ṣäk-wälts puklā śol lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk. 28 - ṣpät-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Śikʰi ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ. säm penu kāruṇik tmāṃ-ṣäk-wälts-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt. śtwar-tmāṃ puklā puttiśparṣināṃ wles wleṣāt. tmāṃ śtwar-wälts puklā śol śkā lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk.

Translation

26 For eighty thousand years in the life of beings there was a Buddhalord Vipasyin by name. 27 This praiseworthy teacher, possessing nineteen thousand years, attained Buddhahood. For forty-five thousand years he performed the deeds of Buddhahood. After sixteen thousand years, having left life behind, he attained Nirvana. 28 For seventy thousand years in the life of beings there was a Buddhalord Sikhin by name. This compassionate (man) as well, possessing sixteen thousand years, attained Buddhahood. For forty thousand years he performed the service of Buddhahood. After fourteen thousand years, having in addition given his life, he attained Nirvana.

Grammar

11 Historical Phonology: Vowels

The foundation of all modern historical linguistics lies in the study of phonological development. Two given languages cannot be shown to be either genetically related or genetically unrelated if not by phonological rules: to show linguistic relationship one must establish, either by documentary evidence or by hypothesis, the phonological system of a parent language, and then show how this phonological system develops by distinct rules, with little to no exceptions, into each of the phonological systems of the languages under consideration. The introductions to preceding lessons have discussed the phonological system of Proto-Indo-European in some detail.

The task remains to establish how the PIE phonological system thus develops into the phonological systems of the two Tocharian languages. Due to the relatively recent discovery of Tocharian relative to the other archaic Indo-European languages, the process of pinning down how the PIE system developed into that of Tocharian is very much alive and an area of active debate. These lessons will try to walk a middle path, for the most part quoting standard phonological developments where there is general consensus, but also providing some less than standard conjectures when deemed useful for better understanding, and even on occasion leaving out the phonological history altogether if there is no real consensus or if the rules are technical and of dubious pedagogical value for a first pass through the language.

11.1 From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Tocharian

For clarity, it is easiest to break the changes undergone by vowels into stages, first demonstrating how the sounds of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) resulted in the phonetic inventory of Proto-Tocharian (PToch or PT; also Common Tocharian, CToch), and then showing how these sounds in turn developed into those of the documented languages. This procedure of breaking the historical evolution into stages actually helps shed light on the possible historical relationships Tocharian A and Tocharian B can have with one another. Specifically, one can say that B descends from A only if the sounds of B can be regularly derived from those of A. To put it another way, in deriving Tocharian B from Proto-Tocharian, we would have to be able to consistently insert Tocharian A as an intermediate stage. In current research on the Tocharian languages, this does not seem to be feasible; there are situations in which the Tocharian B reflex must develop directly from Proto-Tocharian, and Tocharian A cannot be interpolated as an intermediate stage. This supports the conclusion that Tocharian A is not somehow an 'archaic' form of Tocharian, and Tocharian B its 'vulgar' or 'popular' or 'modern' form. The two languages most likely developed separately from Proto-Tocharian.

The starting point, therefore, is the Proto-Indo-European vocalic system, as depicted in the following chart.

PIE   Front               Central               Back
High   *i, *ī                               *u, ū
                                     
Mid           *e, ē               *o, ō        
                                     
Low                   *a, ā                

In Proto-Indo-European, vowel quantity (length) was an important distinction, each of the vowels having a lengthened counterpart, here denoted by a macron. In some sense, these lengthened counterparts denote a secondary development, whereby a sequence of short vowel plus laryngeal simplified into a single long vowel. For example, PIE *eh₂ > *ā. Thus the above depicted long vowels may be understood as a simplified notation for certain sequences of the form VH, where V is some vowel, and H some laryngeal.

Scholarly opinion still fluctuates as to the exact phonological system which must be hypothesized for Proto-Tocharian. For much of what these lessons treat, the following system will suffice.

PToch   Front               Central               Back
High   *i               *ä               *u
                                     
Mid                   (*a)       *o        
                      *å            
Low                   *ā                

It bears repeating that, where Tocharian is concerned, does not denote quantity (length), but rather quality. The sound represented by is short, or to be more precise, indifferent to length. One can see then in the above chart that Proto-Tocharian did not distinguish vowel quantity; length was not a phonemic characteristic in the Tocharian vocalic system.

We also see in the above chart the emergence of two vowels denoted and *å. The position of these vowels within the above chart remains, to date, an educated guess -- there is little approaching scholarly consensus on the actual phonetic qualities of these vowels. In particular, though uses the archaic English orthography for the letter ash, it does not necessarily represent the sound denoted by a in Modern English hat. Why then use this symbol? Simply put, it provides a convenient mnemonic: the Proto-Tocharian vowel represented by results in Tocharian A a and Tocharian B e. The symbol merely combines its outcomes in the respective daughter languages. Similarly for *å: the actual phonetics of the vowel are not altogether clear; but nevertheless PToch *å results in Tocharian A a and Tocharian B o. Their participation in Tocharian umlaut, discussed below, does however lend credence to the idea that their relative phonetic values may be similar to those depicted in the chart.

It remains to describe how the PIE vocalic system descends into that depicted above for Proto-Tocharian. We outline this below, but first we briefly discuss how the Proto-Tocharian system above develops into the systems of the respective daughter languages. This will facilitate understanding of the examples quoted for the development from PIE to PToch.

11.2 Proto-Tocharian to Tocharian: General Rules

To guide one through the maze of historical phonology, there are some rules that, though not exceptionless, may be broadly stated and on which we may hang our hats. These are the following:

  • Final vowels are generally lost in Tocharian A;
  • is lost in open syllables (1) always in Tocharian A, (2) when unstressed in Tocharian B.
  • Epenthesis or anaptyxis inserts -ä- to break up difficult consonant clusters.

These rules play an important role in the evolution of the majority of Tocharian words.

For the most part, the remaining PToch vowels develop into what one would expect in Tocharian A and B. That is, as mentioned above, PToch and *å have reflexes which differ among the documented languages; but with the cleverly chosen mnemonic orthography, the outcomes are transparent. As for the other PToch vowels, they essentially pass unchanged into the daughter languages. One exception to this tendency, however, is the effect the accent has on the series of central a-type vowels. This forms the subject of the following section.

11.3 Proto-Tocharian to Tocharian: Accent and the a-Series

The reader may have noticed the parentheses surrounding PToch *a in the above chart depicting the PToch vocalic system. Certainly this vowel appears in the documents of both Tocharian A and B; recall the three-way distinction displayed in the chart below.

Tocharian   IPA   Example
         
  [ɨ]   bit
         
a   [ʌ]   but
         
  [a]   father

In that sense AB a may be supposed to form part of the PToch phonetic inventory. But as we will see in the examples to follow, the presence in the documented Tocharian languages of the vowel AB a rarely results directly as a development from PIE to PToch. Many etymologies allow the appearance of PToch *a to derive from synchronic accentual processes within PToch itself, rather than from historical inheritance from PIE.

Specifically, the vowels PToch *ä and *ā show an important interplay with the PToch accent. In fact in many examples they provide our only clue regarding where the PToch accent resided. Note the following alternations.

Alternation   Unaccented   Accented
         
*ä vs. *a   *ä   *á
         
*a vs. *ā   *a   *ā́

Thus we may say that PToch *ä, when accented, yields *a; and PToch *ā, when unaccented, yields *a. In this way, PToch *a appears as the result of secondary processes, and not directly as the descendent of a PIE vowel.

11.4 PIE to PToch: Non-Palatal Vowels

Palatalization plays an important role in Tocharian phonology, and it is useful to distinguish palatal vowels, which share certain changes in historical phonology, from the non-palatal vowels which do not. We treat first the non-palatal vowels.

11.4.1 PIE *a

The Proto-Indo-European short *a, whether the (rare) original *a or the later result of laryngeal coloring PIE *h₂e > *a, yields Proto-Tocharian *ā. Consider the following chart.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*a   *ā       *h₂elyo-   *l'æ + kä   A lak   Lat. alius
            'other'       B alyek    
                         
            *h₂ént-o-   *ntæ   A nt   Hitt. hant-
            'in front'       B nte   Gk. ánta-
                         
            *sak-ro-   *skræ   A skär   Lat. sacer
            'sacred'       B    

We note in the first example the role played by accent in deriving the Tocharian B form: *h₂elyó- > *ā̀l'æ + kä > B alyek, showing the emergence of B a as a result of the PToch unaccented *ā̀. Lest this seem a purely academic matter of historical interest and of lesser import from a synchronic perspective, consider the following example.

Accent   PToch   Toch
Shift        
Sg.   *pākæ   A pāk
        B pā́ke
Pl.   *pākæ-nta   B pakénta

In the above example, perhaps inherited directly from PIE *bʰag-o- or perhaps a Middle Iranian loanword borrowed during the Proto-Tocharian period, we see that the Proto-Tocharian accent (often extending back to the PIE accent) has direct consequences in the vocalic alternation exhibited within nominal paradigms. Here we see it is not enough to view the plural form B pakenta as merely the synchronic singular with the addition of a plural suffix; rather we find a change in the root vowel which results from a shift of accent in PToch itself. In the singular, the accent fell on PToch *ā, while in the plural it fell on PToch .

Some scholars suggest that PIE *a < *h₂e may possibly yield PToch *ä in absolute final position, for example in the present tense, second person singular ending, coopted from the PIE perfect ending: PIE *-t h₂e > PToch *-tä > A -t B -t(o) (with 'moveable-o').

11.4.2 PIE *ā

Proto-Indo-European long *ā (including PIE *eh₂ and in general *aH) results in PToch *å. Consider the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*ā   *å       *bʰŕtēr   *prcær   A pracar   Eng. brother
            'brother'       B procer   Lat. frater
                         
            *ẃstu   *wstä   A waṣt   Ved. vā́stu-
            'dwelling'       B ost   Gk. (w)ástu

Note in the second example above the typical Tocharian A shift -st- > -ṣt-.

There is evidence that PIE *ā may also result in PToch *ā, for example: PIE *peh₂-sḱe / o- > PToch *pāsk- > A pās- B pāsk- 'protect'. This however may be alternately explained as deriving from an original zero-grade, PIE *pʰ₂-sḱe / o-, and the general rule that a vocalized laryngeal yields PToch *ā. As another example, PIE *wleh₂nt-ih₂ > PToch *wlāntsā > B lāntsa 'queen' may be alternately explained as PIE *wlh₂nt-ih₂ > PToch *wlāntsā > B lāntsa, given that the sequence PIE *-h₂nC- vocalizes the nasal and yields PToch *-ānC-.

11.4.3 PIE *o

Proto-Indo-European short *o, including *h₃e > *o, results in PToch . Consider the examples in the following chart.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*o         *h₃ékʷ-s   *æk   A ak   OE ēage
            'eye'       B ek   Gk. ṓps
                         
            *ḱṇtm   *käntæ   A känt   Lat. centum
            'hundred'       B *kánte   Gk. hekatón
                         
            *ǵmbʰo-   *kææ   A kam   Skt. jambʰa-
            'tooth'       B keme   Gk. gómpʰos

We also find an example in the pronoun: PIE *so > PToch *sæ > A sa- B se. The addition of suffixes prevents the a- of A sa- from standing in final position, thereby preventing its loss. The following example again shows the importance of the accent in Proto-Tocharian.

Accent   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
Shift                
Sg.   *tékʷ-os   *cäkæ   A   Skt. tákti
    'a rushing, moving forward'   'river'   B cáke   Av. táčati
Pl.       > B *c(ä)ké-ntā̀   B ckenta    

In Tocharian B, PIE *mózgo- 'knot' becomes PToch *mæskæ > B meske 'joint'; but the development in Tocharian A shows an example of the insertion of -ä- to break up a consonant cluster: PToch *mæskæ > A *mask(a) > A masäk.

In some instances PIE *o remains PToch *o, but this generally results from assimilation of the normal result PToch to a following PToch *u or *o < PIE *ō or *ā (umlaut). For example, PIE *(d)oru > PToch *æru > PToch *or(u) > AB or 'wood'.

11.4.4 PIE *ō

Proto-Indo-European long *ō, including *eh₃ and *oH both giving *ō, results primarily in PToch *ā. Consider the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*ō   *ā       *ṇ-ǵneh₃-tih₂   *ā̀kńtsā̀   A āknts   Lat. ignōtus
            'not knowing, foolish'       B akńtsa    
                         
            *dʰoHneh₂   *tnå   A   Skt. dʰānā́
            'grain'       B tno    

A more detailed explanation of the first example proceeds as follows: PIE *ṇ-ǵneh₃-tih₂ > PToch *æn-knā-tsā by normal treatment of the vocalized nasal and the semivowel PIE *-i- followed by the laryngeal *h₂. The initial subsequently assimilates to the following *ā, and the cluster *-nkn- simplifies by dissimilation to *-kn-. Thus the entire sequence becomes PIE *ṇ-ǵneh₃-tih₂ > PToch *æn-knā-tsā > *ān-knā-tsā > *ā̀knā́tsā̀ > A *āknāts B aknā́tsa.

PIE *ō however has a varied treatment in Tocharian. In absolute final position, PIE *-ō# becomes PToch *-u#. This PToch final *-u# is subsequently lost in most situations. A similar situation obtains when PIE *ō precedes a final *-s, *-y, or *-(n). Again we find the development PIE *-ōs#, -ōy#, -ō(n)# > PToch *-u# (and subsequent loss). Occasionally PIE *-on# gives a nasalized vowel PToch *-õ, often causing umlaut of the preceding vowel. PIE *ō before a final *-r#, by contrast, results in the normal PToch *ā, and the final *-r remains. The following chart provides examples of these developments.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*ō#   *-u#       *h₁ēgʷʰ-oh₂   *yæku   A   Hitt. eku-/aku-
            'I drink'   > *yoku   B yoku   Lat. ēbrius
                         
*ōs#   *-u#       *h₁ēgʷʰ-wōs   *yæku   A    
            'having drunk'   > *yoku   B yoku    
                         
*ōn#   *-õ#       *ḱléu-mōn   *klyāum   A klyom   Skt. śrutá
            'possessing fame'   > *klumo   B klyomo   Gk. klutós
                         
*ōr#   *-ār#       *h₁ésh₂-ōr   *yäsār   A ysar   Hitt. ēšhar
            'blood'       B yásar    

Note in the first two examples that the form B yoku is ambiguous, taken by some scholars as the first person singular of the subjunctive, but taken by others to be the nominative masculine singular of the preterite participle. The fact that both PIE *-ō# and *-ōs# yield PToch *-u# allows the form to descend from either a first person singular or from the PIE perfect participle. Note also that the final *-u causes umlaut of the preceding vowel: PToch > *o.

11.4.5 PIE *u

Proto-Indo-European *u has two outcomes in Proto-Tocharian, *u and *ä, in some sense both equally likely. Consider the following chart.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*u   *u       *yudʰ-sḱe / o-   *yut-sk-   A yutk-   Ved. yudʰ-
                    B    
                         
    *ä       *h₁rudʰ-ró-   *rtræ   A rtär   Lat. ruber
            'red'   > A *rtär   B    
                         
            *dʰug h₂tēr   *tkācær   A ckācar   Ved. duhitár-
            'daughter'       B tkā́cer   Gk. tʰugátēr
                         
            *h₁ludʰ-e-t   *lcä   A lc   OIr. luid
            '(s)he went out'       B lc   Gk. ḗlutʰon

In the derivation of Toch A rtär we again find the appearance of -ä- employed to break up a consonant cluster: PIE *h₁rudʰ-ró- > PToch *rätræ > A *rätr > A *rätär > A rtär. With PIE *dʰug h₂tēr, we find in Tocharian A assimilation of the initial PToch *t- to the following *-c-: PToch *täkācær > A *tkācar > A ckācar. The forms A läc B lac show how the preterite forms of the root AB lät- 'go out, emerge' still preserve features of the corresponding PIE form also found in Greek and Old Irish.

The development of A por and B puwar poses problems. According to the above rules, we might surmise B puwar < PToch *púwār < PIE *puwōr. However the connection between this PIE form and PIE *peh₂wṛ > Hitt. pahhur 'fire' remains difficult. The form A por may come from an altogether different form in Proto-Tocharian itself.

In initial position, PIE *#u- may develop a labial on-glide (similar to the situation we find for palatal vowels). The seeming necessity of such a rule becomes most evident in the development of A wär B war 'water'. In addition to the labial on-glide, the development seems to employ laryngeal hiatus: PIE *uh₁-ṛ > PToch *wä(H)är > *wäär > *wär > A wär B war.

11.4.6 PIE *ū

Most cross-linguistic evidence suggests that PIE long-*ū only results from the simple semivowel *u followed by a laryngeal: *uH. Some scholars suggest that Tocharian may treat this combination differently depending on which laryngeal followed the semivowel. It appears that PIE *uh₁ > PToch *wä, while both PIE *uh₂ and *uh₃ result in PToch *wā. Compare the following example.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*uh₁   *wä                    
                         
*uh₂   *wā       *wāstu- + -h₂   *wåst(u)wā   A waṣtu (pl.)    
            (u-stem) + (nt. nom/acc. pl.)       B ostuwa (pl.)    
                         
*uh₃   *wā                    

We see in this example the origin of a new Tocharian plural suffix A -u B -uwa, which is then extended beyond historical *u-stem nouns. (Compare the singular form of the same noun, listed in the examples for PIE *ā.)

It should be clearly understood however that, at present, this non-uniform treatment of *uH is an inferral based on

  • the situation that obtains with the development of PIE *iH, and
  • a presumed parallelism between treatment of *iH and *uH.

Thus, to date, Tocharian has only furnished clear examples of a development PIE *uH > PToch *wā. For the development of PIE *iH, see below.

11.5 PIE to PToch: Palatal Vowels

The palatal vowels provide the catalyst for the palatalization of consonants which plays such an important role in both the diachronic and synchronic aspects of the Tocharian languages. We must therefore have a clear understanding of the historical development of the original PIE palatal vowels. We turn to their treatment in this section.

11.5.1 PIE *i

Proto-Indo-European *i results in Proto-Tocharian *ä. Palatalization of the preceding consonant accompanies this change, regularly when the consonant is a dental stop or *n, but less so when the consonant is a velar. Consider the following examples exhibiting palatalization.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*Ci   *C'ä       *mus-ti-m   *mäścä   A    
            'fist'       B maśc   Skt. muṣṭi-
                         
            *kuH-ti-   *kwācä   A kāc   Lat. cutis
            'skin'       B    
                         
            *diḱ-   *dzk-   A    
            'show'   > *tsäk-   B tsk-aññ-   Ved. diś-

Here C' denotes a palatalized consonant corresponding to the consonant C. Note in the example of *mus-ti-m, the *i causes palatalization of the immediately preceding *t > *c, and the resulting *c causes palatalization of the immediately preceding *s > *ś. Note also in the example of *kuH-ti- the general rule *kw- > A k- in Tocharian A. Both examples show that the previously assumed development PIE *ti > PToch *si > *ṣi does not generally hold true.

In certain environments, the consonant preceding the *i does not palatalize. This generally holds for velars, as in the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*Ki   *Kä       *sḱ(H₁)iyeH₂   *skäyå   A    
            'shadow'       B skiyo   Gk. skiá
                         
            *kʷi-so   *kʷä   A kus   Lat. quis
            'who'       B kuse   Hitt. kuiš
                         
            *wis-o-   *wä   A wäs   Skt. visá-
            'poison'       B wase   Lat. vīrus
                         
            *-mesi   *-m'äsä   A -mäs   Ved. -masi
            1st pers. pl.       B    

One might surmise from the example of *kʷi-so that the labiovelar *kʷ simply does not exhibit palatalization, but this conclusion would be erroneous. We do in fact find palatalization when the labiovelar is followed by *y: PIE *kʷy > . Moreover, we see in the same example that PToch kʷwäsæ must have had the accent on the the second syllable; if not, the development into Tocharian B would have been *kʷäsæ > B (!)kwáse, which we do not find.

11.5.2 PIE *ī

As mentioned in the discussion of the development of *uH, *iH has a twofold development within Tocharian. The evidence suggests that PIE *ih₁ > PToch *yä, while both PIE *ih₂ and *ih₃ result in PToch *yā. Compare the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*ih₁   *yä       *kolh₁ + -ih₁-mi   *kælā-yä-m   A   Skt. cárati
            'move' (sbjnct.) + (opt. marker)       B kaloym   Lat. colere
                         
*ih₂   *yā       *wleh₂nt-ih₂   *wlānt-yā   A    
            'queen'   > *wlāntsā   B lāntsa   OIr. flaitʰ
                         
*ih₃   *yā                    

We see in the example of *kolh₁ that the Proto-Tocharian subjunctive marker combined with the reflex of the PIE optative marker *-ā-ih₁- > A -e- B -oy- to provide the origin of the optative and imperfect markers in Tocharian.

11.5.3 PIE *e

Proto-Indo-European *e has two different reflexes, depending on whether it is word-initial (perhaps following an initial laryngeal *h₁, which does not color the *e) or directly follows a (non-*h₁) consonant. Specifically, we have the following.

PIE   PToch
     
*#(h₁)e-   *yä-
*Ce-   *C'ä-

Here C stands for any arbitrary consonant, and *C' stands for its palatalized variant. We see that, understanding *C' as the result of *Cy, these reflexes essentially result from the same process, whereby the original *e develops a palatal onglide. Compare the situation in English with u: uvula [yu-vyu-lā́] and nature [ne-cṛ]. The following examples serve to illustrate the historical development.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*#(h₁)e   *yä       *h₁eḱw-o-   *yäkwæ   A *yä > yuk   Skt. áśva-
            'horse'       B yákwe   Lat. equus
                         
            *en h₃ekʷ-ih₁   *yänækyä   A    
            'in the eyes'   > *yänæś   B yneś   Eng. eye
                         
*Ce   *C'ä       *ḱlew-o-s   *kl'ä   A klyu   Gk. klé(w)os
            'fame'       B kälywe    

Note in the example of *h₁eḱwo- that, in Tocharian A, the labiovelars trigger rounding of a neighboring vowel: yäkwæ > A *yäkw > yuk.

Though there are similarities between the developments of *i and *e, the two do in fact generally distinguish themselves. Compare the development of *si with *se in the root *loḱs- 'salmon', with zero-grade *lḱs-:

*lḱs-   PIE   PToch   Toch B
'fish'            
Singular   *lḱs-i-s   läksà   laks
Plural   *lḱs-ey-es   läksäyä   läkṣi

In general, all consonants are subject to palatalization preceding *e, whereas only certain types of consonants are subject to palatalization before *i.

11.5.4 PIE *ē

Proto-Indo-European *ē, or *eH, also has two different reflexes, depending on whether it, or *h₁e, is word-initial or whether it directly follows a consonant. Specifically, we have the following.

PIE   PToch
     
*#(h₁)ē-   *yæ-
*Cē-   *C'æ-

Thus *ē follows its shorter cousin in developing an onglide which results in initial *#y- or palatalization of the preceding consonant; the difference lies in the vocalism of the underlying vowel, which in the case of *ē gives PToch . This, of course, is also the Proto-Tocharian reflex of PIE *o > PToch ; thus PIE *ē and *o only distinguish themselves in Proto-Tocharian by the presence or absence, respectively, of preceding palatalization. The following examples will serve to illustrate the situation.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*#(h₁)ē   *yæ       *h₁ēgʷʰ-   *kʷ-   A yok-   Hitt. eku-zi
            'drink' (long grade)       B yok-   Lat. ēbrius
                         
*Cē   *C'æ       *meh₁-ns   *m'æ-ñæ   A mañ   Gk. mēn
            'measure'   > *mæ-ñæ   B meñe   Lat. mēnsis
                         
            *h₂wéh₁-nt-o-   *w'æntæ   A want   Ved. vāta-
            'wind'       B yente   Lat. ventus

Note in the example of the long grade *h₁ēgʷʰ- of the root *h₁egʷʰ-, the Proto-Tocharian form *yækʷ- apparently undergoes a process of dissimilation, resulting in the common -o- vocalism of the root in both Tocharian A and B. In the example of *meh₁-nēs, note that both *m and *n palatalize due to the following *ē, but PToch *m' regularly depalatalizes to AB m. Observe in the example of *h₂weh₁nto- that the reflex of palatal PToch *w' in Tocharian B is y, whereas the same phoneme depalatalizes in Tocharian A to give w.

11.6 PIE to PToch: Diphthongs

Diphthongs exist in both Tocharian dialects; only in Tocharian B, however, do the original PIE diphthongs remain diphthongs into the daughter language. In Tocharian A, all such original diphthongs undergo monophthongization. The diphthongs that do arise in Tocharian A, therefore, always constitute innovations from a diachronic perspective. The evolution of PIE diphthongs is outlined in the following chart.

PIE   PToch   A   B
             
*ey   *äy   i   i
*ay   *ai   e   ai
*oy   *æi   e   ai
             
*ew   *äw   u   u
*aw   *au   o   au
*ow   *æu   o   au

The following table provides some examples illustrating a number of the above developments.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*ey   *äy       *wéiḱ-o-s   *w'äikʷæ   A   Ved. viś-
            'town'       B *yike > ike   Lat. vīcus
                         
*ay   *ai       *h₂ei-sḱ-e / o-   *ais(k)-   A esam   Hitt. pāi-
            'give' (pres.)       B aiskau   Gk. aínūmai
                         
*oy   *æi       *pe-póiḱ-   *p'ä-pæik-   A papeku   Skt. piṃśati
            'paint' (perf.)       B pāpaikau   Lat. pingō
                         
*ew   *äw       *léuk-os   *l'äu   A    
            'light'       B lyuke   Ved. rócas
                         
*ow   *æu       *pout-sḱo-   *pæutk-   A potkam   Lat. putāre
            'prune' (subjnct.)       B pautkau    

One major result of the evolution of PIE diphthongs in Tocharian is the blurring of the original PIE ablaut patterns. If we consider *e-, *o- and zero-grades of a root such as *peiḱ- 'paint,' we find the following reflexes for the root in Tocharian.

Grade   PIE   PToch   A   B
                 
*e   *peiḱ-   *p'äik-   pik-   pik-
*o   *poiḱ-   *pæik-   pek-   paik-
  *piḱ-   *p'äk-   Ø   Ø

The zero grade eventually loses out, and one finds a two-way, rather than three-way, ablaut pattern: A pik-/pek- B pik-/paik-. More specifically, the present B piṅkäṃ shows a nasal infix. In terms of PIE, however, this should be infixed to the zero grade: *pi-n-ḱ- > (!)p'äṅk-, which we do not find. Instead, Tocharian has interpreted AB pik- as the new zero-grade, obscuring the original ablaut pattern.

Moreover we see f rom the above chart that the monophthong A e and the diphthong B oy found in the optative and imperfect do not descend from PIE *oy, but rather from the coalescence of the subjunctive marker *ā with the PIE optative marker *ih₁. See the discussion concerning the development of *iH.

11.7 Further Considerations: Umlaut

Umlaut describes the process whereby the particular articulation of one vowel affects the articulation of another vowel, usually in the immediately preceding syllable. In these terms, this is a general process found in the act of speech throughout languages the world over. However, in some languages, the assimilation is strong enough and pervasive enough to cause a phoneme shift in certain environments. Such processes have been at work throughout the Germanic languages for thousands of years, assimilating the *o of Proto-Germanic *konungaz to the following *u to produce Old English kyning, and further shaping the y to finally produce Modern English king.

Similar processes run through the Tocharian languages. In particular, Proto-Tocharian *u, *ā, and *o each can trigger the umlaut of vowels in the immediately preceding syllable. The following chart illustrates the process.

Umlaut   PIE   PToch               Result
                         
*u   *doru   *dz/æru   *æru   *oru   *orä   A or
    'wood' (sg.)                   B or
                         
*ā   *doru-h₂   *dz/ærwā   *ærwā   *rwā       A
    'wood' (pl.)                   B ārwa
                         
*o   *som(h₂)-e-h₂   *sæmā   *sæmå   *somå       A
    'same'                   B somo

In the last example, we see that the *o-vocalism of *å can trigger *o-umlaut. As a further example, consider PIE *kléu-mo(n) 'to be heard' > PToch *klyäu-mo > *klyumo > A klyom B klyomo 'noble', cf. Skt. śrutá-, Gk. klutós. Thus the *o-vocalism that produces *o-umlaut can either come directly from PIE, or it can arise within the Proto-Tocharian period itself.

12 Secondary Cases
12.1 Secondary Case Structure

Where Tocharian failed to retain the original Indo-European cases, it seems to have overcompensated for the loss by generating new cases. These secondary cases are generally the result of the merger of the oblique (old accusative) case with postpositions that followed. A few of these postpositions survive as free-standing particles in the documented Tocharian languages, though these particles often do not have the same meaning as the related secondary case endings. The endings themselves are the same in both singular and plural, the difference in forms often coming from the use of the oblique singular or plural, as context demands, and accompanying sound changes at morpheme boundaries.

The development of the secondary cases seems to have been fairly recent in the history of Tocharian. This is suggested by the fact that only a few of the cases employ the same ending or postposition in the two languages, the majority in Tocharian A differing from those in Tocharian B. The new cases are far more regular in form than the primary cases, and have led to Tocharian acquiring in part an agglutinative language structure in nominal morphology.

Both Tocharian languages show reformed ablative and locative cases. These express the same notions of source and location, respectively, as their PIE predecessors, but were early lost and subsequently reformed in the Tocharian languages. The two languages also possess the following new types of secondary cases: perlative, denoting 'by' or 'through' someone's agency; comitative, expressing accompaniment; allative, expressing the 'place towards which'. Tocharian A alone has a reformed instrumental case, expressing means or instrument; on the other hand Tocharian B alone has a causal case, though the function is similar to the instrumental of Tocharian A.

The following table gives the secondary case endings in the two Tocharian languages, as well as the Proto-Tocharian antecedents where they are discernible. The last two columns show particles etymologically related to the case endings.

Secondary Endings   Toch. A   Toch. B   PToch.   Pcle. A   Pcle. B
                     
Instrumental   -yo           yo    
Perlative   -ā   -sa   *-ā        
Comitative   -aśśäl   -mpa       śla   śale, śle
Allative   -ac   -ś(c)   *-cä   añc, aci   ecci
Ablative   -äṣ, -aṣ, -āṣ   -meṃ       ṣu   mante
Locative   -aṃ   -ne   *-na   an(n)e   eneṃ
Causative       -ñ            
12.2 Full Nominal Reference Paradigm

There are several classes of nouns in the Tocharian languages. They are distinguished based on the forms of the nominative and oblique plurals. The basic system of declension is nevertheless fairly uniform and simply illustrated. Each noun has synthetic forms for the primary cases, where a given case will generally have a different form for singular and plural. Though there is some uniformity in the endings of the genitive, the nominative may have a wide variety of forms. Some nouns have oblique singular identical to the nominative singular, while others do not. Human nouns have oblique singular ending -ṃ.

The complexity of the primary cases is counterbalanced by the simplicity of the secondary cases. These are agglutinative, so that each case is represented by one form and one form only -- the same suffix is applied to both singular and plural. The secondary case endings are suffixed to the appropriate form of the oblique: the singular of the secondary cases is formed by adding case suffixes to the oblique singular; the plural of the secondary cases is formed by adding case suffixes to the oblique plural.

The basic paradigms are illustrated by the nouns A yuk B yakwe 'horse' and A oṅk B eṅkwe 'human'. These are shown in the following tables. Note that the instrumental case, present only in Tocharian A, is typically not used with human nouns. The causative case is only found in Tocharian B.

Non-Human   Toch. A   Toch. B        
    Sing.   Plur.   Sing.   Plur.
                 
Nom.   yuk   yukañ   yakwe   yakwi
Gen.   yukes   yukāśśi   yäkwentse   yäkweṃts
Obl.   yuk   yukas   yakwe   yakweṃ
Instr.   yukyo   yukasyo        
Perl.   yuk   yukas   yakwesa   yakwentsa
Comit.   yukaśśäl   yukasaśśäl   yakwempa   yakweṃmpa
All.   yukac   yukasac   yakweś(c)   yakweṃś(c)
Abl.   yukäṣ   yukasäṣ   yakwemeṃ   yakweṃmeṃ
Loc.   yukaṃ   yukasaṃ   yakwene   yakweṃne
Caus.           yakwe   yakweṃ
                 
                 
Human                
                 
Nom.   oṅk   oṅkañ   eṅkwe   eṅkwi
Gen.   oṅkis   oṅkāśśi   eṅkwentse   eṅkweṃts
Obl.   oṅkaṃ   oṅkas   eṅkweṃ   eṅkweṃ
Instr.                
Perl.   oṅkn   oṅks   eṅkwentsa   eṅkwentsa
Comit.   oṅknaśśäl   oṅksaśśäl   eṅkweṃmpa   eṅkweṃmpa
All.   oṅknac   oṅksac   eṅkweṃś(c)   eṅkweṃś(c)
Abl.   oṅknäṣ   oṅksäṣ   eṅkweṃmeṃ   eṅkweṃmeṃ
Loc.   oṅknaṃ   oṅksaṃ   eṅkweṃne   eṅkweṃne
Caus.           eṅkweṃ   eṅkweṃ
12.3 Group Inflection

Tocharian suffers from what one might call the poverty of an inflectional impulse. That is, Tocharian does not inflect nouns more than it has to. When a nominal phrase is in a secondary case, generally all the constituent words appear in the oblique case, except for the last word, which carries the proper ending of the secondary case. This of course makes sense from the point of view of seconday case development: the secondary cases were in origin usually the oblique case of the noun followed by a postposition. The words then are all in agreement in the underlying oblique case, and the postposition (i.e. secondary case ending), postposed to the final element, governs the phrase as a whole. This situation is termed Gruppenflexion, group inflection. Consider the following example from Tocharian A:

A   yātälwātses   tsopats-tampes   nermits/inäs   wrassaśśäl
    obl.pl.   obl.pl.   obl.pl.   comit.pl.
    powerful   mighty   artificial   beings-with

which means

    'with the powerful mighty artificial beings'.

And from Tocharian B,

B   kektseñ   reki   palskosa
    obl.sg.   obl.sg.   perl.sg.
    body   word   thought-with

which means

    'with body, word, (and) thought'.

For further discussion, see the section on Coordination.

13 Adjective Class I: Thematic Adjectives
13.1 Primary Adjectives

Adjective Class I comprises originally thematic adjectives. That is, the morphology of adjectives in this class ultimately derives from PIE adjectives with thematic *-o- in the masculine and neuter. This particularly shows itself in the plural endings.

    PIE   PToch   A   B
Masculine                
N Pl.   *-ó-i   *-æi   -e    
    *-ò-i   *-(æ)i       -i
                 
Obl.   *-o-ns   *-æns   *-a(i)ns > -es   -eṃ

The singular shows greater variability. In general, the adjective endings show a conflation between simple endings of the PIE thematic declensions and "extended" endings ultimately derived from PIE *n-stems. The latter lacks a completely regular distribution, at times providing the unique ending for a particular gender, case, and number; at times providing an alternate long ending. The masculine oblique provides the most salient example: because of the general loss of final consonants in Tocharian, the masculine oblique singular ending -äṃ cannot derive from the ubiquitous PIE masculine accusative singular ending *-m, since this was word-final and therefore lost. Ultimately the Tocharian ending must derive from the nasal suffix itself of *n-stem adjectives.

The feminine ending *-eH₂ or *-iH₂ also appears among the thematic adjectives. This leads to the vowel *-ā- characterizing the feminine of Tocharian adjectives. The PIE *-i- remains as *-y-, which often results in the (secondary) palatalization of the preceding consonant.

    PIE   PToch   A   B
Feminine                
N Sg.   *-iH₂   *-ya   -(y)i   -(y)a
Obl.   *-iH₂-n-m   *-yā-n-Ø   -(y)āṃ   -(y)ai
                 
N Pl.   *-iH₂-es   *-yā+nā   -(y)aṃ   -(y)āna
    *-eH₂-es   *-å+nā       -ona
    *-H₂   *-ā       -a
Obl.   *-iH₂-es   *-yå+nā   -(y)aṃ   -(y)āna
    *-eH₂-ns   *-å+nā       -ona
    *-H₂   *-ā       -a

As generally with Tocharian nominal endings, these forms derive from various sources. The oblique singular shows the intrusion of the *n-stems; the plural, in addition to showing the athematic ending *-es, also shows possible traces of the thematic ending *-ns. Both of these endings exhibit augmentation via *+nā, ultimately deriving from the neuter plural ending. Moreover the feminine plural in *-H₂ > *-ā demonstrates a direct holdover from the neuter plural.

These endings divide into three major groups. These distinguish themselves according to the presence or absence of -y- (which palatalizes a preceding consonant, according to secondary palatalization), and according to the ending of the plural.

Feminine   Group i   Group ii   Group iii
             
N Sg.   -a   -ya   -ya
Obl.   -ai   -yai   -yai
             
N Pl.   -ana   -yana, -ona   -a
Obl.   -ana   -yana, -ona   -a

The general thematic adjective case endings appear as follows.

Them. Adj.   A Masculine   A Neuter   A Feminine           B Masculine   B Neuter   B Feminine
                                 
N Sg.       -(i)           -e   -e   -(y)ā
Obl.   -äṃ   -äṃ   -(y)āṃ           -e   -e   -(y)ai
                                 
N Pl.   -e   -aṃ   -aṃ           -i   -ānā, -onā   -ānā, -onā
Obl.   -es   -aṃ   -aṃ           -eṃ   -ānā, -onā   -ānā, -onā

In the above the term neuter represents the so-called alternating gender in Tocharian, that is, the forms associated with nouns taking masculine concord in the singular and feminine concord in the plural. Tocharian A āṣtär B astare 'pure' illustrates the declension of primary adjectives.

Class 1 Primary   A Masculine   A Feminine           B Masculine   B Feminine
                         
N Sg.   āṣtär   āṣtri           astare (āstre)   astarya
G   āṣtäryāp   āṣtärye           astarepi    
Obl.   āṣträṃ   āṣtäryāṃ           astareṃ (āstreṃ)   astaryai
                         
N Pl.   āṣtre   āṣtraṃ           astari (āstri)   astarona (āstrona)
Obl.   āṣtres   āṣtraṃ           astareṃ (āstreṃ)   astarona (āstrona)
13.2 Derived Adjectives

Tocharian greatly extends its adjectival inventory by means of a number of suffixes which it productively applies to other nominal elements to produce new adjectival forms. These largely follow the thematic declension described above, but often show greater influence from *n-stem formations.

The suffix *-i(y)o- (*-iH₂-o-) which survives in Latin adjectives in *-ius finds a reflex in Tocharian A -i B -(i)ye. Consider the following examples.

Base   Adjective   PToch.   PIE   Meaning
                 
A wäl   lāñci   *lāñciyæ   *wlōnt-iyo-   royal
B pacer   patarye   *pätäryæ   *pH₂tr-iyo-   paternal
                 
A ñkät   ñäkci   *ñäkäciyæ       divine
B ñakte   ñäkci(y)e   *ñäkäciyæ       divine

In the last example, the adjectival formation to a Proto-Tocharian nominal *ñäkät is straightforward, though the problem of relating this root to reflexes outside of the Tocharian family remains problematic. The extant forms are listed in the following chart.

*ñäkäciyæ-   A Masculine   A Feminie           B Masculine   B Feminine
'divine'                        
N Sg.   ñäkci   ñäkci(ṃ)           ñäkc(i)ye   ñäkc(i)ya
G                        
Obl.   ñäkci(ṃ)   ñäkcyāṃ           ñäkc(i)ye   ñäkcyai
                         
Paral                       ñäkcyane
                         
N Pl.   ñäkciñi   ñäkcyāñ           ñäkc(y)i   ñäkcyana
G                        
Obl.   ñäkcinäs   ñäkcyās           ñäkcyeṃ   ñäkcyana

In general the declension of such adjectives follows the pattern provided for adjectives built from the suffix A -ṣi B -ṣṣe, which we now describe.

Tocharian employs three suffixes with particular regularity in the formation of derived adjectives. First among these is the suffix A -ṣi B -ṣṣe < PIE *-syo-. An adjective X-ṣi or X-ṣṣe has the connotation "consisting of X." The forms for the various genders and cases are as follows.

    A Masculine   A Feminine           B Masculine   B Feminine
                         
N Sg.   -ṣi   -ṣi(ṃ)           -ṣṣe   -ṣṣa
G   -ṣināp   -ṣine           -ṣṣepi   *-ṣṣantse
Obl.   -ṣi(ṃ), -ṣinäṃ   -ṣi(ṃ), -ṣināṃ, -ṣyāṃ, -ṣṣāṃ           -ṣṣe   -ṣṣai
V                   -ṣṣu    
                         
N Pl.   -ṣiñi   -ṣināñ, -ṣṣāñ           -ṣṣi   -ṣṣana
G   -ṣinäśśi   *-ṣināśśi           -ṣṣeṃts   *-ṣṣanaṃts
Obl.   -ṣinäs   -ṣinās, -ṣṣās           -ṣṣeṃ   -ṣṣana

These forms are always suffixed to the oblique form of the appropriate noun, generally the singular oblique, but occasionally to the paral or plural:

    Noun   Sing. Obl.   Paral Obl.   Plur. Obl.   Adjective   Meaning
                         
A   ñemi 'jewel'   ñemi           ñemiṣi   bejeweled
B   naumiye 'jewel'   naumiye           naumiyeṣṣe   bejeweled
                         
A   *kanwe 'knee'       kanweṃ       kanweṃṣi   pertaining to both knees
B   keni 'knee'       kenine       kenineṣṣe   pertaining to both knees
                         
B   lakle 'pain'           läklenta   läklentaṣṣe   painful

Such adjectival formations generally replace in Tocharian what would be the first member of a compound noun in Sanskrit.

The next major type of derivational suffix is A -ñi B -ññe < PIE *-nyo-. Adjectives with the form X-ñi or X-ññe connote "relating to X" or "pertaining to X." For example, B perne poyśiññe 'the glory pertaining to The All-Knowing', where poyśi < po 'all' and aik- 'know' is a term commonly applied to the Buddha. Consider also the following examples.

Noun   Meaning   Adjective   Meaning
             
A oṅk   man   oñi   masculine
B eṅkwe   man   eṅkwaññe   masculine
B ost   household   ostaññe   member of the household

The endings follow the above paradigm, with A -ṣ- B -ṣṣ- replaced by A -ñ- B -ññ-, respectively. Interestingly, Tocharian frequently employs this adjective formation instead of an expected genetive. This parallels usage found in other IE languages, e.g. Homeric Odusḗion es dómon 'to the house of Odysseus.' For example, Dʰarmasomäññe Udānālaṅkār-ne 'in the Udanalankara (title of a treatise) of Dharmasoma,' where here the adjective (rather than the expected noun) Dʰarmasomäññe remains in the oblique case according to group inflection.

The last major type of derivational suffix is A -ts B -tstse < PIE *-tyo-. Adjectives with the form X-ts or X-tstse have the connotation 'related to X.' These adjectives often denote possession, as in B kokaletstse 'having a chariot,' from B kokale 'chariot.' The adjective A tsopats 'big' and its synonym B orotstse serve to illustrate the declension.

    A Masculine   A Feminine           B Masculine   B Feminine
                         
N Sg.   tsopats   tsopatsi           orotstse   orotstsa
G   tsoptsāp               oroccepi    
Obl.   tsopatsäṃ   tsopatsāṃ           orocce   orotstsai
V                   oroccu    
                         
N Pl.   (wākmtse)   tspoktsāñ (wākmtsaṃ)           orocci   orotstsana
G                   orocceṃts   orotstsanaṃts
Obl.   (wākmtses)   tspoktsās           orocceṃ   orotstsana

Tocharian A provides few examples of the feminine forms, and of plural forms in general. The above chart illustrates some of these forms with the word A wākmats 'outstanding.'

Note also the palatalization in the Tocharian B paradigm in the masculine, in particular in the oblique singular and the nominative and oblique plural. Interestingly, this palatalization does not arise from historical phonetic considerations; rather the palatalization seen in the above paradigm arises from similar palatalization in other paradigms (due to true historical morphology). In this sense, one can see here the beginnings of a morphological palatalization, a palatalization due to grammatical function rather than phonetic environment.

14 Past System

The past system in Tocharian essentially comprises the preterite. That is, the preterite is the only past tense formation which generally shows its own unique stem. The imperfect and optative both fall under the heading of 'past', in fact employing the same i-marker; however this marker generally applies to the present, respectively subjunctive, stem to derive the imperfect, respectively optative. Moreover, while the optative employs special endings in the active singular, the remaining forms employ the non-past endings. The same holds for the imperfect, except in Tocharian A, which employs the preterite (i.e. past) endings.

14.1 Preterite Classes

In a word, the preterite marker is PToch *-ā-, except when it's not. Less coyly, Class I provides the dominant preterite pattern, and the verbs comprising this class largely come from Indo-European verbs with root-final laryngeal. According to regular phonological changes, this PIE *H becomes PToch *ā. Note however that this vowel is lost in Tocharian A when word-final, as with all word-final vowels in Tocharian A. For example we find the mediopassive PIE *krih₂-medʰh₂ 'we buy/are bought' > B käryāmte, cf. Gk. priato.

Class II is heterogeneous across the two dialects. Tocharian A preserves the system of reduplication found for example in Gk. épepʰnon 'I slew'. In similar fashion, A käl- 'endure' shows preterite kakäl. Tocharian B on the other hand likely derives CLASS II preterites from an original *ē-grade perfect similar to that found in Latin lēgī: PIE *kērs- > B śārsa 'made known'.

The sigmatic aorist leaves remnants in the Class III preterites. As common in Greek, Sanskrit, and even Latin, these preterite forms add an *-s- to the verbal root: A arsāt B ersate 'was evoked' from A ar- B er-, cf. Gk. õrsa, aorist of órnūmi.

Classes IV and V appear to be new formations within Tocharian. Class IV preterites show a suffix AB -ṣṣā- appended to the root, while the more sparsely attested CLASS V exhibits a suffix AB -ñ(ñ)-.

Class VI only contains two verbs, AB lä-n-t- 'leave' and B käm-. They contain traces of an original thematic past tense formation. The following chart summarizes the Tocharian preterite classes.

Preterite   Type   Stem Shape   Toch. A   Toch. B   Comparanda
Class                    
I   athematic   PIE *-H-   katar   śtare   Gk. skídnēmi
II       PIE *CV-CVC, CēC   cacäl   cāla   Lat. tollō, Goth. þulan
III       PIE *-s   arsāt   ersate   Gk. õrsa, Skt. ṛṇóti
IV       PToch *-ṣṣā-   kākätkṣuräṣ   kakātkäṣṣu   Gk. gētʰéō
V       PToch *-ñ(ñ)-   weñār   weñāre   Gk. eĩpon, Lat. vōx
VI   thematic   PIE *-e / o   läc   lac   Gk. ēlutʰon

Clearly some of the above formations, such as the stem-suffix AB -ā-, in fact overlap with other tense/mood formations: e.g. AB -ā- also characterizes subjunctive formations, and AB -s- variously marks both present and preterite classes. Scholars have not as yet outlined such thoroughgoing rules as, say, in Sanskrit, which would elucidate why a given verb with one present class would have a preterite of another given class. To date the most satisfactory explanations rest on historical grounds for those verbs which we can trace back to Indo-European antecedents, and synchronic extension to other verbs with similar phonology and/or semantics. In this regard, each verb must be considered in the light of its entire conjugational system from PIE down to Tocharian in order to reveal patterns of association between various tense/mood formations. That is, one seeks to ascertain if the PIE antecedent contains a root-final laryngeal, and if that root formed a sigmatic or lengthened-grade aorist, etc.; thereby one hopefully uncovers naturally the association between its present, subjunctive, and preterite classes.

14.2 Past Endings

The past endings pertain to the preterite verb forms of all classes, save Class VI, which shows some variation. Tocharian A also employs the past endings in the imperfect, with the exception of the imperfects A yem and ṣem. Tocharian A optative endings differ in the active singular. Tocharian B shows slightly different endings in the active singular of both optative and imperfect; the remaining forms employ the past endings. The following table shows the Tocharian past endings.

Past   Active A   Active B           Mediopassive A   Mediopassive B
                         
1 Sg.   -(w)ā   -wa           -(w)e   -mai
2   -ṣt   -sta           -te   -tai
3   -(s)ā-   -(s)a           -t   -te
                         
3 Dual   *-ymas   -ys                
                         
1 Pl.   -mäs   -m           -mät   -mte
2   -s   -s           -c   -t
3   -r   -r(e)           -nt   -nte
                         
Past Ppl.   -u   -u                

For reference, we record here the optative endings, which depart from the past endings only in the active singular.

Optative   Active A   Active B
         
1 Sg.   -m   -m
2   -t   -t
3   -ṣ  
         
Else   Past   Past

The Tocharian A endings therefore mimic the non-past endings in the active singular, whereas the corresponding Tocharian B forms are almost altogether different. In the remaining active forms, and in all mediopassive forms, they are identical with the past endings.

14.3 Past Reference Paradigms

The table below presents the preterite forms of the verb AB läk- 'see'. As in the present system, A pälk- completes the suppletive paradigm in Tocharian A.

Past   Active A   Active B           Mediopassive A   Mediopassive B
                         
1 Sg.   *pälk   lyakāwa           pälke   *lyakāmai
2   *pälkaṣt   lyakāsta           pälkāte   lyakātai
3   *pälka   lyāka           pälkāt   lyakāte
                         
1 Pl.   *pälkmäs   lyakām           *pälkāmät   *lyakāmte
2   *pälkas   lyakās(o)           pälkāc   *lyākat
3   *pälkar   lyākar (lyakāre)           pälkānt   lyakānte
                         
Past Ppl.   pälko   lyelyäku                

Unfortunately the active forms of A pälk- are unattested, unlike the mediopassive. Tocharian B on the other hand shows a rather full paradigm.

15 Coordination

A noun and accompanying adjective must agree in grammatical gender. Most Tocharian adjective endings distinguish clearly between masculine and feminine endings; few Tocharian nouns, by contrast, have terminations that signal grammatical gender with any regularity. In practice, therefore, one determines the grammatical gender of a noun by the grammatical gender of the associated adjective. Some nouns, however, take masculine concord in the singular and feminine in the plural. Such nouns therefore constitute a third grammatical gender, generally termed alternating in Tocharian handbooks. For example:

    Singular   Plural
A   tsopats (m.) wäl   śāwe (m.) lāṃś
B   orotstse (m.) walo   orocci (m.) lāñc
    'great king'
         
A   sās (f.) ytār   toṣ (f.) ytāräṃ
B   sā (f.) ytārye   toy (f.) ytariñ
    'this way'
         
A   säs (m.) oko   toṣ (f.) okontu
B   se (m.) oko   toy (f.) okonta
    'this fruit'

Tocharian B, however, occasionally breaks this rule when convenient. Specifically, Tocharian B will at times employ a masculine adjectival form when it should properly use a feminine to ensure that the words fit the poetic meter.

A noun and accompanying adjective must agree in case. That is, if a noun in, say, the genitive case is accompanied by an adjective, that adjective too must be in the genitive case. Such concord pervades the ancient Indo-European languages. Tocharian, however, has decided that such a rule is more of a guideline, and therefore remains a bit lax. Specifically, recall that the secondary nominal cases derive from postpositions appended to the oblique case form of the underlying noun. This underlying oblique form leads to so-called group inflection, or Gruppenflexion: an adjective modifying a noun in a secondary case will generally be in the oblique. Consider the following examples.

A   āṣāniāṃ   Metraknaśśäl       together with the worthy Maitreya
    oblique   commitative        
                 
B   cämpamñecceṃ   orocceṃ   wnolmeṃmpa   together with the great (and) able beings
    oblique   oblique   commitative    

As mentioned in the previous lesson, Tocharian has interestingly extended this even to the genitive case, even though this case does not derive from the union of the oblique case with a postposition. Consider the following examples.

Gen.-Gen.            
             
A   ṣomāp   lānt   of one king
    genitive   genitive    
             
B   cwi   yāmorntse   of this deed
    genitive   genitive    
             
Obl.-Gen.            
             
A   śāwes   käṣṣiśśi   of the good teachers
    oblique   genitive    
             
B   añmalāṣkeṃ   käṣṣintse   of the compassionate teacher
    oblique   genitive    

Tocharian similarly employs the oblique in a parallel string of nouns. That is, given a sequence of nouns -- be they parallel items in a list or equated to one another through apposition -- in a secondary case, typically only the last item carries the secondary case ending. Consider the following.

A   kuklas   yukas   oṅkälmāsyo   with wagons, horses, and elephants
    oblique   oblique   instrumental    
                 
B   kokleṃ       oṅkolmaṃnpā   with wagons and elephants
    oblique       commitative    

We see from the examples above that an adjective must agree in number with the noun it modifies. Similarly, a verb and its subject must agree in number.

Tocharian Online

Lesson 4

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Morphology: Nominals

Proto-Indo-European demonstrates a rich array of nominal morphology. PIE inflects nouns for gender, case, and number. Three numbers arise in PIE: singular, dual, and plural. We find evidence for eight cases in PIE -- nominative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, locative, vocative -- whose significance has been discussed in Lesson 2. We discuss below further points of gender and case, as well as other important features of nouns in Proto-Indo-European.

Grammatical Gender

In general ancient IE languages display three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. As mentioned in the first lesson, the term gender is really only a shorthand for a system of agreement between nouns and adjectives, ensuring that the listener understands which adjective modifies which noun. As such, the general term 'gender', as well as the individual groupings 'masculine', 'feminine' and 'neuter', are misleading in that they have nothing in principle to do with biological gender. As it happens, however, when a noun refers to something that does possess a biological gender, those that have male gender are generally represented by nouns with masculine grammatical gender, and females with the feminine gender. But this division is not at all strict: Latin nauta 'sailor' generally denotes a male, even though it declines according to the pattern of feminine nouns; German Sonne and Old English sunne 'sun' decline as feminine nouns, even though the sun has no biological gender of any sort.

Evidence from Anatolian, in particular Hittite, suggests that the three-way split between masculine, feminine and neuter may not represent the earliest state of affairs in PIE. In particular, Hittite only shows a two-fold grammatical gender system: masculine and neuter in the terminology above. The particular distribution of these grammatical genders among Hittite nouns suggests that 'masculine' really denotes animate nouns, while 'neuter' denotes inanimate. The origin of the later 'feminine' gender in PIE thus remains somewhat of a mystery, but some evidence points to its development out of the neuter plural, reinterpreted as a singular collective.

Stem Shape

One remarkable feature of PIE morphology in general is that, at the most basic level, noun structure parallels that of verb structure. By that I mean that any given noun may be decomposed into

    Root   +   Suffix   +   Ending,

just like any verb. Take for example Gk. géneos 'of a kind', from earlier *géne(s)os:

Surface   Root   Suffix   Ending
             
géneos   gén-   -e(s)-   -os

The nominal suffixes and endings generally do not overlap with those of the verbal morphology (we do need to distinguish verbs and nouns, after all! Or do we...?), but amazingly enough the nominal roots very often do overlap with verbal roots. That is, we find generally that IE languages have ways of employing the same root as either a noun or a verb. In English we experience this daily with such alternations as sing (verb) versus song (noun), clearly derived from the same root by a morphophonetic process (ablaut) that allows a formal change between categories. Equally, in English we may cross categories simply by verbing a noun, or nouning a verb... that is, we need not apply any special process to the root to convert from one category to another.

We also saw that the verbal suffix can be thematic or athematic, i.e. it can contain or not a thematic vowel *-e- or *-o-. Remarkably, the same holds true for PIE nouns: suffixes can be either thematic or athematic.

Any of the root, suffix, or ending could contain a vowel in -, full-, or long-grade. The grade often shows a curious interplay with the accent pattern of the noun throughout its declensional paradigm.To understand this interplay, we should first distinguish between two types of cases: strong cases and weak cases. Here strong and weak bear no relation to similar uses in describing the declension of adjectives or conjugation of verbs; it simply seems that, ironically, linguists are loathe to develop new terminology when simple misapplication of arcane terminology will suffice. At any rate, we have the following pattern of strong and weak cases:

    Singular   Dual   Plural
             
Nominative   strong   strong   strong
Vocative   strong   strong   strong
Accusative   strong   strong    
Genitive            
Ablative            
Dative            
Instrumental            
Locative            

All unmarked cases in the above chart are weak. We see that, properly, the strong vs. weak distinction is one of case and number, since scholars generally agree that the accusative was not strong in all numbers. The importance with regard to the nominal accent in PIE derives from the following occurrence:

  • the syllable with full vowel grade generally shifts right in the weak cases;
  • the accent generally shifts to the right in the weak cases.

Here 'to the right' should be understood as shorthand for 'toward the end of the word'. Of course, where the full grade of the vowel and where the accent wind up in the weak cases each depend on two factors:

  • which syllable contains the (a) full grade of the vowel and (b) the accent;
  • how far (a) the full grade and (b) the accent jump in the weak cases.

Though this should lead in principle to four independent parameters (location of full vowel, location of accent, jump of full vowel, jump of accent), interestingly we find that the two tend to pattern together. That is, the accent tends to remain over the full vowel, so that the location of one dictates the location of the other, and similarly for the jump. Given these parameters and the correlation between them, we may therefore classify nouns into a few basic types: acrostatic, mesostatic, proterokinetic, hysterokinetic, amphikinetic (or holokinetic). We describe their accent and vowel patterns in the chart below.

    Acrostatic   Mesostatic   Proterokinetic   Hysterokinetic   Amphikinetic
                     
Strong   R-S-E   R-S-E   R-S-E   R-S-E   R-S-E
Weak   R-S-E   R-S-E   R-S-E   R-S-E   R-S-E
                     
Nominative   *nókʷ-t-s   *poH₂i-mḗ(n)   *mén-ti-s   *pH₂-tér-s   *H₂éus-ōs
Genitive   *nékʷ-t-s   *poH₂i-mén-s   *mṇ-téi-s   *pH₂-tr-és   *H₂us-s-és
                     
Meaning   night   shepherd   thought   father   dawn

In the above, R, S, and E naturally stand for root, suffix, and ending, respectively. The boldface letter denotes which of these three elements carries the full vowel and accent in that particular type of case. Below we find examples of each pattern, employing the nominative as the exemplar of the strong cases, the genitive for the weak. Though other full vowel and accent patterns could occur in principle, linguistic reconstruction has generally isolated the above as the dominant patterns in PIE nominal declension. Moreover, PIE speakers could form new nouns merely by shifting the accent of a given noun through a process known as internal derivation

Proto-Indo-European maintains a dizzying array of possible nominal suffixes. We list below some of the more productive suffixes:

  • *n-Stems: One of the most productive suffixes in PIE was *-n-. This could appear with a vowel as *-on- or *-en-. This pertains to both animate and neuter nouns. It also shows a large number of associated suffixes: *-men-, -sen-, -ten-, -wen-. The first of these finds wide application in building neuter abstract nouns to a verbal root, with nominative *-mṇ, genitive *-men-s. For example, *kwer-mṇ > Skt. kár-ma 'thing done', 'deed'; *dʰH₁-mṇ > Gk. tʰé-ma 'thing placed', 'theme'.
  • *r-Stems: The most basic suffix contains only the *-r-, perhaps with a vowel: *ǵʰes-r- 'hand' > Gk. kʰeir-. This class however contains numerous variants. Among the suffixes ending in *-r are *-ter- and *-tor-, means of deriving agent nouns. The agent may or may not have performed the act: *dH₃-tḗr 'one whose role is to give' > Ved. dātā́, Gk. dotḗr; *déH₃-tōr 'one who has in fact given' > Ved. dā́tā, Gk. dṓtōr. We also encounter the -ter- of familial nouns: *pH₂-ter- 'father', etc.
  • *r/*n-Stems: Even the speakers of PIE itself appear to have been confused by the various suffixes, and we find evidence of words mixing both *r- and *n-stem formations. Interestingly, the division of stems maintains a certain logic, with *-r- appearing in the nominative and accusative singular, and *-n- elsewhere. Take the following noteworthy example: *wód-ṛ 'water', together with *wéd-n- in other cases, preserved in Hittite wātar (nominative), witenas (genitive); similarly we find a divide among branches of Germanic, where Western Germanic seems to favor the *r-stem (English water), but Northern Germanic the *n-stem (ON vatn).
  • *s-Stems: The suffix *-os in the strong cases, paired with *-es- in the weak, generally produces an abstract noun from a verbal root, e.g. *ǵenH₁- 'be born' vs. *genH₁-os 'birth, race', cf. Gk. génos, Lat. genus. Internal derivation could produce an animate noun from an associated verbal abstract: *ḱerH₁-os 'grain' > Ger. Hirse 'millet'; but *ḱerH₁-ḗs 'grain producer' > Lat. Cerēs.
  • *t-Stems: This suffix is generally associated with feminine abstract nouns. For example, *déḱṃ 'ten', but *deḱṃ-t- 'decad' > Ved. daśát-. We find a plethora of other *t-stem suffixes generating abstract nouns: *-teH₂-t- > Lat. liber-tāt- 'freedom'.
  • *nt-Stems: Among the *nt-stems we classify the present participle formations in numerous IE languages. We also find a common possessive suffix, *-went-. This yields the suffix -vant- in Sanskrit adjectives such as bʰaga-vant- 'possessing wealth (bʰágas)'.
  • *i- and *u-Stems: The suffixes *-i- and *-u- alternate with respective full-grade forms, *-ei- and *-eu-. These may combine with other suffixal elements, such as *-t-. For example, nominative *mén-ti-s, genitive *mṇ-téi-s, giving Vedic matí- 'thought', with the root form *mṇ- generalized throughout the paradigm.
  • Thematic Stems: The thematic suffixes comprise *-e- and *-o-. The latter, *-o-, dominates by far the nominal landscape of the ancient attested IE languages. For example, *dom-o-s > Gk. dómos 'household'; *aiw-o-m > Lat. aevum 'age, eternity'.

Case Endings

To the suffix Proto-Indo-European adds endings to denote case. These case endings determine the grammatical function of a given noun in an utterance. Reconstruction has uncovered some differences between the endings employed for thematic and athematic nouns. In principle, we should also find different endings for the masculine, feminine, and neuter genders. But as mentioned above, we find that the feminine gender seems to be a later innovation, so that we are left in the earliest stages of PIE with a simple distinction between animate (masculine) and inanimate (neuter). Moreover, masculine and neuter agree in all cases other than nominative, accusative, and vocative. Thus, the actual inventory of desinences is greatly reduced. The following chart displays side-by-side the thematic and athematic endings for both animate and inanimate genders in all numbers (cf. Fortson 2004).

    Athem. Sg.   Them. Sg.   Athem. Du.   Them. Du.   Athem. Pl.   Them. Pl.
                         
Nom. anim.   *-s   *-o-s   *-H₁   *-ō < *-o-H₁   *-es   *-ōs < *-o-es
Voc.   *-Ø   *-e   *-H₁   *-ō < *-o-H₁   *-es   *-ōs < *-o-es
Acc. anim.   *-m   *-o-m   *-H₁   *-ō < *-o-H₁   *-ns   *-o-ns
Nom./Acc. neut.   *-Ø   *-o-m   *-iH₁   *-o-iH₁   *-H₂   *-ā < *-e-H₂
Gen.   *-s   *-o-s           *-ōm   *-ōm
Abl.   *-s   *-ōt < *-o-H₂at           *-bʰ-   *-o(i)-bʰ-
Dat.   *-ei   *-ōi < *-o-ei           *-bʰ-   *-o(i)-bʰ-
Instr.   *-H₁   *-ō < *-o-H₁           *-bʰ-   *-o(i)-bʰ-
Loc.   *-i   *-o-i           *-su   *-oi-su

We see in the above chart that scholars have difficulty reconstructing the weak cases of the dual. In the other forms, however, we notice an incredible similarity between thematic and athematic endings: the thematic ending for a given case and number echoes its athematic counterpart, but with the insertion of the thematic vowel. Some scholars also take the nominative/accusative plural form of the neuter, *-ā < *-e-H₂, as the point of departure for the feminine gender: the PIE speakers evidently viewed this form as a collective, and hence singular, in regard to some nouns. The above chart does not include all forms reconstructed for PIE nominals, but rather only a selection of the most pervasive.

In the end, the form encountered for any given noun derives from some root, one of the suffixes of the previous section, and one of the endings listed in the chart above. We of course do not see the above chart reflected exactly in any of the ancient attested daughter languages. As in Tocharian, cases tend to fall away or be added, and as this happens certain endings may be reinterpreted and recast as endings for another case.

Pronouns

Even a cursory glance across the ancient Indo-European languages shows an obvious affinity among the pronouns. The details of this affinity, however, are often difficult to piece together. One thing is certain: the pronouns followed a declensional pattern that differed somewhat from that employed with other nouns and adjectives. Some of the endings are clear for certain types of pronouns, but other remain rather elusive.

The personal pronouns evidently showed differing forms depending on whether they retained their own accent in an utterance or whether they borrowed it, so to speak, from a neighboring word (the so-called enclitic usage). These pronouns only distinguish person, case, and number; they do not distinguish grammatical gender in PIE. In addition to the first ('I', 'we') and second ('thou', 'you all') person pronouns, we also find reason to reconstruct a reflexive pronoun (roughly equivalent to '-self' in English usage of 'himself', etc.). The following chart outlines the PIE forms of these pronouns (cf. Adams 1988).

    1st Pers.   2nd Pers.   Refl.
Singular            
Nominative   *eǵH₂om   *tuHom    
Acc. unstressed   *me   *te   *se
Acc. stressed   *mé   *twé   *swé
Gen. unstressed   *moy   *toy   *soy
Gen. stressed   *méne   *téwe   *séwe
Dat. stressed   *me-ǵʰ(i)        
             
Dual            
Nominative   *weH₁, weyom   *yuHom    
Acc. unstressed   *noH   *woH    
Acc. stressed   *ṇHmé   *uHwé    
Gen. unstressed            
Gen. stressed            
             
Plural            
Nominative   *weys, weyom   *yuHs, yuHom    
Acc. unstressed   *nos   *wos    
Acc. stressed   *ṇsmé   *usmé    
Gen. unstressed            
Gen. stressed            

Many of the above forms continue to be debated, and other forms are too uncertain to even be listed.

Proto-Indo-European also possesses a number of deictic (pointing) pronouns, akin to English 'this' or 'that'. One in particular finds employment as a third person pronoun ('he', 'she', 'it') built to the stems *so- and *to-. Though some of the details of the paradigm remain obscure, several PIE forms may be reconstructed with relative confidence.

3rd Person   Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
Singular            
Nominative   *so   *sā   *tod
Accusative   *tom   *tām   *tod
Genitive   *teso       *teso
             
Plural            
Nominative   *toy   *tās   *tā
Accusative   *tons   *tāns   *tā

Following a similar declension pattern is the interrogative ('who', 'what') pronoun with stem *kʷo-. This pronoun also served as an indefinite pronoun ('someone', 'anyone').

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following selection continues the Tocharian A text A255 (THT 888). The narrative continues with a list of the deeds of past Buddhas, their lifespans, and when they attained Nirvana.

29 - ṣäk-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Viśvabʰū ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ.
  • ṣäk-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <ṣäk> six + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- sixty thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive <wrasom> living being, human, man -- of beings
  • śolaṃ -- noun III 2; alternating singular locative <śol> life -- in the life
  • Viśvabʰū -- noun; masculine singular nominative <Viśvabʰū> Visvabhu, name of a Buddha -- Visvabhu
  • ñomā -- noun III 2; alternating singular perlative <ñom> name -- by name
  • ptāñkät -- noun V 1; masculine singular nominative <ptāñkät (pättāñkät)> Buddha(lord) -- a Buddhalord
  • ṣeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active <nas-> be -- there was

säm penu -- -- -- -- -- tmāṃ-tri-wälts-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt.
  • säm -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular nominative <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it -- This... (man)
  • penu -- postposition conjunction; indeclinable <penu> also; even, in fact -- as well
  • tmāṃ-tri-wälts-puklyi -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand + cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <tre, tri> three + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand + adjective I; masculine singular nominative <-puklyi> yearly, pertaining to the year -- possessing thirteen thousand years
  • puttiśparäṃ -- noun; singular oblique <puttiśparäṃ> Buddha-lordship, -majesty, -dignity -- Buddhahood
  • kälpāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <kälp-> acquire, attain -- attained

tri-tmāṃ päñ-wälts puklā puttiśparṣināṃ wles wleṣāt.
  • tri-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <tre, tri> three + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- thirty-
  • päñ-wälts -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <päñ> five + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- -five thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • puttiśparṣināṃ -- adjective I 1; feminine singular oblique <puttiśparṣi> relating to Buddha-lordship -- of Buddhahood
  • wles -- noun III 1; feminine singular oblique <wles> service, work, activity -- the service
  • wleṣāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <wles-> accomplish, perform -- he performed

tmāṃ we-wälts puklā śol lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk.
  • tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- -lve
  • we-wälts -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <wu, we> two + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- twe-... thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- After... years
  • śol -- noun III 2; alternating singular oblique <śol> life -- life
  • lyalyipuräṣ -- absolutive; masculine singular ablative <lip-> remain, be left over; (caus.) leave (over), give up/over, spare -- having given
  • ksaluneyaṃ -- verb abstract; masculine singular locative <käs-> expire, die -- Nirvana
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite I; 3 singular active <i-> go -- he attained

30 - śtwar-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Krakasundi ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ.
  • śtwar-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <śtwar> four + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- forty thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive <wrasom> living being, human, man -- of beings
  • śolaṃ -- noun III 2; alternating singular locative <śol> life -- in the life
  • Krakasundi -- noun; masculine singular nominative <Krakasundi> Krakasundi, name of a Buddha -- Krakasundi
  • ñomā -- noun III 2; alternating singular perlative <ñom> name -- by name
  • ptāñkät -- noun V 1; masculine singular nominative <ptāñkät (pättāñkät)> Buddha(lord) -- a Buddhalord
  • ṣeṣ -- verb imperfect; 3 singular active <nas-> be -- there was

säm penu kāsu kälko tmāṃ-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt.
  • säm -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular nominative <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it -- This
  • penu -- postposition conjunction; indeclinable <penu> also; even, in fact -- as well
  • kāsu -- adverb; masculine nominative singular <kāsu> good -- well
  • kälko -- preterite participle; masculine singular nominative <i-> go -- gone
  • tmāṃ-puklyi -- cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand + adjective I; masculine singular nominative <-puklyi> yearly, pertaining to the year -- possessing ten thousand years
  • puttiśparäṃ -- noun; singular oblique <puttiśparäṃ> Buddha-lordship, -majesty, -dignity -- Buddhahood
  • kälpāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <kälp-> acquire, attain -- attained

we-tmāṃ we-wälts puklā puttiśparäṃ wleṣāt.
  • we-tmāṃ -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <wu, we> two + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <tmāṃ> ten thousand -- twenty-
  • we-wälts -- cardinal numeral; masculine/feminine <wu, we> two + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- -two thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- For... years
  • puttiśparäṃ -- noun; singular oblique <puttiśparäṃ> Buddha-lordship, -majesty, -dignity -- Buddhahood
  • wleṣāt -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <wles-> accomplish, perform -- he performed

okät-wälts puklā śol lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk.
  • okät-wälts -- cardinal numeral; indeclinable <okät> eight + cardinal numeral; feminine indeclinable <wälts> thousand -- eight thousand
  • puklā -- noun I 1; feminine plural oblique <pukäl> year -- After... years
  • śol -- noun III 2; alternating singular oblique <śol> life -- life
  • lyalyipuräṣ -- absolutive; masculine singular ablative <lip-> remain, be left over; (caus.) leave (over), give up/over, spare -- having left... behind
  • ksaluneyaṃ -- verb abstract; masculine singular locative <käs-> expire, die -- Nirvana
  • kälk -- verb suppletive preterite I; 3 singular active <i-> go -- he attained

Lesson Text

29 - ṣäk-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Viśvabʰū ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ. säm penu -- -- -- -- -- tmāṃ-tri-wälts-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt. tri-tmāṃ päñ-wälts puklā puttiśparṣināṃ wles wleṣāt. tmāṃ we-wälts puklā śol lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk. 30 - śtwar-tmāṃ puklā wrasaśśi śolaṃ Krakasundi ñomā ptāñkät ṣeṣ. säm penu kāsu kälko tmāṃ-puklyi puttiśparäṃ kälpāt. we-tmāṃ we-wälts puklā puttiśparäṃ wleṣāt. okät-wälts puklā śol lyalyipuräṣ ksaluneyaṃ kälk.

Translation

29 For sixty thousand years in the life of beings there was a Buddhalord Visvabhu by name. This ... (man) as well, possessing thirteen thousand years, attained Buddhahood. For thirty-five thousand years he performed the service of Buddhahood. For twelve thousand years, having given his life, he attained Nirvana. 30 For forty thousand years in the life of beings there was a Buddhalord Krakasundi by name. This well gone (man) as well, possessing ten thousand years, attained Buddhahood. For twenty-two thousand years he performed Buddhahood. After eight thousand years, having given his life, he attained Nirvana.

Grammar

16 Historical Phonology: Consonants

The development of the PIE consonants in Tocharian provides a story no less interesting than that of the PIE vowels. The development of the consonants, in fact, revealed one of the most stunning early discoveries in the study of Tocharian: that the Tocharian languages lie within the Centum group, not within the Satem group of their geographic neighbors, and therefore undermine earlier notions of a simple geographic correlation of the Centum-Satem distinction.

Aficionados of smaller phonetic inventories will happily note that the Tocharian group largely streamlines the consonantal inventory of Proto-Indo-European. In particular, voicing and aspiration each lose their phonemic distinction, and so PIE consonants such as *b and *bʰ both become leveled with *p. One must keep in mind, however, that this denotes phonemic rather than phonetic leveling. That is, we cannot say whether the Proto-Tocharian *p into which all of *p, *b and *bʰ collapsed was pronounced with or without, say, aspiration; rather, we can only say that the distinction no longer remained important, as in English pot, where it makes no difference for understanding whether the initial p is deaspirated or not -- though it sounds a little unusual to a native speaker if it is.

Concomitant with this pruning of the PIE consonantal inventory, we find in Tocharian the rise of a process of palatalization which subsequently introduces some new phonemes into the inventory. This palatalization is distinct from that observed in the Satem languages and should be understood as a solely Tocharian process. Interestingly, we see Tocharian regularize the subsequent phonemic alternations that arise in certain common morphological paradigms and extend them beyond their original boundaries, in effect creating in certain paradigms a morphological palatalization.

16.1 From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Tocharian

We take as our starting point the Proto-Indo-European consonant inventory. The general consensus among scholars settles on the following system.

    Labial   Dental   Palatal   Velar   Labiovelar
                     
Voiceless   *p   *t   *ḱ   *k   *kʷ
Voiced   *b   *d   *ǵ   *g   *gʷ
Voiced Asp.   *bʰ   *dʰ   *ǵʰ   *gʰ   *gʷʰ
                     
Sibilant       *s            
                     
Laryngeal           *H₁   *H₂   *H₃
                     
Nasal   *m   *n            
Liquid       *l   *r        
Semivowel   *w       *y        

The association of the laryngeals *H with particular points of articulation leaves something to conjecture, and the above merely represents one possibility which has found some support among scholars (see, e.g., Ringe 1996). We include the laryngeals in the above chart for completeness, though we will treat their development separately in the following lesson.

Reconstruction of the Proto-Tocharian consonant inventory leaves us with the system outlined in the following chart.

    Labial   Dental   Alveolar   Palatal   Velar   Labiovelar
                         
Stop   *p   *t           *k   *kʷ
    *p'                    
Affricate       *ts   *c            
Sibilant       *s   *ṣ   *ś        
Nasal   *m   *n       *ñ        
Liquid       *l   *r            
        *l'   *r'            
Semivowel               *y       *w
                        *w'

The above chart depicts quite clearly the reduced number of stop consonants. Similarly we find the introduction of some palatal consonants, as well as palatalized variants of other, non-palatal consonants. For a given consonant C we denote by C' its palatalized variant.

In broad outline, the development from the PIE consonantal system to that of Proto-Tocharian follows from a few major principles:

  • Merger of PIE palatals and velars;
  • Grassmann's Law;
  • Deaspiration;
  • Palatalization;
  • Devoicing.

We discuss each one of these processes in turn.

16.1.1 Merger of PIE Palatals and Velars

The first major principle, mentioned above, concerns the merger of the PIE palatal and velar stops, lining Tocharian up with the other Centum languages:

    PIE *Ḱ > *K,

where *Ḱ represents any of *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ, and similarly *K represents any of *k, *g, *gʰ. A large swath of the ancient Indo-European languages share this merger, and this would lead us to suspect that this denotes a shared dialectal innovation within a subgrouping of the speakers of the parent language Proto-Indo-European. Though this likely contains some germ of truth, the actual state of affairs nevertheless remains somewhat murky. For example, we will see with Grassmann's Law below that Tocharian shares innovations with both Greek and Sanskrit, the latter belonging to the Satem group.

Tocharian naturally exhibits numerous examples of this change. Consider the following.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*Ḱ   *K       *ṇtóm   *käntæ   A känt   Lat. centum
            'hundred'       B kánte   Gk. hekatón
                         
            *ṇ-neH₃-tiH₂   *ā̀knā́tsā̀   A knāts   Lat. ignōtus
            'not knowing, foolish'       B aknā́tsa    
                         
            *ómbʰo-   *kæmβæ   A kam   Skt. jambʰa-
            'tooth'       B keme   Gk. gómpʰos

16.1.2 Grassmann's Law

Tocharian joins Greek and Sanskrit in a very select club among the ancient Indo-European languages which shows the operation of Grassmann's Law. According to this law, when successive syllables begin with aspirated consonants , the consonant beginning the first syllable loses its aspiration:

    PIE *CʰVCʰ- > *CVCʰ-.

In the case of Greek and Sanskrit, this seems to be an innovation produced independently in each language. Consider the following examples.

Root   PIE   Reflex
         
*bʰeudʰ-   *eu-e-ti   Skt. bati
*dʰeH₁-   *e-eH₁-mi   Gk. tēmi

Tocharian too shows examples of this principle at work. Consider the examples listed below.

PIE   Grassmann's   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                 
*oi-   *doi-   *dzaik-   A   Gk. teïkʰos
            B tsaik-   Lat. fingō
                 
*egʷʰ-   *dgʷʰ-   *dzk-   A tsk-   Skt. dah-
    (Ø-grade)   > *dzk-   B tsk-   Lat. foveō

Evidently in Tocharian, as in Greek and Sanskrit, this is an independent development.

16.1.3 Palatalization

Palatalization provides one of the dominant phonological processes in the historical evolution of the Tocharian system of consonants. Through this process a consonant C acquires a palatal off-glide, denoted C'. Many and varied languages undergo a similar process. For example, we find this process at work in the history of English itself with the modern pair Eng. kin vs. chin: we find OE cynn > Eng. kin, but OE cinn > Eng. chin (incidentally, the development from PIE is *genH₁- > *gnH₁-ieH₁ > PGmc *kun-jo > OE cynn > Eng. kin, but *genu- > kinnuz > OE cinn > Eng. chin). In the latter, the front vowel i palatalizes the c, ultimately resulting in the modern sound represented by ch; in the former, this process is prevented by the back quality of OE -y- ([], equivalent to Modern German ). We find the same phenomenon acting on a synchronic level when speakers of English pronounce Got you! quickly as Gotcha!

We may summarize Tocharian palatalization symbolically as follows:

    *C > *C' before *e, *ē, *y, and sometimes *i, *ī.

That is, a consonant palatalizes before an immediately following front vowel or glide, except that *i, *ī only affect certain types of consonants. In particular, *i, *ī fail to palatalize bilabial, dorsal (formed with the blade of the tongue), and labiovelar consonants, as well as the sibilant *s. See the discussion of the historical evolution of PIE *i for additional discussion. Further subtlety lies in which consonants form palatalized/non-palatalized pairs. In particular, we have the following correspondences.

    PIE   PToch Non-Palatalized   PToch Palatalized
             
Stop       *p   *p'
    *t       *c
    *d       *ś
    *dʰ       *c
    *ty       *ts
    *dʰy       *ts
        *k   *ś
        *kʷ   *ś
             
Affricate       *ts   *ś
             
Sibilant       *s   *ṣ
             
Nasal       *m   *m'
        *n   *ñ
             
Liquid       *l   *l'
        *r   *r'
             
Semivowel       *w   *w'

In the above we see that, for the most part, the particular palatalized reflex only depends on the Proto-Tocharian consonant. But notably we observe that palatalization does not treat the Indo-European dentals equally. Specifically, *d follows a treatment different from the other dentals, and moreover the palatalized reflex of dentals depends on whether or not the glide *y triggers the palatalization. We will discuss the evolution of the dentals further below.

Note also that *s has palatalized partner *ṣ, not *ś. The latter pairs with the velars, labiovelars, and affricate *ts; moreover it provides the reflex of PIE *t, *dʰ when palatalized by a following *y.

The following examples illustrate some of the above correspondences.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*t   *c       *dʰugH₂tēr   *täkācær   A ckācar   Ved. duhitár-
            'daughter'       B tkā́cer   Gk. tʰugátēr
                         
*l   *l'       *léuk-os   *l'äukæ   A    
            'light'       B lyuke   Ved. rócas
                         
*ty   *ts       *wleH₂nt-iH₂   *wlānt-yā   A    
            'queen'   > *wlānts   B lāntsa   OIr. flaitʰ

16.1.4 Deaspiration

Deaspiration formally denotes the process by which an aspirated consonant loses the accompanying puff of air, leaving an unaspirated consonant. In Grassmann's Law, treated above, we see that at times in the course of historical evolution this process acts by changing an aspirated phoneme for its unaspirated counterpart. In Tocharian, however, the application of deaspiration was far more dramatic, ultimately removing all aspirated consonants from the Proto-Tocharian inventory. The result, therefore, is a system wherein no unaspirated consonant has an aspirated counterpart, and vice versa. Thus, in the context of Tocharian, documentary evidence only allows us to conclude that, after a certain point, aspiration no longer had any phonetic value. We cannot to date say whether or not there may have been allophonic variation in aspiration of the sort found in English: e.g. (aspirated) pot, but (unaspirated) spot.

On the phonemic level, however, way may state the rule simply:

    all PIE aspirated consonants lost their aspiration in Proto-Tocharian.

The Tocharian languages display no phonemic distinction based on aspiration.

16.1.5 Devoicing

Just as drastically as deaspiration in Tocharian is the general devoicing that occurred in Proto-Tocharian:

    all PIE voiced stops lost their voicing in Proto-Tocharian.

This of course carries the same caveat as that mentioned in the context of deaspiration: the loss of voicing applies on the phonemic level, though it may not apply strictly on the phonetic level. This rule applies only to the stop consonants; resonants, for example, retained their voicing. Combined with the above rule concerning deaspiration, this leads to a dramatic reduction in the stop consonant inventory of Proto-Tocharian. Consider the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*G   *K       *ugH₂tēr   *tkācær   A ckācar   Ved. duhitár-
            'daughter'       B tkā́cer   Gk. tʰugátēr
                         
            *gʷʰ-   *dzk-   A tsk-   Skt. dah-
            > *dgʷʰ-   > *tsk-   B tsk-   Lat. foveō

In the above, *G represents a general voiced stop in PIE, while *K represents the corresponding unvoiced consonant in PToch.

16.2 The Dental Series

One of the great surprises in the historical phonology of Tocharian pertains to the treatment of the dental series PIE *t, *d, *dʰ. In particular, scholars have discovered a somewhat non-uniform development, wherein PIE *d is singled out from the group and undergoes changes different from PIE *t, *dʰ. At some point early in the Proto-Tocharian period, PIE *d developed into a voiced affricate PToch *dz. This change occurs, surprisingly enough, in both palatal and non-palatal contexts. The resulting affricate subsequently obeys the laws of devoicing and palatalization, though the reflex of the latter differs from that of its brethren *t, dʰ. In particular, devoicing causes a change PToch *dz > *ts, and subsequent palatalization yields PToch *dz > *ts > *ś; by contrast, palatalization regularly derives PToch *ts from both PIE *t and PIE *dʰ.

To further complicate the situation, we find that PToch *dz is regularly lost before non-palatal vowels and PToch . In addition, PIE*d itself is lost before a nasal. The following examples help illustrate the behavior of PIE *d in Tocharian.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*d   *dz       *gʷʰ-   *dzk-   A tsäk-   Skt. dah-
            > *dgʷʰ-   > *tsäk-   B tsäk-   Lat. foveō
                         
            *duk-   *dzäk-   A tsäk-   Lat. ducere
            'throw (out)'       B    
                         
*d   *dz       *doru   *dzæru   A or   Gk. dóru
    >       'wood' (sg.)   > *æru   B or    
                         
*dN   *N       *weid-mo-   *w'äimæ       Skt. vidmán-
            'thought'       B ime   Gk. ídmōn

In the above chart, *N stands for a general nasal consonant. To further highlight the difference in treatment among the dental consonants, consider the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*ty   *ts       *wleH₂nt-iH₂   *wlānt-yā   A    
            'queen'   > *wlānts   B lāntsa   OIr. flaitʰ
                         
*t   *c       *dʰugH₂tēr   *täkācær   A ckācar   Ved. duhitár-
            'daughter'       B tkā́cer   Gk. tʰugátēr
                         
*dʰ   *c       *H₁lu-e-t   *läc   A läc    
            (root aorist)       B lac    
                         
*d   *ś       *déḱṃ   *dzäkä(n)   A äk   Lat. decem
            'ten'   > *äkä   B ak   Gk. déka
16.3 The Labiovelars

The details of the evolution of the labiovelars continue to provide a forum for scholarly debate. Though the broad rules which govern how these consonants evolved seem to be clear, the data nevertheless provides some contradictory evidence. In general, a labiovelar PIE *Kʷ (representing any of *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ) obeys the following rules in the transition to Proto-Tocharian:

  • PIE *KʷC > PToch *kC,
  • PIE *Kʷ(o, a) > PToch *k(o, a),

showing loss of the labial element; but

    PIE *Kʷ(i, u, Ṛ) > PToch *kʷä

showing retention of the labial element; and

    PIE *Kʷ(e, ē, y) > PToch *ś(ä, æ, (y)),

demonstrating palatalization. In the above C represents any consonant and *Ṛ represents any given vocalic resonant. Consider the following examples.

PIE   PToch   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*KʷC   *kC       *notew-yo   *nækcäw'yæ   A nakcu   Lat. noctū
            'at night'       B nekciye    
                         
*Kʷ(o, a)   *k(o, a)       *ów-   *kæw   A ko   Skt. gáuḥ
            'cow'       B keu   Gk. boũs
                         
*Kʷ(i, u, Ṛ)   *kʷä       *ṃ-   *äm   A kum-   Skt. gaccʰati
            'come' (-grade)       B käm-   OE cuman
                         
*Kʷ(e, ē, y)   *ś(ä, æ, (y))       *ēm-e-t   *æm'ä   A   Skt. ágan
            'come' (root aorist)       B em    

In the last two examples we see the contrast within different forms of a single root between palatalized and non-palatalized reflexes of the labiovelar. In particular, we see the labial element of PToch *kʷ reflected in the u of A kum-.

Unfortunately the data is not uniform, and we find evidence that goes against some of the above rules. For example, we also find PIE *wḷkʷo- 'wolf' > PToch *wälkwæ > B walkwe, with an unexpected sequence -kw-. Such examples might show influence from roots with like semantics and similar phonetic shape: PIE *(H₁)éḱwo- 'horse' > PToch *yäkwæ > A yuk B yakwe, where -kw- in this instance derives naturally from the palatal *ḱ followed by the labial glide *w.

16.4 Proto-Tocharian to Tocharian

For the most part, the sound (phoneme) inventory of Proto-Tocharian discussed above passes to the daughter languages rather mechanically. In some instances, however, Tocharian A and B treat Proto-Tocharian consonantal phonemes differently. We note the most salient of these differences in the following sections.

16.4.1 Proto-Tocharian to Tocharian A

A major feature of the evolution of simple consonants into Tocharian A is depalatalization. Specifically, we find PToch *w' > A w, so that Tocharian A loses the distinction between palatalized and non-palatalized variants of the bilabial glide *w.

We also find in Tocharian A a general elimination of labiovelars. That is, the labial element of the labiovelar *kʷ generally disappears, often with coloring of the adjacent vowel. This likewise applies to the sequence *kw, so that the *w falls away.

The following examples illustrate depalatalization and the loss of labiovelars.

PToch   Toch A   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*w'   w       *H₂wéH₁-nt-o-   *w'æntæ   A want   Ved. vāta-
            'wind'       B yente   Lat. ventus
                         
*kʷ   k       *ṃ-   *äm   A kum-   Skt. gaccʰati
            'come' (-grade)       B käm-   OE cuman
                         
            *kuwonṃ   *kwænä(n)   A koṃ   Gk. kúōn
            'dog' (acc.)       B kweṃ   Goth. hunds
                         
            *kuH-ti-   *kwācä   A kāc   Lat. cutis
            'skin'       B    

Several changes also affected consonant clusters in Tocharian A. The following points outline the major changes which occurred among consonant clusters:

  • PToch *st > A ṣt,
  • Internal PToch *-ks- > A -ps- and *-kṣ- > A -pṣ-,
  • Internal PToch *-C'y- > A -C'C'-,
  • Intervocalic PToch *-ns- > A -s- with palatalization of preceding vowel,
  • PToch *-ñc palatalizes preceding vowel.

The first two items denote simple changes affecting only the consonant cluster itself. The change *-kṣ- > A -pṣ-, however, occurs less frequently and its plausibility depends more heavily on the proposed reconstructions of the etyma involved. We also see that in Tocharian A the combination of a palatal consonant followed by *y resulted in loss of *y, with gemination (doubling) of the preceding palatal consonant. In addition, clusters involving nasals often tend to affect the preceding vowel. Specifically, not only is the nasal element of intervocalic *-ns- lost, but the preceding vowel acquires a palatal articulation. Moreover, the particular cluster *-ñc found in many nouns and the third person plural present active ending of verbs has the effect of palatalizing a preceding vowel. The palatalization applies in particular to PToch *a, ā, and *ä with the following results:

  • PToch *ay > A e,
  • PToch *āy > A e,
  • PToch *äy > A i,

where *y denotes palatalization of the preceding vowel. Consider the examples listed below of the above mentioned sound changes.

PToch   Toch A   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*st   ṣt       *-stH₂e   *-st   A -ṣt   Skt. -tʰa
            (2 sg. act. pret.)       B -sta    
                         
*-ks-   -ps-       *kʷleik-s-   *klaiks-   A kleps-   Skt. kliśyáte
            'wither'       B klaiks-    
                         
*-C'y-   -C'C'-           *aśy-e   A aśśe    
                (gen. sg.)   B (aiyantse)    
                         
*-ns-   -ys-       *H₁ōmso-   *ānsæ   A *ays > es   Lat. umerus
            'shoulder'       B ntse   Goth. ams
                         
*-ñc   -yñc       *H₂eǵ-o-nti   *āk-æ-nc   A ākeñc   Lat. agunt
            'they lead' (3 pl. act. pres.)       B (ākeṃ)    
                         
            *H₁i-Ø-nti   *yä-nc   A yiñc   Skt. yánti
            'they go' (3 pl. act. pres.)       B (yaneṃ)   Gk. íāsi

The Tocharian B reflexes in parentheses are analogous in function but derive from different proto-forms.

16.4.2 Proto-Tocharian to Tocharian B

In contrast to Tocharian A, which depalatalizes PToch *w', Tocharian B in fact takes the process of palatalization one step further:

    PToch *w' > B y.

This minor rebellion was not enough to satisfy Tocharian B, and so the language further distinguishes itself from its sibling by conservation of labiovelars. Tocharian B shows a tendency to preserve both PToch *kʷ and PToch *kw as B kw. The rule does not apply to all situations, however. Consider the following examples.

PToch   Toch B   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*w'   y       *H₂wéH₁-nt-o-   *w'æntæ   A want   Ved. vāta-
            'wind'       B yente   Lat. ventus
                         
*kʷ   kw       *kuwonṃ   *kwænä(n)   A koṃ   Gk. kúōn
            'dog' (acc.)       B kweṃ   Goth. hunds
                         
            *H₂eḱu-tyo-   *ākwätsæ   A   Lat. acūtus
            'sharp'       B akwátse   OE āwel
                         
            *is-so   *kwäsæ   A kus   Hitt. kuis
            'who'       B kuse   Gk. hós-tis
                         
            *ṃ-   *äm   A kum-   Skt. gaccʰati
            'come' (-grade)       B käm-   OE cuman
                         

As the last example shows, Tocharian B does not retain the labiovelar in all situations.

Tocharian B also exhibits a number of changes to consonant clusters, differing from those displayed by Tocharian A (well, by definition of course -- if they were the same changes, then we would call them Proto-Tocharian changes!). In particular we find the following major changes:

  • Internal PToch *-Tw- > B -TT-,
  • Intervocalic PToch *-mn- > B -nm-,
  • PToch *NS > B NtS and PToch *LS > B LtS,
  • Word-final PToch *-ns > B -n.

Thus, PToch *w falls away immediately following a dental consonant -- be it stop, nasal, or sibilant (all represented here by *T) -- with gemination of the preceding consonant. This rule does not apply when the sequence lies at the beginning of a word. In addition, we find metathesis of the nasals in PToch *-mn- when between vowels. We also find epenthetic insertion of -t- in Proto-Tocharian consonant sequences consisting of any nasal (*N) or liquid (*L) followed by a sibilant (*S). When word-final, we find the simplification of the sequence PToch *-ns to solely B -n. Consider the following examples.

PToch   Toch B   Example   PIE   PToch   Toch   Comparanda
                         
*-Tw-   -TT-       *r(e)itw-   *ritw-   A ritw-   Av. raēṭwa-
            'be attached'       B ritt-    
                         
            *(s)p(e)n-w-   *pänw-   A pänw-   Gk. pénomai
            'bring near' (Ø-grade)       B pänn-   OE spinnan
                         
*-mn-   -nm-       *gʷṃ-   *kʷäm-näsk-   A kumnäs-   Skt. gaccʰati
            'come' (-grade)   (CLASS X present)   B känmäsk-   OE cuman
                         
*NS   NtS       *H₁ōmso-   *ānsæ   A *ays > es   Lat. umerus
            'shoulder'       B ntse   Goth. ams
                         
*LS   LtS           *cämel-sa   A    
                'birth' (perlative)   B cameltsa    
                         
*-ns#   -n#       *-(i,u)-ns   *-äns   A   Gk. *-ons > -ous
            (acc. pl.)       B -ä    
17 Primary Case Endings: Singular

We now turn to a closer inspection of the various primary case endings one encounters in the Tocharian texts, along with their historical development. In the present section we focus on the endings of the singular.

17.1 Nominative

Simply put, the nominative case has no ending to distinguish it from other forms. We might expect this by considering, for example, thematic nouns in Proto-Indo-European with masculine nominative *-o-s and accusative *-o-m. Since PIE final consonants are lost in Tocharian, both forms result in PToch *-æ, and therefore lose any distinction. The evolution of PIE neuter nouns only serves to further reinforce this tendency, since these nouns have identical nominative and accusative even in PIE itself. In those situations in Tocharian where the oblique has acquired, or retains, a marker, we may distinguish the nominative case by the absence of this form.

17.2 Vocative

The vocative only retains in Tocharian B a form distinct from the nominative; otherwise the two cases have identical forms. In Tocharian B we distinguish three basic vocative endings, whose use is determined by the noun's nominative form:

Nominative   Vocative   Example   Nominative   Vocative
                 
-Ce   -a       ñakte   ñakta
            'lord, god'    
                 
-C'e   -u       kaurṣe   kaurṣu
            'bull'    
                 
-a   -ai       aiṣṣeñca   aiṣṣeñcai
            'giver'    

In the above C denotes an arbitrary consonant and C' an arbitrary palatalized consonant. Where palatalization is involved, the oblique may dictate the form of the vocative. Take for example the adjective B orotstse 'great', with masculine singular oblique B orocce; this has masculine singular vocative oroccu. The origin of these vocative endings remains obscure.

17.3 Oblique

As mentioned previously, for a large number of nouns the nominative and oblique are identical. This results in a situation where, for a number of nouns, no particular ending distinguishes the oblique from other cases. The most interesting and conspicuous departure from this state of affairs occurs with substantives denoting reasoning beings.

17.3.1 Oblique Ending AB -ṃ

In the Tocharian languages, despite the general lack of any morphological marker for the oblique based on grammatical classification, we find more interestingly the rise of a marker AB -ṃ /-n/ based on semantic classification. In particular, substantives which denote reasoning or rational beings employ the ending -ṃ in the oblique singular. Scholars often denote this semantic distinction by writing [+human] or [-human], but one must be careful to understand that this is shorthand: substantives characterized by [+human] may in fact be other animals being personified, or even immortal gods. Nevertheless, Tocharian seems to adhere strictly to the notion of reasoning, since e.g. animals which are not being personified do not take the ending -ṃ in the oblique, nor do e.g. other divine 'things' that do not reason. For example, A ñkät B ñakte 'divine' takes the oblique ending -ṃ when referring to the Buddha, but not when referring to the Sun or Moon.

Adjectives (when not used as a substantive) may also take the oblique ending -ṃ, without necessarily modifying a substantive that is [+human]. Tocharian A allows this ending both in the masculine and the feminine singular of adjectives of any class; Tocharian B restricts the usage of this ending to adjectives ending in B-re, -śke, -ṣke, -i and -o.

Now if we sit back and think a moment, from an Indo-European perspective the above description of the distribution of the oblique -ṃ is pretty amazing. Certainly the ending can not derive directly from the *-m which provides the accusative ending in Proto-Indo-European, since PIE final consonants are lost in Tocharian. What then might AB -ṃ derive from? We see above two major clues:

  • the ending -ṃ is common to adjectives, and
  • -ṃ has restricted use in substantives.

From the above characteristics, it would not be hard to imagine a relation to PIE *n-stems. In particular, *n-stems are well attested in the germanic family as a major adjective formation, the so-called weak adjective formation. In particular, these *n-stem adjectives are employed when the noun modified is determined, e.g. accompanied by a definite article, or when the adjective is used as a substantive: Gothic þái ana aírþái þizái gōdōn saianans 'they that are sown on the good ground' (Mark 4.20). The use of such formations pervades Germanic, but finds attestation also in other branches of IE: Latin catus 'sly' vs. Catō (genitive: Catōnis) 'the Sly One'; Greek platús 'broad' vs. Plátōn 'the Broad (Shouldered) One'.

Given the preceding observation on *n-stems outside Tocharian, we may suppose the following state of affairs. At some stage leading to Proto-Tocharian, thematic nouns and adjectives could alternately employ weak (*n-stem) or strong (non-*n-stem) inflection:

    Strong Inflection   Weak Inflection
         
Nominative   *o-s > *-æ > A B -e   *-o-ō(n) > *-u > AB Ø
Accusative   *o-m > *-æ > A B -e   *-o-on-ṃ > *-ænä(n) > A -aṃ B -eṃ

Strong inflection led, through phonological change, to indistinguishable nominative and accusative forms; this agreed with the situation inherited from PIE for neuters: nominative and accusative *-o-m > *-æ > A -a B -e for thematic neuters, and *-os > *-æ > A -a B -e for *s-stem neuters. Thus Tocharian speakers naturally associated strong nominal inflection with the characteristic [-human] appropriate to neuters. The final -ṃ inherited from the weak declension, by contrast, became a marker denoting [+human].

The above explanation, however, must certainly be overly simplistic and only an approximation to the true situation. But it nevertheless provides plausible motivation both for the distribution of -ṃ among nouns and for its general pervasiveness throughout the adjective classes.

17.3.2 Other Consonant Endings

We also encounter other consonant endings in the oblique case. As above, loss of the final *-m of the accusative means these typically preserve some consonant proper to the stem of the original PIE form. The two major endings preserve the *-r- and *-nt-, respectively, of original PIE *r-stem nouns and substantives in *-ent- or *-ont-. The following table provides examples of the evolution of some of these forms.

    PIE   PToch   A   B
                 
Accusative   *-tṛ-m   *-trä(n)       -tär
                 
Accusative   *-ont-ṃ   *-æntä(n)   -ant   -ent

17.3.3 Removal of the Vowel of the Nominative

In Tocharian B we find a number of nouns, both masculine and feminine, which have nominative singular ending in -C'e (-e following a palatalized consonant), but whose oblique derives from removal of the final -e. These nouns generally remain confined to classes VI.1 and V.2:

    VI.1 Sg.   VI.1 Pl.           V.2 Sg.
                     
Nominative   -iye   -iñ           -e
Accusative   -i   -iṃ          

This declension pattern generally follows from nouns in PIE with stems in *-éy- and *-én-, and with nominative singular forms *-ḗy and *-ḗn, respectively. Consider, for example, the forms of B maśce 'fist':

    PIE   PToch   B   Comparanda
                 
Nominative   *mustḗy   *mäścæ   maśce   Ved. muṣṭí-
Accusative   *musti-m   *mäścä   maśc    

In the above we find confusion in the accusative between the éy-stem nouns and *i-stem nouns.

17.3.4 Palatalization of Suffixed Consonants

Several types of adjectives, primarily in Tocharian B, employ palatalization of a suffixed consonant to denote the masculine oblique singular. Note the following forms.

    A Nom. Sg.   A Obl. Sg.           B Nom. Sg.   B Obl. Sg.
                         
Ordinal   -te   -ce           -te   -ce
Adjectives                   -te   -ce
                    -tstse   -cce
Privative                   -tte   -cce
Gerundive                   -lle   -lye
Pret. Ptcples                   -u   -weṣ
                    -au   -oṣ
                    -au   -aṣ
                         
Demonstratives   sa-, sä-   ca-           se   ce

In some instances this palatalization also spreads to the masculine genitive singular, as well as to the masculine plural and feminine singular. The exact origin of this palatalization remains a source of scholarly debate.

17.3.5 Oblique in A -e B -ai

The ending A -e B -ai derives from Proto-Tocharian -ai and, at least in Tocharian B, provides one of the more frequent markers of the oblique case. This ending pertains to both masculine and feminine nouns, with varied nominative forms:

    Case   B Sg.   Example
             
Feminine Substs.   Nominative   -a   aśiya
    Oblique   -ai   aśiyai
             
Feminine Adjs.   N   -(y)a   astarya
    Obl.   -ai   astaryai
             
Present Ptcple.   N   -ñca    
    Obl.   -ñcai    
             
Agent Noun   N   -nta   kauṣenta
    Obl.   -ntai   kauṣentai
             
Feminine Abstracts   N   -o, -iye   prosko, proskiye
    Obl.   -ai   proskai
             
Feminine Substs.   N   -o, -iye   pyāpyo
    Obl.   -ai   pyāpyai
             
Masculine Substs.   N   -o   okso
    Obl.   -ai   oksai
             
Feminine Substs.   N   -yo, -ya   wertsiya, wertsyo
    Obl.   -ai   wertsyai

Because of the pervasiveness of the ending A -e in Tocharian A, it is difficult to discern exactly when this ending corresponds to the oblique singular B -ai in Tocharian B. We do find one example which appears more or less certain: A kli 'woman', with oblique singular kule; cf. B klyiye, with oblique singular klai. In general the ending -ai undoubtedly derives from many sources; however the details of the development remain a subject of scholarly debate.

17.3.6 Oblique in B -o, -a

This category comprises a smaller number of substantives within Tocharian B. In particular, only two feminine nouns -- B śana 'woman, wife' and lāntsa 'queen' -- show the oblique ending -o. A small group of nouns both masculine and feminine employ the oblique ending -a. In the former group, the particular combination of nominative and oblique endings derives from the interplay between the position of the PIE accent and the grade of a thematic suffix containing a laryngeal; in the latter group, secondary reformation may have occurred to distinguish what would otherwise have been identical nominative and oblique forms:

    PIE   PToch   B   Comparanda
                 
Nominative   *gʷén-H₂   *śänā   śana   Gk. gunē
Accusative   *gʷen-éH₂-   *śänå   śano   Ved. jáni
                 
Nom.   *ǵṇdʰweH₂   *käntwå   kantwo   Lat. dingua
Acc.   *ǵṇdʰweH₂-m   *käntwå   *kantwo > kantwa   Got. tuggo

The reformation of the oblique form may have patterned after oblique forms in -ai. Note in the last example that we find metathesis of PIE *dṇǵʰweH₂ to *ǵṇdʰweH₂.

17.4 Genitive

17.4.1 Peculiar Genitive Endings

The Tocharian languages display a small number of genitive singular endings which are particularly peculiar from a Proto-Indo-European standpoint. The first of these endings, A B -e, is remarkable because, despite deriving from by far the most common genitive ending in PIE, it survives only in a very limited number of Tocharian nouns. In particular, it remains in certain adjectives with stem *-ent-/*-ont-, and in the lone familial noun B tkācer 'daughter'.

The second of these endings, AB -i, bears note because its historical development remains a bit of a mystery. Scholars continue to debate its origin, but one proposal suggests a likely source lies in the Proto-Indo-European dative case, formed on top of a genitive ending (Pinault 2008). It occurs only with personal nouns, in particular the remaining familial nouns, personal pronouns and demonstratives, and proper nouns borrowed from Sanskrit with nominative singular in -e.

    PIE   PToch   A   B   Comparanda
                     
Nominative   *dʰugH₂tēr   *täkācær   ckācar   tkācer   Gk. tʰugátēr
Genitive   *dʰugH₂tr-ós   *täkātræ       tkātre   Got. dauhtar
                     
Nom.   *gʷén-H₂   *śänā   śäṃ   śana   Gk. gunē
Gen.   *gʷen-éH₂-s+ey   *śänå+'äy       *śänó+i > śnoy   Ved. jáni

We further find genitive singular endings A -i B -ñ in certain nouns borrowed from Sanskrit. The origin of these endings is less well understood than those treated above.

17.4.2 Productive Endings

The most productive genitive singular endings on a synchronic level are A -s B -ntse. As with the -ṃ of the accusative, the origin of the genitive A -s B -ntse most likely lies in PIE *n-stem nouns (Pinault 2008). In particular, it appears that *n-stem nouns with nominative-accusative in *-ṇ and genitive *-en-s, where the *-e- formed part of the suffix, incurred a secondary genitive formation, *-ens-os, on top of that already in place. This likewise occurred in the weak formation of thematic nouns (see the discussion of oblique -ṃ above): the typical genitive *-o-n-os was remodeled as *-ons-os. In the Proto-Tocharian period, the ensuing *-onsos > *-ænsæ was further reanalyzed as *-æ-nsæ, since the *-æ- agreed with the accusative of the strong declension of thematic nouns (cf. *yäkwæ). This of course falls in line with the general Tocharian tendency to build secondary cases using postpositions appended to the oblique (accusative). This last ending, *-nsæ, then follows regular sound changes to yield A -s (due to loss of final vowels and the simplification *-ns > A -s in Tocharian A) and -ntse (due to the insertion of -t- between *-ns- in Tocharian B). Consider the following examples.

    PIE   PToch   B   Comparanda
                 
Nominative   *stH₂-mṇ   *stāmä(n)   stām   Lat. stāmen
Accusative   *stH₂-mén-s+os   *stām-änsæ   stām-ántse   Ved. stʰā́man-
                 
Nom.   *H₁éḱw-o-s   *yäkwæ   yakwe   Lat. equus
Acc.   *H₁éḱw-o-ón-s+os   *yäkwæ-nsæ   yäkwé-ntse   Gk. híppos

In the above chart, PIE *stH₂-mṇ illustrates the *n-stem nouns, in this instance with a reformed genitive. We see the parallel with the weak declension of *H₁éḱw- in the genitive, which is also reformed and further reanalyzed as an ending appended to the accusative.

We also find the productive endings A -āp, -yāp B -epi for the genitive singular. These generally pertain to masculine adjectives and participles, and in Tocharian A also to substantives characterized as [+human]. These endings likely show the adoption of a genitive ending first occurring among the demonstrative pronouns. In particular, the labial element perhaps derives from an archaic thematic dative: PIE *te-smoy > *cäzβu > *cä-βä. The final element *-βä is appended in Tocharian A to *-yā-, perhaps a reflex of feminine *-iH₂; in Tocharian B the pronoun further inherits another dative marker, *cä-β-i > B cwi, cpi, and the element -pi is imported into adjectives and participles.

18 Adjective Class II: Athematic *n-Stems

Class II comprises athematic adjectives deriving from original PIE *n-stems. As we have seen in the discussion of the oblique singular ending -ṃ, Tocharian has employed a number of *n-stem formations throughout its evolution. It should therefore come as no surprise that a number of adjectives fall into Class II. As exemplar we take A klyom B klyomo 'noble'. The forms are given below.

    A Masculine   A Feminine           B Masculine   B Feminine
                         
N Sg.   klyom   klyomiṃ           klyomo   klyomña
G   klyomäntāp   klyomine           klyomopi (klyomontse)   klyomñāntse
Obl.   klyomänt   klyomināṃ           klyomoṃ (klyomont)   klyomñai
V                   klyomai    
                         
N Pl.   klyomäṣ   klyomināñ           klyomoñ   klyomñana
G   klyomäncäśśi   klyomināśśi           klyomoṃts    
Obl.   klyomäñcäs   klyominās           klyomoṃ   klyomñana

We see in the Tocharian A masculine genitive and oblique forms the vestiges of a formation in *-nt-, and likewise in the masculine oblique singular of Tocharian B. Apart from these forms, the paradigm clearly shows the influence of the *n-stems. The nominative reflects PIE *ḱléu-mō(n), with cognates Got. hliuma 'hearing', ON hljómr 'sound', Skt. śrutá- 'heard, famous', Gk. klutós 'renowned'. The development of the form involves umlaut: *ḱléu-mō(n) > *klyäumõ > *klyumo > *klyomo (umlaut) > A klyom B klyomo. The final -o of the Tocharian B masculine nominative singular has spread to other cases, replacing the expected vocalism of the *n-stem forms:

    PIE   PToch   B Expected   B Actual
Singular                
Genitive   *-mṇ-s-os   *-mänsæ   *-mäntse   -montse
Accusative   *-mon-ṃ   *-mæn   *-meṃ   -moṃ
                 
Plural                
Nominative   *-mōn-es   *-māñä   *-māñ   -moñ

This replacement even changes the vowel of the typical -epi of the genitive ending.

19 Present Thematic Classes

As the name implies, the verbs of the present thematic classes insert the theme, or thematic vowel, PIE *-e / o- between root and ending. In particular, the first person forms (both singular and plural), as well as the third person plural (not singular), show *o-grade of the thematic vowel; the remaining forms show *e-grade. The following chart lists the PIE combinations of thematic vowel and ending that led to the Proto-Tocharian forms.

Them. Pres.   PIE   PToch           A   B
Active                        
1 Sg.   *-o-mi   *-æ-m'ä           -am    
    *-o-H₂   *-ā+u               -au
2   *-e-tH₂e   *-'ätā           -'t   -'t
3   *-e-+se   *-'äs 'ä           -'ṣ    
    *-e-+nu   *-'än               -'(ä)ṃ
                         
1 Pl.   *-o-mes+   *-æ-m'äs           -amäs    
    *-o-mō (?)   *-æ-mo               -em(o)
2   *-e-te   *-'ät 'ä           -'c    
    *-e-tē+r+   *-'ät 'ær               -'cer
3   *-o-nti   *-ænt 'ä           *-añc > -eñc    
    *-o-nt   *-æn               -eṃ
                         
Mediopassive                        
1 Sg.   *-o-mH₂eri   *-æmār'ä           -(a)mār   -emar
2   *-e-tH₂eri   *-'ätār'ä           -'tār   -'tar
3   *-e-tri   *-'ätr'ä           -'tär   -'tär
                         
1 Pl.   *-o-medʰH₂+ri   *-æm'ätār'ä           -amtär   -emt(t)är
2   *-e-dʰe+ri   *-'ät 'är'ä           -'cär    
    *-e-dʰu+ri   *-'ätär'ä               -'tär
3   *-o-ntri   *-æntr'ä           -antär   -entär

The apostrophe denotes palatalization of the preceding consonant. One immediately notices the most salient feature of thematic conjugations: where PIE originally has the theme *-e-, the change PIE *e > PToch *'ä often results in vowel loss; but palatalization of the preceding consonant remains. That is, the lasting effect of the PIE theme *-e- is Tocharian palatalization of the consonant preceding the ending.

1st Person Singular Active: The theme vowel of the first person singular is PIE *-o-, but the endings are heterogeneous between the two Tocharian languages. Tocharian A derives the form from the ending *-mi, importing the athematic ending into the thematic conjugation. Such reformation of the first person singular is found outside of Tocharian as well, e.g. Skt. bʰarāmi 'I bear'. Tocharian B, by contrast, does not use the athematic ending, but rather employs the usual thematic ending. Not content to stop there, Tocharian B moreover adds the morpheme *-u. Its origin is uncertain, though perhaps it derives from *-wi, possibly harkening back to the -vī found in Latin perfects: e.g. clamāvī 'I cried'.

2nd Person Singular Active: Interestingly, only this active form agrees between the two languages. The derivation follows regular sound rules; the only difficulty being the loss of the final *-ā# > B -a#, which normall should remain in Tocharian B.

3rd Person Singular Active: This form shows the most marked difference between the two languages, and the most notable departure from PIE. The general loss of final consonants in Tocharian implies that such forms must have been analyzed at some point as a phrasal unit with a following adverbial or other part of speech, or with some other suffix which differed between the two languages. If in fact these endings derive from the addition of some enclitic elements, the most likely candidates are the sentence connectives PIE *se and *nu 'now'. In particular the meaning of the latter stands in accord with the fact that this ending only appears in the non-past formation.

1st Person Plural Active: The first person plural active ending is almost as problematic in PIE as in Tocharian. The only certain element is PIE *-m-, since Lat. -mus, Gk. -mes (Doric), and Vedic -mā (occasionally alternating with -ma) all leave the vowel, grade, and terminal element in doubt. It is no wonder then that Tocharian A and B differ on precisely these grounds. Given the Vedic form -masi and its resemblance to Gk. -mes, it is tempting to take the PIE form as *-mesi. This provides a plausible antecedent of A -mäs, but would require that PIE *i not palatalize the preceding PIE *-s-, otherwise atypical in Tocharian. Moreover, if the antecedent of the Tocharian B form is PIE *-mō, this requires that PIE *ō develop into PToch *-o, which, though possible, is generally restricted to the environment PIE *-ōn#.

2nd Person Plural Active: The two languages diverge on this form. Tocharian B shows a lengthened grade of the vowel, necessary to explain both the palatalization and that fact that the vowel itself is retained.

3rd Person Plural Active: The third person plural endings follow normal phonological evolution. The Tocharian A form results in -eñc < *-añc due to palatalization of the vowel in the environment of a cluster of palatalized consonants. The Tocharian A form derives from the PIE primary (non-past) ending *-nti, while that of Tocharian B derives from the original secondary ending *-nt.

1st Person Singular Mediopassive: This ending is a composite structure. The most salient element is the the PIE *-r-, a marker which in general characterizes the entire mediopassive paradigm in PIE, cf. Lat. orior 'I rise'. Tocharian shows also the element *-h₂, the PIE primary thematic active ending of the first person singular, and further preposes the secondary ending *-m. The final *-i is likely again the deictic particle encountered in the active endings. Greek shows a similar structure, e.g. Gk. pʰér-o-mai < PIE pʰér-o-mh₂i, differing from Tocharian only in the zero grade of the ending, and lack of the mediopassive marker *-r. The thematic vowel often drops in Tocharian A forms. The change B *-mār > -mar results from the accent falling on root or stem, leaving the vowel of the ending unaccented.

2nd Person Singular Mediopassive: This ending essentially recapitulates the active ending, merely adding the mediopassive marker *-r and the deictic *-i.

3rd Person Singular Mediopassive: Whereas Latin shows an *o-grade in the third person mediopassive ending (*-tor > Lat. -tur), Tocharian shows a zero grade followed by the mediopassive marker *- and the deictic *-i.

1st Person Plural Mediopassive: This reflects the personal ending found in, e.g., Gk. -metʰa and Vedic -mahi, augmented by the mediopassive *-r and deictic *-i.

2nd Person Plural Mediopassive: This ending proves difficult to explain. Both Tocharian A and B forms show the presence of the mediopassive *-r and deictic *-i which pervade the entire mediopassive paradigm. In other regards the two languages diverge. The Tocharian A form likely results from a PIE ending -dʰ(w)e, as found in Greek -s-tʰe. The Tocharian B form, however, lacking palatalization must result from a variant such as PIE *-dʰuwe, as found in e.g. Hitt. -duma < *-duwa. If so, then the form likely developed as PIE *-dʰuwe > PToch *-täw'ä > B *-täyä > -tä, with the last step following from contraction.

3rd Person Plural Mediopassive: This form parallels the singular, and whereas Latin has again the *o-grade *-ntor > Lat. -ntur, Tocharian once more shows a zero grade.

19.1 Present Class II

CLASS II presents follow a root thematic present formation. That is, CLASS II presents begin with the root, add the thematic vowel, then the endings. As such, they form the backbone of the majority of the thematic present conjugations. Of course this characterization must be viewed in Proto-Indo-European terms, and so strictly applies to those roots in the class which may be traced back to PIE heritage; the class then extended by analogy within Tocharian itself. In general the roots of this class show PIE full grade, *CéC-. Compare AB pär- 'bear' with its Indo-European cousins.

*bʰer-   PIE   PToch   A   B   Skt.   Gk.   Lat.
Active                            
3 Sg.   *bʰér-e+nu   *p'är'än       paräṃ   bʰárati   pʰérei   fert
3 Pl.   *bʰér-o-nt   *p'äræn       pareṃ   bʰáranti   pʰérousi   ferunt
Mediopassive                            
3 Sg.   *bʰér-e-tri   *p'är'ätär'   pärtär       bʰárate   pʰéretai   fertur
3 Pl.   *bʰér-o-ntri   *päræntär'   prantär       bʰárante   pʰérontai   feruntur

Neither PToch *p nor *r are subject to palatalization (or, they were palatalized and regularly depalatalized), and so the forms of this particular verb do not show the effects of the thematic vowel in Tocharian.

The structure of CLASS II also forms the basis for other thematic classes, in particular the present classes in *-se / o- and *-ske / o-.

The paradigm of AB āk- < PIE *h₂eǵ- 'lead' serves to illustrate the active forms of CLASS II verbs; A klyos- B klyaus- < PIE *kleus- 'hear' illustrate the mediopassive forms.

Present II   A   B   PToch   PIE
Active                
1 Sg.   ākam       *āk-æ-m   *H₂eǵ-o-mi
        ākau   *āk-ā+u   *H₂eǵ-o-H₂
2   āśt   āśt   *āk-'ä-t   *H₂eǵ-e-tH₂e
3   āśäṣ       *āk-'ä+se   *H₂eǵ-e-+se
        āśäṃ   *āk-'ä+nu   *H₂eǵ-e-+nu
                 
1 Pl.   ākamäs       *āk-æ-mäs   *H₂eǵ-o-mes+
        ākem(o)   *āk-æ-mo   *H₂eǵ-o-mō (?)
2   āśäc       *āk-'ät '   *H₂eǵ-e-te
        āścer   *āk-'ät 'ær   *H₂eǵ-e-tē+r+
3   ākeñc       *āk-æ-nt 'ä   *H₂eǵ-o-nti
        ākeṃ   *āk-æ-n   *H₂eǵ-o-nt
                 
Pres. Ppl.   āśant   aśeñca        
Grnd. I   āśäl   aśalle        
Infin.   *āktsi            
                 
Mediopassive                
1 Sg.   klyosmār   klyausemar   *kl'æus-æ-mār   *klēus-o-mH₂eri
2   klyoṣtār   klyauṣtar   *kl'æus-'ätār   *klēus-e-tH₂eri
3   klyoṣtär   klyauṣtär   *kl'æus-'ätär   *klēus-e-tri
                 
1 Pl.   klyosamtär   klyauṣemt(t)är   *kl'æus-æmätār   *klēus-o-medʰH₂+ri
2   *klyośśär       *kl'æus-'ät 'är   *klēus-e-dʰe+ri
        klyauṣtär   *kl'æus-'ätär   *klēus-e-dʰu+ri
3   klyosantär   klyauṣentär   *kl'æus-æntär   *klēus-o-ntri
                 
Pres. Ppl.   klyosmāṃ   klyausemane        

Note that the interplay of the accent and the weak vowel *ä often result in a lack of thematic vowel between root and ending in the final Tocharian form. The palatalization, or lack thereof, is the only remnant of the original vowel.

19.2 Present Classes III & IV

Though CLASS III and CLASS IV presents are thematic, several features distinguish them from other present classes. In particular, the verbs of both classes are deponent, that is, the presents exhibit only mediopassive forms. Moreover the thematic vowel shows differences from other thematic classes, in many respects suggesting a thoroughgoing *o-vocalism throughout the paradigm, rather than the *e / o alternation of the other thematic classes. The verb AB mäsk- 'be located, be' illustrates the forms of CLASS III.

Present III   A   B
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.   mäskamār   mäskemar
2   mäskatār   mäsketar
3   mäskatär   mäsketär
         
1 Pl.   mäskamtär   mäskemt(t)är
2   mäskacär   mäsketär
3   mäskantär   mäskentär
         
Pres. Ppl.   mäskamāṃ   mäskemane
Grnd. I   mäskal   mäskelle
Inf.   mäskatsi    

The verb AB plānt- 'be happy' serves to illustrate the forms of CLASS IV.

Present IV   A   B
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.   plantmār   plontomar
2   planttār   plontotar
3   plantatär   plontotär
         
1 Pl.   plantamtär   plontomt(t)är
2   plantacär   plontotär
3   plantantär   plontontär
         
Pres. Ppl.   plantmāṃ   plontomane
Grnd. I   plantal   plontolle
Inf.   plantatsi    

Several plausible explanations exist for the formation of CLASS III and CLASS IV presents, and scholarly opinion to date lacks complete consensus.

One line of reasoning, set forth in Adams (1988), concerns the most archaic PIE forms of the middle voice. In particular, some evidence suggests that the most archaic form of the third person singular mediopassive ending was PIE *-o, in the plural *-ro. This, combined with the deictic *-, apparently forms the basis for the Sanskrit forms duhé < PIE *dʰugʰó + i and duhré < PIE *dʰugʰró + i. Though an archaic formation within PIE itself, the Tocharian B forms ste (3 sg.) < PIE stH₂ó, stare < PIE *stH₂ró support the possibility of this formation surviving into the documented Tocharian languages. The fact that the ending was archaic in PIE, however, may have led to its being augmented by the athematic mediopassive endings. This, combined with a generalization of the *-o- as thematic vowel throughout the mediopassive paradigm when the root showed no alternation with an active present, may have ultimately led to a present conjugation characterized by thematic *-o- through, and the more usual mediopassive endings. The change PIE *o > PToch would then explain the thematic vowels of CLASS III in Tocharian A and B. CLASS IV might then be explained by a process of rounding: those roots with Proto-Tocharian root vowel *-ā- undergo a shift *(C)ā(C)æ- > *(C)å(C)å-.

Another possibility (Pinault, notes 2006) invokes the process of contraction. In particular, as many of the verbs of CLASS IV are synchronically denominatives, one might seek an origin in the denominative suffix PIE *-eh₂-, possibly followed by PIE *-ye / o-. The compound suffix then undergoes contraction across the *-y-, a process found elsewhere, e.g. PIE *tréyes > PToch *träyä > *træ+i > A tre B trai. This process does not appear to occur finally, but only in initial and intermediate syllables.

19.3 Present Class VIII

CLASS VIII presents comprise the so-called sigmatic presents. That is, these verbs append -s- to the verbal root, followed by the thematic vowel: PIE *-se / o-. The thematic vowel of course causes palatalization of the preceding *-s- in the expected positions. The forms of A ar- B er- 'evoke' < PIE *h₁or- (cf. Gk. órnūmi 'urge, incite', Lat. orior 'rise', Skt. ṛṇóti 'raises', Hitt. arāi 'rises') serve to illustrate the paradigm.

Present VIII   A   B
Active        
1 Sg.   arsam   ersau
2   aräṣt   erṣt(o)
3   aräṣ (aräṣṣ-äṃ)   erṣäṃ
         
1 Pl.   arsamäs   ersem(o)
2   aräś   erścer
3   arseñc   erseṃ
         
Pres. Ppl.   arṣant   erṣeñca
Grnd. I   arṣäl   erṣalle
Inf.   arässi    
         
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.   aräsmār   ersemar
2   aräṣtār   erṣtar
3   aräṣtär   erṣtär
         
1 Pl.   arsamtär   ersemt(t)är
2   *aräśśär   erṣtär
3   arsantär   ersentär
         
Pres. Ppl.   aräsmāṃ (arsamāṃ)   ersemane

The third person singular form in Tocharian A results from a regular simplification: A *arṣä-ṣ > *arṣṣ > *arṣ > aräṣ (a change also reflected in the third person singular present of 'to be': *naṣäṣ > A naṣ). The geminate consonant remains in the form with suffixed personal pronoun.

One generally finds that in verbs where stem-final *-se- becomes *-ṣ(ä)-, this palatalized *-ṣ- subsequently depalatalizes upon contact with a following -tV-, i.e. an ending containing t followed by a vowel. This is a regular, apparently morphologically conditioned phonetic change, and the striking point is that this does not occur in the Tocharian B mediopassive paradigm above: B -ṣ- is retained in the second and third person forms, in keeping with the remainder of the paradigm. Compare CLASS IX, where this change does occur.

The linguist of course wonders: what is the origin of the *-s- formation in the Tocharian present? The basic fact is that to date the origin remains elusive. Scholars typically discuss the sigmatic presents in conjunction with presents in *-sḱ-, which they view for the most part as causative formations within Tocharian. The *-s- also frequently denotes a causative, more so in Tocharian A, where the *-sḱ- formation has all but disappeared. The difficulty in associating the *-s- extension with an original causative lies in the fact that no such causative formation exists in Indo-European outside of Tocharian.

Of course sigmatic formations abound elsewhere in Indo-European. Some scholars link the Tocharian formation with original sigmatic aorists in PIE, in particular with aorist subjunctives. There are two primary difficulties with such a theory: (1) these aorists generally show full grade of the root, whereas the Tocharian presents show zero grade; (2) the PIE cognates of Tocharian *s-presents generally show root aorists, rather than *s-aorists. Other scholars propose linking the Tocharian formation with sigmatic presents found in Greek, as in e.g. Gk. aéksō 'increase, make grow' and dépsō 'knead, soften'. Again difficulties arise: (1) as above, the Greek forms show full grade, while the Tocharian forms derive from zero grade; (2) the verb A ok- B auks- 'sprout, grow up' is the only cognate of an IE sigmatic present (cf. Gk. aéksō; Skt. vakṣáyati 'makes grow', but perfect vavakṣa 'grew'; ON vexa 'make grow', but vaxa 'grow'; Goth. wahsjan 'grow'; OE weaxan 'wax, grow'), but has present A oksis- B auks-äsk-. Contary to expectation, the *-s- appended immediately to the root does not appear to have a causative function across the IE cognates; moreover, this holds equally true in Tocharian, as evidenced by the secondary suffix applied after the *-s-. The Tocharian form is in fact not causative, cf. B ostn=auksäṣṣäṃ 'he grows up at home' (121a1).

19.4 Present Class IX

CLASS IX presents, extant only in Tocharian B, employ the suffix *-sḱ- followed by the thematic vowel: PIE *-sḱ-e / o- > -ṣṣ(ä)- / -skæ-. Where the thematic vowel was originally *-o-, the cluster *-sk- remains intact; where the thematic vowel was *-e-, the cluster *-sk- palatalizes as *-ṣṣ-. Though the class contains predominantly causative verbs, some non-causatives likewise pertain to this formation. The verb B kälp- 'attain' illustrates the paradigm.

Present IX   B Base   B Causative
Active        
1 Sg.   kälpāskau   kalpäskau
2   kälpāst(o)   kalpäst(o)
3   kälpāṣṣäṃ   kalpäṣṣäṃ
         
1 Pl.   kälpāskem   kalpäskem
2   kälpāścer   kalpäścer
3   kälpāskeṃ   kalpäskeṃ
         
Pres. Ppl.   kälpāṣṣeñca   kalpäṣṣeñca
Grnd. I   kälpāṣ(ṣäl)le   kalpäṣ(ṣäl)le
Inf.       kalpästsi (kalpässi)
         
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.   kälpāskemar   kalpäskemar
2   kälpāstar   kalpästar
3   kälpāstär   kalpästär
         
1 Pl.   kälpāskemt(t)är   kalpäskemt(t)är
2   kälpāstär   kalpästär
3   kälpāskentär   kalpäskentär
         
Pres. Ppl.   kälpāskemane   kalpäskemane

The etymology of B kälp- remains uncertain, though it perhaps derives from the root PIE *kelp- found in Old English helma 'rudder, tiller' and hielfe 'handle'. The verb retains another formation based on the roots with final laryngeal, showing a CLASS VI present A kälp-n-ā-tär and Class I preterite A kälpāt B kälpāte. This construction is reflected in the non-causative stem *kälp-ā-sk-, whereas the causative stem derives from *kälp-äsk-.

The paradigm also illustrates the phonetic rule mentioned in the context of CLASS VIII (the latter notable because of the rule's absence): the palatalized suffix -ṣṣ(ä)- is depalatalized preceding -tV, i.e. an ending beginning with -t- followed by a vowel. Thus depalatalized kälpāstär and kalpästär, where by contrast CLASS VIII shows the palatalized erṣtär. Interestingly, this rule does not apply when the *-sk- is no longer felt as a suffix, but as part of the root itself. Consider for example ñäsk- 'demand, require; (med.) seek' < PIE *nes-sḱe / o- < *nes- 'move (back) toward a good position/state' (cf. Gk. néomai 'return home', Skt. násate 'unite with, approach', OE genesen 'save'): CLASS II present mediopassive 3rd sg. ñaṣtär, pl. ñaskentär. (In Tocharian A, the cluster *-st- does not appear; one only encounters -ṣt-.) Thus this phonetic rule is not only sensitive to the phonological environment, but to the morphological environment as well.

A point of critical importance surrounds the vocalization of the vowel *-ä- inserted through anaptyxis between the root and *-sk- suffix. This joining vowel appears variously as the reduced -ä- and the full -a-. When the former occurs, the of the root strengthens to a; when the latter, the root vowel remains in the reduced form. This alternation betokens a shift in the position of the accent: in Tocharian B the accent shifts to the first syllable in causative verb forms, while it remains further to the rigth in non-causative forms. This provides a very important distinction between causative and non-causative, since even non-causatives can employ the *-sk- suffix: B ai- 'give', with 1st sg. aiskau, 3rd aiṣṣäṃ; we- 'speak', with 1st sg. weskau, 3rd weṣṣäṃ. Thus the shift in accent is the only strict marker of causative forms, accompanied by initial palatalization.

19.5 Present Class X

CLASS X presents show an extension by *-sk- of verbs with nasal present stems: *-nā+sk-, or *-n+sk- with anaptyxis, yielding A -nās-/-näs- B -nāsk-/-näsk-. Both causative and non-causative verbs belong to this class. The verb täm- 'be born, (caus.) beget' illustrates the paradigm.

Present X   A   B Base   B Causative
Active            
1 Sg.   tmäṃsam       tanmäskau
2   tämnäṣt       tanmäst(o)
3   tämnäṣ (tämnäṣṣ-äṃ)       tanmäṣṣäṃ
             
1 Pl.   tmäṃsamäs       tanmäskem
2   tämnäś       tanmäścer
3   tmäṃseñc       tanmäskeṃ
             
Pres. Ppl.   tmäṃṣant       tanmäṣṣeñca
Grnd. I